Monthly Archives: April 2011

Testing the Lord part II

Exodus 17:

1(A) All the congregation of the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2(B) Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you(C) test the LORD?” 3But the people thirsted there for water, and(D) the people grumbled against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready(E) to stone me.” 5And the LORD said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with(F) which you struck the Nile, and go. 6(G) Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the name of the place(H) Massah[a] and(I) Meribah,[b] because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

It IS possible to really need something and rather than say “Is the Lord among us or not” or “Why hasn’t God __________,” to say “God I really need this to be safe, to be healthy, to be ___”.

Imagine if I was a child and every time my father did not give me what I (I thought) I needed RIGHT then, i said, “Is Dad REALLY my dad or not” and “Does Dad REALLY love me and can he really care for me or not?!”

Rather, it’s best to say, “Dad, you’ve always given me everything i need to survive and even to be happy. In fact, I’m most happy when I am with you anyways. I need _________. (or if you dont need it, but want it, then ‘I want ____.”) Could you please give it to me if it’s your will? Yet not my will but your will be done in me.”.

Sounds like a plan but at the same time, it seems over the top and “who would do that really” — right?

So it’s really an attitude and shorter prayers. Rather than “Why hasn’t God…” or “If God really” or “Is God really among us”, it’s “Please help me God. You are faithful always”.

🙂 the former statements are testing God. The last one is loving God while being tested.

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The Temptation of Jesus

You know, I think at one point i memorized Luke chapter 4.

And even then I didn’t “get it”. Not at all. I still don’t probably, but here’s my thoughts from what i read earlier.

3The devil said to him, “If you are(H) the Son of God, command(I) this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”

Ok. So it’s not as if Satan was asking Jesus to live only by bread. Why couldn’t Jesus say yes, and eat a little bread? It seems like he used this opportunity to show that anything Satan suggests to us, we should avoid. Especially–especially.. if he is using the old “if you really” or “Did God really” method. Jesus was fasting, and showed that he could stick to his commitment. Yesterday was free cone day at Ben and Jerry’s (in my building!) — and I’ve committed to fast ice cream 40 days. It was pathetic how much i wanted to go get some (and later same issue at the Red Sox game) but when I didn’t, it really showed me that it has 0 power over me and that I can do what i said.i would do because God supplies.

“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.'”

How sad that Jesus could say no even when every nation of the world was offered, but I’ve given in for basically nothing. I’ve worshiped other things, and gotten nothing in return, and here’s my Savior, saying no when offered everything.

“Well he’s Jesus. He already had it all.” Yes–but there’s no way that moment was easy for Him. Even if he didn’t bow down, there were other things he could’ve done besides what he chose.

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him (set him, like, carried him in the sky and set him?) on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

11and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

12And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not) put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him(W) until an opportune time.

I always thought that testing God meant, “Ok God, if you’re God, heal this person.” or “show me this particular thing..”…but in this case, testing God was “throw yourself off the temple.”.

Though i’ve never contemplated suicidal leaps off buildings to test my God, I’ve definitely put myself in harm’s way saying, “Well God will save me if he’s God”. I’ve worked too hard, slept too little, and even gone places I ought not to as a single young lady—all in the name of God helping me if he wants to.

Testing God doesn’t always involve demanding a sign–it can involve testing him by taking risks we were not supposed to take. I’ve never thought about that before.

Though clearly, as Jesus’ final word on the subject, this “do NOT test GOD” probably was a response to ALL these tests.

i have to start work–would like to spend longer on this one later—

Will work on not worshiping other gods today —if Jesus could stand it after 40 days with no food–i should be able to love God first–

question: God is amazing and wonderful and never disappointing…so why do i worship other gods (myself, love, success, comfort, ) anyways?

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Grace for mistakes.

I hate going to see dentists.
My current dentist is a miracle man and it barely hurts to have him do work, but I don’t care–I’d like to stay far, far away from all dentist chairs.

When you are there, it’s a great time to pray. Yesterday, Dr. Hutner gave me my Novocaine shot (ended up needing more though) and walked out while it set in. I had nothing to do/read/etc..so I thought/prayed.

At the risk of sounding like this post is about something you’ve already thought about, I offer my first thought. “Wow. I should be thankful that I can go to the dentist, instead of complaining/being afraid”.

Second thought “I can make mistakes — small and sometimes large, and there is a way to fix them or get help”… Don’t get me wrong, in Christ there is ALWAYS a way out…but our society is more friendly than others when you mess up, right?

If you get addicted to cigarettes, you may qualify for free patches, if you are addicted to drugs, check into rehab, if you do a bad job brushing, just fill cavities. It’s not always this easy, like pregnancies in some areas of the USA are almost as hopeless/difficult for women as they would be in the third world–but in my class (middle) and locaion (Northeast USA), there is grace for my mistakes.

It did make me more thankful to be in that chair, and to go to work today–my biggest problems are teeny tiny ones, and while too much comparison is certainly not wise, a healthy dose is helpful to gain perspective now and then. When i screw up at work, there is always grace.

Thankful today–

Speaking of messing up, I’m off to boot camp, where I will likely hurt my whole body at 6 45 in the morning! 😀 So worth it. Catchaya later!

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