Little by Little

One step at a time.

It can be difficult to trust God’s direction with my next step when I have no idea how this is going to work out.

It’s tough to persevere through each struggle, not losing sight of my Father God.

“Little by little”.  Moses uses these words as he is speaking to the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land.  “The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.” Exodus 23:30.

Moses also said, “You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once or the wild animals will multiply around you.”  Exodus 23:29

God did not give the Israelites victory over all of their adversaries all at once because the wild animals would have taken over the empty land.

I would love it if God would just take my trials and problems away – all of them – all at once.  Take them all away, Father!

But God doesn’t do that.  Little by little, step by step, he leads me through the struggles.  He draws me closer as together we move through the confusing and dark times.  God does not eliminate all of my issues because then I would be very tempted to count on myself and not on him.  I need to remain dependent on him or wild animals (bad choices and wrong thinking) will multiply around me.

I have found that it takes a lot of trust to move forward when I don’t know what’s ahead.  I have had to learn to take one step at a time understanding that I’m not in control but my loving Father is.  He is working all things out for my good and, little by little, I have come to a point that I am 100% confident of that.  No questions.  No doubts.

I don’t ask him any more to take away all of my problems.  Now I ask him to please walk closely beside me as I go through them.  Each day I do my part by taking a step forward keeping my eyes focused on my Father God.

He does everything else.

Thank you, Abba Father.

The Transformation Continues…..

Reading.  Studying.  Listening.  Memorizing.

God has been seriously re-shaping my heart since I became a committed believer about 30 years ago.  When I was young, I had a close relationship with Jesus but it got lost in a season of rebellion and confusion about the truth in my young adulthood.  Six years of wandering and trying out all the things the world offers taught me how empty my life was without God.  I discovered that all the ‘fun’ and partying and working extra hard for ‘stuff’ was meaningless and a dead end.

So I re-committed my whole heart to God over 30 years ago and I’ve been on this Journey Towards the Truth ever since.

God tells us in Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.”  Looking back, I see all kinds of evidence that God has been working on my heart, circumcising the parts that needed to change –

  • He cut out the rebellious part of my heart.  This is amazing to me because I’ve always had a strong rebellious part to my personality.  Now, no matter what happens, my heart submits to God’s will.  He knows best.
  • God cut out the stubborn part of my heart.  I translate “stiff-necked” as being stubborn and God has softened my heart towards everything that is about him and comes from him.
  • God cut out any parts of my heart that were unbelieving.  I don’t have to understand it all to believe.  If God says it, it’s true.  God has taught my eyes to look beyond what is in front of me.
  • God has changed the part of my heart that wants to control things around me.  I know who is in total control and it’s not me.  I have learned to trust God with everything and I’m 100% confident that he is working all things out for my good.
  • My heart was shattered into a million broken, mangled pieces when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty.  I can feel God molding a new heart inside of me out of the debris.  This heart is centered on God and has a strong focus on my forever home.

Circumcising my heart sounds painful but it has actually set me free from the lies and worries that the world around us tries to impose on us.

And the transformation continues…..

Thank you, Abba Father.

There’s No Question

What should I do first?

I can’t do everything so what should I make sure I do?  I know that setting the right priorities is my life is extremely important so I don’t miss doing the most important thing.

But what is the most important thing?

After reading God’s word, it’s clear to me – no question – that the main thing I was created to do has been the main thing since the beginning of time.  Over 3500 years ago, Moses told his people to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Deuteronomy 6:5.

The main thing.

When I get this right, I put God in a position in my life where he makes me whole, gives me a purpose for each day and helps me with everything else.

That’s my reality.  When I seriously started putting God first, he helped me be a better mother, a better wife, a better employee, a better boss, a better friend…..a better person.

I know, it sounds like loving God with our whole self means more stuff to do – seriously studying the Bible, faithfully participating in worship, serving God with my spiritual family, developing a solid prayer life and regularly meeting with others to grow my faith and be encouraged.  When  I decided to obey and put God first in my life I didn’t need any more things to do.  God challenged me to get my priorities straight at a time when I was a young wife and a mother of two little kids who travelled regularly for work.  My calendar was over-stuffed!  It’s a good thing I’ve never been very excited about watching TV because I had no time to watch anything – for years.

I found out that this was the perfect time for me to put God first because, as I watched, he supernaturally worked it all out.  Very quickly, I felt less stretched, less stressed and more joyful.  God took away my worries and the heavy weight of my responsibilities which often kept me awake at night and gave me peace and purpose – he filled a hole in my life that I wasn’t even aware I had.

I had been a Christian my whole life but I had never let God have first place in my life. Putting God first made all of the rest easier – and more fun!

If you’ve made this commitment, you know what I mean.  If you’ve never done this, you want to go for it.  Try it.  It’s worth it.

It’s true – I still struggle sometimes and get my priorities mixed up.  But now I know where to go for peace and restoration.  My Abba Father is always waiting, ready to help.

Putting God first in our lives is not a suggestion from God, it is a command.  Like all of his commands, we are blessed when we obey.

May we be found faithful, Abba Father.

 

I Can’t

I can’t – it’s too hard.

I can’t – it’s too much.

I can’t – I don’t know how.

I can find a lot of reasons why I think I can’t do something that’s going to be difficult.  But I have learned if God wants it done there is no “I can’t”.  “I can’t” just doesn’t apply when the Creator of the Universe wants to do something through me.

Have you learned that yet?

The Israelites obviously hadn’t figured that out yet when the spies came back from the Promised Land and said, “We can’t attack those people, they are stronger than we are.” Numbers 13:31.   They didn’t get it.  God had said he was going to give them the land, he was going to give them victory.  “We can’t” was true but God could.  And he promised that he would.

Joshua and Caleb got it.  Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  Numbers 13:30

Yeah, Caleb!  He was so right!  Yes, they could certainly do it because God had promised and he always keeps his promises.

It’s not about us having enough strength or enough money or enough time.  God enables us to do the things he wants us to do.  Do you believe that?

So I have to ask myself – are there any “I can’ts” in my life that I need to change to “I can’s” because God wants to do it through me?

What about you?  Any “I can’ts” where you need to trust God and step out in faith because “God can”?

Thank you for being our God of the Impossible, Abba Father.

 

The Donkey Talks!

Oh, wow!  Balaam’s donkey talked!

This was one of my kid’s favorite Bible stories when they were younger.  We had a book with great pictures and simple Bible stories which my children loved to have us read to them every night.

A talking Donkey doesn’t take a lot of imagination when you’re a kid.  And kids have no problem believing that the donkey was the smart one in this story.  Balaam didn’t see or wouldn’t see…but the donkey saw the angel blocking his path right away.  Kids know how distracted adults are so they’re not surprised that Balaam was clueless.

Those of us with pets often find ourselves talking to them, right?  Most of us have probably wished at some point that our pets could talk back.

I’ve never had an animal start talking to me but I’ve had unusual things happen that have opened my eyes to what God was doing around me and what he was trying to tell me.  Many of us call these ‘coincidences’ but I don’t believe in coincidences.  I call them ‘God-incidences’.  This is when God lines up the things going on around me with what I’m thinking and what I’m reading in his Word so he can tell me or show me something he wants me to know.  Not a coincidence.  It’s God moving and speaking.

Through the years, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of experience seeing God interact with my daily life in order to guide me or wake me up to what he’s doing.   So I’m not expecting my dog, Bella, to look at me and start talking any time soon.

But it could happen.

Please keep my eyes and heart open to you, Abba Father.

Never Too Short

There are times when I am tired and discouraged and other days when I am sad and feel a little lost.   I also have hours of impatience and frustration.

When is God going to do something about this issue that is going on in my life?  When is he going to take care of this struggle?

How can God possibly work this out for my good?  I just don’t see how he’s going to do that.   Maybe it’s not going to happen.

Then God responds to me like he did to Moses thousands of years ago, ” Is the LORD’S arm too short?” Numbers 11:23.

I just have to smile.  This really sets me back in my place.  Because – of course, God’s arm is not too short.  He is the Creator of the Universe, the Great I AM.  He sees and knows everything.  Nothing is impossible for him.

When God said this to Moses, Moses was doubting that God could provide meat for all of the Israelites for a month.  The people had started grumbling about eating manna everyday and God responded by saying, “Tomorrow you will eat meat.”

As the leader of these complainers, Moses thought he had to ‘help God’ by figuring out how to get this done.  But he just didn’t see a way to make this happen.   It was impossible!

Yes, it was impossible for human hands.  But there are no limits for God.  His arm is never too short – it reaches across universes that we don’t even know about yet.

So we should not be surprised that the Israelites ate meat – they ate meat until they were sick of it.

God’s arm is not too short but sometimes our faith can be too small.  My faith can be too limited.

Do I really believe that God’s arm is never too short?

Do I really trust him?

Please grow our faith, Abba Father.

Keep Watching…..

Every morning,

looking….

What’s in store for me today?  Do I move?  Do I stay?

I’m imagining what it was like for the Israelites as they began their journey through the desert.  When the Cloud of Guidance covered the tabernacle, they stayed.  When the cloud lifted above the tent, the estimated 2.4 million Israelites packed up and moved on.

There were times they stayed in the same place for months and other times when they were moving again the next morning.

Every morning, they would look to the tabernacle to determine their direction for that day.  Everybody could see it – not just the priests and the leaders.  God made this visible to everybody – he wanted all of them to be able to see that he was the one leading them.

What would our lives be like if we had that clear guidance from God for each day?

Great news!  We can!

I know I can  look to God and his Word for guidance each day just like the Israelites did.  “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105.

He wants me to look to him before I stay or go….

before I agree to something….

when I’m trying to choose what words to say in a conversation about a difficult subject….

as I take steps forward on my journey towards the truth.  I know I need to keep moving forward and growing in my faith.

And I know I’ll stay on the right path when my eyes are focused on God.

I see your light, Abba Father.

 

I Need a Reminder

You need a reminder.

We forget.

We get distracted.

We start focusing on ourselves (again) and we forget that the Holy Spirit lives within us and that God wants to be involved in every part of our lives.

We could really use a reminder like God gave the Israelites.  ” The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the tent of meeting.  If only one is sounded, the leaders – the heads of the clans of Israel – are to assemble before you.” Numbers 10: 1, 2.

God gave Moses a whole system of communicating to the huge crowd of Israelites with trumpets which included telling them when to go into battle, when and how they broke camp and even when it was time to celebrate.  Different trumpet blasts gave the different instructions but each blast reminded them that God was with them.  He was in charge.  He was taking care of things.

Sometimes we could really use a trumpet blast today, couldn’t we?  We’d love a loud reminder that God is with us.

I have learned that developing good spiritual habits is the best way for me be constantly plugged in to God so I don’t forget that God is in charge and he is taking care of everything.

* Regularly reading and studying my Bible, applying God’s word to my life.

* Talking with God often and then listening, expecting a reply.

* Regularly participating in worship with my spiritual family.

* Regularly meeting with other Christians for Bible study – encouraging each other and growing together as we walk this path of faith.

Each one of these habits is like a trumpet blast – reminding me that the Spirit of God is alive within me and he is in the process of transforming me to be more like Jesus.

Thank you for your trumpet blasts, Abba Father.

Stirred Up Hearts

What can I do?  What can I give?  How much is enough?

Can you imagine what it looked like when the whole community of Israel went into their tents and came out with so many offerings that they had more than enough materials needed for the Tabernacle?  We read in Exodus 35: 21 that God moved their spirits and stirred their hearts.

And then God goes on to tell us that all of the people volunteered their skills. Some of the women were skilled in sewing while others were skilled in spinning. God gifted many of the craftsmen with the special skills that they needed in order to build the sanctuary.   “See, the LORD has chosen Bazalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.”  Exodus 35: 30-33.

I wish I could have seen that sanctuary – I bet it was spectacular!

This is still happening.  God is moving spirits and stirring hearts.  When I look around me, I see people everywhere that God is gifting with special skills to accomplish what he wants done today.

When our spirits are moved and we bring our offerings to God with a willing heart, he enables us to do his will – sometimes in truly spectacular ways and sometimes in special, small ways. But always in ways that bring joy to us and glory to him.

Please stir up our hearts, Abba Father, and move our spirits.

Is There a Difference?

Do I act differently?  Do different words come out of my mouth?  Do I look different?

Is there an obvious difference in my life because I’m a Christ- follower?  More than just the fact that I go to church?

There should be a difference – right?  It should be all different – how I act and speak and look.  God is in the process of transforming me  – a big religious word for this is sanctification.  Believing in God, trusting in Jesus and obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings and guidance should change my life from what it would be without God.

I’m reading in Exodus that Moses’ face was radiant after he met with God.  What would it take for my face to radiate after meeting with God?  What about your face?

I know Moses actually went inside the tent and ‘met’ with God but I also meeting-with-god‘meet’ with God every time I read and study his word.  I meet with him when I have a conversation with him in prayer.   And when I worship him.

Do my meetings with God change me?  Do I let him transform me from the inside out so that it’s obvious I have met with God?

What would it mean for us to genuinely radiate God’s love and mercy and truth in our lives?

Please open our eyes and our hearts, Abba Father.