Speak To The Rock! (Man of Faith, Moses)

SPEAK TO THE ROCK -Karina's Thought

 

Hello dear readers! I am grateful to God could come back again with “Man of Faith” series. This time I’m not writing alone but I wrote this post with my dearest blog friend, Lauren Heiligenthal. Now I chose Moses as the 3rd figure. Like Abraham and Noah, Moses also mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament. After took study of Moses’ story, I conclude that Moses had two contradictory life sides i.e. side of successful and failure. Let’s have a look to the first side.

GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE

Moses was a great prophet with a winding life. He was born when Egypt felt threatened by the very high soaring population growth of Israelite and the threat made Pharaoh scared and issued an order to the all midwife to kill all of baby boy. (Exodus 1:16)  Because Moses’ mother think she no longer hid Moses, then she decided to took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. (Exodus 2:3) In short, the daughter of Pharaoh saw the baby and eventually took him as his son and called his name Moses. (Exodus 2: 5-8) Then Moses lived in luxury in the palace. But what happened? Turned out Moses didn’t forget his origin. Seeing his nation lived in oppression, his conscience revolted. He also acted and opting out of his enjoyment. He decided to get out of his comfort zone in the palace. Moses chose to fulfill God’s calling to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.

Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

Although Moses had some doubts and fears (Exodus 4:1), eventually he chose to trust and obey to God, leaving his comfort and willing to suffer just for God’s calling. This was Moses’ great faith step. He moved from the comfort zone to the faith zone. Was written in Hebrews 11:24-25:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

Moses used by God amazingly to bring the Israelite to the Promise Land though he had to suffer in the wilderness for 40 years together with the people who never grew up, never stop complaining, never be grateful, and never satisfied. By faith, Moses successfully made it out of the comfort zone that he fully realized it all came from sin.

In our daily lives, there are times we must be willing to leave our comfort zone. We have to decide to leave all the pleasures and choose God’s calling to bear the cross to follow Jesus. We would probably suffer. But in the bigger “frame”, it would be much more beneficial for our future later. God never reneged on his promises. God will never abandon us. Though In distress and difficulty God remains with us, guided us who obedient to bear His cross. Life is full of choices and we have full of authority to decide it. But God said:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Moses was choosing to leave his comfort zone to obey God’s voice and cling to Him to live in the Promise Land. What about us? Whether we’ve been dare to come out of our comfort zone? If we dare to pay the price to leave all of worldly pleasant things that will bring us into the sin? Do we believe though there may be suffering and there’s something must be sacrificed but at the end we will receive all of God’s promise? The world offer temporary comfort and pleasure but God promises the “Eternal Land”. Today let’s learn from Moses who dares to leave worldly pleasure follow God’s call to get into the Promise Land.

MOSES’ ERROR

Now we come to the second side of Moses, a contradict with his first side. Why I say contradict? Let’s take look. This time Moses did some fatal errors and made him got a very bitter consequence. Has been nearly 40 years Moses led a big, complicated and obstinate nation to keep on the right path. Turned out the Israelite attitude made Moses frustrated and affects his emotional state. Moses’ frustration and emotional peaks occurred when the Israelite angered and complained about the lack of water when they came into the wilderness of Zin and stayed in Kadesh. (Numbers 20:1-13) After he faced the Israelite’s anger then he spoke to God in the door of tabernacle of meeting and God said to Moses:

 ““Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” (Numbers 20:8)

At this point Moses couldn’t hold back his emotion, he cannot control his temper and made some fatal errors! Let’s have a look what Moses said in the front of Israelites:

“Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. (Number 20:10-11)

Let’s pay attention to the word “Must we…”  This was the first fatal mistake carried out by Moses. He didn’t suppose said “we…” Moses was supposed to say “God…” This showed that in his annoyance to the Israelites he spoke rashly. Was written in Psalm 106:3,

For they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.

 Beside his rash word, Moses had wrong motive, stolen God’s holiness and glory by Mentioned “We…”  Make a miracle is God’s work but Moses took credit of miracle himself, instead of attributing to God.

The second error of Moses was his disobedience. This is what I mean about contradictive side of Moses. When for the first time he decided to leave Egypt, he totally trust and obey to God’s calling but this time Moses stumbled and slipped disobeyed to God’s command. God clearly commanded to speak to the rock but Moses struck the rock twice. This was disobedience form of Moses and even worse, Moses showed his disobedience before the Israelites. His has done intolerant thing by as if disparaged God in the front of Israelites. (Numbers 27:14) God not pleased and then He punished Moses:

“Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Numbers 20:12)

My dear friends, what we could take as a lesson from Moses’ errors? The first important thing we could learn from is, if a great prophet like Moses even called as very humble man more than all men on the earth (Numbers 12:3) can be stumbled and slipped into the sin, what about us? Moses’ error is a warning for all of us that anytime what happened with Moses could be happen anytime to us as well.

The second is about self-control. Because of frustrated and temper, then Moses loss of his self-control and it made him fall into the sin. It’s very important for Christians especially for  Christian leaders. Self-control is a part of fruits of Spirit and wraps the other fruits. Without self-control then the other fruits will be in vain and we will be fall into the sin. It’s written in Proverbs 16:32: Better a patient person than a warrior,   one with self-control than one who takes a city. And: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)  As a great leader Moses stumbled not hallows God caused of his lack of self-control. This should be an important lesson for many Christian leaders though have full authority but must take control ourselves, control each statement and command that come out from our mouth so that always uphold God’s holiness above of all and reflect His glory to others.

The last, we have to trust and obey to every God’s given tasks and have the right motivation behind our actions. Trust that God will always provide the way to complete the task though the task seems impossible to do and we doubt with our own ability. Obey to every God’s command because God never gives wrong command. Although it may give the same outcome, don’t do anything other than God’s command because it would make God not pleased and we will get the bad consequence.

My dear friends, last but not least, although Moses stumbled and got the consequence, yet he stayed faithful until the end. Accompanied by formidable signs and miracles he remains led the Israelites get into the Promise Land. His failure didn’t diminish the greatness of his name. Moses still known as a great prophet throughout the ages and he still received the honor of “entry” into the Promise Land when he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration and talk with Jesus. (Matthew 17:3) Let’s learn from Moses’ life both about his faith also his failure. Life is always full of choices and because God really loves us, He gives us a chance to make a choice freely. But we’ve to realize that there’s always a consequence of what we choose. As clearly written in Deuteronomy 30:19, God gives us some option but He wants us to choose life and we will have live. Let’s keep our heart diligently, keep learning to control ourselves, trust and obey to God’s voice and always cling to Him so we aren’t easily stumbling and slip into the sin. God said: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Amen

Karina – Lauren Heiligenthal

My great honor to Lauren Heiligenthal who willing to be co – writer on this post.

Image source: howgodprovides.com

Trust and Obey

“What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”

Trust and obey. Two simple words but has deep meaning and oftentimes quite difficult to do. When we confronted by so many problems and challenges, when we got bumped by doubt and fear, when the “what if” fills our mind and it makes us more hesitant about our own ability to fulfill the task? To whom we must lean back? To whom we should trust? To whom we should ask for strength?

My dear friend, Lauren, gives wonderful testimony about her problem in trust and obeys. And her post becomes an introduction of my next “Man of faith” series which talk about Moses. Please allow me to encourage all of you read her post and if you have not follow her blog, visit and follow her great blog. Thank you very much and God Bless.

Karina – Living by faith

Aletheia_Word

“Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

(From the hymn “Trust and Obey,” written by John H. Sammis, 1887)

These are simple words, but the truth behind them is powerful. As Christians we have made the decision to follow God wherever He may lead. This requires our utmost obedience and trust in the Father who knows the perfect path for us—a path that leads to true joy which the world cannot begin to offer. But sometimes following this path means facing our fears.

~~~

Do you know where God is leading you, but you’re having a hard time trusting Him? Is the path one that scares you? Do you doubt your ability to fulfill the task? If this is you, you are certainly not alone.  Not only are there other brothers and sisters out there who feel the same…

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So He Did (Noah, Man of Faith)

 

 

SO HE DID -Karina's thought

 

Hello my beloved readers, I am grateful to God could continue the second post of “Man of Faith” series. In my previous post we have learned from “The Father of Faith”, Abraham. Now I love to choose Noah as the 2nd figure of “Main of faith”

“Obedience” This is the similarity between Abraham and Noah.  Both of them had great faith and obedience to God. The difference is about what happened and what they did at the time. Now let’s take a look deeper to the Noah’s story.

In his old age, one day, Noah got commandment from God to do something very strange. Why it was very strange? God commanded him to build a super big ark that can contain the entire of his family and also pair of specific animal.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Genesis 6: 14 -16)

 Dear readers, after I read this story carefully I found some unreasonable things related with Noah’s assignment. First, he never sees the rain and before the floodwaters God irrigate the earth from the land. The second, put together the whole (Without in the water animals), manage them all into the ark weren’t an easy job.  And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. (Genesis 6: 19-20)

The last, Noah wasn’t a ship maker. He didn’t have any experience at all in making a ship. Based on those facts, it is normal if we think that Noah’s assignment was very strange and I think it is very normal as well if at the time Noah refused the task that has been commanded by God. Noah wasn’t able to imagine how the shape of the ark. Noah didn’t have any references at all about how to build an ark because there wasn’t an ark ever made before.  He just had the detail of dimension, interior design and the used material. My dear readers, in order to get an idea how difficult Noah made the ark at that time, I spent time for awhile to discuss with one of my Father’s friend who accidentally works as a ship architect. He said, “Noah’s ark was unbelievable “masterpiece” of the ship in his generation.  It is not a difficult thing to build a ship that even maybe two times bigger than Noah’s ark in this super modern technology. Though just floating, but it was still totally so difficult to built super big ark with “a primitive” technology, without any knowledge at all in building the ship, and the all of the ark construction just made by wood.  The ark had a perfect ratio between length, width, and Height. It was the great God’s work through Noah”

Then what Noah did? At the time his faith begins to work. Was written in Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 Without many questions and complaining Noah obediently did the God’s command. He did every single detail of the ark in accordance with God’s command. Noah believed that something hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it will never happen. Noah chose to obey. Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. (Genesis 6:22) After completed, God said to Noah:

“Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. (Genesis 7:1)

 We all know what comes next and the end of Noah’s story.  And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)   Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. (Genesis 7:23)

Why God only saved Noah and his family? Whether Noah was a good man? Bible didn’t record it but the Bible notes that: Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (Genesis 6: 8 -9)

Noah lived in the corrupt, wicked and full of evil era. But he was able to remain faithfully lived in the Holiness and walked with God. He remains loves and pleases God more than anything and he had great faith to God. Throughout the long delay of the coming judgment, Noah continues to faithfully obey to God and even he preached to the people to repent before God destroy the earth. Another evidence that Noah always walk with God and pleases God was, after the flood, he built an altar and offered sacrifices to God (Genesis 8:20). Worship to God was a central part of his life. That’s why he saved by God from the flood.

My dear friends, I end this post with some questions to ponder. How our lives today?  Have we live not only as good person but as the righteous before God? Can we remain steadfast to hold God’s promise although maybe this time we haven’t seen the answer of what we ask for? Shall we continue to believe in God and continue to be grateful despite the difficulties continues hit our lives? Shall we, by faith, remain obey to do God’s command although we think it’s so strange and impossible? Whether we will continue to uphold our faith when we are in the situation that isn’t only difficult but even may be very wicked?

Like all of us right now, Noah was living in a sin nature but he has proved was able to remain lived in faith and obedience. Let us learn from Noah who have firm faith, let us learn to continue to believe even when we haven’t seen anything.  Noah didn’t need to test God before he built the ark. God commanded, he obeyed and he did it.  Noah remained faithful, trust, and upholds his faith to God even though he had to wait for 120 years before God fulfilled His word. Noah made faith as a believing. He didn’t know when God will fulfill His word, but he really believed it will happen.

Faith isn’t a feeling but it’s a choice to trust God even when our way ahead seems uncertain. Faith will make us able to see things before they happen and make us have foundation of all that we hope. Let’s face all of problems, trials, and challenges with faith. Let is open our eyes of faith and put it as strong foundation as written in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 By strong faith we wouldn’t worry about everything happen in our future. And we will see the fulfillment of God’s promises. We just need to have faith as small as mustard seed like Jesus said in Matthew 17:20:

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

We also need to maintain our faith getting bigger and stronger.  Faith is like a baby who always needs the best nutrition to keep growing. The best nutrition for the growth of our faith is God’s words. Let us continue feed our faith to grow by reading and comprehend God’s word every day and implementing it by works. God’s word said:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Roman 10:17)

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22)

Noah not only had a great faith but his faith worked together with action. By faith he did very well God’s commandment. If Noah was using the very strong gopher wood as the the material, let’s build our spiritual “ark” by using the very strong and unwavering faitt, with one door which is mean only The Lord Jesus Christ is one and only way for our salvation and the door into Heaven.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

 Also a door that we can knock to hand over all of our problems, fear, anxiety, and everything we ask for.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

 Our spiritual ‘ark” just have one window above which is mean we have to always focus to look up only to God not look down or to the world around us and have three decks: Faith, Hope, and Love.

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Learn to have faith like Noah’s faith by more strengthens our relationship with God through prayer, Involving God in every step of our lives, ask for the strength and wisdom, and let His Holy Spirit anoint our lives so ultimately we will have faith as a mustard seed and we will be able sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible.* Amen

Karina – Living by faith

*Faith quotes by Corrie Ten Boom

Image source: christianitymalaysia.com

 

EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY (guest post)

Hello my dear readers, my  guest post this time that written by Sella Irene still talk about “The man of faith”, Abraham. She wrote not just focused to Abraham, but he focus to Abraham’s faithful servant, Eliezer. There is a faith quality comparison between Eliezer with his master, Abraham.  I hope and pray that this guest post will become a blessing to all us.

 EXPERIENCE GOD PERSONALLY

There were some names of Eliezer in the Bible. The one was Eliezer from Damascus,  Abraham’s servant, the elder of his house and entrusted to rule over all that he had (Genesis 24:2). Just because Abraham didn’t have a child then he intended to take Eliezer as his heir, until finally God gave Isaac the biological son of Abraham, who later became a great nation in accordance with God’s plan (Genesis 15:2-5) But Eliezer was a good servant. Though he knew that he no longer become of Abraham’s heir, he was remaining comply and totally devoted to Abraham, his master.

One day Abraham asked Eliezer to finding a wife for Isaac. The story begin when Abraham asked Eliezer to swear: “…….Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” (Genesis 24:2-4 NKJV)

Eliezer hold firm his vow and run his task with full of responsibility. He came back with Rebekah, a wife for Isaac. No doubt Eliezer was a faithful servant and trusted servant. But let’s take a look to the other side of him, while looking at ourselves as well.

The detail of Eliezer trip to find a wife for Isaac was written in Genesis 24. We will take a look two things in this passage. The 1st thing is about heart attitude of Eliezer before God. The 2nd thing is about the difference between Abraham and Eliezer in looking to the Promise Land, Canaan.

Let’s have a look to the 1st thing:

BELIEVE BUT DON’T BELIEVE

Eliezer was starting his duty with a prayer for help and special sign from God:  “O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, please give me success this day……. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” (Genesis 24:12-14 NKJV)

After God granted his request, this was what he did: Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. And he said, “Blessed be THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master……”(Genesis 24:26-27 NKJV)

Notice that in every of his prayer Eliezer always said: ”LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM.” Happened the same thing when with full of grateful he told his trip to Rebekah’s family in verse 42: “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, if You will now prosper the way in which I go”  Also in verse 48: “And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed THE LORD GOD OF MY MASTER ABRAHAM, who had led me…….”

Whether Eliezer worshiped God? YES! Is he also recognizes The God’s greatness? YES! But he didn’t really made God as his God personally.

Eliezer lived with Abraham for many years. He saw Abraham didn’t have anything until blessed by God. He also saw how God did many miracles in Abraham’s life: “The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great…..And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old…..” (Genesis 24: 35-36). But every God’s work that he saw didn’t make him recognize God as his own God. Otherwise, (allow me to talk a bit about Ruth) Ruth saw Naomi’s family since they rich until have nothing, but Ruth indeed wholehearted recognized Naomi’s God as her own God: “…..Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16).

Did Eliezer trust to God? YES! Did he trust that the God of Abraham is the mighty God? YES! That is why he prayed. He believed God because he saw how God made miracles in Abraham life. But this time he prayed by himself, not Abraham.

Let’s take a look what Eliezer did after he pray: “And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey PROSPEROUS OR NOT.” (Genesis 24:21 NKJV)  He wasn’t totally believed that God will answer his own prayer. This was an act that wasn’t being in accordance with Faith principles: “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24 NKJV)

Like Eliezer, many people follow Jesus but they aren’t earnestly place Jesus as God and they don’t have strong relationship with God. They know God from what others said and from others experiences. They praise the God’s greatness when they hear what God did in others lives. They pray and hope to God when they facing the problems, but they aren’t sure that God surely listening their prayer.

Trusting God’s greatness because of the miracle that has been done to others, isn’t same with when ourselves experiencing God’s miracle personally. Sometimes when we heard or seen the others’ testimony, we become strong and vibrant, but when are facing the problems, we begin to doubt whether God will help us. Why is that? Because we don’t feel the pain, struggles, pressure, and all the emotions that these people feel upon passing the problems. We just heard a victorious end result, without feel the process.

Currently, if there are among us who are experiencing the struggles and are under hard pressure, remember that God is good to all His children. If God is willing and able to help our brothers, believe that God also MUST be willing and able to help us. Still put hope and wait patiently for the Lord

Now let’s have a look to the 2nd thing:

DIDN’T HAVE FAITH LIKE ABRAHAM

Back to Genesis 24:2-4 especially verse 3. Abraham delegated Eliezer with words: “…..that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, AMONG WHOM I DWELL….. But Eliezer said to Rebekah’s family: “…..You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” (Genesis 24:37 NKJV)

There was a fundamental difference between words of Abraham and Eliezer. Abraham never said that his living land was the Canaanites’s land. He just said that he dwelled among the Canaanites. Abraham had faith that the Canaan land was his land in accordance with God’s promise: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8 NKJV). But Eliezer quoted Abraham’s word with his own comprehension. “… The Canaan, IN WHOSE LAND I DWELL.” In the other words, Eliezer considered that the residence of Abraham is the country of Canaanites. In fact it was true. In the real terms the land of Canaan was still owned by the Canaanites. But by faith Abraham believed that the land of Canaan was his because the Lord had spoken to him.

Eliezer already saw how great Abraham’s faith in God so Abraham faithfully did what has commanded by God. Eliezer also saw that God indeed can be trusted and never embarrass those who hope in Him. But all of that didn’t make him had faith like Abraham.

Faith is not built based on the reality, but FAITH IS BUILT BASED ON GOD’S WORD. The fact it is often contrary to our faith. If we put faith the reality, we will be easy to hesitate and falter. Let me share my experience about this.

I once had very bad financial problems. We were worse. Logically, we really didn’t even know how to get out from the problem. We just cried out and asked God for help. We were always strengthened when we heard the sermon. And our hope raised up when we received the God’s promise. But the reality didn’t change at all even there were times our condition getting worst. I admit that sometimes we doubt and worry. But there is no other way beside put hope and trust to God. To whom we hope except to God? Day after day we strengthen our trust to God and learn to hold firm God’s promises to us, while continue knowing God and His ways. Till now, have been many years we went through it all. Right now, I dare to say that God will never disappointing and embarrass those who put hope and trust to God. By His own way God help us. It is not as we imagine, but we believe God’s way is totally perfect. Already proved that until today God always take care, deliver, and help us.

Now, if there are among us who are in the trouble and already praying, serving God, and learn to be faithful… But the God’s answer doesn’t come true and the reality doesn’t change, be patients… Strengthen our heart, and keep trust. Like Abraham, we must direct the eyes of our faith in the God’s word, because the Lord who promised is faithful and trusted. “By faith, even though Sarah herself was barren and he was too old, he received the ability to procreate, because he regarded the one who had given the promise to be trustworthy.” (Hebrews 11:11 NET)

Why Abraham truly believe to God, even when everything seems impossible? Because he really knows who is God that he worshiped. We will not know God if we aren’t build a personal fellowship with God. And if we don’t know God, then we will not totally trust Him.

WALKING WITH GOD

It is good become the serve servant, but built an intimacy with God is much better. That is way make Jesus as the one and only God and walk with Him. We have to experience it personally. For that we must live in obedience and willingness to do God’s will, and allows God to be fully involved in every aspect of our lives. Entrusting ourselves to the guidance and God’s decision to choose the ways for us according to His will. Through the experience after experience walk with the Lord, God’s word becomes real and alive in our lives. Let us diligent in prayer and reading God’s word every day so that we know God more and our faith muscles will be stronger. AMEN.

 

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Background images: Google Images (edit with pixlr app)

 

 

 

 

Man of Faith, ABRAHAM

Abraham Man of Faith -Karina's Thought

 

Hello my dear friends, sometimes ago I have wrote a series of “Woman of faith” Few days ago my husband said that seems incomplete if I don’t write about “The Man of faith” So this post and the following posts will talk about some bible figures who known as “Man of faith” Anyway, all of you have to know that this post isn’t a bible commentary, bible study or something.  It is just my thought based on what I have learned. So, if you find some wrong perception or misinterpretation, I am so honor you give me critics or suggestion.

When we talk about faith, I strongly believe our mind will directed to one of great bible figure named Abraham. As we all know Abraham called “The father of faith” I knew and learned this great figure when I was teen. At the first time, I was so curious how Abraham could be called as “The Father of faith” If his faith not experienced ups and downs at all throughout his life? After I read and learn seriously about His life, although the Bible explains that there were times Abraham experienced faith struggling like us, at least I found two big things happened along his life so he deserved to be called as “Father of faith” I prefer to call these big things as two big test of Abraham’s faith. Now I would love to take all of us to look at the first test. God said to Abraham:

‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2)

When I read these verses, my mind focused to the word “That I will show you” God didn’t says, “That I showed you before” This means that Abraham totally didn’t know where he will go. There was no certainty and Abraham hasn’t received any further explanation from God. It also means that Abraham had to wait. Dear friends, I imagine one day my father give me an order to go to a place that I never know before and my father don’t tell me any description and direction about that place. Well, I will definitely refuse and I don’t have big courage to go. But what was Abraham do? The author of Hebrews tells us:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

At that time Abraham certainly didn’t know what will be happen but he remained obey to follow God’s command and set out according to God’s command. Abraham did it because he looked by the eyes of faith. Abraham trusted and believed that God will guide him into the uncharted territory. There was no questioning and no wavering! He still went and dwelt in the foreign land that God promised to him.

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; (Hebrews 11:9)

What a great and profound example of faith! What underlies Abraham‘s faith? What is the vision that he saw through his faith? Let us take a look to the following verse:

For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

(Hebrews 11:10)

It turned out, Abraham had a vision about the future, something that he hadn’t seen in real but he had a proof through his faith. Others may not see it but Abraham was able to saw it with his eyes of faith.

Now we come to the hardest test of Abraham’s faith (In my opinion).  I remembered one of my friends who were really disappointed and angry to God because God called home her one and only daughter. Thing that made him upset and angry was, she had wait for 7 years to have her daughter and the doctor have stated that she will very difficult to have a child again and not recommended for some reasons. She once said to me, “I have been waiting for 7 years to get the answer of my prayer to have a child. God gave but God himself took my daughter back. What is actually God wants from me? It would be better He didn’t give me a child at all if eventually He took my daughter back!”  My dear friends, now let’s compare my friend’s story and Abraham’s story.

We all know that God promised Abraham to have a child at the impossible time because they had become grandparents. The story wasn’t ended up there, evidently there was another thing. Turned out, Abraham needs time for 25 years to get the fulfillment of God’s promise. But again Abraham was using his eyes of faith. He truly believed that God will fulfill His promise though seems impossible. Then was born Isaac. Was it the happy ending? Not really. One day, God commanded Abraham: “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2) What was Abraham reaction? If he complained, disappointed, and angry to God like my friend? Yes maybe! Although not mentioned in the bible, I do believe as a human Abraham could feel sad, disappointed, and even angry to God like my friend. But the fact was, he remain obey and he did what has commanded by God. I found one important thing that shows how great Abraham’s faith at the time. Let’s pay attention to this verse:

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” (Genesis 22:5)

I outlined to the word “We will come back to you” Wasn’t Abraham should have come back alone because Isaac will be offered as a burnt offering? This is what I mean how great Abraham’s faith. He knew that God was faithful, God can make miracles. Abraham believed so strongly in God, even though at the time he hadn’t seen what will happen in the next. Seeing or not, Abraham believed and obeyed God wholeheartedly, without protest, without complaining, without a doubt. Was written in Hebrews 11:19:

Concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Abraham believed that God had a very good reason for asking him to sacrifice Isaac, and that somehow Isaac would have to be raised from the dead to fulfill the promises God had made concerning him.

My beloved readers, what about us now? How far we put our faith as a substance of our lives, how far can we believe in something that not seen as written in Hebrews 11:1:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

How far we are able to obey to do the God’s command though we haven’t seen the results? How far we are willing to do all of God’s will though seem unreasonable? If we say we have faith, whether our faith has been accompanied by deed? Because:

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:17)

This evening I encourage all of us to learn from Abraham’s life as “Father of faith” Abraham chose to obey when God commanded him to go out from his country and when God asked him to handed his one and only son as a burnt offering. Abraham chose to believe when God promised him a child in his very old age. Abraham can did all of that because he put his faith as a substance. Let’s do the same thing like Abraham. By having unwavering faith then we will be able to obey without any doubt, and questions. By having a strong faith we will be able to believe the fulfillment of God’s promises. Maybe this time we are waiting for God’s answer, let us wait it with the strong faith. Maybe right now God commanded us to do something impossible, let us do it faithfully because all things are possible to him who believes. (Mark 9:23) and for with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

Maybe right now we are in the very hard time. We are hit by so many hard troubles and challenges and we are in the uncertain situation. Once again allow me to encourage all of us face it all by strong and unwavering faith. Let’s learn to have great faith, faithful, and obey like Abraham. By faith let us completely believe that God already has beautiful plan for all us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

And by strong faith let us totally believe that God will never leave us as He said:

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Let’s keep hold God’s promises with the unwavering faith. By great faith Abraham received all the God’s blessing right in His time.

Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. (Genesis 22:17) Amen.

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: jamespoitras.com

Best Friend Forever of GOD

BFF OF GOD - Karina's Thought

Hello my dear friends, once again my post this time talk about best friends. Do we need a best friend in our lives? I am strongly believed mostly of us would answer yes we need best friend. So it is with me! I have a very best friend named Kimiko. She lives in Japan. I have a close friendship with her since we were in college. Beside my Parents and Husband, she’s the one that really knows my secret. To her I could openly and shamelessly talk about everything, even something very personal. Our closeness sometimes exceeds our closeness with our own kin. We have a strong emotional bond. Believe it or not, she once suddenly phoned me in the early morning and said “I don’t know why, this morning I just feel you have a problem. Talk to me…” at the time yes she was true. I had a problem in the office. On the contrary, I also soon could feel if she currently has problems.

My dear friends, I pondered something. If having a best friend of human beings has been very delightful, what about have a very close friendship with our God? It’s something unimaginable how happy we are. The question is, is it possible? Isn’t God too great and cannot longer be reached by the human ability?  That’s right; God is so great, incomparable with the humans. But being a close friend of God isn’t something impossible but actually very possible. From the beginning God longs we could be His best friend but unfortunately man fall into the sin from the beginning. However, God didn’t stop waiting for our willingness to come to Him and got along closely with Him.

The bible clearly mentions some names that had a close relationship with God.  Let’s take a look one of them. Let’s pay attention to Enoch. Let’s have a look in Genesis 5:22a

So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.  And Enoch walked with God;

What an incredible close relationship! A great form of timeless relationship. We could see through this verse how Enoch was able to maintain a relationship with the Lord; live in harmony with God for so long. His faithfulness was tested in the long time span, more than of the normal human age.  Enoch lived in the broken era. He lived in the era before the world destroyed by the flood. Enoch lived in the days of the most evil. Human fell into the sin (Genesis 3), murder happened for the first time (Genesis 4), and finally the earth destroyed by the flood (Genesis 6). But in the world filled with sins, Enoch remain faithful live, made a friendship, and walk with God for very long time.  He wasn’t affected by the worldly temptation.  The Bible mentions the fact that Enoch walked with God for more than three hundred years. What happened to Enoch at the time? We all know that because of his very close relationship and walk with God faithfully; he didn’t experience a physical death. Enoch was taken away directly from the sinful world to Heaven with God forever.

And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)

The author of Hebrews then wrote again about Enoch:

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5)

I took a bit time to imagine the fact of Enoch. He was taken away so that he didn’t see death. Wow!  I think it was a beautiful and great privilege that given by God to Enoch. He didn’t feel any pain or suffering before death. My dear friends, we might not experience the same thing like Enoch but when we make a very close relationship with God, we will also get privilege from God. What kind of privilege that we will get when we have very close relationship and always walk with God? In the book of Leviticus 10:3 God said:

‘I will display my holiness through those who come near me. I will display my glory before all the people.”

The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him, He teaches them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

By make a close relationship with God then God will open to us and show His Holiness and covenant. Another privilege is, let’s take a look to this verse:

Jesus said:” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15)

Jesus said this thing not just for His disciples but also to us. He longs become our best friend and He started proactively with the concrete proof by sacrificing Himself to die on the cross for our sin. He really loves us as His true friend.

My beloved readers, what about us now? I do believe as a Christian we have placed God as a best friend in our lives and walk with Him. But the question is, how the quality of our relationship with God and what about our behavior when we get along closely with Him? Let’s go back to Enoch for a moment. I pondered the words “And Enoch walked with God” there are two important thing we can get from those words. First, normally if there are two best friends walked together, then they will talk and listen to each other. In this case, God talked with Enoch and Enoch heard God, and so did Enoch talked then God heard. Have we made a balance between talking and hearing? Well, we have to be honest that the fact is we more talking than hearing. Almost every day we moan about our lives problems. Or we are listening God talks just when we take a quiet time around one hour or even less in the morning. After that we will busy with our activities and we will forget about our fellowship with God. We tend to talk more than hearing. There is a reason why God gives us two ears and one mouth, God wants us listen more than talking to Him. God’s word said:

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

(James 1:19)

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

The second thing, have a close relationship and walk with God also mean that we are in line with God. We walk “side by side” with God with the same direction. “Enoch walk in God, not God walk with Enoch” So, it doesn’t mean God must follow the way as our will, but we must follow God’s way and everything we do must be in Him and only to glorify Him.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.(1 Corinthians 10:31)

A question to ponder, when we are facing the difficult situation, have we always choose God’s way or we tend to choose the worldly way? Often time worldly way seems more easy and simple than the God’s way. Choosing God’s way often need quite time, worldly way offers an instant solution.  Which way we choose? Remain walk in God or walk in the worldly way and then we will like a lost sheep as written in Isaiah 53:6:

And when we walk with God we will not go astray like sheep that choose their own way.

My beloved readers, allow me to end this post by encourage all of us to learn from Enoch’s life who always walked with God and faithfully get along closely with God. Next week we will commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord. Approaching of His resurrection day let’s take time for self-reflection. If we say we love Jesus the Lord, Have we make Jesus the Lord as our true friend in our lives and always make a very close relationship with Him every day? Have we been able to hear more His voice than asking Him to hear our voice? Which way we walk, walk in God’s way or worldly way? God may not take away us like He did to Enoch, but we have been awarded the greatest love in human life. God gave His only son died on the Cross to redeem our sins. This is a proof of how great His love as a true friend.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:14)

God doesn’t ask us to sacrifice our lives. He just longs and asks us to love Him earnestly and wholeheartedly, life in Him, has a very close relationship, and glorifies Him. Let’s make this Passover season to be a momentum to rebuild and renew our relationship with the Lord Jesus and truly make Him as a true friend, always walk with God in every step of our life. Always hear His voice more and do all which has been commanded by Him, and always maintain our intimacy with God through His word. Rebuild a healthy conversation with God through diligent prayer. Eventually people will know that we are the Best friend forever of God. Amen.

My beloved readers, although Easter day still a week away, allow me,  my husband, and our little son Andrew say, Joining you in gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice and the joyful renewal it brings to all God’s children this Easter season. Happy Easter! We love you all.

 

Karina – Living by faith

Image credit: http://www.firstfilmbc.org

 

 

A Bee in the cup of Coffee

A Bee in the cup of coffee- Karina's Thought

This post inspired by a story when I was teen. At the time, in the morning, my daddy came to me brought a cup of coffee. “Come here, my princess! I want to you show you something” I came to my daddy and soon he showed me something. “Look at to the little bee in the coffee. Please pay attention on what they do.” My daddy said seriously. A bee trapped in the cup of coffee and trying hard to find the way out. Then my daddy said again, “You know what, actually this bee still could fly though he already wet. The bee  actually could able to see a wide way to out above but he just focused to find the way out through the edge of the cup and eventually this bee will getting weaker and die. Princess, I hope you could be able to get the meaning of what I have showed to you today. Learn from the bee in the cup of coffee.

My beloved readers, bee in the coffee is an example that often happened in our lives. When we trapped with the huge of problems, we often forget that we have God above as our way out. We often looking around find the way to out from our problems. We often rely on our own strength, on humans; even find out the other alternative that considered as a sin in the God’s eyes. In the other word, we are looking  the worldly way and then we forget God who reigned in The Heaven. We lost of the right focus, our eyes no longer able to see God that can gives us the answer of our problems.

I reminded the story of Joseph. Joseph been directly experienced a situation like bee in the coffee when he was plunged into a a dark cramped pit not by strangers but even by his own brothers. Jealousy blinds the eyes of his brother and cruelly Joseph persecuted by them.

Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. (Genesis 37:24)

If we read carefully  this story, there is no record that Joseph screaming in fear, pleading for mercy to  his brothers. There is no single verse says that Joseph panicked even though no one knows how long he will be left in the well. If we are in a situation like that, maybe we would think that it is the end of our lives. Slowly tortured to death there. Don’t  know who will be passing, and even if any they not necessarily want to help. But Joseph didn’t  think so. I imagine what Joseph did, he looked up and saw light coming from above, and think that as long as he still sees “light” from above, it means that  his hope hasn’t end. Joseph totally realize there’s God up there who able to release him from the pit. Perhaps not soon but in time God will lift up and save him, even bringing him to successes like the vision which he had held before.

Beside the Joseph’s story, we could see what happened at the end of Jehoshaphat’s reign. At the time the nation of Judah was hit by a big fear because they might be attacked by a combined army of Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites. It was certainly a big disaster for the nation of Judah. Jehoshaphat’s forces weren’t enough to face such invasion. The enemy has big number of troops and has been mentioned that they already seize land located not far from the troops of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was scared but the he took a correct decision. He looked up to find God.

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. (2 Chronicles 20:3)

The whole nation then fasted and prayed, led by Jehoshaphat himself. In his prayer, Jehoshaphat affirmed that he remember God’s promises that has been given to his ancestor, Abraham. Let’s take a look to a part of his prayer:

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (Verse 12)

“Our soldiers are not enough. Power or our strength is not enough. We will perish if it relies on the power that we have, and we do not know what to do. But we direct our view to You, and believe that your power is more than able to release us from this terrible threat.” That’s roughly what he said in his prayer. Notice when facing the problems, Jehoshaphat didn’t circling looking for solutions at the wrong places, but he immediately directed his eyes upward! To God! What happened next? We all know that they become a winner without having battle at all! How can that be? With our logic it wouldn’t be possible, but history proves again and again that the God’s power is able to overcome any such impossibility and take his children that always rely on Him to get into one victory to another victory.

My dear friends, Often the problem actually became more complicated when we responded it with wrong attitude. Our emotion become unstable, make a wrong decision, hasty, impatient, complaining, or even we give up. All of it will make us forget to direct our eyes upward to seek God, and thus spared from God’s miraculous power that can liberate us from the very bad situation. We will be like a bee that exemplified by my father. Indeed bee can still easily fly even though his body was wet but panic makes bee seem unable to think clearly and simply looking for a way out around the glass and then forget that solution, however, lies above of him. Completion of a problem will depend on how we react to it, the decisions we take, which of course would only be good if we direct our view in the right direction. The more mistakes we do to complete it, then it will only worsen the situation.

My brother and sister in Christ, if today we almost drowned to the sea of life problems, just swirling without right direction, and without good result just because we are only relying on our own strength or other worldly things, please allow me to encourage all of us to start looking up. Let’s look to the Lord almighty and submit all of our burdens to Him. Please believe with full sincerity that God is much more than just be able to help us get out of our troubles. Hold fast to God’s promises and keep trust that God is always there along with His children, even in the darkest darkness. God doesn’t want us to be like a bee who met his fate because of his own mistake. Through His inclusion, we are promised like this:

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31) God also said: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.

(Jeremiah 17:7)

And those who always rely on God, he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. (Verse 8)

Let’s put one important thing in the deepest of our heart that in the Lord Jesus there is always an answer because He is the answer of everything we ask.

When we say: “I cannot find the true way in my life. Can you show me,God?” Then Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

At the moment we said: “I could not possibly do this. Too hard for me “then Jesus answered: you can.”For with God nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

When we say: “can you help to overcome my problems” He answered: “‘if you can’? Everything is possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

When we say: “I’m too tired to face life’s problems.” Jesus replied:”Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

When we say: “I can find out the way of my big problems” God said to us:”do you notvperceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (Isaiah43:19)

When we say: “I will never be able to forgive my mistakes” Jesus answered:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

If we say: “I am alone and lonely facing all of it” Then Jesus answered:  “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

When we say: “I’m afraid of my future” He said: “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27)

When we are faced with difficult situations and suffer from various problems that engulfing our life, remember that there is God above who cares and loves us completely. He always answers what we ask for and always provide what we need. There’s no problem too difficult to overcome by Him. And as long as we live in the Lord, for we walk with Him, we don’t need to worry. We have to learn from bee in the coffee so that we will not end tragically. Let’s always look up to The Lord who always is with us with His outstanding love. Amen

Karina – Living by faith

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