Friday, September 30, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day Six: 1 Kings 18

And Elijah said to Ahab, "Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain." 

The Spirit moves in a rushing, the results of the Spirit's movement brings a rushing.  Oh, Holy Spirit, rush on us and bring the rushing of Lord's pleasure with You.  Holy Spirit, please help me to know that the LORD is God in every moment of  my life.  Keep me from making a decision, a choice, a plan without acknowledging that the LORD is God.  May I grow in gratitude  and courage as a result of this truth.  And I thank You that You answer Your children when they call out to You.  Your kindness is without fail, Your love endures forever and Your faithfulness never fails.  Thank You for You.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day Five: 1 Samuel 10, 11, 16, 19, 2 Samuel 23

Saul had an indisputable anointing then three signs followed by a rushing of the Spirit of God upon him, prophesying and a strong display of "whatever his hand finds to do."  Almost like he had to be convinced of the veracity of Samuel's words ... perhaps he was timid about this or because he only had a week to think about the  purpose God had for him.  Five short chapters later, David receives an anointing for the same job and the Spirit rushes on him.  David had over forty years to wait before he walked in the accomplishment of this anointing.  The Lord's anointing, signs, prophesy and timing belong to Him; these come - but only from Him.  Holy Spirit, help me to walk fully in the anointing You have on my life - whether it be in faith or in fulfillment - may I respond fully anointed and appointed to the praise of the King.

 The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,
   the oracle of the man who was raised on high,
 the anointed of the God of Jacob,
   the sweet psalmist of Israel:
The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me;
   his word is on my tongue.

Holy Spirit, I want to always acknowledge what God has done in my life, I want to see His hand and not my manipulations, His purpose unfolded and not deception that I caused any of it.  I desire to live the anointed life.  David was a loyal man, a fierce warrior and king who described himself as none of these; but as a sweet psalmist.  Holy Spirit, teach me words that I may be a psalmist - a sweet psalmist to the Most High God, that I may praise the Godhead in my days and nights.  I pray that Your Word would ever be on my tongue and I would be faithful with Your trust.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day Four: Judges 3, 6, 14

Judges 3 ... when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Othniel, ... The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he became Israel’s judge. He went to war against King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram ... and the Lord gave Othniel victory over him.     Holy Spirit, please ready me for battle, help me to judge rightly, to battle well and to walk and war in Your victory.  Thank You for the Ultimate Rescuer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Judges 6...the Lord took possession of Gideon.  Holy Spirit, take possession of me for Your noble and divine purpose.  May I serve You faithfully and completely.

Judges 14 ... But Samson told his father, “Get her for me! She looks good to me.”  Holy Spirit, help me to see, not just look.  Change the way I see that I may have Your vision and not just the temporal and fleeting glance of this life.

... His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work ...  Help me to always have this perspective, that You are always at work, every situation is an opportunity for You to accomplish Your perfect will.  May I not be chagrined when things are not pleasing nor comfortable to me.  Lift up my eyes, my sight, let my gaze rest on You and not the linear events of life.  Let me consider Your ways above mine.  Please.

I praise You, Holy Spirit, that among the evidence of Your presence in a girl's life is self-control.  I pray that as You are increasingly welcomed in my life (You gain greater freedom in me and through that, I live in greater freedom for God - praise You!), that I grow in this particular fruit that I may not respond so violently nor harshly as Samson.  May grace always bathe any exercise of Your power with which You entrust to me.  May I praise You throughout.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day Three: Numbers 24:1-9, 27:12-23

Numbers 24:  ... the Spirit of God came upon him.  He took up his discourse and said, "... the oracle of the man whose eye is opened; ... hears the words of God, ... who sees the vision of the Almighty, ... Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered, ... " 

Holy Spirit, please open/uncover my eyes and fix my focus on You that I may see the vision of the Almighty; give me ears, tune my hearing  and grant me supernatural hearing that I may hear the words of God.  Oh Lord, teach me to fall down that I may serve You well in this day, each day.  May I fall on You.

Numbers 27:  The Word does not tell us what God had been speaking to Joshua during the wilderness times; but from the few verses which include Joshua, he appears to be pursuing the LORD God Almighty and serving the man whom God had chosen.  Joshua, in quiet service and ardent worship, had been where he needed to be in order to ready to fulfill what God had for him when the time was ripe.  Lord, please  help me to worship passionately and serve faithfully that I may fulfill what You have for me each day.  Thank You for this reminder that service to Your people is service to You.

And his king shall be higher than Agag, - I wonder if King Saul knew these words. I wonder if they impacted his decisions. If he didn't, I wonder if they were brought to his attention later.  Or what difference they would have made to him.   Lord, help me to not miss Your words.  Holy Spirit, please do that which You are promised to do - bring to my remembrance the Truth, teach me Your perfect wisdom and help me to be diligent in the holy words - the Word of God.

Monday, September 26, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day Two: Exodus 31:1-11, Numbers 11:1-30

Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel ben Uri, ben Hur, of  Judah,  and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills ....  Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab ben Ahisamak, of Dan, to help him.  

The LORD chooses those He wants filled with His Holy Spirit.  He fills them with purpose, His purpose in mind.  The filling is not for filling-sake; but for a specific work, ministry, service for the LORD.   LORD, please fill me as full as possible with Your Holy Spirit, then increase my capacity.  I welcome Your purpose and vision into my heart, my mind, strength and my passion.

Bezalel and Oholiab may or may not have been known men, with or without a pedigree; but they are eternally linked with having the Spirit of God filling them to glorify the LORD.  What a reputation God gave them.  May I steward well Your gifts to me, without doubt and with grace.  May You be praised in my generation.

The LORD tells Moses to "See" what He had done - either the filling or the consequences of the filling is evident to others.  Holy Spirit, may I wear well and faithfully the fullness of Your Holiness.

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.  

This seems so sad to me.  They had a taste and did not taste again.  Lord, I know, better is one day in Your court than a thousand elsewhere.  I praise You for how You choose to gift Your prophetic words.  I trust You in Your wisdom.  I thank You that You choose anyone, that You would share Yourself with us.  I am also grateful that You are perpetually with and in us rather than just on us.   Help me to not take Your presence for granted nor to become so accustomed to Your divine-ness in my life that I ignore You.  And Lord, if it please You, may I prophesy to the praise of Your very great Name and the edification of Your Kingdom.
But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” 

Paul agrees with Moses as he says to earnestly desire the gift of prophesy.   Lord, may I?  I praise You Father for the godly perspective Moses displays in not wishing to hoard Your gift, Your relationship, Your responsibility.  May I model this, as well.  And please help me to pursue love as I seek to honor You in my life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When God's Spirit Moves; Day One: Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31; 6:1-3; 41:1-40

Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has the spirit of God in him?”   Even men who think they are gods, who worship many gods, or choose no god, recognize God's Spirit at work in a person.  By Joseph's statement, Pharaoh was able to know it was God and not Joe.  By God's work in Joseph's life was Joe able to make that statement and live the life which called attention to his God.  Holy Spirit, may I yield to You and may You be famous in and through my life.  I pray that I may be shiney for You, that others would see You in me.

God's work testifies to Himself, of Himself and for Himself.  His handiwork is marvelous and greatly to be praised.  Thank You Lord for Your great works.  Thank You for Your wonderful Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit, thank You for the evidence You provide of the Godhead.  You create, You contend, You judge, You give discernment, You make distinctive.  I praise You for Your works in these passages and in my life.  May I be testimony to You.

Leviticus 20

... I am the LORD who sanctifies you.  It's not what I do, how I do it or what sacrifices I try.  Sanctification is from the LORD only.  Penalties and consequences for sin are not sanctification.  Father, help me to receive all the sanctification that You have for me.  Let me not wiggle around nor let me be deceived into thinking that I have anything to do with sanctification.  You are the One who sanctifies me.  I receive that Lord, let me live it.

... Their blood shall be upon them ....  The sin is committed; and judgment happens, death ensues and their blood shall be upon them.  Not God, who ordered their deaths, not the people who carry out the orders; but those who having the truth and that law in their  minds, chose to act in full rebellion to it.  Consequently, their blood is on them.  They chose disobedience, they died.  It's on them.  Lord, I thank you for grace; but I also thank You for Your complete provision of law.  You don't leave any wiggle room in Your directions:  do x, death is the consequence.  And by choosing x, the perpetrator understands that the result or harvest will include death.  You are holy and what You do is holy.  Give me a heart and mind for Your holiness and truth.  Let me choose life.  That I may bring You glory and that no one's blood would be upon me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Leviticus 19

Lord, I praise You because You never say, “Because I said so.” Rather You give instruction and we are to obey because You are the Lord our God. You could have said “because I said so;” yet in Your infinite wisdom, Your relationship with us is the foundation of Your commands to us. How could we not want to obey? Not just any god, not just the God; but the Lord ‘my’ God. My very own. I praise You and I receive Your words. 

… You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.

Amazing how You provide for Your people, for the poor and the alien. Blessed, indeed are the poor in spirit. And some of Your favorite people were sojourners – Abe, (Gen. 23), Moses (Ex. 18), David (Ps. 39), us (1 Pet.). Jesus even sojourned with humanity, for a while. Thank You for the provision, the acknowledgment, the protection, the exhortation, the favor. Only You, because You are YOU and You are mine. I praise You.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leviticus 18

If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.

The point of all of the upcoming "no's" and "don't do's" is to find life, not denial.  Thank You, Holy Father, that You care enough to set the boundaries - even ones You know will be violated by Your own people and recorded in the pages of Your holy book. God help us, please.  Let me embrace Your boundaries that I may live the life You have provided for me.  May this be true for Your children today.  God, give us a consuming passion for Your holiness, let us vomit out of our lives what is unholy and impure and detestable.  Holy Spirit, we need You to do this for us.  Spiritual Ipecac for the unclean things in our spirits and minds.  For You are the LORD.

God, You repeated Yourself so many times in this passage.  I know it's because we will want to do participate in that which You forbid - even though Your words are life.  Help us get it.  Help us believe You.  Help us to work out our faith, our salvation in fear and trembling.  Help us to get it the first time.  The first time You say it.  Help us use our rebellious natures to fight against the sin and not You.  Help us teach that to our children, too.  God - holiness, purity, faithfulness and fierce rebellion against all that You curse ... let me live that way, for You are the Lord, my Lord.  I praise Your Name.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Leviticus 17

What is not done in God's way is not acceptable. 

Goat demons.  Really?  Goat demons or the LORD God Almighty.  I can't fathom a choice apart from God; but I know what grace the Lord has shown to me.  The fact that I find goat demons puzzling is evidence of His mercy on me. 

Lord, I thank You for Your tender love towards me in placing me in Your family.  Many people I know are being swayed by, romanced by and even sacrificing to goat demons and the like.  Please draw those to You, compel them to Your gracious presence by Your love.  Father, many names come to mind and I lift them to You, now.  Please act on their behalf for salvation's sake.  Please extend Your perfect love to them and allow them to respond to You - without hindrance and deception.  Heal their spirits and souls with Your soothing breath.  And Lord, whatever part You would have me play in their lives, please make it so.  I comply.  To You, o God, I lift those whose names I don't know and those whom I will never meet in my lifetime; but  whose names are not included in Heaven's registry.  Draw them to You and incline Yourself to their lives that they would not miss You - for I know that ultimately they will not wish to miss You.  Encourage them to  choose You, God, let them choose You - and the singular path to You, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leviticus 16

Lord, there was so much to do, so many particulars to accomplish atonement.  I praise You  for Jesus and His complete and completed work.  What mercy!  In thinking about all that was involved with the atonement, from the bathing, the dressing, the sacrifices, the dipping, etc.  God, it was so much and so very almost seems too much.  But what it did was worth it.  And atonement is a very particular work.  No hedging, not compromise, no substitutions were allowed as that would not meet the requirement.  That was the point.  The compromises, the short-shifting had already happened - it was the sin.  You can't atone for something with an inferior atonement.  I praise You that You made known the standard of holiness and kept to it.  I praise You further that You published the standard of atonement and upheld it, also.  You are Unchanging, Eternal and Omnipotent.  Only You could could do such a thing.  Only You would bring us a Messiah to be our Atonement.  I praise You for Your Eternal Consistency.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Leviticus 15

You must keep the Israelites from their uncleanness, so that they do not die by defiling My tabernacle that is among them.

The thing is, Lord, You designed the body to do these things.  Some of them are natural and a regular part of being a healthy adult.  Uncleanness happens.  So it strikes me that You built in uncleanness in order to teach cleanness, holiness, purity.  I know You also included "good, hygenically-wise" directions for Your children.  What wisdom You have in Your design and Your law.  I praise You for Your desire and ability to cultivate an undefiled people  - for making the rules so available.  I praise You that You are God over every situation and topic.  Nothing is beyond You or not important to You.  You are amazing in Your details.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Leviticus 14

This is the law for someone who ... cannot afford the cost of his cleansing.

Lord God, this is me.  I cannot afford the cost of my cleansing, I am a clueless, destitute sinner. Yet, knowing this, You chose to bear my cost, You have made me clean, You were my Sacrifice and my High Priest.  You knew I could not do what was required of me.  I thank You and praise Your very great Name for Your unfathomable gift - a gift whose cost I will never have to know.  Why me, I don't know; but I thank You.  Help me to live in unrestrained response to this truth. 

 The anointing of the right earlobe, the right thumb and the right big toe reminds me, Father, of the anointing of the priests.  Holy is as holy does; Your anointing, humility and obedience to Your Word are components of holy living.  Your call, Your purpose and my faithful response is holiness in practice. Lord, help me to submit to Your Word and purpose in response to Your call on my life.  The fact that the unclean were anointed with blood first and then oil calls to mind Your precious blood, which was shed for me, and the Holy Spirit, who is Your gift to me.  The blood had to precede the Spirit.  I cannot thank You enough or even adequately for what You have done.  That You would die, brutally for me and then give me the Holy Spirit.  Lord, I receive Your anointing, may I honor Your gifts in my days.

...then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 

Lord, You know what I don't know.  But in reading this, the cedar reminded me of the wooden cross You chose.  

The birds speak to me of two lives; one would die that the other may live in freedom - but only through the blood of the first.  

The hyssop branch which had previously been used to mark the doorposts of the precious people with the blood of the lamb on that exodus night - the night when the distinction between Your people and the common was excruciatingly apparent by the grief.  The branch that was used to introduce freedom to Your children.  The branch that David would write about as he is broken in his sinful estate.  The branch which bring purity and cleanness to him.  The branch bearing wine-soaked sponge offered to my Messiah as He hung on that wooden cross, spilling His blood - His life for mine. Maybe, His perfect blood mingled on that branch with the wine.  Did the branch and the blood remind those gathered of Your sacrificial system that had been established?   

Scarlet like blood - fresh blood.  Yarn  ties two things together - a bonding through the blood of God and man; a yoke, even, where I am joined to You by what You have done.  Yarn which can be made into garments - clothing of righteousness, love and sacrifice.  

The shaving of the hair, all of it - that seems to be a renouncing of who I am, who others know me to be and being identified by You and Your protocol.  Being unfashionable and uncomfortable; but recognizable as Yours.  Obedient, clean, humbled, accepted. 

And all of this is done in response to Your call.  Lord, it is come in Your one and only way or cleanness is not pronounced, acceptance is not granted - true from back in the wilderness and now in the New Covenant.   I praise You that You have made me clean, You have invited me and enabled me to respond.  I magnify Your Name  for Your Holy Spirit, Your work and Your Word which teaches me of You and Your ways.  Lord, strengthen me to walk in obedience, humility, cleanness and the full acceptance You have given me that I may bring You glory and make You famous in my life.  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Leviticus 13

When a man or woman has a disease on the head or the beard ...

Lord, this made me giggle - if a woman has a beard, she has more than a possible itch going on.  I do praise You for Your very specific instructions to Your people.  I love how involved You are in their lives, that each detail is significant; and You don't want them easily removed from camp unless they meet the standard of uncleanness.  You didn't have to get this personal and particular; but again You demonstrate that folks are important - to protect and to diagnose properly.  I praise You that there is no hocus pocus in this, nor any opportunity to influence the priest; just very clear if/then directions. 

And Your instructions to cover their upper lip - how very wise to give that instruction to cover their mouths, as science has suggested leprous diseases are transmitted by respiratory droplets.  Only You would know that.  Again, Lord, You prioritize and care about people.  Grant me a heart to minister in wisdom to Your people, as well.  Let me seek the knowledge to serve You only from You.  I desire to be that faithful priestess to the Most High God.  I need divine assistance in the decisions regarding how to treat folks, set my boundaries to bring You glory.  Teach me more about this facet of priesthood and walking in Your authority.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Leviticus 12

Lord, the times of purification are confusing to me; but I see You, here in this old passage, in Your absolute law, esteeming, caring and providing for ladies.  You are building in Your law what is necessary for Your children.  You are teaching them the way to relate to You, to each other and themselves.   I praise You for God-directed recovery time and quiet time to bond well with the baby, away from the demands of life.  I praise You for Your kind consideration of our frail states - for You are our Maker and You know how You made us.  Let us choose better how we bounce back from major life changes, how we navigate the seasons of our lives.  Let us choose Your way, as You are the Way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Leviticus 11

This is the law ... to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean ... He teaches the difference - because they did not know.  His people had been made distinct and they are responsible to live distinctively.

The unclean things are detestable to our Holy God's children ...  Unclean is not a "no thank you;" but an absolute aberration.  We are not tolerate the unclean, it is detestable, abhorrent, egregious - so, why the mild response to the unholy?

For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.   Distinctive, separate, holy  ... that's my responsibility, my appropriate response, my M.O. and my only acceptable offering of myself. 

Most High God, please continue to teach me distinctiveness, holiness, faithfulness to Your call.  May I resonate holiness in my life.  And help me to detest the unclean, the unholy, the unconsecrated things which the enemy of my soul seeks to have power over Your handmaiden.  Give me wisdom and strength to follow You in holiness.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Leviticus 10

This is what the Lord said, "  ...  I will be proved holy ..."

The Lord's goal for His priest, " ... so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean ..."

Lord, let my life prove You holy.  Help me to distinguish between the holy and the common, the clean and the unclean - that I may prove You in my generation to be who You say You are. 

Leviticus 9

Lord God, this must have been an anxious time for these recent slaves.  One year of freedom under their belts, a tabernacle freshly built, begging for another person to tell them what You wanted and now waiting for Your glory to appear to them - if the sacrifices go well.  Yikes!  No wonder they fell down when Your Shekinah glory consumed the offerings.  I'm not sure I could have stood up in that moment.

I am grateful for being born after You, Lord Jesus; but I don't want my preferences to cause me to miss this huge part of Your children's lives.  You gave them a way to approach You and You met with them.  Your glory displayed for these former slaves who had built treasures for another people and their gods.  How amazing to me that You chose to come in this glorious array and not as a man or any other way.  They had seen Your power, they had benefited from Your wisdom and provision; but they needed to see You in holiness and glory.  And You came, just as You promised.

Help me to not be so casual with my approach to You, with my relationship with You, Sovereign Lord.  You are just as holy and righteous and glorious now as You were then - I pray, help me tremble in Your presence, at Your word.  Help me remember and live from the very distinctive truth that You are not like me; even though You have made greatly available the opportunity to be Your child, to be Your handmaiden.  Let me never forget that You alone are high and lifted up and Your glory fills completely.  And thank You for coming just as You promised then and in Christ and in the Holy Spirit.  You are worthy to be praised and worshiped and bowed down to.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Leviticus 8

As Moses dressed Aaron in the priestly garments, my mind pictured the Lord Jesus dressing me in His righteousness, holiness and salvation.  Aaron could not dress himself, nor can I clothe myself.  Thank You, Precious Lord Jesus for arraying me in Yourself.  I could not do it myself; nor would I know to do so, if You had not drawn me to Yourself.  Thank You for Your love which made me a royal priestess in Your Kingdom. 

I thank You Lord God that in these sacrifices, the kidneys and the liver are Yours.  You take for Yourself the human filters and You provide us with Your vision and a greater revelation of Yourself.  Lord God, let me never filter my life, rather may You always provide me with Your holy view and purpose.  Please help me to daily offer  my filters and my tendency to want to see things my way to You - that they would be completely consumed on the altar of living sacrifice.  May I look only to You and Your Kingdom for the unfolding of my life, the lives of those who influence me and those I influence.  Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in me and my life as You please.

Leviticus 7

Father God, I thank You for Your provision of these sacrifices.  You taught and brought reconciliation, holiness and purity in worship.  I praise You that the sacrifices were beneficial to both the priest and the supplicant, in addition to accomplishing the purpose for which they were offered.  You wasted nothing, You showed them how to approach You and how to relate to each other.  Lord, how incredible that You would give them these directions to show them how to worship and how to shed the pagan traits they may have acquired in bondage. 

Lord, I look for You to do that in my life.  I cannot praise You enough for the gift of ultimate sacrifice Your precious Son has given me; but please let me live in the purpose, position and power His life has paid for.  Continue to purify my worship and my motives, let my view of You increase in majesty, holiness and awe. Let me come open-handed and open-hearted that You may have full access to me - that nothing would be kept from You, that nothing would be wasted and that no bondage would be maintained; except for my heart, my mind, my life to be Yours.  To the praise of Your very great Name.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Leviticus 6

You must make restitution by paying the full price plus an additional 20 percent to the person you have harmed. On the same day you must present a guilt offering.

Thank You, Father God, for showing the urgency of taking responsibility to resolve a sin-situation.  We have earthly consequences we need to address and on the same day we need to be in Your presence regarding this very matter.  I praise You, Holy Spirit, that You speak to us before, during and after a sin - lighting the way to You, that we may know the right way to step in such dark matters.  I thank You that often Your holiness, love and truth discourages many a sin before it is even fully thought out.  I am so grateful You are with me everyday; thank You for doing such a tedious job and for purifying Your handmaiden.

I thank You, Sovereign Lord of the Universe that You are the One who, in these ancient times of wilderness-wandering, supplied the wood for the fire, the perfect, blemish-free animals and the grain.  I confess I get caught up and am tempted to skim over the bloody aspects ... consequentially, I have always overlooked the fact that You ask for the spotless animals and You were the One who supplied them.  Just as they needed.  I wonder what would have happened to Your children had they suddenly no available animals meeting Your requirements - would they have tried harder to not sin?  Would they have just fallen away from Your words?  Would they seek You more? Would they have run back to Egypt?   I thank You that You did not choose to teach them in that fashion, nor have You provided less than a Perfect, All-sufficient Sacrifice for me.  I don't have to wonder what if ... I know that the debt has been paid and You are worthy of all my love and honor and obedience.  Let me walk in the full awareness of all You have done and are still doing - give scope for Your vision.  To the praise of Your Name.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Leviticus 5

Sin offerings and guilt offerings - for things done and later recognized as sinful or unfaithful or bringing guilt.  

In the close community of these wilderness travelers, I wonder how anything really transpired without a witness or two.  Perhaps the Holy Spirit, Who was not living in them, whispered their transgression to them, maybe He stirred their conscience, and perhaps He encouraged accountability amongst God's children by their close associations.  I can see that the Israelites would understand that when sin was in the camp, it was not a good thing ... and they would be motivated to purity and confession.

Now, what does this say to me?   I need to be in relationships where accountability is at the forefront.  I can be deceived or completely miss something.  The Holy Spirit does speak to me about my actions or non-actions;  He can also implement the compliant heart of a friend to echo truth to me, as well.

The problem is today's culture is not so accountability-oriented - rather it's more tolerant of self-expression.  And, the problem is it's hard for me to receive a correction or even gracious words of discipline.  But, one thing I know:  I need this.  And I need to be receptive and humble to those that the Lord has chosen to use to grow me up in Him, to purify me, to just teach me the right way of good choices; otherwise I will scare off any who cares enough to invest in thoughtful words.  

God help me be humble that I may receive more of Your grace; let me not pursue a prideful life which causes You to resist me.  Please continue to show me where I am blowing it regarding sin, guilt and faith - Let me be more teachable and resilient to Your cultivation.  Please strengthen those that would speak into my life that they would be blessed by their obedience.  Please give me ears to hear, a heart soft enough to receive and a mind willing to change to bring You greater glory.  Protect me from spurious comments, let me not be swayed by swaggering blather - let me recognize Your words when they come to me.  And please help me to be useful to You, if You would desire to use me, to speak loving and prayerful truth to others for Your Kingdom's benefit.  God, I want to honor You.  Teach me Your ways.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Leviticus 4

Unintentional sin.  How did the unintentional sin get figured out ... an accident, perhaps or an illness, "misfortune" ... ?  From the results or circumstances which appeared less than optimal - not the blessed life?  This makes me wonder; yet I am not sure that the nature of an unintentional sin really matters.  What does matter and what so encourages me is God has a provision for this situation.  He knew we would blow it, at times, unintentionally.

So, in imagining if I lived back then and I had committed unintentional sin - which would  be perhaps unknown to me, the perpetrator.  And somehow, the matter comes to comes to my attention.  What do I do about this? 

My response - no matter if I was common person, priest, leader or part of the whole - must be humble and willing to take the steps which lead to me appropriating the atonement which has been provided through this process by my God for me.  Sure, I can live in denial for a time; but what found me out will still be sitting on my doorstep and heart until I rightfully tend to the matter.  And I am pretty sure I left "de Nile" back in Egypt. (=})

Another very compelling characteristic of this provision is the matter is not dealt with privately nor circumspectly.  This was a very public resolution.  Which makes it very obvious to the me and community  that the matter is completely resolved in God's presence.  No self-doubt, no worries that I did it wrong, no 90 day probation to test a heart, no lingering talk or gossip because the remedy was applied and accepted.  

The fact that the burnt portion of this offering is offered like the peace offering as God described it blesses me even more - suggesting that this part of the ceremony is to bring peace, restore the rightness of relationship within the community and with the Lord, re-establish well-being of the perpetrator - me.   

The carcass of the sacrificed animal was to be taken out of camp and permanently disposed of - what a picture of the sin being removed from the presence of the offender and the community.  God's forgiveness and atonement leaving peace and a sweet fragrance amidst the blood.  Never forget the blood - as even unintentional sin much be paid for, at great cost.

I have a tendency to read quickly through these sacrifices as the killing and blood are hard to dwell on.  But, that's the point.  Sin brings death.  Life is lost due to sin.  Even unintentional sin.  Life must pay sin's debt.  

Lord Jesus, my Messiah, I cannot thank You enough for paying for even my unintentional sin.  Thank You for Your life for mine.  It was Your blood which was poured out at the altar.  Your life for mine.  You paid for my heinousness and my screw-ups.  You bring peace; peace with You and peace with my peers.  I praise You that my efforts may be suspect; but Your atonement is perfect and sufficient.  No need to wonder.  I thank You for the gracious teaching You gave Your newly freed children to purify their worship, to know they could approach You and to comprehend holiness.  You chose them and  they were Yours, as am I.   The belonging You arranged and kept in place.  The sacrifices were to reconcile - not make them more Yours.   Please help me to walk in the boldness and grace that belonging to You brings.  I love You.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Leviticus 3

The Lord saved His people and He now gives them instructions on how to be in right relationship with Him and others.  

Lord God of the Universe, I thank You that salvation only comes from You; but You have provided it to Your creation.  I praise Your Name for You intend for us to know what to do and how to behave in order to be at peace with You and others.  Lord, I am so grateful for Your introduction to the peace/shalom offering here as it shows that the offering is shared by the priest and the supplicant.  By Your representative and the believing person ... that peace is to be shared, that right, restored relationship is to be a common point in relationships, benefit from the offering extends to both the one offering the sacrifice and the one who handles it.  And the smoke goes up to please You, too.  Oh, Lord, help me to live in response to Your desire and provision for peace.  That blessing extends beyond the attainment of peace and well-being to those around me.  That peace blesses You.  Help me, teach me to walk in Your provision and priority of peace  - by Your design and not my own.

Offerings/sacrifices are messy and require more than just me to accomplish the purpose. 

Father, help me to be yielded, humble, teachable and available that I may obey You and Your provision for my life.  I thank You for the people You have put in my life to help me grow up in You.  Please let me carefully respond to Your teachings and directions that I may offer pleasing smoke with my life to You.  I want my life to be that sweet fragrance which is evidence of You.  May You be glorified in it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Leviticus 2

The grain offerings were to be made up of fine flour.  Fine flour is very finely ground wheat berries.  Crushed, pounded and hammered until it is uniformly smooth and small in appearance.  All the larger pieces are removed if they do not grind up into the fine flour.  It is a very pure flour.

Lord God, I know that my Messiah was crushed and bruised and pounded - I know that He began that work pure and He ended that work pure and triumphantly.  He took the beating that makes me pure as He paid that amazing and terrible price for me.  I thank You that in Your wisdom, You allow me the privilege to be purified in my  life.  Help me to stay in the pounding that my impurities and inconsistencies will be resolved, to the praise of Your Name.  Help me yield a holy offering to You, for whatever purpose that pleases You.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Leviticus 1

The offerings for atonement were to be placed on the wood.  Jesus was placed on the wood. 

I still marvel at the availability of wood in a desert.  I am astonished that the Creator supplied the very instrument of His death, and made them beautiful and useful to His creation in the meantime.  Useful even to Him in His earthly life and work. 

I am just blown away with His previousness and His divine provision.  His love triumphed over His comfort. 

I am in awe of Your love, Lord.  Words cannot convey the emotions and thoughts which are washing over me as I think of Your amazing plan from before creation to be our Supply, our Source, our Sacrifice, our Salvation.  You set everything in place for victory.  You paid every part of the cost - even parts I don't know to imagine.  I worship You.  Only You could and would do this.  Help me to see You more and more in the story called the Old Testament, that I may be more and more devoted to You.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Exodus 40

All of the exodusing, manna-ing, treasure-gathering, tabernacle-constructing and building took place in a year.  Their heads must have been spinning.  God, You so love Your people that You teach us in the process of the unfolding of Your will.  You don't just deliver us, magically answer prayers only to let us work out the details of implementation.  You instruct us in the care and keeping of ourselves in the freedom You bestow that we may walk triumphantly in the liberty.  I praise You that You accomplish so much in such a small time.  May I always be compliant with Your plans that You may do much in my little life.

What a great nightlight!  Our God-Daddy is so thoughtful.

Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it.  But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted.

I thank You Lord that You don't just tell us to go, You confirm that we are to stay and keep at it until You do move us out.  You do want us to know what to do and when.  Give us eyes and ears and heart and strength to obey.  Give us vision to experience Your glory filling our lives.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Exodus 39

... just as the LORD had commanded, this they had done.

Lord, the list of what-to-do boggles my mind; but You gave what they needed that it might be said of them "they did as the Lord commanded."  Every assignment was completed.  Every detail was carried out.  Help me to look to You in every decision, every detail, every choice I have that I may receive what You have for me in that instant, that it may be said of me "she did as the Lord commanded." 

God, what pleasure must have been experienced in performing this work - hard work; but obedience.  What delight they must have had when Moses gave the thumbs up on the project.  Then to have been able to participate in relationship with You as a direct result of the work of their hands and offerings.  And this is after the golden-calf incident.  They could not deny that Your desire was to be among them.  Even when they preferred to have Your word secondhand.  Wow.  May I serve You with pleasure, delight and joy, knowing that Your presence is with me.

Father, I don't know what the colors blue, purple and scarlet really signify; but they remind me of the blue sky that the recent slaves now viewed with free eyes - liberty and Your ever-present Authority; the purple of royalty - You, the undisputed King; and sacred blood's scarlet color which washed our sins white and the life that is in the blood.  Colors of Your Kingdom. Freedom, Holy Presence and Faithfulness, Divinely-Glorious Majesty, Sacrifice, Redemption and Life... I praise You for the qualities of Your Kingdom.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Exodus 38

What initially strikes me is the overlay of the precious metals on the common material is like the Holy Spirit coming upon the people in the first covenant. We have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the new covenant – I praise You Lord for Your design and supply. Holy Spirit, I thank You for Your presence in my life. May we all reflect Your glory, to the praise of Your very great Name.

Another thought which washed over me was the fact that the gold was used on the table, the altar of incense, the ark, the mercy seat,the lampstand …. bronze is used on the altar of burnt offering, the utensils for that altar, the basin and its stand. Gold is used where the presence of God was to meet them and with the items used to honor Him. The bronze was outside of the holy places. Bronze was used to deal with the people’s sin, to cleanse spiritually and physically.

You couldn’t get to the gold place without passing through the bronze place. …

Jesus is my bronze place. He has taken away my sin and cleansed me. Because of His great and loving gift, I am allowed the gold place. The Holy Place, The Holy of Holies. I have always seen Jesus in the gold place – the Table of Showbread, the Mercy Seat, the Lampstand; But I have just realized this is a picture of Him, too. All the careful regulations, the precise manner of approaching, the exact method of cleansing, the specific sacrifices and timings. My little mind is just boggled at the enormity of the law’s requirements for atonement. To have been a priest must have been a frightful thing for the newbies. The consequence was death. The amazing thing about the Messiah’s gift is the consequence is … IS life.

Oh, I praise You my Lord and my Messiah. Let me today walk in greater cognizant gratitude towards You. And I praise You for answering yesterday’s prayer of showing me from what You have saved me. I don’t think You are done in Your revelations to me; but I trust You to give me the answer You desire me to have. And only if You think it right. Father, please continue to purify my heart, my mind, my motives, my needs that I may be like gold in this dark world. Lord, You give me chutzpah … holy chutzpah. Thank You, Abbi.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Exodus 37

The acacia wood appears to be a wood which is easily found - either from within the camp or from the surrounding wilderness.  A common component used in a holy fashion.  Rather like the bearers of Christ - common folk, ordinary even; but when dedicated to the Lord, the divine call and obedient response yield a treasure in His infinite and majestic Kingdom.  His holy anointing on my mere mortal life can be a masterpiece if I yield to His sacred plan.  Acacia wood (me) + pure gold (God) = a useful, beautiful and glorious testimony to our Lord God. 

O, Father, let me yield completely to your all wise and supernaturally competent crafting in and on my life.  Help me to not be concerned that too much is being cut away or that my strength will be gone.  I need You to sustain me in this time of expressing Your design on my life.  Increase my faith that I will be useful to You and not a detriment (like I can mess You up, but I wonder if I am a bigger hindrance sometimes, Lord).  And, even as the acacia wood took to the process, may I be a reliable and hearty resource for Your Heavenly purpose; may I bear Your glorious presence faithfully and to the spread of Your fame.

All of this construction, crafting and excellence took place in the wilderness among tent-dwellers.  Oh Lord, let me be as available to You as these recent slaves were.  Let me not say, "It can't be done because I have not the resources nor the right tools.  I have never done such a thing."  Master Creator and LORD,  I offer You what I have and what I can do; I say, "May it be to me as You say."  I look to Your everlasting, never-ending supply for Your work. May I steward well and with grace - without doubt and complaint.