On the way

Exodus 4:24-26

24 On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him. 25 But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feet[a] with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lord left him alone.

Wait. What? The Lord confronted Moses and was about to kill him?!?

Moses had seen the burning bush.

Moses had heard God’s call to deliver the Israelites from slavery.

Moses had seen evidence of God’s power when his staff turned into a serpent!

And Moses was on his way to Egypt to fulfill his purpose.

But, before he could face Pharaoh and lead his people to freedom, Moses needed to face the failure to lead his family. Even though the terms of the covenant that God made with Israel was hundreds of years old, it still applied to Moses. Before he could deliver the 10 commandments, Moses needed to obey God’s command.

When confronted by the Lord, Moses must have turned to his helpmate in shock and disbelief. But instead of surrendering to fear, Zipporah fulfilled the requirements of the law by submitting to her husband- and his Lord. She literally took the knife into her own hands and circumcised their son!

Then the great I AM fulfilled His first promise: Moses’s brother, Aaron, met him at the mountain of God on the way to Egypt.

IMG_4379From the beginning of creation, God has chosen married men to lead His people to “lands flowing with milk and honey.” But He doesn’t call them to go to Egypt alone. Instead, He makes a helper suitable for their journey. And since He is a loving Father, when His sons fail to lead their family, He confronts them on the way to their purpose, so they can repent and obey.

Has God called you by name?

Has He called you to confront Pharaoh and lead His people to the Promised Land?

Will you trust …and obey Him?

Will you love your wife?

Will you train your children?

Will you take your family with you on the way to Egypt?

If not, God’s promises for your life will be delayed…and you may find yourself wandering around in the desert for 40 years.

Choose this day whom you will serve.

Trust Him.

Obey Him.

Lead your family.

Lead His people.

And you will see the Promised Land.

Drunk & Naked

Genesis 6:9-10, 9:20-25

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.

24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. 25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:

“May Canaan be cursed!
 May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”

IMG_1850It didn’t take long for blameless Noah to screw up after the flood. Whether he intentionally planned to become intoxicated or failed to realize the potency of his homemade wine is unclear. Nonetheless, he was drunk- and naked.

Had the story stopped there, his sin of gluttony would have stayed between him and God. But he, like many of us, had children that would be affected by his actions. Ham saw his father naked. Instead of dealing with the embarrassing exposure, he ran and tattled to his brothers. How often do we see a family member in embarrassing situations because of their choices, yet we say nothing to them…but choose instead to blab it to other relatives? Sham and Japheth, feeling sorry for their father’s predicament, backed into the tent and covered him with a robe. How often do we cover up our family members shame because we’re afraid to look at the sin and rightly deal with it before God?

Although Sham and Japheth were blessed by Noah for honoring and showing him respect, their actions would impact Noah’s family for generations, as would Ham’s. Because of his judgment and desire to point out his father’s fault to others, his son, Canaan was cursed.

God’s Word is clear about the impact of sin upon families:

Exodus 20:5

….I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.

And the same applies to His favored children today:

My drunkenness will affect our children.

My nakedness (lack of modesty/sexual sin) will affect our children.

My judgment will affect our children.

My pride will affect our children.

My rebellion will affect our children.

My curses will affect our children.

BUT, let us not forget the Good News!!!! The Lord also promises He will

Exodus 20:6

lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

AND…

1 John 1:9

if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Sure, there can still be consequences for our actions, but our God is also the One who redeems and restores!!! I’ve seen Him take my sins and remember them no more. I’ve heard Him speak blessings in place of curses over our family. I’ve felt His freedom released in my soul. I’ve watched Him protect our children from the traps of the enemy. ALL things are possible in Him. All He asks is that we willingly surrender our drunk & naked sins to Him…and confess them to one another, so that we may be healed.

James 5:16

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

“Don’t be Afraid, Mary”

Luke 1:30-31, 34-35

30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 

Matthew 1:18-21

18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

An angel did not appear to me while I was engaged, but I have heard the Holy Spirit speak a few promises about our lives together since our marriage took place. Unfortunately, I haven’t always exercised patience and self-control in waiting for that information to be communicated to my husband!

I wonder if Mary had a conversation with Joseph after she heard God’s promise from Gabriel:IMG_1067.JPG

“Joseph, I’m pregnant!”

(silence)

“The Holy Spirit did it.”

“What the what?!?”

“I’m going to give birth to the Son of God.”

“Um…what?!?”

“Joseph- its true! An angel told me…don’t you believe me?”

“Mary, that’s impossible.”

I wonder if Mary felt abandoned and afraid for her future. I wonder if Joseph felt angry and afraid of the scandal. Regardless, being a good man, Joseph broke the engagement quickly and went home. Then, an angel appeared to him in a dream and confirmed the same promise Mary heard – with a few more details. He was to take her as his wife, and name the child she carried, Jesus.

  • Mary heard from God.
  • Joseph heard from God.
  • They obeyed.
  • God fulfilled His promise.

Why don’t I realize that God will do the same for me?

I am afraid.

I don’t trust God, I trust in my current circumstances.

I don’t believe God, I believe the lie of the enemy that says; “it’s impossible.”

I don’t fear God, I fear my husband not hearing and obeying (how self-righteous am I?)

But….. I don’t have to be afraid!

  • I can choose to surrender my soul (mind, will & emotions) to my Father in Heaven.
  • I can choose to trust Him.
  • I can choose to fear Him alone.
  • I can choose to believe in Him.
  • I can choose to declare; “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

And that obedience will give birth to the miraculous:

  • I will know that HE loves me.
  • I will know that HE is trustworthy.
  • I will know that HE is faithful.
  • I will know that HE will cause all things to work together for good.
  • I will know that HE will fulfill His promises for our marriage.

Master Yoda?

Deuteronomy 13:4, 6-8

Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

“Suppose someone secretly entices you—even your brother, your son or daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend—and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known. They might suggest that you worship the gods of peoples who live nearby or who come from the ends of the earth. But do not give in or listen. Have no pity, and do not spare or protect them.

In Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker, having had prophetic dreams about his wife, Padme’s death, vows NOT to let the visions come true. Arguing with a Jedi Master, he eventually asks (begrudgingly):

“What must I do, Master Yoda?” IMG_1052.JPG

In which the tiny green warrior replies: “Train yourself to let go……of everything you fear to lose.”

Ironically, its Anakin’s pride, which leads to his wife’s death in childbirth, just as the prophecy foretold.

What relationships do you fear to lose?

Your brother or sister, son or daughter, beloved wife or husband, or your closest friend?

Hopefully, none of these people would intentionally try to entice you to “go worship other gods,” but don’t underestimate the power of the dark side which strives to convince your soul to love people more than you love God.

I’ve been guilty of fearing man, not God. I’ve “worshipped” my desire for peace and security and love from my husband instead of trusting God to fulfill my every need. I’ve “worshipped” my children, wanting desperately for them not to be mad at me, instead of enforcing discipline when they’ve disobeyed. I’ve “worshipped” the acceptance and approval of friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord instead of boldly saying “No. I’m going to obey what God has told me to do, not what you think is best for me.”

During this season of life, I’ve experienced times of intense loneliness and feelings of isolation. Each and every time I’ve come to my secret place to grieve, the Holy Spirit has reminded me that I’m holding on to people, more than I’m clinging to God. Through this process of continual revelation & repentance, I have come to see that my Master is training me to let go of everything I fear to lose……

May the force (who sent His only Son to die for your sins) be with you (as you seek to love Him, fear Him, obeying His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him).