Waiting for the Cloud to Move

Waiting for the Cloud to move

When the Israelis were delivered from Egypt, a pillar of fire followed them and a cloud led them. When the Cloud stopped, they made camp and they did not move again until the Cloud did.

Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.(Exodus 40:36–38)

God made it clear He was with them, when to stop, and when to move.

How long did it take to break camp? How long did it take to set up the tabernacle and then ready it for a move? Was there any warning?

Since they didn’t know how long they would be at that location, what did they do?

Are you waiting for the Cloud to move?

There are similarities for us. My mom was ready to move to a retirement home about six years before my dad was ready. He wasn’t ready until the sprinkler system broke! She had to wait.

And you are or have been in a season you knew would end but didn’t know when. Maybe your house is for sale. Maybe you are on an (endless) waiting list for something.

As a believer, know for sure that God is with you. If you are sensing the need to move, pay attention. If you aren’t being told to move, wait.

How do you wait?

Surrender the timing to the Lord.

Thank Him for your situation, knowing that He is working. He is giving you a rest period. He is teaching you. He is giving you a place of service.

Be ready when the cloud moves, but until then, strive to live each day in the newness of life. Redeem the time.

Don’t start taking down the tabernacle until the Lord directs!

But then

But, then, move, and wait for the Cloud to stop…

Praise our Banner

Banners

The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics feature athletes proudly displaying their countries’ flags.

The ongoing conflicts we see on the news—both domestic and international—display flags/banners carried by various parties. We can now readily identify the flags and goals of various groups.

If you are caught in a demonstration, you can judge which way to move by the banners you see.

Yahweh is our Banner

Eternally important is that for us, believers, our flag, our banner, is our Lord.

Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner [Yahweh-Nissi].(Exodus 17:15)

Our Salvation

When we came to saving faith in Christ, we were placed under God’s Banner. We became part of His army, one of His possessions.

And I [Jesus], if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:32) (See also Numbers 21:8-9)

Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal [NLT: banner of salvation] for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.(Isaiah 11:10)

Our Identity to Display. Our Protection to Claim

You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. That Your beloved may be delivered. (Psalm 60:4–5)

And His Declaration of Love

And his banner over me is love.(Song of Solomon 2:4)

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Praise Our Banner

God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—we praise You for revealing Yourself as our Banner. We praise You for drawing us to Yourself, for placing us under Your Banner, making us Your own. We praise You that You show us Your direction, protect us through Your infinite power, and lead us to Your presence. Please help us understand You as our Banner, help us display Your holiness, and lead us in ways everlasting.

 

 

The Holy Spirit is Praying for You!

Leonid Regheta Facebook Post

The Holy Spirit is Praying for You!

The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He [God the Father] who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He [the Holy Spirit] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.(Romans 8:26–27)

Are you worried whether you have the resources to successfully fight the battle you’re in? Do you know you need help? Do you want the “big guns” on your side?

The Holy Spirit is praying for you!

Jesus Christ is praying for you! (See Jesus is Praying for You!)

We don’t always know what to pray for. A non-specific “HELP!” is often my first thought. But the Holy Spirit knows exactly how to pray. And He is praying even when we don’t.

We are weak in fighting our spiritual battles. The Holy Spirit is God, all powerful, infinitely wise and He is praying for us.

We are guaranteed glory, and the intercession of Christ, our Advocate, and the Holy Spirit, make that sure.

If we lose a specific battle, we have an Advocate (1 John 2:1), and we have a promise of forgiveness when we confess (1 John 1:9). Going forward, both Christ and the Holy Spirit are praying for us.

Rejoice, believer, and know your immense privilege of God the Son’s and God the Holy Spirit’s prayers for you.

Hallelujah!

 

 

Jesus is Praying for You!

Jesus is Praying for You!

I’ve asked Christian friends to pray for me. And people have asked me to pray for them. Praying for each other is a blessing within the family of God, and we should be deliberate in intervening for others.

Even better, even more, the Son of God is praying for you and me! Imagine! Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son, our Lord, is interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.

Right now, He is praying for you, for me! Right now!

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.(Hebrews 7:25)

Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.(Romans 8:34)

Thank You for the immense assurance that I am not alone as I strive to walk in Your way. Thank You that You are praying for me, even right now.

 

Take Courage

Take Courage

It takes courage to PRESS ON.

In the Christian life, we need courage to act, courage to endure, and courage to wait.

We need to take courage. Courage isn’t something you have or you don’t, it’s an active process to take courage, to gather up courage.

The Bible gives us reasons for courage and promises results from acting courageously in the Lord’s will. Reasons and promises combine into conviction, which results in our ability to take courage in all aspects of life.

Reasons Underpinning Courage

God is with us. Christ overcame the world.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lordyour God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.(Deuteronomy 31:6)

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.(John 16:33)

Courage for the Sake of…

Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight. (2 Samuel 10:12)

Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. (Hebrews 12:2)

Results of Courage

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.(Joshua 1:7)

But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.(2 Chronicles 15:7)

It also Takes Courage to Wait

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.(Psalm 27:14)

Courage isn’t automatic

Build up your conviction, your reasons to act, endure, or wait with courage.

Remind yourself of God’s promises of His presence and your future.

Make your conviction stronger than your fear.

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)

PRESS ON!

 

See also Do It Scared.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Get Used to the Dark

Don’t Get Used to the Dark

Have you ever been seated in a very dark restaurant? Your eyes have to adjust to the dark before you can read the menu.

Getting used to the dark is a problem if what you are getting used to is not good.

Deviating from Standards

Pilots have detailed procedures prior to flight. They carefully “walk around” the airplane checking for any problems. They have a checklist to assure they have all the instruments and flight controls correctly set.

Suppose one day they forget to do something and the flight works out well. The next time they also omit that item and everything is fine. Pretty soon, that item is no longer on the check list. They have gotten used to deviating from the safety routine. Deviating from the standard has become normal.

That is true in society as well. We now accept behavior that would have horrified our grandparents. Many (most?) of our movies and TV shows use sin as entertainment. A recent review described a book as “deliciously wicked.” Oh my.

Do We Blush?

Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They certainly were not ashamed, and they did not know how to blush. (Jeremiah 8:12)

Do we blush? Are we light in the world?

Challenge:

When you watch a movie, consciously review what you see against God’s standards, His commandments and precepts.

Pray God shows you when you accept behavior in yourself or others that is not acceptable to God.

Pray to know when to speak about the sins our society accepts.

Pray to be light and salt. (Matthew 5:13-16)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise the Almighty

NASA/ESA/STScl–Hubble, Lagoon Nebula

Almighty God

I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless.” (Genesis 17:1)

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.(1 Chronicles 29:11)

God Can Do All His Holy Will

God can anything and everything consistent with His character. He is able to do whatever He pleases, all consistent with His holiness. He is working everything in accordance with His will.

All power belongs to Him and nothing and nobody can stay His hand.

Power belongs to God. (Psalm 62:11)

Everything is possible for Him.

With God all things are possible.(Matthew 19:26)

For nothing will be impossible with God.(Luke 1:37)

When He speaks, His word is fulfilled.

Now the Lordhas fulfilled His word which He spoke.(1 Kings 8:20)

When He promises, He performs.

[Be] fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:21)

What He has done is what He purposed.

My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.  (Isaiah 46:10)

His Power for His Beloved

He redeems us

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people. (Luke 1:68)

He keeps us

[Nothing]will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 8:39)

I give eternal life to them [His sheep], and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.(John 10:28)

Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.(Hebrews 7:25)

He raises the dead

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” (John 11:25)

There shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.(Acts 24:15)

His total victory and reign is coming

We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.(Revelation 11:17)

~~~

Almighty God, we praise You. You, our eternal, creator God, have power over everybody and everything from eternity past to eternity future. Your infinite power is beyond our comprehension, yet we thank You for revealing Your power through Your creation, by upholding all things, through Your gracious redemption, and by raising the dead (including us someday). Thank You that You use your power to accomplish all Your righteous purposes. Thank You that through Your infinite power towards us You have redeemed us, keep us within Your love, that You accomplish what concerns us, and, one day, Your almighty power will bring us to You in heaven. All glory and praise be Yours.

 

When God Says “No!”

 

Recently a prayer was answered, but over the top, with unexpected extra “goodies.” It was sort of like praying for a pony but being given the entire ranch.

I was on cloud nine, easily and fervently praising God for His generous blessing. I cannot overstate how excited I was, or how grateful.

After a few days, I realized that I should be every bit as grateful when He answers my prayer with a “No!”

When He says “No!” it is because He loves me and is working His eternal plans that result in my (my!) glorification. I will be presented to Him holy and blameless, and His “No!” now is part of the journey to my future bliss.

He knows better than I do, and when He says: “No!” it is in my own best interest.

Lord, help me give thanks to You in everything. Help me fervently praise You for both Your “Yeses” and Your “Noes.”

Bless His Heart

Jesus commands us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and do good to those who hate us. (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27).

We are to bless and not curse. (Luke 6:28Romans 12:14)

But HOW?

I know the motto: “Just do it.”

But HOW?

At one point in my career I was furious at what I thought was unreasonable behavior that hurt others and hurt the company, and I let others know about my anger. God showed me “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20)

I wanted to obey. I didn’t want to displease my Lord with my anger. I wanted to love, pray for, and do good to those I thought were enemies. I wanted to bless and not curse.

But HOW?

I was stuck.

One day I read a story about how to tell a true southerner: “A true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 mph on the freeway. You just say, ‘Bless her heart’ and go your own way.” I laughed, but immediately saw how to apply this to my situation. So, when I saw or heard something that made me angry, I deliberately said: “Bless his/her heart.” The thought made me laugh and provoked me to bless and not curse. (And more and more often, I really meant it.)

You may not need a crutch like I did. But that quip helped me get unstuck and obey God’s commands.

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From When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready? page 214

 

After the Storm

You came through the storm! Praise God!

Assess

Look back. Look around.

Did the storm:

  • Hurt your relationship with God?
  • Did others hurt you?
  • Did you hurt others?

You need to clean up the mess.

You and the Lord

A storm often provokes responses that the Lord will show us as sinful.

We often don’t trust God during the storm.

Both require confession and humility.

You and others

Your storm may have been caused by others.

Forgive!

Forgiveness is commanded by God. What was done to you may seem unforgiveable, but God still commands it. You can forgive.

Reconciliation is not always possible or desirable, so pray about that.

You and Yourself

You may have caused the storm yourself or hurt others in the process.

You may be newly aware of sinful patterns in your life.

Confess!

Make things right with others, if possible.

Thank

God promises to use the storm in your life for good. Thank Him.

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Press on

God promises to forgive when we confess. He promises.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)

Believe that He has forgiven you.

And press on.

One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:13–14)

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See Before the Storm and During the Storm.