Saturday, December 31, 2011

Deuteronomy 6

And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always.

… for our good always.  Obedience and awe of God are completely compatible, even prerequisites for our good always. LORD God, please help me to live from that honoring and reverent perspective. What is due You is always good for me, too.

To learn, to do, to possess, to fear…Lord may this be the increasing pattern of my life. To learn more of You, to obey what You direct me to do, to take hold of and live the life You have for me, to be more in awe and amazement and love and captivated and blown away by You, everyday. To the praise of Your very great Name. Thank You for being a Jealous God, for You value what I worship.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Deuteronomy 5

The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today.

Fresh words for a faith-filled life, not my daddy's faith; but mine.  Lord God, help me to seek Your fresh words, neglecting not Your written Word.  May I be in tune to Your conversations and covenants with me, while being cognizant and responsive to Your eternal truths.  Grow me up in You, Lord Jesus ... and thank You for Your words to me.  Thank You.

Joshua 10

the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel

I am so grateful that You, LORD God are my God and You have already fought for me. Praise You, sweet Warrior of Triumph God of mine. I so love that You lead them into battle and You guide them when the battle comes to them. I know You do the same for me. You blow my mind, Holy God of the Host Armies. May I embrace and walk in the victory You have provided even during the umpteenth day of battle or pursuit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Deuteronomy 4

... that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.  Lord, help me to walk with You the whole way.  May I always live where You have ordained for me and in what You give me.  Help me to recognize that it is life.  May I go in with You, not view it from afar in fear or trepidation or laziness; and may I never go in as a captive or slave to anyone but You.  AND may I fully possess what You give me.  May Your gifts never be a snare or an idol in my life, may Your plans never possess me.  Help me to serve You well in and through what You provide and never worship the gift.

for this is your wisdom and your understanding ...  God's words are my wisdom and my understanding.  May I treat them as such and walk in the light of His eternal Word.

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.   Help me, Holy Spirit, keep me that I shall not forget, let me remember and cherish the work of God's hand in and around my life.  Organize and prioritize my experiences, frame them that they bring You glory and show You to be Who You say You are; may I speak of them in the same fashion.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deuteronomy 3

I (Moses) commanded Joshua at that time ...

God commanded Moses, (He also denied Moses' request).  
Moses commanded Joshua, (and the people of Israel).  
Joshua commanded the people, (when he led the people into the Promised Land).

God gives direction and authority.  I am to operate by the direction and according to the authority if I am to walk into the promises of my God.  

Lord, help me to fully realize this both in the physical realm and the supernatural one.  May I operate by Your direction and according to and within Your authority.  May I fully occupy the promises You have given me and not miss out on Your great glory in my life because of choosing poorly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Deuteronomy 2

This very day I will begin to put the terror and fear of you on all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you and will tremble and be in anguish because of you.” - my reputation is in God's hands.  His campaign is the only right way to interpret.

The LORD said to me, See, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his country.  {actually, Lord, with my eyes, I don't see; but I believe You)   Begin to take possession of it and engage him in battle. {Now?   gulp.  okay.  You see, Lord,  I am not feeling very warrior-y; but I believe You and I will respond in that trust)  ...  “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.” (oh, I get it, it's not instantaneous.  You have begun to deliver them.  It'll take some time.  May I stay believing and trusting and obedient during this process called deliverance and taking possession of the promise)  When Sihon and all his army came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz, the LORD our God delivered him over to us ... (so, even though I had to go to battle, I had to prepare, bear the the weapon, wield the authority and actually be in the trench and do war, You, LORD my God delivered what You had promised.)  

God, I don't often understand Your ways; but I thank You that You make Your words clear to me.  Please help me to be careful in the response I give You that I may fully participate in the the plan You have provided.  And I thank You that You deliver what You promise.  That You know I don't see what You say; but You still invite me to join You in the call.  Please give me Your vision to see just as You say.  Open the eyes of my belief, unstop the ears of my trust, teach my mind to comprehend in faith first.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Deuteronomy 1

And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there. ...

There was intimidation and concern about the taking possession; but in the midst of the largeness and incomprehension of their task lay fear.  Simple dread consuming any hope of liberty, obedience and blessing.  

And a choice to believe their God.

Lord God, I thank You for these words today.  You know what I have entertained this week.  I seek to walk in obedience; but for some reason, I am experiencing difficulty in finding the way.  I know what You have generally called me to do; but in the exact moment of unfolding Your will in real-time, I am (beyond the concern and general awareness of the difficulties) realizing fear.  Fear of an Anakite.  Like Your children did many years ago.   I don't want respond to that presence or legend or imagination; but You.  It's just that knowing what You desire in the moment gets cloudy, as the desert stirred up by the movement of a mass exodus, and the discerning is increasingly difficult.  I want to honor You.  I desire to obey You and despite the panic inspired by this Anakite; I want to do all that You call me to do today.  This week.  In full view of the Anakite.  To the praise of Your Name.  

Since I acknowledge I struggle in the moments of being in the presence of the Anakite, I come to You now, seeking and believing You will direct my path and light my way when again You allow me to encounter the Anakite.  Give me Your plan, Your steps to follow, Your words to speak in power and humility, Your silence to offer, God, whatever You wish, I want that.  I pray now for clear-minded yieldedness to You and none other...even the goddess of comfort-driven panic that can accompany this situation.  

I thank You for Your grace and wisdom in allowing me this situation.  May I realize and receive/lay down all that You have for me through this.  Lord God, You are my God, whom shall I fear, You are my light, my strength and my song, You are showing me Your salvation.  And Lord, all that You do for me in this situation, please do double for the Anakite according to the need.  May we praise You together, in liberty, love and lowliness soon.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Luke 2:36-40

She (Anna, who was 84 years old) never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers.  

Not the average lifestyle of widowed ladies. But, the lifestyle which reflected her passion and priority.

Lord, no matter what sort of service or worship You have for my daily and nightly lifestyle; please help me to not neglect fastings and prayers. I long to be ready for Your revelations, I desire to be in place for Your demonstrations, I hope to serve You in gracious appreciation of who You are and what You have done.  May my circumstances never hinder my presence in Your court, my heart for Your Name nor my devotion to Your redemption and Your people.  Only by Your grace, precious King of the Universe and my Messiah.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Luke 2:21-35

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord ...

The Lord Jesus fulfilled every point of the law.  His compliance, His submission, His yieldedness began before He could roll over.

(Matthew 5:1 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.";
Luke 24:44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”)

Jesus fulfilled the law, that's what love does.

Romans 13:8  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

And he (Simeon) came in the Spirit into the temple ...

Simeon came into the temple, not for Simeon; but for Jesus.  Why do I come to temple?  For me, my deal, my kids, it's what I do; or do I go in order to wait for Jesus?  Is my life characterized by waiting for Jesus?  The divine appointment He has with me everyday, all the time.  Do I recognize, as it was recognized about Simeon, that I come and go in the Spirit?  What difference does that make to me and my encounters?

Oh my God and Father, please help me to love and be yielded to You, for the praise of no other Name; but Yours.  Please help me not to love my reputation more than I do Yours, my purposes more than Your divine plan, my comfort more than You.   May my motives continue to be purified that I come and go for You; that the evidence of Your Spirit is obvious to all and that I am content to wait before You, fully satisfied in You. I need Your wisdom and restraint, Your passion and equipping, Your desires and intentions; I thank You for You give what I need for what You have called me to do.  Let me do well all of that which You've called me to and may it bring You glory and praise.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Luke 2:15-20

Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Life continues after revelation and mountaintop experience.  Do I remember to thank God, to glorify Him and praise Him for all the things He allows me?  How do I return to my life after hearing and seeing what God has revealed?  Am I undone, unchanged or uninvolved?  What is my response to what God tells me?  Do I move out in belief or do I continue as if nothing has been said.

Lord, I desire to be grateful, glorifying and praising You with my whole life.  Thank You for Your gracious revelations and actions.  When You speak I am undone - may I never neglect to respond to Your words and interventions.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Luke 2:8-14

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

One angel appears and these unsuspecting shepherds were terrified as they were bathed in God's glory.  I wonder what gave them the terror ... the angel, the splendor and magnificence of God's glory, the timing, their seclusion and the relative darkness - apart from the evening sky, the suddenness of this encounter.

They had probably noticed "the star" and discussed its significance in their night watches.  I wonder if they had spun any "what if" scenarios ... what if that's a sign from God ... what would the Lord be saying through His star ... what if it is close for a reason ....  I also wonder if they talked themselves out of that wonder ... what if it doesn't mean anything ... what do I know of stars, I know sheep ... what difference does it make to a lowly shepherd, who society tends to ignore ... whatever it means, we'll be the last to know about it.

I am struck by this particular display of our Father to these men, tending sheep.  They were not part of the frenzy in town.  They were not terribly welcomed in town.   They were separate.  The holy words do not convey what they were thinking or looking for that night; just a sudden and divine experience with a long awaiting birth announcement.  Good news.  Good news indeed.  But it came to the most disconnected group.  And they were directed to the most unusual of places for a birth - except it was a location which was all too familiar to these sheep-tenders, they knew stables and mangers.  It wouldn't be unusual for them to attend to matters in that environment. 
A question comes about this heavenly proclamation ...  Why?  Why not the religiosity?  Why not to the common town folk?  Why not the wealthy and well-connected?  Why not the upper echelons of power and influence?  Why such disconnected and discounted people?

But then I resonate with that description.  It's me.  And praise His wonderful and ever-loving Name, God's heart is for those disconnected and discounted sorts.  Those that, despite the fact they are committed to what they are doing,  choose to respond to Him, to His words and personal invitation.  Those that catch the meaning of announcement, and only by His grace.

Then I am reminded of the history of these noble folks, the heritage my Messiah was born into, the line from which He was promised to descend.  King David.  After the dismal time of the judges, where people did as they saw fit, the Lord God of the Universe raised up David to rule His people and establish David's name in the books of history.  David's debut was as a shepherd, insignificant and even overlooked by his own biological father.  But the Heavenly Father never overlooks nor deems insignificant that which He has created.  And this young shepherd became the king of that same God of the Universe's people.  

That little bundle of new flesh and blood, now using lungs and breath just as the creation He had previously spoken into being (who can complain about the design when He Himself had planned to implement it), had appeared and was wrapped in cloths.  Not Heaven's glory; but a manger held Him.  That we might behold His glory and receive grace upon grace ... from the work, sacrifice and life of the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that many would come to You in these days, Lord Jesus, just as the shepherd did.  May they come running at the revelation of You.  May I be a faithful revealer of my Messiah this week.  
 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,  equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
                                                                                                                          Hebrews 13:20

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Luke 2:1-7

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

Lord God of the Universe, the One who spoke the stars by His very word, I praise You for Your extreme power and wisdom and purpose.  You decree and it is so; You know all of the inhabited earth...and the uninhabited world...You know.  You already know.  May Your chosen ones be faithful to make You famous throughout the whole of the inhabited earth.  May I do my part in the campaign of holiness.  Thank You.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Luke 1:67-80

... to enable us to serve him without fear
  in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. ... 
to guide our feet into the path of peace.

Serve without fear.  I am a fearful thing.  To fearlessly serve Him, in holiness and righteousness.  That is some job description.  I want to do it, though.  Only by His grace and enabling.

To guide wayward, fearful, timid, unsure, undone me in the path of peace.  That is some responsibility He takes on.   Only He could authentically accomplish such a feat.

Only my God can bring this fearful child triumphantly along peace's pathway in holiness, blamelessness and fearlessness.  Only God.  And only for God.  

Please make this so, my precious Lord.  Peace without fear, service without ego and attitude, life without impurities and bad choices.  And may this small life bring You much glory.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Luke 1:57-66

And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.

After obedience, his tongue was loosed and he was able to speak in praise of God.  I wonder if ol' Zach had tried to speak about another matter, if he would be able to speak aloud.

Lord, I pray that You would show me where my tongue needs loosing, where I am not speaking in praise of You when I should be.  Help my attitude be increasingly grateful and my words more fluid regarding Your great Name.

Fear came on all those living around them; and all these matters were being talked about in all the hill country of Judea.

Lord God, please grant that my reaction to Your handiwork would not be fear, but faith; not be intimidation, but expectation; not be argumentative, but gratitude.  May my reactions and choices reflect an increasingly humble and appreciative spirit; even when You change the entire way I relate to the world and who I understand myself to be.  It's about You, not me.   Lord, be my center-focus, my holy Bullseye.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Luke 1:46-56

Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
  How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
  and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
  and he has done great things for me.

The Lord has done great things FOR me; rejoice-worthy and praising-yielding great things.  Not to me, not for Israel, not for mankind, not He has done great things and that's it.  What the Mighty One did in greatness, He did for Mary.  What faith, expectation and conviction she displays.  

The fact she chooses at this opportunity to remind herself (and me) that the Lord God is holy intrigues me, further.  She had the complete list of attributes from which to select; but she lands on holy - tying the great things He has done into His holiness.  And, now, she brings the Holy with her.  I may have focused on His power, promises, provision, patience, faithfulness, wisdom, sovereignty, ...  Anything really, but would I have landed on the holy?  I don't think so.

Oh my Mighty One, Holy and All-Wise Lord God, I praise You for Your choice in that lowly servant girl who was the perfect mom for my Messiah.  What a stunning example she sets for me in her humility, her faith, her knowledge of the holy.  Lord, I thank You that You have done great things for me, too.  Help my soul and my spirit to join the eternal chorus of rejoicing and praising You.  Teach me holy, that I may more fully participate in knowing You in that way.  Thank You.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Luke 1:38-45

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” ...  Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary,  "You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”

May I respond like Mary - and truly desire everything You have for me to come true.  Help me not be timid or unbelieving in Your goodness as I pray for Your perfect will for me to unfold.  May my trust grow and grow in You and Your promises.  May I never forget that You are worthy of perfect trust and faith.  Help me to walk in that  blessed way of believing.  If it pleases You, may I be used of You to encourage others to walk in that way, too.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Luke 1:26-37

“How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

Not in disbelief; but in fact.  The fact she was and intended to remain pure.  I never caught the chutzpah in this statement before - that she had integrity and desired to maintain it, despite what mindblowing statement had just come to her.  She knew what was right and godly and she did not want to compromise.  Gabriel's explanation assured her that unfolding of God's favor would not (of course!) violate her honor.

Lord, I am encouraged and blessed by Mary's attitude.  It's as if she knew God and what He desired and was sold out to Him, despite what an angel would tell her.  I see in her courage to stand up to Gabriel, humility and tenacity to maintain what was right when possibly tempted to consider a wrong (only by limited human understanding and for a brief moment before the explanation).  I had not ever considered much about Mary's role before and I praise You, Father for showing me these qualities.  How important they are in being a mom.  I wonder if Gabe was delighted at her response after having a bit of an argument with Zechariah.  Cultivate in me, please, that devotion to righteousness, the holy chutzpah to resist even a thought - no matter how appealing and who offers it - of any compromise to what and who I know You have called me to be.  And Lord, the humility to submit to Your gracious words as soon as I hear them.  May You be praised in my life, may Your Name be glorified in my heart and my time through my small life. Thank You again for this insight in to Mary.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Luke 1:19-25

“I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. ..."

Lord, I, too, know Your Presence.  I, also, have been commanded to speak Your good news.  May I be as faithful as Gabriel with the words You give me.  Help me to not base my obedience on anyone's response or anticipated response.  Enable me to receive Your words to me in faith, confidence and expectation of Your Name and Your unfailing faithfulness.  Instruct me in how to respond best to You.  And may I never view Your timing or Your withholding as disgrace; but favor to me and best glory to You.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Luke 1:1-18

... servants of the word. ... righteous ... observing ... blameless.

Does this describe me?  Am I a faithful slave of His Word?  His trust?  His instruction set?  Does my execution follow His commands?  Does it look like I am running His operating system?

  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. ... asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? ..."

Lord, help me, when I am startled, fearful, amazed by what You are doing; please help me to respond in faith.  Let my trust in You lead my heart and my mouth, not my reasoning nor my (faithless) fear.  Lord, when You say something, may I receive it and live in response to it.  May I bring You much glory rather than small distrust or ingratitude.  You are faithful and You enable me to be faithful, too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Revelation 12

the accuser of our brethren ... they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. ...  And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth ...

The accuser accuses - with words - maybe even a constant flood of them.  He is overcome by the blood of the Lamb (given for us), the word of their testimony (our response) and their complete commitment to the Lamb - even unto death, (more of our response).  The blood of the Lamb is readily available.   The testimony of the Blood-bought Body versus the testimony of the cast-out accuser and the dedication of the Body to the Lamb are our ways of overcoming the onslaught of the accusations ... our choices ... my choice.

Lord, I thank You and praise You for the gift and privilege of overcoming the enemy.  You have purchased me at great cost to Yourself.  The defeat of the accuser was established at that bloody moment; my responses are what is left for me give - and they come only by Your grace and enabling .  Please help me to remember the testimony You have provided for me and  to grow in my love for You that I may steadfastly love You more than I love me.  May I respond gratefully and sincerely to all that You have done and to never believe the words of the accuser.  i am Yours and You are mine.  That's enough.  Really.  Amen!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Matthew 2:13-23

I love the obedience of Joseph and the wise-men.  They had their own intelligence, reason and logic, the direction of the government, the orders of the king; but when God issued a countermand to what they were doing - they just did it.  
Lord God, may I hear and obey Your words as evenly and naturally as these honorable men, these Jesus-seeking worshipers.  May I be more responsive to You as I bear Your Spirit, a holy privilege and responsibility.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Matthew 2:1-12

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”
How diligently do I  seek my King in the dailyness of my life?  

Do I make the knowing and the relationship the point of the day or do I stick Him in somewhere, most days?  

Do I see and respond to the evidence of Christ in my life?  

Am I intentional about worshiping Him apart from the Sunday morning gathering?  

How far would I go and what would I spend/lay down for to be in His presence?   

Why do I even need to be asking these questions?

Lord, help me.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Matthew 1:18-25

He knows us by name and He knows we have to be reminded to not be afraid.

LORD, please help me to be brave in You. Let anything conceived in me be of the Holy Spirit and not my own doing or reacting. May I praise You with my life and may i wait as carefully and patiently as Joseph for You to come.

Friday, December 9, 2011

John 1:1-18

The Word.
Co-Existent with God.
Agent of Adoption.
Full of Unfailing Love.
Full of Unfailing Faithfulness.
Greater Than.
Dispenser of Gracious Blessings.
The Unique One.
Near the Father's Heart.
Jesus Christ.

You are all of these and more.  I worship You today and praise You for You sought me out.  You did not hold tightly to Your heavenly comforts when a people needed saving.  Thank You for coming and being unfailingly faithful.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jeremiah 23

... for from the prophets ...
   ungodliness has gone out into all the land.

I can be a vessel for ungodliness with my words.   I can pledge myself to God, to His work, to His people and still I can dispense ungodliness with what I say.  

Lord God, please help me to not ever promote ungodliness in what I say or dream or advocate.  Keep me from laughing at anything which tinges on unholiness or that which would not be giggled at by Your Son and my Savior.    Keep me from speaking vain words to console and empty assurances of hope.  God, You are the only Hope.  Christ is the only Way.  Holy Spirit, You are the only Advocate and Counselor.  Let my words, insights, reactions, suggestions come from You that You may be glorified, Your Kingdom expanded and Your people healed.  Keep my mouth shut when I don't speak from You.  To the praise of Your Name.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Genesis 49

The words spoken to the brothers were based often on what their lives had been like - what they had done.  So, consequences were spoken out, divinely.  Some of the pronouncements were truly prophetic and not related to prior action.  I guess the thing that speaks to me is that if I want a better blessing, a brighter future, I need to be more obedient in the present.  I can't change the past, nor can I change what God had ordained for me; but I can comply, humbly and intentionally in the dailyness of my life.  

Because you went up to your father’s bed; 
Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.

Also, in the case of Reuben, that last line spoken of him still rings with the hurt,  betrayal and disbelief of his father.  This challenges me to be very careful with the what I can do, what I must do and what I should do choices in my life.  

Lord, please help me to live a life pleasing to You all the days of my life.  Keep me from any willful sin, any wasteful ways and any wanton preoccupations.  May my spiritual, emotional, academic, familial and physical (and etc.) life bring You glory and pleasure.  I pray that where I have acted in rebellion and with intent to harm another that You would divinely release them from the pain and hurt of that wrong.  Guide me to apologize and make every effort to right any situation which You wish me to address.  I thank You for Your amazing gift of forgiveness and pray that I may do so to those who have caused me harm ... even if the act is presently being perpetrated or is yet to come.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Micah 5

And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God 

I confess, Lord, that not much of this chapter makes sense to me.  Perhaps if I were reading it in context; but it matters not as I have You, dear Friend and Counselor to teach me.   And I have the mind of Christ to help me think; so it seems the mystery is intentional, for now.  I thank You, precious Lord for that consideration.  

What does strike me is that as the Lord will get up and shepherd His flock in the LORD's strength and in the "majesty of the Name of the LORD His God," I should do likewise.  I should get up from where I want to stay still and hide, I must operate and serve in my Heavenly Father's strength - or it will all fail.  His fame, His glory and His reputation are the goal - the majesty of the Name.  Lord God, please help me to follow Your example, in the majesty of Your Name.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Isaiah 7

Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, ... If you will not believe, you surely shall not last.

 Oh, Lord, You do not call me to be fainthearted nor timid.  You have promised struggles and battles, persecutions and prejudices - but in and through it all, You say to stand firm and to not be afraid, to be alert, self-controlled and calm, do not fear.  And You call me to believe.  Lord, I want to believe You.  I want to grow in my faith and my confidence in You - not only that You can act; but that You will.  I believe You.  I believe in You.  I believe Your words and promises - steady my heart that I may last to the glory of Your great Name and Your endless Kingdom.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Numbers 36

Thus no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each hold to his own inheritance.

... for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  Romans 11:29

 I praise You Almighty Father that You do not change or shift.  That what You give, You give.  I am grateful for the individual attention You pay to each one, for the unique plans You have for every person, for the personal inheritance for each person.  I praise You for Your wisdom, Your omnipotence, Your organization.  You are worthy to praise.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Numbers 35

... for murder pollutes the land.  ... You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there Myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.

Jesus' standards are hatred equals murder and thinking is as significant as doing.  The thought pollutes the land, the mind, the relationships.  Just as the ancient children of God were to not pollute the land, we are not to pollute ourselves for He, Himself lives in us.

Holy Spirit, be holier than ever in me as I am charged by these words to keep myself from the uncleanness of the world's protocol.  Pure religion is to look after widows and orphans and to keep myself from being polluted by the world.  I want this.  Please help me to pursue the undefiled faith You call me to live.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Numbers 33:1-4, 50-56

At the LORD’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. 

Thank You Lord, that You desire us to remember from whence we came - our history with You.  We forget, we would rewrite or would remember wrongly.  You are the One who brings us out of captivity.  You are the One who gives us spacious places and green pastures.  Only You.  May we praise You as we inhabit Your abundant gifts of life and provision.  May we never cherish the gifts more than You.  Keep us close and teach us to remember, dear Lord, for we forget.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Numbers 32

Now why are you discouraging the sons of Israel from crossing over into the land which the LORD has given them?

What can seem to me a good, wise and logical decision can be discouraging and a stumbling block to others.  Lord, help me to have Your wisdom in my choices.  Let me not choose for me before I know what pleases You.  I need help with this today, as I don't naturally like to wait.  Please inform me of Your divine preference, that I may follow suit.  To the praise of Your Name, not mine.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Numbers 31

And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of meeting as a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD.

Lord, we forget.  We need memorials, we require reminders.  You instruct us to remember and to teach our children what we have experienced.  Thank You for never forgetting us.  Your perfection remains complete without us; but You still include us, You still choose us.  I praise You.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Number 27

And the LORD said to Moses, "The daughters of Zelophehad are right. ..."

Lord, they asked and You approved.  Please help me to know what and how to ask that You may approve; especially when it is for something You want me to have.  It seems You were waiting for them to ask before it was to be - teach me how to ask rightly, to ask with right motives, to ask for that which You desire that the request may be affirmed by You.

You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey.  

The Spirit not charisma, not popularity, not even Moses' endorsement - as Moses had solicited God's choice - was the new leader's prerequisite.  Authority was his new uniform, and not his own authority; but that which came from Moses at God's command and that which had originated with Yahweh.   

Oh my God, how often I try to inspire obedience in myself and my children through persuasive words or personality or blatant will-power.  Your example displays the priority of operating under the control of Your most holy and perfect Spirit and in the authority You give.  Your ways do not involve anything I can manipulate, wrest control of or charm.  Please, help me to receive all that You have for me in regard to You, Holy Spirit and all the authority You are pleased to bestow upon me.  AND, may I walk blamelessly and faithfully before You, to the praise of Your very great Name all the days of my life.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Number 24

... invited ... attended ... feasted ... worshiped.

Lord God, please help me be very careful about which invitations I accept, what  events (cultural or otherwise) I attend, where and how I feast.  I do not want to participate in the worship of any one but You.  God, You know how easily I can be deceived - please keep me from falling for anything but Your great Name.  I choose You.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Numbers 24

Then Balaam rose and went back to his place.

Lord God, thank You for this instruction to be about Your business and then to be gone when Your assignment for me is over.  Help me to not linger in the presence of those who despise Your people or Your Word after I have completed my work there.  Lord, let me do all You have for me; but when it's time for me to cut bait, may I do so with all promptness and grace.  May I always return to the place You have for me.  May I bring You glory in the comings, doings and goings.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Numbers 23

The LORD put a word in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word.”

Oh, Lord, that we would wait until You put a word in our mouths before we speak.  May we, may I be faithful with Your words, the ones You have given me and the ones You will provide to me.  May I give Your word and Your Word to those You direct me to.  I thank You for Your provision of the word and preparing those who will receive.  Please keep me faithful and courageous when the word is difficult to speak and harder to hear.  

 ... I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it.

Only Wise God, my preferences, comfort, selfish inclination - even the perfect way You have wired me to be merciful - at times make me want to change what You have ordained.  Lord God, widen my vision, uplift my perspective, increase my desire and capacity for Your perfect sovereignty, do what needs doing that I may (gladly) agree with You, even when I don't want to very much.  Help me to lovingly and graciously encourage others when they are in that same place to trust You all the more.  You are always right, always good, always faithful, always God.  I am not.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Numbers 20

Cliffhangers ...  arrgghh!

God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” So Balaam arose in the morning and said to Balak’s leaders, “Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to let me go with you.”

Lord, please keep Your words in my mouth; don't let me speak partially, let me speak Your words, truthfully and fully.  You alone are wise.  May I always choose to treat Your words and wishes as greater than any honoring, temptation or reward that man can provide to me.  May I remember that Your children are blessed, You are the Blessor and respond accordingly.  Thank You for saving the donkey.  I hope she healed well.  May my vision be as discerning as hers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Numbers 21

... So Moses prayed for the people.

Lord, please keep me a faithful intercessor for the people - for Your people; for those who don't know they are Yours, yet; for those who have become discouraged, distracted or disobedient to You.  Holy Spirit, keep my heart tuned to You and Your purposes that I may not fall into step with those You entrust to me for prayer.  Lord, may I obey and encourage obedience in others as well.  You healed those who simply looked to the staff with the serpent - who obeyed Your curious instruction.  May I choose obedience rather than judging the feasibility of a divine direction.  I thank You for the baby steps You gave Your people in learning the ancient art of war - I thank You for the baby steps You give me in spiritual realm of war.  May I learn well and battle valiantly for my great King and Sovereign.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Numbers 20

... they fell face down on the ground then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them ...

Thank You Lord, that You are glorious and that You reveal Yourself to Your slaves.

" ... Because you did not trust Me enough to demonstrate My holiness to the people ..." ... He(the Lord) demonstrated His holiness among them.

Lord God, You are holy.  Your holiness can be demonstrated by Your people to others.  You also demonstrate Your holiness among Your people.  Lord, I am not certain how I can display Your holiness; but I desire to do so.  I pray that You would teach me Your holiness, how to walk in it, how to live in and through it.  Lord, this quality is so uniquely Yours, that I really don't have a reference for it.  Please open my mind, my spiritual eyes and heart and whatever else needs opening that I may comprehend, as best as I am designed to, Your holiness; and may I display Your holiness, faithfully and believingly.  You alone are worthy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Numbers 17

And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout.

When God endorses a man, fruit follows.  God's selection can be criticized by others; yet His choice will be evident to them.

Lord, help me to support the man or woman You choose.  Let me not grumble or be jealous of their assignments or ungrateful for mine.  Father, I thank You for the fruit of Your favor and sign of Your selection; may I help take care of the fruit of Your harvest in others lives and for Your Kingdom.  May I never attempt to market a false fruit for the real thing, may I never buy into fake fruit.  May Your Kingdom grow and Your harvest be bountiful, thank You for allowing me to be a part of Your story.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Numbers 16

One day, church folks - responsible folks, even - conspired with  like-minded others and incited a rebellion against the top leadership.  One day.  

Sovereign Lord God of the Universe, Holy Spirit of my heart - please keep me faithful on the ordinary days, in the long seasons of ordinary, too.  Please stop me from allowing my selfish ways to conspire, incite or rebel.  Lord, never let me see a day as just one day.  It is Yours, as am I.  May I bring You glory.

Moses became angry in this situation and then he interceded for them.  

Oh, LORD God, that I would have humility and a heart to plead for my enemies in the moment when they offend me for dishonoring You, when I am angry and hurt by them, when I have been blameless in my actions and motives.  May I desire You more than myself, my pride, my reasons. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Psalm 90

Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. ... And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us ...

Oh, LORD my God - the ever-living, ever-loving, everlasting God, let Your beauty be upon me.  Let me live in response to Your beauty, to Your presence, to You on/in me.  May I reflect You faithfully and lovingly in the small breath of time You have allotted me. Thank You for choosing me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Numbers 15

" ... And it shall be a (blue-corded) tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”

Lord, as I see the blue in Your creation, please help me to remember Your commandments, to be obedient, to not follow after my own heart and eyes which so often begin to lead me astray.  Obedience and holiness - that's what I desire.  You are my God, the LORD GOD who brought me out of the land of my captivity.  I praise You, LORD my God.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Numbers 14

So the LORD said, “I have pardoned them according to your word ... "

Moses quoted the LORD's words  (from when God revealed the wake of His glory to His servant Moses) as he sought forgiveness for the grumblers.  The LORD grants Moses's request for pardon and allows the people to live, just in the wilderness and to not walk into nor occupy their victorious place of promise.

This reminds me of the Garden of Eden when death was promised - it just wasn't (physically) immediate.  And the sweet homestead was denied to those it was intended for.  

Oh, gracious and compassionate LORD, I praise You for Your tender mercies and for Your provision of pardon for sin.  Lord, I know I have earned death; but You have extended grace to me.  I thank You, I am Yours.  Please fill my heart and mouth with praises and gratitude for You.  Please help me to follow in Caleb's example of having a different spirit (YOURS) and following You fully.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Numbers 13

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  ...  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

The Lord sent them on this mission, knowing they would have a decision to make.  He knew how the choices would go and the consequences of this exercise.  He knew and He still gave them the opportunity to choose sides. 

The people were right in their assessment of the land - there was no way they could take it, alone.  and they got stuck on that point.  Caleb was right, for God had promised to give the land to them; but only with God leading them could they take possession of the land.  

Father God, I thank You that You allow us to make decisions, to choose the path of faith or unbelief.  I am awed by the fact that You know all that already; but we don't.   Lord, when You direct me to a reconnaissance mission, let me go in faith, gather in faith, return in faith and report in faith, to the praise of Your Name.  God, I don't want to ignore true details, I desire my filter to be Your will for me - not just the mere details of the trip.  And may I eat of the grapes, the fruit of the adventure with You.  Let me not be souvenir-minded; let me enjoy You and Your provision along the way You invite me to go.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Numbers 12

Miriam and Aaron - prejudice, discontent, jealousy, pettiness.  

Moses - meek, faithful, God-beholder.

God - Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Faithful,  Authority, Judge, Holy, Mercy.

Lord, so often my qualities run closer to the siblings' group rather than Moses'.   Help me to understand that I have no need of insecurities with You.  You are Omni-sufficient for my life.  Where prejudice seeks to direct my thoughts, remind me of who You and who I am not - let me be meek.  When discontentment rises up before me, bring to my mind Your faithfulness and let me yoke up with You.  May my focus be on You, in order that jealousy, pettiness and any other sinful, flesh-driven ways would not just be eclipsed ~ but decimated in Your holy Presence.   I want to cry out for those who hurt me before I have had time to process the injury.  Holy God, I need Your perspective for mercy to flow freely and without condition.  When someone's sin stalls the progress of the whole group; Lord, let me remember to praise You, for You are the One who did not move out, You waited on her shame to be removed, You kept them still in that time.  God, help me to be patient and grateful in the delays - because, I know, sometimes, I'm the one who needs healing outside of the camp. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Number 11

Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said.

Lord, I am not sure what happened to Your people.  It seems they were moving when You moved and staying when You stayed; You were faithful in Your presence with them, consistent in Your provision...  Somehow, in the dailyness of their lives of freedom and being led by Your glorious Self, they found hardship in it.  OUCH.  Lord God, I am so inconsistent with my gratitude, I'm sorry.  You do all these things for me and more; yet, I can complain and dish up a hardship story all too easily.  Holy Spirit, let me rest in You, let me be grateful, content and peaceful in what has been divinely orchestrated for me.  I don't want to be known as a whiner-girl.  Lord, You have paid my price and I am Yours.  Let me not set my mind on things of the flesh; but on the things of the Spirit that I may please You and experience true pleasure myself.  When I falter, shut my mouth and sanctify my imagination so that I return to Your pattern and not the world's.  Thank You.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Numbers 10

Lord, I am tickled to see that You like the horned instruments.  May we never stop blowing Your horn to praise You and call You to us.  You, alone are worth celebrating and worshiping.  

Holy God, I am challenged by Moses' asking his bro-in-law to be the guide when You were very present with them.  He met with You face-to-face and still enlisted a local authority.  Your Word doesn't say that he was wrong; but I want to You to be my Authority, local and global, physical and spiritual.  Please, Holy Spirit grant me wisdom to know when You direct me to seek "local" assistance and when I just need to follow Your magnificence in faith.  May my life bring You praise.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Numbers 9, John 1:29-36, Matthew 26:17,26-29

Lord God, I praise You for You put in our minds what we are to do; even when You have already assigned the tasks.  Holy Spirit, You really do remind us of all things and bring to our remembrance what we need.  Thank You for Your holy post-its in my life, and Israel's.  I appreciate that You are consistent in what You endorse.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Numbers 8

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”   Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the LORD commanded Moses.

I wonder if Moses ever wondered about or regretted his choice to not speak God's words to the people.   Did he ever think - not pridefully; but remorsefully, "I so could have done this."  

Lord, I know that Aaron was the high priest and it was appropriate for him to have instruction; but we are mere mortals who can look back on decisions which seem to go against Your plan and wonder, doubt, question.  Please help me to embrace that which You call me to do, as You call me.  Don't let me wimp out - even when I really, really feel like it.  I don't want my spirituality to be tainted by second-guessing.  I desire timely obedience to You.

Father, I praise You for having an order, purpose and sequence in Your instructions to us.  The light is for the front; You intend for us to see, to discern that which You invite us to.  You are the Light and You came for us to see, be illuminated and to share the Light.  Father, I thank You for Your blessing in these words and the challenge  to me to let my light be forward-facing.  Your perspective is the right and true view, may I always see and shine in the same fashion.

I have given the Levites as gifts to Aaron and his sons to do the work at the tent of meeting on behalf of the Israelites and to make atonement for them so that no plague will strike the Israelites when they go near the sanctuary.

Lord, may I be as careful in preparing myself to serve You and worship You.  I wonder what worship would look like, what attendance would be like if a plague was the promise to those who had poorly prepared, unwarily worked and inattentively atoned for those they had responsibility for.  Cultivate in me, in Your Bride holiness, passion for purity, integrity and faithfulness to Your ways.  Let us all walk worthy of our calling in response to Your very great gift and most exalted Name.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD said, "This is how the priest is to bless the people:

'May the LORD bless {keep, guard, have charge of, keep watch and ward, protect, preserve, save life, wait for, treasure up, restrain, reserve} you.

The LORD turn toward and cause You to be in His presence, illuminating you

and be gracious {incline Himself, encamp around, bend down} to you; 

the LORD be lifted up, be exalted on, in and through you 

and give {lay, set, extend, appoint, establish}  peace {completeness, soundness, safety, welfare, quiet, tranquility, contentment, friendship} to you.'

So shall they give {invoke, appoint, lay, establish} My Name {Reputation, Glory} upon the people of God Prevails, and I will bless, actually and abundantly bless them. "

Make it so, even more today, everyday, precious LORD.  Thank You.  And may I, as one of Your blessed, royal priesthood, bless others as You say.  Thank You.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Judges 13

Interesting exchange between the Angel of the Lord and Mrs. Manoah.  She faithfully reports to her husband what was spoken to her with an added interpretational detail that the son will be a Nazarite his whole life.  Manaoh wishes his own revelation to clarify the child's mission and manner of life - maybe what he was to do specifically (which would probably overwhelm the parents-to-be, if it had been spoken then), or to verify his wife's words, or he wanted his own miraculous encounter, or to avoid the Adam/Eve situation, or ...  The divine visitor returns to the wife of Manoah and waits for her to bring her husband to Him.  The prophetic words are affirmed to Manoah and Mrs. Manoah's interpretational detail is not corrected nor is it clarified.

This small detail sets me wondering.  Was the perfect intention for the child to be a Nazarite his whole life; but the Omniscient Lord knew that, as He had designed and purposed the coming child to be a Nazarite, the promised son would, again by divine design, have a powerful weakness for the fruit of the vine.  And the weakness would prove to be the grown man's choice?

I recognize these things beg the election versus free-will debate; but they are not incompatible to my simple mind.  God can't help being God; Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omni-everything-divine, and so He knows all that "will" happen.  He also designs us to do that which brings Him glory and somehow, in the God-only plane, He allows us to choose and "uses" those things to bring Himself best glory - the fact He knows and has set it up doesn't make it any less a choice for the mere mortal me.  My finite mind can't comprehend all the realms of imagining this requires; but that's God's role - not mine.  

The question I land on is "Why?"  Why would the Omni-Omni'd, All-Self-Suffient-and-Self-Abundant, LORD of All even start this ball we call earth a-rolling?   He always amazes me.

Lord God of ALL!, I praise You for Your ultimate, never penultimate wisdom and power.  You are never second at anything.  You are faithful to all generations, generations that You have divinely ordained.  I praise You.  I praise You for Your mysteries and Your grace.  I thank You for Your encouragement in the story of the mother-to-be - one who is without name for posterity; but who was deemed worthy of receiving Your Presence, words and responsibility to carry forth that which You required of the next generation.  Inerrant Father, I wish to be that reliable to You in my life and assignments.  Holy Spirit, please help me, teach me, cultivate in me the trustworthiness born of a "good and faithful servant."  Jesus, my Messiah and Example, please strengthen me to walk worthy of my calling - as You did.  Thank You, my Lord, for desire to even engage in this sort of life - only You could make that happen.  Please continue to do that which You began in me, keep me from trying to go my own way and struggling against the truths You have given me. May I be faithful as the wife of Manoah was with Your words and Your divinely orchestrated details for my life. May I live in the understanding and confidence she displayed, as well.  Only by You, only for You.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Numbers 6:1-21

Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. … All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD.

He shall be holy, he is holy to the LORD… Lord God, You are holy, a quality I don’t comprehend; but You give us instructions on being holy. You give us salvation which makes us holy. Your Holy Spirit brings the holy to us, in us, through us. And as Your children, we are holy, righteous, blameless. But there is more to holy, isn’t there? I thank You for Your provision of holy. I seek understanding of holy, what You mean by holy. I praise You that regardless of my prior life, You have still chosen to set me apart for Yourself. May I live in gracious response to Your gift to me.