Monday, February 16, 2009

Rose-Colored Glasses

I am in the fifth week of our study by Kelly Minter titled No Other Gods. If you will recall with me, this study is all about recognizing and dealing with the idols in our lives. We can make good things in our lives our idols, but they are idols nonetheless and we can't worship God and serve idols at the same time.

At this point in our study we find ourselves around the campfire with the Israelites after they have been brought out of Egypt. Remember that God had delivered them from the hand of Pharoah. They had seen their God deliver them from the horrible plagues that affected the Egyptians. They had seen their mighty God part the Red Sea. He went before them by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire. God even provided their food by giving them their daily portion of manna.

Even though the manna was provided by God Himself, they were be sick of it. They began to crave meat. The Amplified Bible says,"the rabble among them began to lust greatly for familiar food"(Exodus 11:4). Rabble means the "collection of grumblers". There they were, sitting around the fire reminiscing about the good old days. When they were still in Egypt. "They remembered the fish they ate freely in Egypt and without cost, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic." v.5

Without cost! The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for 470 years. They had seen Pharoah throw their male babies into the Nile River to be eaten by crocodiles. They had been mistreated for 470 years. Their enslavement had cost them plenty.

God decided to give them what they wanted. He sent them the meat they longed for. Quail as far as the eye could see. He gave it to them until they were literally sick of it and it disgusted them. Psalm 106:15 says, "He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their souls."

Kelly Minter says: "We deceive ourselves when we think our gods will bring us anything but leanness of soul. In the Israelites' case, they were offered the minimalist diet of manna so that their souls could feast on the Lord (remember, He didn't want them to live by bread alone). Instead, they craved the richness of quail while their souls starved."

I am so quick to criticize the Israelites. How could they reject their God given manna? How could they forget that God had delivered them from Egypt? I have been to Egypt and I wanted to get out as fast as I could! They had the very presence of God with them all the time in a cloud by day and fire by night. Yet aren't I gulity of doing the same thing? God generously provides for me on a daily basis. He gave His only Son for me, so that I could live forever with Him. His presence goes with me always. His spirit dwells within me. But I grumble. I want what I don't have. I am like the rabble among them. Looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. Trading His provision for my leanness of soul.
This is the desert. It is dry and barren.

And this is the promised land.

Sisters, God wants to bring us out of our deserts and into the beauty that He has for us. Oh Lord, I pray that we can turn loose of those things that we think are good, the things that we hold so tightly to. Bring us into your promised land. We want to trade the leanness of our souls for the Fullness of You.

Cindy Sig 2

Friday, February 13, 2009

Life is for the Birds

It is very unusual for me to post twice in one day, but 5 minutes after I got home from seeing Priscilla Shirer last week ( I am serious), I was stricken with a tummy bug and didn't feel like checking my email or blogging for the better part of the week.

I am not sure why, but it seems like God has been speaking to me through birds lately. If you remember, in November I mentioned that a heron stopped by the lake to visit us.
Then when we were at the beach we got to see buzzards and hawks up close and personal.

So imagine my surprise when my husband rushed in and said that he saw what appeared to be a large Bald Eagle flying over the lake! I didn't get to see it so I prayed that the Lord would send it my way and just as I was finishing my post about Priscilla Shirer, the Lord prompted me to look out the window just in time to see the suspected eagle. It was a very large bird with a white head and white tail feathers. I watched it fly out of sight and then immediately looked up Bald Eagles on the internet. Here is what I found: HABITAT & RANGE: Bald Eagles live near large bodies of open water such as lakes, marshes, seacoasts and rivers, where there are plenty of fish to eat and tall trees for nesting and roosting. Bald Eagles have a presence in every U. S. state except Hawaii. Bald Eagles use a specific territory for nesting, winter feeding or a year-round residence. Its natural domain is from Alaska to Baja, California, and from Maine to Florida. Bald Eagles that reside in the northern U. S. and Canada migrate to the warmer southern climates of the U. S. during the winter to obtain easier access to food, especially fish. Some Bald Eagles that reside in the southern U. S. migrate slightly north during the hot summer months.

I had no idea that bald eagles were in Georgia, much less in my back yard! I am praying that it will come back so that I can get a picture and a closer look.

God continues to amaze and delight me. I don't know why I am so surprised when He does.
Cindy Sig 2

Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer

Last Friday and Saturday I had the privilege of hearing Priscilla Shirer speak at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. She is an incredible speaker and teacher and she is so gracious and approachable. She leaves you wanting more of Jesus.

She gave us the 5 P's of Hearing God Through the Bible which Leah @ The Point detailed here. She also spoke to us from the book of Jonah about the interrupted life. Our Lord loves to interrupt our lives; He doesn't follow our plans. His are so much better! Here are 4 principles from the story of Jonah about how we should respond to life's interruptions:

  1. The interrupted life is the privileged life: God extends an opportunity for us to participate in His plans.

  2. The interrupted life is the significant life: Our search for significance comes when we put aside our own will. He gives us the cure for the search for insignificance.

  3. The interrupted life is the challenging life: All of the power, glory, grandeur and authority of God reside in us. If God gives us a different or difficult challenge, He will equip us.

  4. The interrupted life is an accountable life: He expects us to respond to what He asks us to do.

When we respond in obedience to God we get the following things:

  • We get a second chance. (or third, or fourth, etc.)

  • We get the presence of God to go with us.

  • We get an exceedingly great opportunity.

  • We get divine anointing.

  • When we submit to God we get supernatural results.

We tend to try to humanize God and think that He is a Big us. But He is so much better than us. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Priscilla speak or to do one of her Bible Studies, please take the opportunity to do so. You will be greatly blessed.

Cindy Sig 2

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Problem With Idols

We are on week four in our Kelly Minter study on idols in our lives, No Other Gods. Remember that an idol is something other than God that we serve, or that masters us.

Idols can be anything from anger, bitterness, jealousy, to an addiction. Almost anything in our lives can turn into an idol. Even something that isn't necessarily bad or wrong. We can make idols out of good things. We can elevate our families to a position above God. We can even put our church activities above God.

Why do we choose idols? We can choose them our of a perceived need in our lives. We can choose an idol because of pain in our lives. We can choose an idol because we think God is being silent and we need to help Him out. The reasons are endless. As are the idols.

God commanded us in Exodus 20:3 that we are to have no other Gods before Him. If we serve other gods, our hearts and minds cannot be fully on Him. Our idols will lie to us, steal from us and ultimately harm us.

I think at some point in everyone's life we have wanted something very badly and thought that our lives wouldn't be complete without it. But the biggest problem with idols is that they can't satisfy us. How many times have we gotten something we badly wanted, material things, a relationship, etc. and still our souls still can't be satisfied? The only thing that will ever satisfy us completely is Jesus. Not our families. Or things. Or status. Just Jesus.
Life is Good,