Believing in God

i_believe_in_u

Yesterday I talked about waiting on God. I know that waiting is extremely difficult, especially when you are impatient. Yet waiting is important because God operates on His time, not ours. Peter tells us, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9, NASB). This just goes to show us that God’s time table is nowhere near ours. To him, time over the last 2000 years could seem anywhere from 2000 to 730,500,000 days (or 5.5 to 2 million years!!). Our time table is meaningless in God’s eyes, it’s only His time and will that matter.

Bu this doesn’t help us wait any. Knowing that God doesn’t provide in our time, it actually kind of makes me worry that it will never happen. So simply waiting on God isn’t enough. What is it that will get us through the waiting? What is that one thing that will help us enjoy God’s blessing, despite all the waiting around we had to do?

I believe that that one thing is belief. Believing in God and His promises is what helps us get through such hard times. The belief I am speaking of is best defined in Hebrews, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT). I was reading in the book of Numbers today. There is a story in there that speaks perfectly about this topic.

In chapters 13 and 14, the people of Israel have been brought to a place just outside of the promised land. God told Moses to send 12 men into the promised land to spy it out for them. The men were gone for forty days. They traveled all over the promised land, and brought back many samples of what the Israelites were going to find. When they returned, ten of the men gave a report that the Israelites could not possibly overcome the inhabitants of the land. They thought that they would surely all die. But Caleb and Joshua (the other two) spoke up saying that they could because they had God, and He promised them the land. The people ultimately sided with the 10 men and rebelled against God. He chose to punish them with 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and that none of the adults would be alive (except Caleb and Joshua) to enter the promised land.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that we have to hold onto our believe that God will come through for us. He has promised to provide for us and so much more (Jeremiah 29:11 and Psalm 27:4). We can get a little doubtful when it “takes too long” (which was my point yesterday). But we have to believe in our God. He is ever faithful, so we must be faithful in Him. Holding onto that belief is counter-cultural. God said to Moses, “But my servant Caleb has a different attitude than the other have. He has remained loyal to me,…” (Numbers 14:24, NLT). Being counter-cultural is hard, but we have to do it if that means we hold onto our belief that God will provide in His time.

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When You Turn from God

King Saul from The Bible miniseries
King Saul from The Bible miniseries

I continued to read 1 Samuel today and came to another point that I felt followed my last post pretty well.

What happens when we turn away from or disobey God?

The answer seems pretty simple, “bad stuff”. However it’s more than that. In my reading, the newly appointed King Saul leads his people through many glorious battles. God then commands that he go and destroy all of the Amalekites. And boy He meant all, “… put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15:3 NASB) Yet when the time came Saul spared King Agag and kept the best of all the animals. God then feels remorse for making Saul king of His people. Samuel tells Saul “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.” (15:28 NASB)

Wow! Those must have been some hard words to hear. It’s the same as when your boss doesn’t like the way you are doing a project and gives it to one of you co-workers. Yet when we choose to disobey God, He reacts. Look back to the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. When they disobeyed God, He cast them from Eden, cursed the ground, made child-bearing more painful, etc. God is not a fan of sin, simply because it makes us “me-focused” and not “God-focused”. That’s the nature of sin my friends, to only be “me me me” and to shy away from God. Yet God created us to be in fellowship with Him.

Thank God He sent His son, Jesus Christ. Because of his sacrificial death everyone, including you, can rejoin God in fellowship. Yes we still sin, that’s a part of humanity. But God wants us to continue to fight the temptation to sin. That’s the mark of our Christian lifestyle, “Hi, my name is Preston, and I’m a sinner. Now through Jesus Christ, I am getting better!”

As leaders though, we become doubly accountable. Not only do we have to monitor our own walks with Christ, but we must be certain not to lead people astray. God has given us our influence, and we must guard it carefully.

I encourage you whether you are a leader or not, consult God before you make decisions, and listen to what He says. This is probably the biggest lesson that we can learn from Saul’s life. Once he was lowly, then he became King, then he turned from the Lord and everything was taken from him.

Qualifies the Called (The First Post!!!!)

leadership

Well friends! I’m not starting this journey on becoming “The Heart Man”.

I figured in order to prepare for this blog I would start reading the story of the man I take this blog’s name from, King David. So I started reading 1 Samuel, and wouldn’t you know it, I came across something to discuss before I even got to David.

You see at the start of the book Israel is without a king. It’s not because their previous king had died or anything, they just simply didn’t have one. Instead they were lead by God through His prophets. Eventually the people of Israel decided they needed a king, “… just like all the other nations have.” (1 Samuel 8:5 NLT) So after consulting God, Samuel anoints for them a king, a man named Saul from the tribe of Benjamin. At first Saul is astonished that God would choose him, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” (9:21 NLT)

God calls His leaders despite what we think our qualifications are. I once heard it put this way, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” When leaders are called, we often first say “No, not me!” Moses certainly did at the burning bush. So looking at my own call to be the leader that I am, I realize that I reacted similarly. But through the grace of God I have become more “qualified” in my leadership roles.

My encouragement to any readers out there is that if you feel called, pray and practice! When I became a worship leader, I definitely had no business singing, playing guitar or piano. But I have gotten better with work, and am now more confident in fulfilling my call. So I encourage you to keep going, it all gets betters (and the butterflies in your stomach go away a little more each time).