Friday, November 6, 2015

Return to God

Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (Exodus 5:22-23 NIV)

When we try to walk together with God and things don’t go well, it’s easy to get discouraged.  God, however, doesn’t want us discouraged.  We can always return to Him.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country." (Exodus 6:1 NIV)

God encouraged Moses by reminding him that God already knew the outcome of this conflict.  God wanted Moses to trust Him through all of this.  God wanted Moses to have peace.

God also said to Moses, "I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. (Exodus 6:2-5 NIV)

That’s what God wants for us, too.  God wants us to have peace in all circumstances.  God wants us to trust that God knows what He is doing.  God wants us to walk with Him and let Him do the heavy lifting.  God wants us to walk together with God.  When we do, it all works out just as God had said.

"Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.'" (Exodus 6:6-8 NIV)

We have a part to play in God’s plan.  When we encounter God, He tells us what it is.  We may be inspired by His Word, a preacher, or a worship song.  We may hear it in person or electronically from half way around the world.  When God speaks to us, He tells us what to do.  We make it real, live it out and then, when things get tough, we decide again.  Will we walk with God?  Will we live out our part of His plan?  Will we live it out?

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country." But Moses said to the LORD, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?" (Exodus 6:9-12 NIV)

You know, this story intrigues me.  When I went back to read it over again, I found something that encourages me.  God knew that Pharaoh would resist.  God knew Pharaoh would fight back.  God didn’t keep it to Himself.  He told Moses.  He instructed Moses to tell Aaron and the elders of Israel.  God gave them what they needed to know ahead of time, so they wouldn’t be discouraged when things got rough.  God gave them everything they needed to experience peace.  All they needed to to was walk together with God.  When they started to doubt, they only needed to return to God.  God would help them live it out.

How about you?  Do you listen to the details of God’s plan for your life enough to experience peace?  Do you pay attention to what God says rather than the list of objections, doubts, and worries that you have?  When you work through the God encounter and make it real, do you live it out?  When things get tough, do you return to God?  Does God give you peace?