Tag Archive | Believe

THE SECOND CHANCE (guest post)

There are certain circumstances in our lives that the way out can be obtained only through a breakthrough. A divine momentum that will produce a supernatural leap, which is impossible to achieve in ordinary situation. This momentum can be a scarce chance that given by God. But unfortunately sometimes we fail to recognize and take that chance. If we ponder deeper, the failure is mainly because of ourselves. Either because we don’t know, don’t want to do it, fear, worry, hesitate, and so forth. Eventually we lose the momentum that we don’t know when it will come again, or even never come again. That was what the Israelites experienced. They failed to enter the Promised Land at the first opportunity because they rebel against God. As a result, they have to wander in the desert for 40 years.

THE FIRST CHANCE

God brought the Israelites out of Egypt with miraculous signs. After passing through several stops, three months later they arrived at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:1) and camped at there for about 13 months. In Sinai God gave the Ten Commandments and various rules about the ordinances of worship and daily life. Then the Lord commanded to count the number of all the men from 20 years old and above who are able to go to war. In fact, God was preparing them to enter Canaan, the Promised Land.

Furthermore, God led them until they arrived at Kadesh Barnea, which is an 11-day journey from Sinai (Deuteronomy 1:2). Then Moses sent 12 men, including Joshua and Caleb, to spy on Canaan. After 40 days the spies returned and reported: “We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:33) Israelites became angry and rebelled against God by intending to return to Egypt. Only Joshua and Caleb who still believed God could bring them into Canaan. God was angry and decided that the rebellious generation who was 20 years old and above would not enter the Promised Land. As a consequence, they must wander in the desert for 40 years! (Numbers 14:1-38)

“For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die.” (Numbers 14:34-35)

Because of remorse and fear of God’s punishment, the people finally attacked Canaan. But because of God was not with them, they were easily defeated until they scattered by the enemy (Numbers 14:39-45). That was the failure of the Israelites to enter the Promised Land at the first chance. But God keeps His promise, though to get the SECOND CHANCE they have to wait for 40 years!

THE RESPONSE IN DEALING WITH THE SECOND CHANCE

After 40 years of circling in the desert, the Israelites finally arrived for the second time in Kadesh. They are a generation that was under 20 years old on the first occasion that happened in the past decades. Now, they will enter the Promised Land with their children, while their parents have perished in the wilderness.

It teaches two things to us:

From those who eventually die in the wilderness we learn that THERE ARE DIVINE MOMENTUM WILL NOT COME TWICE IN THIS LIFE. Therefore if God commands something for us to do, let’s immediately obey and believe it even though it seems impossible. Because if we reject it, we may miss it forever.

On the other hand, from this story we affirmed that THE GOD’S GRACIOUS HANDS IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR HIS PEOPLE. The Israelites had failed at the first chance, but God gave them the second chance. This means we always have the reason to hope. “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverb 23:18)

Then, how should we behave when God grants us a second chance? Let’s learn from the preaching of Moses to the generation that will enter Canaan in DEUTERONOMY 9: 1-6.

There are THREE MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGES to us:

First: HEALING FROM THE TRAUMA (Verses 1 – 2)

Hear, O Israel. You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “WHO CAN STAND UP AGAINST THE ANAKITES?”

The Anakites are the ones who on the first chance ago have terrified the Israelites. The Israelites also have a history of losing the battle against them. The Anakites are a scourge and a bad memory for Israel, so among them there is a thought: “WHO CAN STAND UP AGAINST THE ANAKITES?” The meaning behind that statement is “No one can stand up against the Anakites.” The fact that the enemies of Israel are the people who  greater and taller than them, with the cities are large with the wall upto the sky, made the Israelites see an impossibility to win. But … to enter the Promised Land, God commanded the Israelites to fight against them. This means they must RESOLVE THE TRAUMA AND DARE TO FACE ALL THE IMPOSSIBILITY IN THE FUTURE.

Trauma can be a hindrance to enjoying the noble things God has provided for us in the future because trauma binds our hearts to the past. Trauma makes it hard to believe that with God we can overcome challenges greater than us. Therefore we must solve it.

If there is past event that when we remember that our hearts become injured again, depressed by excessive regrets, , and always afraid and worry if it happens again. That’s the trauma. There is only one way, come to Jesus who is able to set us free. Forgive if anyone should be forgiven, including forgiving ourselves. Do not let failure be a burden that hinders our steps toward the future, but make it a valuable lesson.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

God does not want us to escape reality. God wants us to be HEALED AND RESTORED. Past mistakes or failures can not be changed, but God is able to change our future. It begins with our decision today to come to Jesus and lay the burdens of our hearts upon Him: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) The time we are free from the trauma, there is nothing that stifles our steps to walk with God and through all our future impossibilities with Him.

Second: GOD IS WITH US (Verse 3)

But be assured today that the Lord your GOD IS THE ONE WHO GOES ACROSS AHEAD OF YOU LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

The Lord reveals Himself to His people as THE ONE WHO GOES ACROSS AHEAD OF YOU LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE.

GOES ACROSS AHEAD OF HIS PEOPLE: This shows that He is the God who gives direction and leads us to the goal. A guarantee that our journey will surely succeed whatever happens.

“who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.” (Deuteronomy 1:33)

“The LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land.” (Deuteronomy 31:3a)

GOD LIKE A DEVOURING FIRE: It states that He is a jealous God: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, A JEALOUS GOD.” (deuteronomy 4:24) As a jealous God, He accompanies and protects us as His own. On the other hand, He wants to be the only God in our lives. Therefore don’t turn to other gods. Be faithful and follow His lead, then the Lord will lead us to His triumphal path.

Third: DON’T BOAST YOURSELF (Verse 4 – 6)

After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, DO NOT SAY TO YOURSELF, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS OR YOUR INTEGRITY that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

The Israelites won over their enemies not because Israel was great in war, but because of the wickedness of the enemies themselves. Therefore there is a warning from God: “Don’t say to ourselves that all because of our righteousness and our integrity”. Boast ourselves, though only in the heart, is tantamount to arrogant which also means stealing the glory of God. And why does the statement “It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity” is written more than once in this passage? Because human tendency is pride of himself and feel that every achievement because of their effort and hard work. Even we as children of God can also feel all the blessing we receive is because we are living righteously, already diligently serving, praying, fasting, reading the word of God, and doing other righteous things. That isn’t pleasing God’s heart. That’s why from now on if our life is successful, don’t connect that success with all the good and right things we have done, because it can make us become arrogant.

THE WAY TO THE SECOND CHANCE

From the story above we know how to respond when God takes us on the second chance: heals from the trauma, follows God’s lead, and does not boast about having succeeded. Now, what should we do to get a second chance?? Learning from the failed of Israelites at the first chance because of sin and rebellion so they must wander in the wilderness, there are two things we must do:

First: REPENTANCE. Sin is the separator between us and God. As a human, the child of God can still fall into sin. But if we continue to live in sin, we will not be able to do God’s will for us. Therefore let us ask for forgiveness and leave our sins immediately. God’s promise is: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

There is always a restoration in repentance and reconciliation with God. Jacob, Samson, Jonah, Peter, Paul, are some examples of people who had a second chance after their repentance.

Second: HUMBLE. When the Israelites failed at the first chance, God took them around in the wilderness. The goal is to humble them (Deuteronomy 8:2-3). If we want to get a second chance we must believe in God’s leading and follow His ways. All that requires humility, for only humble people are willing to obey and submit to the authority. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalms 25:9)

More than that, every chance comes only from God. We can not force Him. He will give it according to His wisdom and omniscience about our lifetime. But as long as our heart is still beating, let’s hope for the second chance. And if the second chance is no more, at least we have cleared our hearts before God, healed and restored, so that we can freely worship Him and doing our best of every part God entrusts to us in the rest of the time we still have. Let’s learn from Moses’ life about this. Moses had made a fatal mistake for hitting a rock in Meribah in Numbers 20: 2-13 which caused Moses and Aaron not allowed by God to enter Canaan. Moses prayed for grace to be allowed to enter and see Canaan, but God did not grant it. “…But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter…” (Deuteronomy 3:23-26) How’s Moses’ reaction?? He was not disappointed with God. He continued to serve the Lord and did his work thoroughly to the end. In Hebrews 3: 1-6 it is said “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,…” May this article strengthen us to do our best in every chance that God gives us, for God will count every one of our deeds. God bless you, amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Image source: www.pixelstalk.net   (Edit with Pixlr app)

There can be Miracles, When We Believe

 

THERE CAN BE MIRACLES WHEN WE BELIEVE - Karina'sThought

 

Hello my dear readers! My post this evening inspired by a song that I heard unintentionally when I was in CD music store this afternoon. The song was a movie soundtrack of Prince of Egypt titled “when you believe” There is a part of the song lyric that makes me thinking and ponders something. There is a lyric in the chorus says, “There can be miracles, when you believe”

I am thinking about our life, especially in our Christian life. Belief oftentimes becomes a serious problem. We are really hard to believe when we are talking about God’s miracles. Without we realize God’s miracle often fails to happen not just because God doesn’t care or doesn’t hear our cries, but in fact caused by our doubt or disbelief. There are so many wonderful and amazing God’s promises that are able to provide the salvation assurance and the life full of victorious in this world. But sadly, when the promises not become a reality, we begin to doubtful, we begin to asking is it true God will fulfill His promises? Eventually, because of our doubts, we will blame and accuse God that He has broken His promises. This is that become the base point of the problem. Our hearts and mind shrouded by the mist of doubt. We are standing on the grey zone between believe and doubt. Whereas, the Bible has been many times affirmed that we have to brushed off doubts from our hearts, Jesus repeatedly reminded and even admonishes us to believe. But unfortunately, we often unsuccessful rid of the doubts and even worse we let the doubt continue to dominate our hearts and minds. And this problem doesn’t only happen at this time but has happened thousand years ago.

For the example let’s have a look to the story of the death of Lazarus in John 11:1-44. Martha and Mary hoped Jesus would come when Lazarus was sick. They knew that Jesus could heal their brother. But their beliefs in God just stop there. Just to heal. Martha and Mary said: “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (Verse 21, 32) Then Jesus said: “Your brother will rise again.” (Verse 23) Initially they only believe that Jesus can only heal the sick, and Jesus will raise the dead at the last day. Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (Verse 24) Where is the disbelief of Martha and Mary? They extremely believe Lazarus will rise again at the last day, but rise physically after death four days?! Their logic cannot believe it! Therefore, they were reprimanded by Jesus because due the low of human belief to the God’s Power.

“And for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe… “(Verse 15)

Then Jesus said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (Verse 25-26) And finally Martha said that she believed (Verse 27).  The story is end? No! It turns out Martha still has doubts. When Jesus came to the tomb and ordered her to open the stone, Martha said: “But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (Verse 39) Martha’s logic said this was an impossible thing because Lazarus was dead four days and had bad odor. Lazarus is impossible to alive again. But behold what Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (Verse 40) And there was an incredible miracle. Lazarus rose again from the dead.

My beloved friends, sometimes our burden befall so heavy and it makes us cannot keep focus on faith that accompanied with full of beliefs when we ask for help through our prayer. Martha’s attitude was representing our attitude where our beliefs limited on our own logic only. Our logic couldn’t make us believe that God can do miracles and can do anything beyond our logic. Or we are in a condition want to believe but hard to believe. I am reminded a story when Jesus healed a possessed boy in Mark 9:14-24. The boy’s father said: “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NIV) The Father’s word also representing what often occurs in our lives today. “I want to believe, but please help to believe” in colloquially, this is that might always we say. So the problem is about belief in God and that’s why God’s miracle often fails to happen in our lives and we seem difficult to see God’s glory.

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief… (Matthew 17:20 KJV)

And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58 KJV)

Jesus didn’t say that the miracles will happen only to the selected people that chosen by Him specifically, depending on our turn, or depend on our good fortune.  If we’re lucky we might accept God’s miracles. But briefly and so obvious God said because we are unbelief.  And in other passage Jesus once again reaffirmed:

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

(Mark 11:23 NIV)

Why we could be so hard to believe that there is no prayers that not answered by God and there is no one thing that cannot be done by Him? Well, I will answer these questions with an example based on my daily lives.  Since few months ago I had a new personal secretary. I’ve known her previously but not too close. Has become my custom, I got to know very well the person who became my personal secretary. I got to know her character, personality, mindset, abilities, and even what she likes and dislikes. Why do I need to do this? In order that I could completely believe to her that she could assist me to doing my work and I could believe that she can do anything I ask. That’s why I always preserve and maintain my personal relationship stay close with her. What I did to my secretary also applies to God. How can we entirely believe to God if we don’t really know Him? How we can say love God if we don’t really know Him and don’t even have very close relationship with Him? How far do we know God will be greatly determine how big our belief in Him.

To be able completely believe in God, we must first know Him very well!

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10 NIV)

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him… (Hosea 6:3 NIV)

How do we know God? The potent way is through the scripture that contains God’s word. Scripture is a God’s tool to introduce Him to us and the way He communicates with us. Through the scripture we will know His personality, character, everything He did for mankind, His teachings, and what He wants from us.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

 Scripture noted so many descriptions about God so we can know Him very well. For example, Psalm 23. David beautifully showed as to what he knew God. Or through very well-known bible verse:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6 NIV)

Or this one:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV)

Next, to know God’s personality can also be done through our personal experience walking together with Him. When David faced Goliath, he could be bravely and confident because he learn from his experience as a shepherd.  If God had previously accompanies and protects him in facing a wild animal, he also believed that God would remain along with him against Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:34-37 NIV) So it is with us. If right now we are given the opportunity to live, work, could serve God, and do many things; it all is only grace from God. If we still able to face and overcome so many big problems and challenges, it is a proof of God’s providence and inclusion in our live.

My beloved readers, what about us now? Whether this time we are waiting for a miracle or we are waiting for the answers of our prayers but after so long there is nothing happens and our prayer have not answered? Whether our spiritual condition likes Martha and Mary?  Maybe right now we are standing in the grey zone and oscillated between doubts and believe and we are in a spiritual warfare against the storm of doubts? Or we are in a condition like the possessed boy’s father? If so, allow me this evening to encourage all of us once again immediately examines ourselves. How far do we know him? How close our relationship with God? It is so easy we say “I believe” Maybe hundreds times we say it through song that we sang or when someone ask us. But whether it truly came out from the bottom of our heart and in line with our attitude? Let’s come to God and build a healthier relationship with God so we can know Him more closely and our belief in God will increasingly flourished. Pray and ask for help to God to strengthen our faith that fulfilled with unwavering belief, and we are no longer standing in the grey zone.  Miracles would not be happens if we don’t believe, yet there can be miracles when we believe. Amen

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

Karina –Living by faith

Image credit: 7-themes.com

 

 

His Promise

God Never promise

Every time I come into my mommy workspace, I always read this old thought. And every time I read this thought I always reminded that God have a great and beautiful promise to all of us who believe in Him

God never promised
a life without pain,
Laughter without tears
Or sun without rain.
But He did promise
Strength for the day,
Comfort for the tears
and light for the way,
And for all who believe
In His Heaven above
He rewards their faith
In His everlasting love.

Annie Johnson Flint

Photo credit: bubblews.com

I Believe

I believe

I Believe in the sun even if it isn’t shining

I believe in love even when I am alone

I believe in God even when He is silent

Unknowm

Photo credit: sunset in Bromo.Indonesia by Mateo (Mateo.org)

I Know and I Believe

grandmas hands on bible

Dear Lord in Heaven,

I know and I believe

You can move the highest mountain; you can calm the dark tempest

You can pacify a deeply sorrow in my heart; You can change the sadness into smile of joy

If You can do it all, I know and I believe;

 You will carry the weight of my life upon Your shoulders too

Lord in Heaven,

Now,I submitted my night sleep into Your loving hand, give a peace in my sleep

Tomorrow morning is Yours and  please prepare my heart, mind, and my strength

Let me face my morn with a your eternal wisdom

Thank you for enabling me to complete my hard day,

It just because You always lead me and hold my hand so tight

Dear God, I know and I believe. Amen

Karina

Photo credit: positivethinking.com