This to be certain is a beautiful word.
And even though spoken over the Israelites in the wilderness long ago, these are the words of an eternal God who never changes. Which means that these promises are true of Him even today... and especially for us now with the gift of the Holy Spirit which Jesus left after His resurrection.
How I love to read of the God of the universe promising to reside... to live among His people. Especially saying that He will not reject them. How I love that! Because I for one have been rejected. We all have at some point in life, so this is a comforting promise... an ease to my soul to know that I will not be rejected by God.
And He will walk with me. Not just throughout life, but daily... moment by moment. Even on the hard days like today, when I wake up feeling lonely, as if no one relates to me... no one notices me. I have a God who will walk beside me today.
And not only has He freed me eternally, but He will free me today from whatever enslaves me. Typically these are the chains of my self-made limitations and the burdens of heavy thought that weigh me down.
When I compare myself with others, He lifts off the yoke of self-doubt and tells me that I am set apart and special, unique and unlike any other.
When I am shuffling along in self-pity, chained by my past failures, He reminds me that He covered the past, remembering it no more. And my feet feel lighter as I'm lifted by His hope, unshackled and free to run ahead into my purpose.
Yes, this to be certain is a beautiful Word... our Lord is residing as our Redeemer!
The Hebrew people had dedicated festivals appointed by God as times to bring sacrifices, to give offerings, and to celebrate. These were not just holidays set aside on the calendar to get a day off work. Rather they were intended that the people pass down the heritage of what God had done for them; that they tell their children and their children's children how God had miraculously provided for them.
How wonderful that they should PROCLAIM these as SACRED assemblies... making God famous for all He had done for them throughout the generations. How great that they were to CELEBRATE the Lord in festival style as they gathered together annually to bring their gifts and offerings.
I wonder if we too see worship that way? Is there ever a time when we are willing to PROCLAIM that God has delivered us? Is there truly any time when we consider our devotion to Him SACRED and set apart from the rest of our day?
Are we willing to make some noise, sing, shout and even dance a little in CELEBRATION to make the name of our God famous for all that He has done for us? For I know that He is worthy. And He certainly has guaranteed my salvation.
Let us consider a new song unto the Lord this week as we worship our Worthy Guarantor.
When God gives to us it is always more than enough.
Here in the harvest God is leaving provision for those less fortunate. For God's provision will always go farther when we are willing to share, when we are willing to give and not hold tightly as if we had control of the growing.
For God is the provider of all good things... our time, talent, and finances. He too gives us the perseverance to pursue new opportunities, along with the opportunities that present themselves. So let us honor Him by sharing what is given us.
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share...
1 Timothy 6:17-18
So that our sharing... leaving the excess which God generously multiplies to us... may bring Him glory and testify to others of His faithfulness.
The God of all has spoken His will.
He has chosen a people, if only they will listen; really listen.
These words were not spoken in English, so they may not translate a fully to us as they would have long ago. But these people were living in-between.
Have you ever been there... living in-between? Not quite where you used to be, enslaved to a life that weighed you down. But not quite where you want to be, captivated by all that is divine and purposed.
That's were I spend most days, to be honest. Not wanting to go back, but ever stretching forward, longing for more. And I would guess that's what these people felt. At least many of them. For some still complained about the in-between since it wasn't quite homey. Some still blamed Moses and wanted to go back to Egypt, because at least they knew the expectations even though it was a slave's life.
But here, in the in-between God had their attention. So here in the in-between it was essential that He let them know He was THEIR God and He wanted them to follow all His ways. No longer worshiping the many gods of Egypt. And certainly warning them of all the pagan ways which the people in their destined land currently lived.
God wanted them to learn His way, for it would bring them into LIFE. And we question... so what? Weren't they alive?
But when God said they would LIVE for following Him, it meant so much more. This would cause Him to protect, preserve and provide for them. This LIFE would be one sustained in the fullness of divine favor, revived from faintness, illness and lack. This would be a life restored, repaired and returned to them so that they felt His quickening and energy. This would be a life of wholeness and peace, surrounded by His nourishment, even unto death.
This was a life preserving way from the life preserving One.
This was an ultimate promise from the ultimate God.
And this is the same Yahweh, the same God who offers us LIFE eternal... even beginning today. Let us seek Him, let us honor Him, let us follow Him out of the in-between and into the way of true LIFE.
When God says, "I am Yahweh," He is technically repeating Himself. As the very name Yahweh is derived from I AM. It is the ever present name of God; the almighty description that encompasses everything He is.
All things were made by Him, all things depend on Him, all things are known by Him. Yahweh is central to all life. He is the very breath of existence.
And here He is declaring His holiness, while asking His people, those whom He delivered out of slavery in Egypt, to rise up and be holy as well.
This is not a call to perfection, as Yahweh knows that would be impossible for humans. But it is a call to be consecrated, set apart and separate. This is a call to distinguish their behavior from other peoples of the land, showing it is possible to live with a higher calling.
And God calls us to the same, even today... even under this age of grace. Can we, will we be consecrated,.. set apart? For this requires a separation from the norm; desiring to abstain from sin, impurity and infirmity.
But what does that even look like?
How is that even possible?
If our Holy Deliverer, the same Yahweh... the great I AM, who was, and is, and is to come, calls His people to it, then surely He can deliver us through it. He would not ask us do do something with which He is not willing also to help us.
This to be certain calls for us to set our mind on higher things, to pray without ceasing, to desire to be different. This is not a "wake-up-and-go" type life. This is so much more. A mind, body and soul that are free from such things that weigh us down; a higher and more holy life.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
Renew me, LORD.
Deliver me from myself and all that distracts.
Help me with this holiness, Yahweh.
Not just the large choices, but the small.
For it is good, pleasing and perfect to seek Your will.
Simply because You asked me to.
from my heart...
I write as an overflow... an expression of my true love for God and with a deep desire to encourage others in their day to day lives. For we can only find peace, joy, and satisfaction when we yield to the One who yielded His life for us.