Archive for tag: Moses

120. Be a success in God's eyes

Finally the time had come for Moses' life to come to an end. He has been a wonderful leader to the nation of Israel. But he was not allowed to enter into the Promised Land as we have discussed before. Therefore the time had come for him to die so that the Israelites can move forward into the land promised to them. But listen to this wonderful tribute written to Moses after his death.

"There has never been another prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent Moses to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and his entire land. And it was through Moses that the Lord demonstrated His mighty power and terrifying acts in the sight of Israel." Deuteronomy 34:10-12

I think the deepest wish of any Christian leader is to be used like Moses in such a mighty way. He had seen and experienced the full awesome power of God. God took him under His arms and developed him from a stuttering shepherd into a national leader and powerful orator. His courage, humility and wisdom moulded the Hebrew slaves into a nation. But he could only do that, because of the powerful presence of God at his side.

Moses fulfilled his life's purpose and God was pleased with him. Until today he still remains as one of the greatest people that ever lived, esteemed by millions. But what is most important is that he remained close to God throughout his life and he never turned away from Him or got proud of his leadership position. He followed the will of God closely and obeyed Him in everything.

And that is the final lesson I want us all to take out of his life. Most of us will never become famous like Moses, we will not live in greatness and we will not be esteemed by millions. But that doesn't matter, as the most important thing in life is to obey God and live close to Him. If you have done that, your life is just as much of a success in God's eyes than Moses'. God doesn't measure success like the world does, no; He looks at your heart. If you follow Him and do exactly what He leads you to do in your life you are a big success in His eyes. And at the end of the day that is all that matters.

So I would like to encourage you. Even if you feel that your life doesn't measure up in worldly standards, if you've followed God's guidance in your life and have been obedient to Him, you have put a smile on God's face and He is happy with you. Isn't that the most rewarding thing? That God can say, "Well done my good and faithful son."

I would like to end off with a song that tugged at my heart strings.

"At the end of the day, I want to hear people say, that my heart looks like Your heart. Unashamed I will dance, in Your Name lift my hands."

Praise God, love Him, follow Him, obey Him and live in harmony with your fellow man. Then you can't go wrong. If your heart looks like His, you are a phenomenal success.

Father thank you that You have a plan for each of our lives. And thank you that we can know that it doesn't matter what our role is, but only that we do it well and to the glory of Your Name. Please lead us to where we should go and help us to follow in Your footsteps. In Jesus' Name. Amen

119. Trust in God

Moses ended his life with a massive speech, a song and a blessing for each tribe and Israel as a whole. The whole of chapter 33 of Deuteronomy is dedicated to the blessings Moses pronounced. It is a lovely and interesting chapter to read. But for me personally what stood out are the blessings Moses pronounced on Israel as a whole and that still stands for us today. Let me quote a couple of Scriptures:

"Indeed, You love the people; all Your holy ones are in Your hands." Deuteronomy 33:3

"The eternal God is your refuge, and His everlasting arms are under you. He thrusts out the enemy before you; it is He who cries, 'Destroy them!" Deuteronomy 33:27

"He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! Your enemies will bow low before You, and You will trample on their backs!" Deuteronomy 33:29

How beautiful is that? We are safe in the loving arms of our Creator. In Him is our refuge. He is our protecting shield. We are safe.

Unfortunately we often don't trust Him enough. Most of us are inclined to entrust our lives to other things, like our money, our careers, our good medical assistance, our investments, our security surrounding our house. We trust in them to keep us secure and living in perfect health. If we have enough money, we will be okay, if we have a good specialist around the corner any illness can be cured, if we work hard enough we will advance in our careers, if we invest money in certain schemes, we are guaranteed of a good retirement, if we have good enough security, we are safe. And we forget to put our trust in God, where it is supposed to be.

Now although there is nothing wrong to save money or to work hard or to have security or to listen to a good doctor's advice, we must examine our hearts to make sure that we don't trust in those things, but that we trust in God and only use our money, good medical scheme etcetera to live within His will.

There is a big difference and God certainly knows when we place other securities above Him. He knows our hearts and He knows whether we trust Him or the doctors or our investments more.

We need to place God first in everything, including our finances, our health and our security. He is our refuge and we only have real security if we place it in Him. Nothing else will last anyway. Give everything over to Him and ask Him for guidance in your life before turning to anyone or anything else.

Father, thank you so much that You are there for us, no matter what. Thank you that You are in control and ruling in our hearts. We are so thankful and grateful to You! Please forgive us if we put anything above You, as we know You know best at the end of the day. In Jesus' Name. Amen

118. Spend time in the Word

At the end of Moses' life, he made a speech of a lifetime, he recited a song to Israel to be sung by all their descendants and he proclaimed a blessing over all the people and over every tribe. And just after the song, he said the following to them:

"Take to heart all the words I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of this law. These instructions are not mere words - they are your life!" Deuteronomy 32:46, 47

Let me repeat it again, the Words in the Bible are not mere words, they are our life! The words in the Bible are unique as it is God breathed. The Bible was not written by 40 odd writers, no, the Bible was written by one Author, the Holy Spirit. He guided each writer and He used them to proclaim His message to the world in order to bring life to us all. This is also confirmed in Hebrews 4:12:

"For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are."

Peter also confirmed that the new life within us comes from the Word of God:

"For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living Word of God." 1 Peter 1:23

It is thus clear that the Word gives life, it sustains us and it exposes us for who we really are. So why is it that our time spent in the Word is so limited? Why do we have time to read Face book for 2 hours and have only 5 minutes to read the Bible? Why do we have hours on end to page through magazines, but only a minute to page through our life giving Bible?

Now none of the above is sin, but why do we have time to do that but no time to read what really matters? I am convinced it is because the devil is the best marketing agent this world has ever seen. He knows how to lure us in, he knows what makes our sinful nature tick and above all he knows the damage it can do to his kingdom if we read the Bible more than 5 minutes a day. We as Christians need to take a stand and call his bluff. We need to take the Word that gives us life and we need to study it. We need to digest it and let it become part of our lives. We need to let it soak inside and become revelation knowledge, which will bubble out life to all. We need to bubble out the spring of life inside that is ours for the taking. We simply need to make the time to read it and pray it into existence in our lives. We are such a privileged generation to have the Bible so easily within reach. We have so many translations and can always have the Bible with us on our phones, Ipad's etc. Moses' generation never had that. We don't have any excuse whatsoever. We need to obey the Words that give us life. We cannot breathe without it. Give it a try, it is more than worth it!

Father, thank you for Your precious Word. Thank you so much for the privilege of having access to Your life giving fountain. Please forgive us when other things become too important. We want to lift Your Name on high. In Jesus Name. Amen

117. Sing praises to Him

Just after Moses' long speech, he continues in a song reminding them of everything he just said. The song gives a brief history of Israel. It reminds the people of their mistakes, warns them to avoid repetition of those mistakes and offers hope that comes only in trusting God. God had commanded him to sing this song:

"Now write down the words of this song, and teach it to the people of Israel. Teach them to sing it, so it might serve as a witness against them." Deuteronomy 31:19

It is wonderful to see how music is used throughout the Bible. And here music is used to help people to remember what Moses just told them. A song is easier to remember than a speech. So this song will remind them of what they are supposed to do and it warns them to not drift away from what God had planned for them.

There are several more examples of music in the Bible. King David used music to bring comfort, to sing praises to God and to teach people His ways. Miriam also used music to celebrate their great escape from the Egyptians at the Red Sea. And in Revelation 15 all the people who had been victorious over the antichrist and the devil will stand before God, holding harps that He had given them. And they will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb:

"Great and marvellous are Your actions, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous deeds have been revealed." Revelation 15:3, 4

Spiritual songs are powerful and have the ability to lift you up and to provide Word to you when you need it most. I have found spiritual gospel songs uplifting and nourishment for my spirit. I truly feel more alive when I listen to it and sing along. I feel God's presence so much closer when I use music to praise and worship Him. God has also used music to speak to my heart. It has happened a couple of times that I had to make a decision of some sort and a gospel song will well up in my heart confirming just what I had to do. I have found it very helpful.

I have gospel music on as often as I can in the car, not that all secular music is evil; I just like to have the closeness of God surrounding me. It gives me peace, it teaches me and it brings me into His presence. My wish is that the same will be true for you. Let us enjoy the wonderful gift of music and lift our hearts towards Him.

Thank you God for music. Music is such a wonderful gift from You to be enjoyed. We cannot wait for the day that we can all be in Your presence and sing along the orchestra of all ages, praising and loving You. Amen

116. Don't be afraid or discouraged

Moses has finished with his last and final speech. I can imagine it must have been an emotional moment for him. He has led the Israelites for forty years and even though he was still as strong as ever, God forbid him to go on with them into the land promised to them all, due to his disobedience. So now Moses hands over the leadership to his faithful assistant, Joshua, to lead the people into their heritage. Now as I thought about it I realised that Joshua must have been scared. Moses was a wonderful leader, someone to look up to, a true beacon to them all and now he, Joshua, need to take over. Moses has always been there, and now he will have to go forward on his own. He has big shoes to fill. And Moses knew that Joshua was scared and uncertain and therefore he encouraged him in front of all the people:

"Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to give their ancestors. You are the one who will deliver it to them as their inheritance. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:7, 8

Joshua received encouragement through knowing that God will be with him. It was a big task lying ahead of him, but God will be with him and will lead him. God will bring about the victory and Joshua will be the vessel.

And if God tells you to do something today, know that He will be with you too. Jesus promised that He will with His last words before ascending to heaven:

"Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Big tasks might be lying ahead for some of you. God might be expecting big things from you at this moment. You have prayed about it and you simply know that God is leading you in a certain direction. Then I want to encourage you today. He will be with you. He will lead you and He will guide you. At the end of the day it was God who gave them the Promised Land, it was not the might of Joshua as a leader that brought them victory, no it was God, and he was just the willing vessel. Remember that when the Jericho walls in front of you might look insurmountable. God is not expecting you to bring about the victory, He will do that, you just need to be willing to be used.

Jesus is right beside you, urging you on. Don't be afraid and don't be discouraged. Also don't try and be someone else when assuming the position. Just like God never told Joshua to be just like Moses, He doesn't expect you to be someone you are not. Just be yourself, God knows you inside and out and will use you just the way that you are. All that He expects is obedience. The rest can be left up to Him.

Thank you Father for choosing us in the role You want us to play. Please give us the courage to stand strong and help us in being obedient to You down to the tee. We want to make You proud. In Jesus' Name. Amen

115. Choose between life and death

Moses' final speech is drawing to a close. He has stated the way that God wanted them to live, he has warned them of the consequences if they fail to obey and he has told them of the blessings that will come their way if they do. He also told them that a Prophet like him will come to them later on and will tell them everything that the Father tells Him to say (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). This did indeed happen millennia later when Jesus came.

And then Moses starts to end off with a final call for commitment to God in Deuteronomy chapters 29 and 30. He urges them to remember God in all they do and if they do they will prosper. He states that the choice between life and death are in their hands.

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey Him and commit yourself to Him, for He is your life. Then you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

And today the choice is pretty much the same even thought we are under a new covenant. We also have the choice between death and life in our lives. Even though our covenant doesn't state obey and you will prosper, disobey and you'll be cursed, we can experience life or death in our spiritual lives through our actions. Jesus boldly proclaimed life to all who believed in Him:

"I assure you, anyone who believes in Me already has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of Life!" John 6:47, 48

"It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life." John 6:63

In Jesus is true life. In Him we are born again and this new person inside is filled with the life and breath of God. This new life is eternal and will last for all eternity to come. We are part of the Body of Christ and we must move in His kindness and love towards all.

However we as Christians can also choose to ignore the voice of the new life within us and rather listen to the call of the world and all its lusts. If we do that, we will experience a deadness within our souls, all because we are inviting sin into our lives that leads to ultimate death. We should never allow the voice of this world to crowd out the Voice of God in our lives. We should focus our energies on all that He wants us to do and not on what is expected of us by those that have no regard for the will of God in our lives.

I urge you (and myself!) today, to choose life and not death in our spiritual lives. We should consciously make a decision to do everything that brings life to a situation and to steer clear of everything that brings death. We should all learn to listen to God's Voice within to bring life to situations where death reigned, to bring healing where hurt were supreme and to bring love where hate resided. Only then will we begin to bubble over with new life and only then will His perpetual spring become a reality in our lives.

Father, please help us to choose life. Help us to choose Your ways above all. Help us in our struggle against the voice of this world. Lord it is such a persistent voice, nagging us every day. Please block out our ears, that we hear only Your Voice. We want to follow Your life giving ways, no matter what. In Jesus' Name. Amen

114. Live in gratitude

In Moses' last speech, he warns the Israelites of several things and one of the things that he explicitly warns them about is:

"The land God gives you is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in you plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey His commands, regulations, and laws." Deuteronomy 8:9-11

Moses warned them to still follow God, even when things go well. It is such an interesting human characteristic that seem to jump out when things go too well. There are several examples in the Bible. For one, the Israelites didn't listen to Moses. The moment they settled and enjoyed their wonderful land, they started to back slide and soon enough they were worshipping the idols of the pagan nations around them. Another example is when David was firmly settled as king over the nation with a strong military and sound economy, that he didn't listen to God and committed adultery and murder. At the height of his rule, he experienced the low in his spiritual life. And let's not forget Solomon. Solomon literally had it all, wisdom, wealth, peace, servants, women etc. But he fell to a spiritual low, because he loved his wives too much and allowed them and the nation to worship their different gods, resulting in God tearing the kingdom in half after Solomon's death.

And today it is no different. It is clear to see that it is difficult for people to stay humble and focused on God when they can have anything they want. It is difficult to trust God for anything when you can just buy it yourself. It is difficult to trust God for your health, when you are surrounded by the best medical expertise. It is difficult to trust God for advancement in your career, when everything just falls in your lap. It is difficult to consult God about anything, when you are blessed with wisdom and superior intellect. It is difficult.

But we need to learn from the mistakes of the Israelites and realise that ALL we have are from God. Sure we work hard, but He gives us the ability to do just that. He is the One in charge over our lives and we should give all glory to Him. At the height of our prosperity we should humble ourselves before Him and give Him all our praise. We should live with gratitude in our hearts and never ever become proud. We should spend time with Him and seek His face in all we do. Our careers, our lives, our health, our dreams are all in His hands and it is a safe place to be.

Thank you Lord for looking after us. Thank you that we can know that our paycheque doesn't come from our employer, but from You. Thank you for Your blessings. We live in gratitude for all You are doing in our lives. We praise You. Amen


113. God chose you

In Moses' speech, he reminded the Israelites of several things. And one of the wonderful things he reminded the Israelites of is that God chose them, not because they were wonderful and an impressive nation, but simply because He loved them. Listen to these beautiful couple of verses:

"You are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be His own special treasure. The Lord did not choose you and lavish His love on you because you were larger or greater than the other nations, for you were the smallest of all the nations! It was simply because the Lord loves you, and because He was keeping the oath He had sworn to your ancestors." Deuteronomy 7:6-8

Isn't it a wonderful couple of verses? God chose them because He loved them and not because they were the most amazing people on earth set on following Him. In fact they were wayward people set on disobeying Him, and yet He loved them. He had to discipline them along the way, but just like a loving Father disciplining His children out of love.

And when Jesus came, He chose us, Christians, to be His people, forming part of His body. Isn't it wonderful news? Listen to this:

"You didn't choose Me, I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for using My Name." John 15:16

Jesus chose us. What an amazing privilege, one that we should cherish. He chose us not because we were good enough. He chose us not because we were the most successful, the richest, the most dedicated, the most popular, no, He chose us because He loved us and called us to be His holy people just like the Father called Israel to be His. Peter states this beautifully:

"You are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God's holy nation, His very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9

We are God's holy nation, His very own possession and His kingdom of priests. He believes in us and chose us to be His own. He knows all the difficulties that we will face on this earth, and yet He chose us, because He knew we will be able to handle it. He chose us to be His representatives, He chose us to be His light in this dark world. He radiates love and peace and gives us hope in this world. No matter what, we can have peace that He loves us and we can be enveloped in His loving arms when everything gets too much for us.

And on the flipside, we must also take our responsibility as His chosen ones seriously. We cannot live like we want to and we cannot just say what pleases us. We have a responsibility to present the best of God to the world. We should portrait His loving characteristics to a fallen world and draw them to Him. That is our main aim.

I wrote a couple of prophecies the other day for individuals and when I was finished, I realised that they all had one thing in common, at the end of the day, God wants to use each one of them to reach others and to build one another up in love. And I realised that at the end of the day all of our destinies collide. We are all called to work towards a common goal of building up God's Kingdom and of praising and loving Him. And therefore we, as a chosen people, should stand up and be counted.

Thank you Father that You have chosen us. We live in absolute gratitude that You have extended Your love towards us. Thank you for this privilege and also assist us in presenting all that You are to a fallen world that so desperately need You. Please help us in our mission. In Jesus' Name. Amen

112. Teach your children His ways (4)

The Israelites as a nation and the Jews today have always been very good at making religion a part of their everyday life. They have always kept up with their religious practices, even though their religion later on became more of a ritual than a true love for God. Just think of the Pharisees in Jesus' day. They were the most pious of people, walking the path given to them by God through Moses. Their hearts were of course not right as we all know, but they were following their religious practices down to the tee and looking down on all those who didn't.

The point I am trying to make is that religion was part and parcel of the nation of Israel. Why? Because they shared it continually with their children.

"Repeat these commandments again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:7-9

If we look at these verses, it basically says, talk about the commandments of God all of the time. And not only talk about it, live it, let your children follow your example. The Israelites were very good at this and they still are. We can learn from them. Even though Jesus has freed us from the obligation of adhering to the Jewish Law, we still need to tell our children about the Old and the New Testament and how it all fits together.

The problem is we are so rushed in our modern day society. If I look at my own life, I drive my kids from swimming lessons to tennis lessons to reading lessons to hockey lessons and by the time we get home we need to do homework and prepare for the next day. It is only at night that I maybe read them a Bible story at night, but for the most part I am too rushed to talk in length about God. And I realise that this is not right. Even though I try to live by the principles of God and try to be an example to them, I fail sometimes. I try to tell them about God in between the rushing, but somehow it doesn't have the same effect. I have come to the realisation that if we don't have time or energy to tell our kids about God, we are too busy and we need to make some changes. I know that I have to do this as my greatest wish is that my boys will grow into mighty men of faith. But even though it is my greatest wish, I spend the least amount of time developing it.

We can learn from the Israelites. We need to teach our kids the walk of God. We need to create in them a love for God and His ways that they never want to depart from it. How do we do that? With the help of the Holy Spirit and time spent in prayer. May God lead you and me as to the best way to ingrain in our children, the holy, timeless ways of God.

Father, at the birth of our children we promised to lead them in Your ways. But as time goes on, we are more and more pressed on all sides and we forget to teach them. Please forgive us Lord and help each parent reading this today as to the best way to present You to their children and to guide them in Your everlasting ways. In Jesus' Name. Amen

111. Proclaim Jesus as King

Moses is still continuing with his speech and as he is, more and more life lessons are presented to us. Even though this speech is directly for the Israelites, we in the 21st century can still learn and benefit from it.

In Deuteronomy 4:32-40 Moses proclaims how great God is and that there is no other. He recounts the awesome miracles that God did and how God had helped the Israelites to come as far as they have. And in verse 39 he says:

"So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other god!"

This made me realise once again how amazing our God is. He is God in heaven and He is God on earth. Everywhere He goes, He is God. And today is no different, even though it may feel as if another force is prevalent on the earth. I don't know about you, but sometimes I cannot help but feel that things are spinning out of control in our society. Women are raped, children are used as sex slaves, human trafficking is prevalent, corruption is at the order of the day, governments are not following God's ways, people are killed for their faith, the poor is only getting poorer and the rich richer, the internet is full of pornography and so I can go on. And when I see these things happening all around me, I cannot help but feel that God is not in control.

I actually have a whole CD on this topic. I ask the question whether God is in control or whether the devil is in control. But I don't have enough time to focus in detail on that today. Today however I want to console you and reassure you that God is still the God of heaven and the God of this earth as He was in the Old Testament. God never changes and is always the same. Jesus came to show us just that and with His death on the cross He obtained victory over the sinfulness of this world and the Father placed all things under His authority:

"Now He is above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and He gave Him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is filled by Christ, Who fills everything everywhere with His presence." Ephesians 1:21-23

Notice that this authority was given to Jesus for the benefit of the church because we are His body. And remember when the Bible talks about the church, it means believers, not the physical building or congregation. And now this authority has been given for our benefit and what a responsibility it is. That means that we are now Jesus' hands and feet here on earth. I recently heard a song where the singer asks God when is He going to do something about this evil world? And then God answers, 'I already did, I created you."

And because He did we cannot participate in the evil of this world, we simply cannot. We are not allowed to read questionable magazines, we cannot look at pornography, we cannot dodge the tax collector, we cannot speak even a white lie, we cannot participate in corruption, we simply cannot. We need to be His body on this earth, walking around with His authority and helping where we can. But if sin still has a hold over us, we will slip and fall and not be the representatives that we are supposed to be.

We need to proclaim Jesus as King over this world and we should show the world what it means to follow the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We need to attract them to a better world, one without pain and sorrow and one where we can all live in harmony. That is our purpose in life, make sure that you do not miss it!

Father thank you that You are in control. Thank you that we can know that. Thank you also that we can be part of the body of Christ. Please help us to be good representatives of Who You are and to let go of the sin that strangle us. We love You and want to proclaim You as King over our lives and King over our countries and the world. In Jesus' Name. Amen