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


Leah said...

Great post!! How I desire to look at life only through the eyes of the One who gave it to me.

Truly, this Bible study is one of the most important ones we have ever done in our almost 9 years as a group!!


fuzzytop said...

Amen Cindy!

How quick we are to yearn for what we don't have and think we need, and to forget how He provides all we need.

I had to change jobs about 18 months ago, and I was not happy about it. But He provided me with a job that is actually fits my schedule far better, and while it doesn't pay as much, it provides what we need.

God is good....


Kerri said...

Love your promise land! Pretty, pretty. My pictures are up from my "mountain top" trip~

Lora said...

Amen Cindy, amen!

We just finished studying "Facing Our Giants" in small group on Sunday and I asked my daughter if after class she would get my "No More Giants" book and return it to the library! I confused Kelly's "No Other Gods" with my current one. Later as I thought about the slip, it is what I want - the victorious life with no idols or giants. A heart devoted to Him and to enjoy the "fullness of Him."

And maybe one day we the Lord will allow us to enjoy that sweet time across the table for lunch! Your words bless me!

Alene said...

This is beautiful, Cindy! I need to get this study. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

Sharon said...

I got goose-bumps reading your beautifully written post, Cindy! God has been impressing on my heart to let go of those things that are a waste of time and let Him show me how to live! What an eye opener to read about how Israelites got tired of God's mana and reminisced about the Eygptian foods and thought of them as being "without cost", yet ironically, they paid a huge price for those "free foods" because of their enslavement! WOW!!! That's me --> foregoing God's mana (more time in the Word) and finding comfort in mindless "time wasters" like excessive TV and excessive Facebook, etc, instead of finding my comfort in Him. Here I am thinking those are harmless activities that aren't harming anyone or "costing" me anything. But the reality is that they ARE costing me a lot (time away from God, my husband and my children) and I fear I've let those activities become idols of sorts. They have nothing to do with contributing to God's kingdom. I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to forgo my old ways in favor of God's way. This was truly a great post!

Those pictures are gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous, I adore your blog design -- it's so pretty! I also appreciate your uplifting and encouraging posts. They have been a huge blessing to me -- THANK YOU for writing and sharing what the Lord lays in your heart! :)

I hope you had a good time in S.A. visiting your sister! Crazy Texas weather, isn't it? In the 90's yesterday, and chilly today! Had I thought about it earlier, I would have loved to have invited you and your sister over to my house for Saturday morning bible study. Our small group is studying Beth Moore's Esther and today's session (5) was all about God's timing. Thought provoking and so very good!

I started the Kelly Minter NOG bible study last summer but did not get to finish it. It sounds like a good one. I may need to revisit it this summer.

Sorry to have written a book! :)

God Bless and take care,