Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me, and the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.
Remember the movie in the picture above? The Master told the student to wax the cars, and was specific how, paint the fence, sand the floor, and so on. Days of all these “chores” in the mind of Daniel was putting off his training to become an expert in karate. Tedious and mundane, hard, sweaty work, and days later irritation and confusion drive the student to challenge the Masters methods. Everyone in the audience had to pull their jaw up off the floor after the Master showed the student how each task had indeed trained without the mindset of fighting. It was brilliant! The student paid very close attention to do all that was asked of him from that point, realizing that even if it seemed irrelevant, he’d learn later, there is no such thing.
It was a cunning and master stroke of writing – that movie. I know Who was behind it. The Master of all, Adonai, the creator of the Universe. This was the purpose of the movie, not the love story, though it was nice (clean, remember those days?), not the picking on and fighting back of teenagers; but the contrast of two teachers and their students, their method and motive, how like mirrors the students of the bad teacher were, and yet unique, still individual Daniel was under the teaching hand of Miyagi. He taught through life, he taught through patience and peace, first to achieve those things in the student, then to practice it in karate.
The quote above in the picture is exactly what God does. There’s a saying; “man says, ‘show me and I’ll trust you,’ God says, ‘trust Me and I’ll show you.’
A true statement! Horizontally (man to man) this is exactly how we should be. Vertically (man to God) trust comes with much earned credit from God. It should be automatic from us, then He shows us, like Miyagi how the obeying of Him has armed us, humbled us, and transformed us into the people He created us to be when we were not yet a physical reality. His commands are written in the Word, but also given into our daily lives (should we ask and listen) thus His voice leads and guides us as it did Yeshua (Jesus) and we become like our Savior. Yet, Yeshua is Yeshua and we are who we are, I’m Lisa, not Yeshua, but like Him in that I listen to and obey the Father. My believing becoming more and deeper with each action taken upon hearing His instruction. Countlessly my jaw is dropped after doing what He said, and impatiently challenging His ways, He shows me what each task taught without me knowing what was being fortified in my muscle and memory with each obedience. Thus I have a living, breathing, relationship with the Master of the Universe! Like the wind, I never know from whence I came or where I’m going at the onset of doing as He says, but I always come away full of assurance that I’m in His will and being grown into something I couldn’t imagine on my best day I could be. His child! A living Word! His love poured out through me! Like Yeshua, but yet never exactly as His perfection in such obeying far exceeds the human reckoning. God doesn’t want a bunch of ‘saviors’, He sent One, and that was and is all that’s needed. He wants children, children to come home to the real Life that He made for them.
What joy it brings to know my trust will never be ill placed in Him! Adventures follow the task of obeying! Jaw dropping moments, where my “floor sanding, fence painting, car washing” duties prove to be far more the object of the desired result than learning kicks and hits!
May the Lord give you many jaw dropping moments as these last days unfold, and may our trust in Him become solid and steady with each leap to obey! Thanking and praising Him with each action, each word, each thought. Glory to God in the Highest!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
Moses said this to the people of Israel. But they wouldn’t listen to him because they were so discouraged, and their slavery was so cruel.
At this point in this historical story, Moses has already confronted Pharaoh once and hard-hearted Pharaoh refuses and takes away giving straw to the people for their bricks. The quota is unchanged, the work doubled. The people now see God as making things worse. And how could they not? The battle for freedom is always the most intense when God begins to cut the chains. The resistance can cause bitter discouragement, physical exhaustion can dull the senses; this the enemy knows. Yet greater does God know our weaknesses and infirmities! We must be convinced that we can not do what God has set out to. It’s not to “get us out of the way” so much as to give us different eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to trust. God set out to free the people of Israel, He did not set out to get them to free themselves. So, He hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and kept moving forward in His plan and timing. No resistance would deter Him. Not in His people, not in Pharaoh, not in the ultimate battle with the real enemy of slavery. We keep our eyes on God because He is always where victory is.
In sharing the Good News, we can often wonder how one can see the good of it when they are suffering so profusely! The ones who need it the most these days are so blinded by the outward circumstances. How can we make a difference?
We notice the way God works throughout history. He says: “go, do and say all I tell you, and trust Me.” The resistance will come, discouragement will attempt to assassinate, the enemy will work hard to disillusion. Fear not! Read these powerful words as your mission!
But Adonai said to Moses, “I have put you in the place of God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aharon will be your prophet. You are to say everything I order you, …”
The Israelites proceed to watch God do wonder after wonder! Proceed to watch resistance after resistance. Proceed to watch their deliverance! It took time, it took the resistance, it took miracles, it took hardening, it took everyone by storm; but freedom was given – God did what He set out to do! He always has, always will. There is nothing by which I can give you here on earth as an example of the kind of guarantee one can have in God. He is the surest, surest thing! The ultimate insurance, best lawyer, His contracts (promises) are never revoked and always honored, His timing without fail or error every time, His goals reached infinitely!
Resistance to our human eyes is a guarantee! But to the eyes being given by God, it is a sign that we should move more swiftly! It’s not futile to God, it’s the natural response from an enemy who won’t stop fighting Him. UNTIL…Yahweh’s time says, “Enough!!!” The time is rapidly approaching, the resistance is fierce! Futile against God, yes! But not futile in His hands! Everything He made has resistance as His signature. The ground (gravity) opposes the objects upon it. Thank God! Our very cells in our bodies oppose the bad elements that don’t belong! Praise the Father! Light opposes darkness! Great is the Light of the World!
In order to see resistance as a wonder in the hands of a God who created it’s very nature, we must look at Him! The great Resistor of all evil! The Victor of all opposition! Ruler and Master, not one thing slips past Him. Resistance is sure, but more sure is I Am, who breaks the chains that bind us all! In order for chains to be broken, they must be placed between two opposing forces and pulled. SNAP! Thus, they are broken!
You unfaithful wives! Don’t you know that loving the world is hating God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! Or do you suppose the Scripture speaks in vain when it says that there is a spirit in us which longs to envy? But the grace He gives is greater, which is why it says,
“God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace. “
Therefore, submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against (resist, be stubbornly opposed to) the adversary, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and He will come close to you. Clean your hands (resist the dirt), sinners; and purify (yield to the flames that resist and free to purify hearts of stain), you double minded people! Wail, mourn, sob! Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom! (Allow the resistance of your flesh to do its designed intent, not gratifying the flesh but making it wail to be forgotten). Humble yourselves before the Lord, (that Opposing Force destined for victory over the force of evil) and He will lift you up.
Resistance is not futile, so long as we are resisting the right things. The resistance that comes upon us when we are resisting the world and evil, will not win. Our victory has been won by God alone, our resistance to evil is our worship and praise to the Victor! The opposition that comes from our obedience is a sign that God is fiercely moving us into His plan. It will tune our eyes and ears to Him more acutely. It will build the character of Yeshua (Jesus) inside the furnace of purity within us. And we shall see our freedom, here – now on earth as it is in Heaven! To God be the glory!
♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡
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 ♡
For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally the Gentile. For in it is revealed how God makes people righteous in His sight; and from the beginning to the end it is through trust – as the Tanakh puts it, “But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust.”
There are so many things that can be perceived as shameful. I won’t digress to dictionary definitions. The kind of unashamed we are too be in our Savior can only be defined by what He calls – healthy shame, placed within us from His hand in the womb. That nagging sense that we should feel a shrinking inside when we sin. Indeed is because we shrink from His presence, and it grieves Him, like a mother who’s arms reach for her child. The distance sin causes hurts the Lord because He loves our nearness to Him! We shrink inside because our souls were made for Him and the distance makes us small, alone, naked. Shame in this case is a grace given to us, that warns us, and attempts to teach us and guide us back Home.
The kind of shame that comes with being called a “goody-two-shoes”, or prude…ahhh, I remember this shame well! Do you? Yet if God is good, and I guarantee you in the world’s terms He is definitively PRUDE, then we know this shame is not the healthy kind! For God is good, and prude and love, kindness, patient, long suffering (in this world’s terms a glutton for punishment), forgiving, merciful, gracious, slow to anger (in this world’s terms – retarded); these things don’t just describe God in intellectual terms – they ARE Him! All that He is, all that describes Him – He IS! It’s His character those words describe, in Hebrew the word Name means character. So if I feel shame because some call me a goody-two-shoes, then in essence I’m ashamed of Him!
So how many different ways can being ashamed rear it’s ugly head in connection with the Good News that saves us?
To shrink back from:
What God says is right.
How God made things.
What God says about things.
Ahhh…these can cover everything in life.
God says that marriage is one man and one woman. Not ashamed.
God says that to do good to those who hurt you is His way. Not ashamed.
God says that lying is wrong. Not ashamed.
God says not talking about people behind their back is His way. Not ashamed.
God says not worrying about things is His way. Not ashamed.
God says that everyone’s primary purpose in life is to know Him. Not ashamed.
The list goes on and on.
So what does – not ashamed “look” like?
We look at the words of Paul. Trust! If I trust all that God says, the ways He does things, then I trust Him! If I do, then I do the things He does and says. Not ashamed. If I don’t, then I do not – ashamed. What makes you and I shrink back from goodness? Only God can be good. And anything called good, therefore, can only be God.
Speaking up when everyone in the room is joining in on gossip, saying “hey, let’s move on to talking about something less harmful”. Does the heat of conviction spread down your back in such a situation? Do you shrink or are you ashamed? To just stay silent, not join in, will not cut it. To be a light one must shine. Though to be fair it is always better to be silent than join with the tongue of gossip.
It’s a kind of “thing” to shout on Facebook and everywhere one goes; “I’m not ashamed of Jesus!” Maybe they are not, but truly only actions tell the story. There are people who say they believe in Christ, but their actions are ashamed of Him. As God said in His Book, even the demons believe in Him. So what?!?
Will they do good to those who hurt them? Will they turn their cheeks for more hits, will they step forward to say sorry first even if they feel they did no wrong? Will they tell the truth no matter the cost? Will they take each thought like a slave to Yeshua to have Him proof read them and edit them and so change them?
These are the signs of ashamed or unashamed.
What do we stand on? Pride? Self effort? Our opinions? Our rights? Here are the opposites
Humility, weakness, silence, giving up/over. Where do you see a banner raised for these characters?
Are they flying high in your heart so as to make you soar in your deeds? Who’s Spirit controls your life?
I remember well, my shrinking as a child from the taunting of my peers – “prude!” I didn’t know then, that my shrinking was shame for the One who makes me pure. I do now. I’m not ashamed to be called narrow minded because I follow the narrow way, but less because I do it; no! Because He does it first and enables me too follow! Unashamed!
Call me dumb, lame, boring, anything one can attempt to shrink me with, in the name of being God’s kid, part of His Kingdom, a follower of the Way, the Truth, the Life and I will stand to be counted and call it joy. Truthfully it only hurts when people I love do the name calling. Those I don’t know, I feel little about. I’m not God. He loves everybody! Like we love our loved ones, God loves all mankind! A strangers opinion makes little impact, a loved ones can create craters! Who can fathom love like God IS? That’s a love to be unashamed of! To run towards and hide in! Unashamed!
Don’t be ashamed of what makes you able to stand before the Living God! Do it! In secret, in front of everyone, do the unashameful things God sent His Son and His Spirit to enable you and I to do! Then, like Paul, and all those who have gone before us, we can say…
“I am not ashamed!”
With our mouths, yes – but with our every action and deed – here is proof of His touch, His ownership of our lives. I am not ashamed to be His slave! Slaves don’t have the option of living life however they decide. They must do as they are told! Live a life that says you are not ashamed, you do as you are told and delight to be in the service of the Master! No sense of morbid giddiness do we get from persecution – no. But we count it all as joy, because we see this as shaping our character into the likeness of the Name! The Name above all other names! Yeshua, beloved Son of the Father, Salvation, Author and Finisher of our Trust!
♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡