I’ve longed, since I was moved to start this blog, for more interaction with any who came to read. So here is an interactive post.
I find that the Word of God becomes part of me, shapes the whole of my thinking, by listing my favorite stories and their verses found within them. What are your favorite stories from the Bible? I’ll go first, and share one of mine :-).
This story is notorious for remembrance for the part about the talking donkey. I think it might interest you to know that the character on the movie Shrek, the talking donkey, was “inspired” by this story, but made to make a mockery of it. This story is really about God’s calling of the prophet Balaam and his journey within it. I love this story because of this theme. The talking donkey was a plus, but what stuck to me was way more than the part with the donkey (Chapter 22:21-35).
Here’s are some of my favorite verses within the text.
But Adonai enabled the donkey to speak, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to make you beat me three times?” – Chapter 22:28
Balaam replied to Balak, “Here, I’ve come to you! But I have no power of my own to say anything. The word that God puts in my mouth is what I will say.” Chapter 22:38
He answered, “Mustn’t I take care to say just what Adonai puts in my mouth?” Chapter 23:12
God is not a human who lies or a mortal who changes His mind. When He says something, He will do it; when He makes a promise, He will fulfill it. Look, I am ordered to bless; when He blesses, I can’t reverse it. Chapter 23:19-20
…that even if Balak would gave me his palace full of silver and gold, I could not of my own accord go beyond the word of Adonai to do either good or bad? That what Adonai said is what I would say? Chapter 24:13
So he made this pronouncement:
This is the speech of Balaam,soon of B’or; the speech of the man whose eyes have been opened; the speech of him who hears God’s words; who knows what ‘Elyon knows, who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes:
I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not soon – a star will step forth from Jacob, a scepter will arise from Israel,to crush the corners of Moab and destroy the descendants of Shet. His enemies will be His possessions – Edom and Se’ir, possessions. Israel will do valiantly, from Jacob will come someone who will rule, and He will destroy what is left of the city. Chapter 24:15-19
What laid it’s impression on me about this account is the realness of the story. The true human elements that follow God’s path for Balaam, yet the extraordinary tactics He uses to open Balaam’s eyes. And once Balaam’s eyes are opened, there was a total commitment to the One who opened them! This story inspires me, excites me and convicts me! I return to it often, when I need to remember how and when to open my mouth. What to look for when I’m impatient and “beating my donkey”. When I need to remember how creative and mind-blowingly out of this world God can use anything, do anything and make anything do anything to get my attention. That I can trust every word He says to me, and that it and only it, is worth repeating; no more, no less.
Sure, I love the talking donkey, but I love the One who made the donkey talk more! I love the One who made Balaam talk more! I see Yeshua’s (Jesus’) own words within Balaam’s so many years earlier. The old and the new become one in this story. I’m given so much hope because of the words in verse 19 of chapter 23! Aren’t you?
Would love to hear some feedback from those who read here about their favorite Bible accounts. What inspired you, how does God use it repeatedly in your life? Who knows, perhaps God will use your favorite and how He speaks to you through it, to encourage and strengthen others!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
Too often our spirits lean back, away from a scripture, for us to gain an accurate understanding. Mostly, when our pride is involved. Man’s pride can not be tested much higher than when we is in conflict. The scripture above has been notoriously misinterpreted and therefore taught wrong.
Lean in and note the key phrase that has often been reversed.
You remember there your brother has something against you.
Most of us read it…
You remember there you have something against your brother.
There is a huge difference between these statements!
Since the Temple is now within each of our hearts, and our gifts are often things such as our pride, anger, resentment, jealousy, rage, hurt, self-pity, self-absorbtion and so on. This reinforces what Yeshua (Jesus) said about the difference between cleaning the inside of a cup instead of worrying about the outside. (Matt. 23:26)
So…when we are in prayer, offering the Lord, all the things that don’t bring Him glory, and there remember that our brother or sister is angry with us, we are to leave off our offering and keep it at His feet, while we go seek out the person we know is angry with us and offer the olive branch of peace.
Why, I have often wondered, does this scripture so often get turned around? Well, for one it is far easier to retain some pride by going to someone we are angry with and confront them. But…it smacks pride right in the face to seek out someone we know is angry with us! Can your hear the refrain so often used by human wisdom?
I shouldn’t have to approach someone if they are angry with me, they should come to me. After all, they are the ones with the problem. Why should I go and say, “hey, I know your mad at me, let’s make peace.” I mean isn’t it their responsibility to come to me?
I know I’ve said something along those lines. This scripture seems to be backwards, counterintuitive, nonsense. Kinda like, offer the other side of your face if someone smacks you. Truth: Almost everything Yeshua taught goes against our thinking. Just read the gospels again and lean in, you’ll see it everywhere! To us this scripture must have been interpreted wrong, so we reword it to suite our wisdom. Otherwise it seems that we should expect a dentist to come find us when our tooth is infected!
Trust me, the Great Physician does indeed seek each one out, often before they even know they are sick, to offer a cure. Did not God send His Son before anyone knew they needed Him? Did He not, knowing we had issues with Him, seek us out to rectify the problem. We certainly did not seek Him first, with our offense. Left up to us, God would still be waiting for us to come to Him, and say, “Hey, I’ve got issues with You!” In other words, God never asks us to do what He, Himself, does not, has not, and will not do Himself – and first – so as to teach us how to do it!
Perspective in the Kingdom of Heaven means, we are righted to conform to God’s way of thinking. Not that we all the sudden understand scripture in the light of our own rationalization. Isaiah says, “My ways are not your ways, nor My thoughts your thoughts.”. (Isaiah 55:8) A good rule of thumb for studying to show yourself approved, knowing you are beginning to “get it” is that we are ever being put out by the difference between the way we think and how God is teaching us He thinks. Our first instinct to truth will always be resistance, in our flesh. If, Gods Word is not brushing up against our sensibilities, we are gaining nothing. I love the truth, but I wrestle with it before I appreciate it. I’ve yet to meet anyone any different. Even when the truth doesn’t butt up against our pride in correction. For example: God says He loves us. This truth may not correct like the one above, but if we are honest, we can’t reconcile why God would love us the way He does. There is a resistance to this truth, albeit, with a different hue than our resistance to go seek out an offended party against us.
Leaning in close…what does this mean? A well respected pastor usually starts out his sermons with this phrase.
“Holy Spirit, make the Book live to me, show me myself, and show me my Savior, and make the Book live to me.
In other words, we lean in close by asking for His perspective not asking for Him to make our perspective make sense with His Word.
Leaning shows us our bent. I remember the first time I rode with my husband on his motorcycle. When he would turn or go around a bend, I instinctively wanted to lean away from the ground or direction of the turn. He had to teach me, that I endangered us both by doing that. On a motorcycle, you lean into the turn or bend which meant that often you lean towards the ground! That was scarey. Also, too much, and we would crash! So he said, “Just stay with me, let your body become one with mine, no more, no less. What a beautiful picture to the unity we are to have with Yeshua the Messiah as Paul so often spoke of, and Yeshua, Himself in John chapter 17. Leaning in close can feel humanly scarey and wrong. But our feelings lie! In Matthew 5:23-24, we must lean in close to the One promised by our Savior to reveal all truth to us.
Leave your gift, go seek out the one you know is angry with you, make peace and come back where I hold your gift in trust to be offered from a pure heart.
A pure heart is attained by obedience, conforming our actions and lives, to what God says is right. It proves that the gift we would offer with just words, will indeed be true with our actions. Words are easy.
God forgive me for being unforgiving.
Leaning in close, the Spirit reveals where indeed we have been, and where we justify it because the person is angry at us, and we have no idea why. Do you not know? Only the Spirit of God can remind you of any such thing that would bring about peace? Inwardly or outwardly, this does not come from us. So in this scripture we see that when we come to Him with our gifts, if there is anything that makes that gift unable to truly be given, He reminds us or reveals to us anything that taints our offering. And not only that, but shows us how to make the gift worthy.
Those two scriptures say a whole lot more than what the mere English words printed on paper say. They are alive and active, cutting marrow from bone, breathing life into our own dead bones, making a new life thrive inside!
Lean in Close! You’ll be transformed, you’ll experience the whole ‘new creation’ we are made into when we lean in as one with Yeshua. Lean in Close!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
Did you know…
That avocatoes boost your metabolism for 24-48 hours? Eating one a day is the equivalent of walking briskly for 3 miles! Yep, if you’re looking for a food that can do for you without you doing any heavy lifting, this is your chance! They contain the highest amounts of healthy fats in a vegetable. (Yes, your body was designed by God to need fats). They have what is called omega fats. Omega fats are not stored in the body, but used in each of your systems to produce the “fruit” of good energy and mental clarity. God created your body to store the other kinds of fat found in meat, dairy, and sugar foods for a rainy day or lean times. Skip back to the past, before grocery stores. (Believe it or not more time has ticked off the wheel without grocery stores than with) There were what they call lean times, during winter and non-growing seasons, that created the need for this mechanism in our bodies. God has always known what He was doing 😉 Sadly, we no longer have these times, hence the reason all that fat gets “stored-up” but never turned into the ‘extra meal’ lean times required of us. These extra fats now go to that storage area, but get too full and your body sends them into systems that were never designed by God to handle. Cancer feeds off of and lives in these stored fats – but sugar is its favorite food!
Avocados actually help your body get rid of these stored fats, like a friend who comes and helps you find your way home. They escort the useless fat to the waste systems by boosting your metabolism to burn off all that extra. Like calls to like, and avocado fats know the bad fats’ language, but gently advocates for your health, convincing those fats they really don’t want to live where they cause death in the body.
They are creamy and full of vitamins and minerals too! , (Thanks to that seed inside) It’s good for everything! There is not one thing that these little cups of health don’t do to help you up the health-o-meter! (Unless, of course, you are allergic to them. In such a case, I offer my profound condolences!) Avocados are one of the most amazing creations of God’s table. They make great snacks, and can be added to almost anything as a nice addition to any meal. Why not start putting these tasty little buggers to work in your body now?
A recipe is forth coming for a double bang for your ‘body-bucks’ with avocados.
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡