June 30, 2014

I Told You It Is Not Real

3D Artwork by Edgar Mueller
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Studying our key verses for this summer, and not hyper focusing on each person or community surrounding each, has been a challenge.  The reason it is challenging is as obvious as the nose on my face: we all have things which cause us to be shaken and react to those perceived things.  Which means that every topic when whittled down reveals one thing: we will fear; what we will fear is the question.

Isaiah 51:13 That you have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, as he makes ready to destroy? But where is the fury of the oppressor?

As I was reading through Exodus, humbly, I pondered their demise.   With gratitude, I have searched for lessons we can graciously walk into without having to undergo the fears which snared His people.

A common thread for them and us is: which thought will we grab hold of, deciding to project it before us, and say "this is real and I will believe it"?  The picture I inserted is of a 3D image cleverly created by a sidewalk artist.  What is really there is a road, everything else is an illusion. You can surely see it, but it is simply an image and can do you no harm at all if you travel over or near it.

 God is like the road, He is there even though we cannot see Him.  He does not go away even when something has come between our sights, obstructing our view.  What would we do if we did not have the history of His truth, even though we had another human being telling us what God was saying, while encouraging us to continue to trust? Would we stop short, park to be safe, turn around or move forward in faith that the road WAS there, trusting we just could not see it at the moment?

We know, God did give them more than a man to see and follow; He gave them wondrous signs and surrounded them with visuals to experience.  And while a 3D artwork is spectacular it does not compare to their experience:

Exodus 13:21, 22 and the Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.  He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

I had to ask myself, " if God did not take away the cloud or the fire, then why, when the Pharaohs men drew near and the sons of Israel looked, did they behold the Egyptians marching after them and become frightened, crying out to God; instead of seeing them coming and beholding the Lord God, remembering His promises and what He had already done"?  When they cried out it was not to save them, it was to whine, murmur and blame Moses.  They screamed out Why.....Why....Why....and it would have been better for us to serve them than die here.  And there it was.....they were ready to go back and serve something that hated them, used them and disrespected them, with no remorse, than to move into God's provision within His way.

Moses, cried out "Do Not Fear!" Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, promising they would never see them again, forever, because the Lord was going to fight for them while they kept silent.  But God responded to Moses saying "Why are YOU crying out to ME?  Tell the sons of Israel to go forward - and you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea, divide it and go! (paraphrase).

We act as though God cannot see through the clouds which He created, sends and removes.  We fear as though He does not care about the calamity going on in our midst.  We get moved by the unconscionable ways others treat us and react in reproachable ways to protect our self. All the while, we should see what is real:

And it came about at the morning watch, that the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.  And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians."

How is it, that sometimes, the true reality of Jehovah is more plain to our enemies, as plain as the nose on their face; yet to us He is more like abstract art which confuzzles our senses?

Think about it, pray about it....ask Him about it and please let's all try to stop whining about things that are not even real.  Let's attempt to focus on Christ and His word and less on the distorted chaos consuming our moments....for Goodness Sake.

I pray for His will to be done here on earth, today, even as it is being done in the His Kingdom.
Kisses,
Candace


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