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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Leeks, Fish and Spring Cleaning


 It's amazing how God teaches you lessons from your current reading of His Word that parallels your life at that particular time! I've been learning a lot from Moses these days in the book of Exodus. Though I've read it many times before, I'm in the midst of my own Exodus now. Exodus from sin and self. I use to be able to look at Moses from a distance, but now I feel like I'm going through his whole experience up close and personal

Somehow, the world, typified in Egypt, has retained a grip on me in area I thought I was free, but I'm not.  I've gone back to some of the world's ways of thinking. Failure, not measuring up to people's standards, rejection, fear and depression. Moses experienced these too. After he killed the Egyptian who was beating an Israelite, he fled Egypt because  He was fearful of losing his life. He fled to Median, where he unlearned everything he learned in Egypt. He was no longer the Pharaoh's son, a learned man of high rank, but someone who "tripped over his words," a stutterer.

Lately I've been doing that, unable to express myself clearly, not stuttering, but just being misunderstood.Maybe you feel that way too. People are misjudging your intentions.That can bring on a whole host of issues as mentioned before as well as self doubt. I think that's what Moses experienced in the desert for 40 years. Yet I believe God was using that to strip him of himself and then pour His Spirit into Moses. That's where I can identify with Moses. Lately, all of my self confidence has gone down the drain. I thought it was in the Lord, but somehow self crept back in, and I find myself in a desert place--again.

God needs to do more refining, to get more of Egypt out of me. I've been grumbling for those "leeks and fish" of Egypt: success and happiness. Not that God doesn't want me to be happy. I believe in being a joyful Christian, but I would be foolish to think I'm not going to face tribulation and hardship in this world. The Bible tells us, "All of creation groans awaiting Christ's return." I'm groaning because I see how the ways of the world have infiltrated back into my life. Even though  I've been set free, Pharaoh (a type for Satan), doesn't want to let me go. And he's got more ways then one to keep me and you from being an effective or joyful Christian.

Now Satan's trying to pull that rejection and failure card, but interesting enough God can use that and any other card that enemy of our soul tries to deal us. As Christians we just can't look at our lives in comparison to the world. We have to continually be looking to God for His help and strength, as Moses did. After He was called at the burning bush, and he listed all his deficiencies for the task, it was God all the way. No mix of self, worldly knowledge, privilege or success. Sure, Moses had to work out some issues with God, we all do, but if God told him to do something, Moses did it. 

And it wasn't successful at first. Pharaoh made it harder on the people and grumbled against Moses. Then Moses complained that the people were upset with him. Sometimes when we do God's will it just doesn't look successful at first. But God told him just wait and see. Do what I tell you to do, and you will see some mighty miracles. And Moses listened.

So here I am Lord, listening. Tell me what you want me to do, no matter what the world thinks, or sometimes even Christians (though we should never trespass the principle's of the Bible). Help me not to look back to Egypt for my feeling of well being, but to Your face and Your ways.

I'm not sure how you are feeling today, but I know the world can beat you down. Sometimes it's okay to be a little blue because we are living in troubling times in this temporary tent of flesh. Perhaps God is trying to show you something about yourself that needs to be renewed or cleansed. I know He's showed me a lot of my sinful ways. It can get you a little depressed, but we don't have to stay there. We have a Savior who takes all our junk: the longing for leeks, the success of the world, the selfishness, anger, bitterness, grumbling and on and on. As we lay them before Him and confess our sins, He wipes it all away. We don't need to wander the desert for 40 years because we have a Savior!

Sometimes God just needs to do spring cleaning in our lives. Throw out the junk and re-prioritize our life. Let Him show you and I what is truly important so we can be set free from the grip of the world's demands! Be planted in the rich soil of His Word. Be cleansed by the forgiveness of sin and filled with the joy of The Holy Spirit. As the Psalmist David says "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." That's the best spring cleaning--in our hearts.