Stumbling…

Making a wrong choice.

Turning in the wrong direction.

Saying something that’s not right or should not be said.

I do it.

You do it.

We stumble.  It happens.

The big question that makes a significant difference in my life is – how often do I stumble?

Is making a bad choice a rare thing in my life?  Or does it happen pretty regularly?

Do I learn from my mistakes so I don’t do it again?

Or do I keep doing the same thing over and over?

There’s a big difference between an occasional stumble and being a regular ‘stumbler’.  And that difference will be pretty obvious in the amount of negative consequences we have to deal with in our lives.

God points out this truth to us very directly in Hosea 14 – “The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”

Rebellion.

Doing what we want.

Not obeying God.

Putting ourselves on the throne of our lives.

Rebellion is a mindset that will cause us to stumble – regularly.

So, in reality, I choose how much I’m going to stumble when I choose my level of obedience to God.

Please help us obey so we can avoid being a regular ‘stumbler’, Abba Father.

Caving In

Or should we call it making the ‘popular’ choice?March 30 2015 Caving In

In 1 Samuel, Saul disobeyed God by keeping some of the ‘stuff’ that they took from the Amalekites after defeating them.  When Samuel pointed this out to Saul, Saul rationalized the sin by telling Samuel that they did this so they could give the best of the sheep and cattle to God.

Samuel then tells Saul that the Lord didn’t want the burnt sacrifices as much as he wanted obedience.  As a result of Saul’s disobedience and rebellion, God was rejecting Saul as king.

Well, NOW Saul admitted that the real reason he kept the plunder was because he was afraid of how his men would react if he destroyed it all like God wanted him to do.

Saul didn’t trust God.  He didn’t believe God had his back.  He got all wrapped up in being a hotshot king that everyone looked up to and he didn’t want to put any of this hero-worship into jeopardy.

So Saul made the ‘popular’ choice rather than the obedient one.

Do we ever do that?  Are we ever more concerned about what other people think than what God thinks?  Do we fail to take the more Godly position on issues sometimes because it may not go over well with others?  What will people think?

We probably all do.  Maybe even without realizing it.

Our goal is that this happens less and less as we make obedience to God an increasingly higher priority in our hearts and minds.

God trumps popularity.

Every time.

We love you, Abba Father and we want to show you our love through our obedience.

Blessings Come After Obedience

We obey,

and then we are blessed.

We read this in Deuteronomy 11 and we also see this same principle mentioned several more times through the scriptures.Feb 17 2015 Blessings come after obedience

God’s blessings come as a result of obedience.

It would be easier if it was the other way around, wouldn’t it?  “God, if you do this thing I want, then I will do what you want.”

We pray to God asking for his blessings on our life and on the lives of others.

But – are we obeying?

That’s the first step.  Then the blessings follow.

Moses told the Israelites to love the Lord with all of their heart and soul and strength.  If they did this,  THEN God would send the rain for their crops and their cattle.

Moses warns them against being enticed by other gods and disobeying.  In their time, these gods were wooden and metal statues.  In our time, it’s often money and possessions.  The god of More can often get more of our attention that the Master of Universe.

Moses told the Israelites that, if they worship other gods, the One True God would shut the heavens and they wouldn’t get rain.  They wouldn’t be blessed.

This leads to some very important self-evaluation for us today –

Are we experiencing the abundant raining down of God’s blessings as a result of our consistent obedience?

Or has God shut down the flow of blessings as a result of our disobedience?

Abba Father, please open our eyes to your truth.

The Explanation

They did what they wanted, not what God told them to do, and they paid the consequences.

The Israelites rebelled and refused to go into the Promised Land because of the negative report from 10 of the spies who had scouted it out.  They rejected the fact that God said he would give them success in the battle so they could live in this very fertile and beautiful land.  God wanted them to have it.

But they refused.  They were scared.  They disobeyed.

As a result, God tells them that they will wander in the wilderness for 40 years until the last person from this wicked generation has passed away.  The 10 spies who discouraged all of the people were struck with a plague as a result of their disobedience.

So, what do the Israelites do?  NOW they decided they were ready to go into the land.  NOW they disobey again by not listening to God when he says it will be 40 more years.  They think (dangerous words) that they have paid the price for their earlier disobedience and they want to go live in the Promised land.  They totally disregard God’s latest instruction and go fight the Amalekites.  Moses tells them not to go – “The Lord is not with you.”

But they go anyway…and they are defeated.  No surprise there.

Doesn’t this explain a lot of the pain and defeat we see in the world around us?  People doing what they want, ignoring God.  Rejecting God’s direction and going our own ways only to be defeated over and over again.

God has so much more planned for us!  He has a purpose for us.  He wants us to experience a life full of joy.  And he wants to be the leader of our life so he can make all of this happen.

We are more than conquerors with Christ!

Thank you, dear God!