Sunday, 31 March 2013
He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. Lev. 14.25
The blood of the guilt offering is put on the unclean person in the act of cleansing. Instantly my thoughts connect with the precious, ultimate sacrifice of Jesus in the New Testament.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed...but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1.18,19
I am saved from sin, delivered from condemnation by the blood of Jesus. I am smeared with His blood. His blood stains me and this is the most wonderful realisation. His blood manifests His presence upon me and in me. Dear God, please lead me into further revelation.
Saying that someone’s blood is upon you can be seen as a guilt message, but I don’t feel this in respect to the blood of Jesus. I simply sense deep thankfulness gushing out from me. I see myself sprinkled, smeared and saturated by His blood all over me. I’m not sure if this is a progression or occasional options. No, I somehow see the sprinkling, smearing and saturating all at once. It is as if all three can apply at any one time. It means life – wonderful, abundant and good life in Him. It may lead to the doing of good, great, even amazing things for Him. Yet the first, and most vital, impact is in being. Through His blood I am a new creation. I am cleansed. I am restored in relationship with the Father. Christ, the risen and glorious one, is in me, and I am in Him. I move forward, as He leads me, into the fullness of Him.
Lord Jesus, Holy Saviour,
I rejoice in You. I declare You to be both my Saviour and my Lord. I thank You for the amazing, miraculous gifts of forgiveness, healing and release through Your blood.
I have a sense that I should now be humble, almost pious in thanksgiving. I believe the humility is there yet I cannot assume or adopt a false piety. Rather I feel very, very EXCITED.
I am bursting under the covering of Your blood. I begin to realise who I am in You whilst, at the same time, I hear You tell me that, as yet, I know very little of who I really am in You.
Sweet Lord, take me and make me Your own. Forgive my sins. Yes, even yesterday I lived in sin. I receive the release that Your blood assures me. I do not accept this lightly. I thank You. I belong to You. Lead me on in You. Oh, may I know increase in You until You fill me completely. Hallelujah! Praise You, Lord. Amen.
Thursday, 28 March 2013
No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived. Exodus 10.23
The plague of darkness is the ninth of the plagues that God brought upon the Egyptians in the time of arranging the departure (exodus) of the Israelites from Egypt.
We might assume that Pharaoh was particularly ignorant or pig-headed, yet the truth – of which we are constantly reminded in the Scriptures – is that God had hardened his heart. Consequently, however willing Pharaoh might have been in his own person, his feelings and reactions were over-ridden by God moving supernaturally in his life. The supernatural power of God moved also, in each one of the plagues, to protect His chosen people from calamity.
In this present instance total darkness covered the land of Egypt for three days (a most significant time!). The Egyptians could see absolutely nothing for the whole of the time that God ordained. By deduction, therefore, we can conclude that no one sees anything unless it is allowed by God. Wow! Whilst the Egyptians lived for this time in utter darkness, this was not the case for the Israelites who had light in the places where they lived. God allowed this.
As I read these words the parallel for today stood out so clearly for me. Those who belong to the Lord, the ones who have surrendered to Him, live in the light. They are enlightened in the whole of their living, conditioned of course by the extent to which they will allow His light to guide them. The others, just like the Egyptians, will live in darkness. Perhaps the most striking difference between “the others” of today and the Egyptians of Moses’ day is that the Egyptians knew they were in the darkness. The spiritual dark of today is much more subtle but every bit as dangerous and damaging.
May the light of Your Spirit shine strong and bright in the darkness that enshrouds much of this earth. I thank You that the light is on for me. My personal prayer is for more light – brighter and stronger. May Your light shine in me and my light shine in the world so that all may know that I am Yours.
I pray for others in whom Your light shines. Lord, may it shine more and more with each passing day. Strengthen Your saints and lead them into opportunities where they can victoriously minister Your love and saving grace.
I pray also for those who don’t yet see Your light. Hear my cry and receive my prayer for them. Lord, soften hearts that have been hardened against You. I know it is Your heart to save the lost. I ask You to extend Your grace and draw these people into the light. Amen.
Monday, 25 March 2013
The LORD had made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12.36
This is another of the remarkable statements that are to be found scattered throughout the Scriptures. The Egyptians had no possible reason to look favourably on the Israelites. They had suffered horrendously throughout all ten plagues that the Lord had brought upon them. And the reason for their suffering lay firmly with the Israelites. No, there was no logical reason for the Egyptians to favour the Israelites.
Furthermore, this entire onslaught had been spearheaded by Moses, surely making him a target to be hated and despised. Yet we read in parenthesis:
(The LORD made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people) (Exod. 11.3)
Another amazing statement! Moses could so well have qualified as public enemy No. 1. But God had been at work. Yes, the LORD had made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the Israelites. There is no foreseeable way in which any human action might have brought about such favour, but the Almighty is just that – all-mighty. The New Testament states this clearly:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19.26)
Nothing, but nothing, is impossible to God. I delight in His reminder to me of this. I take hold of it. I receive it in my being. I choose to live it.
Your Word is true. Your Word says that nothing is impossible with You. Hallelujah!
Lord, mighty God, I look to You for all things. My needs will be met, I know it.
And I thank You. I thank You for Your grace and love to me. Have Your way fully in my life, in Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.
Friday, 22 March 2013
And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. Exodus 14.31
I want to ‘fear’ God in reverential awe and in deep trust, committing fully to His will as revealed in His word – whether written in the Holy Scriptures or conveyed to me by other means. Reverence of God is part of my worship of Him. Maybe here is another of the “mysteries” of God, for while I hold him in reverential wonder He is also freely and lovingly accessible to me as a heavenly Dad.
The Israelites feared God after seeing the most amazing display of His power against the Egyptians. I know that God is all-powerful, and I do not ever want to doubt that He can do anything. But I want to know an awe and reverential trust in him that is not dependent upon the manifestation of His power.
He is my Lord and my God. He has formulated a plan for my life which may involve the realisation of certain purposes. What these are depend entirely on His will and not on my fancy or ambition. This is how I want to trust Him, seeking His will for my life and not contriving to present my wants and wishes as His will and, indeed, convincing myself in the process that this is so.
I sense contentment growing for me and in me. Paul knew a contentment in all circumstances. I, like many humans, have struggled with the “doing” aspect of being a Christian. Furthermore, as a minister, I have secretly desired that my ministry would be so ordained and blessed by God that its effects would be enormous, and enormously satisfying (to me). I am coming to a place of letting go of this. I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but I pray to God to lead me further until all of my fleshly desire is gone and I can truly say to Him, “Not what I want, but what You want.”
I come before You with respect and honour for Your sovereign being.
My humble petition is for a growing reverential trust to rise up in me for You and for all that is in Your will for me. My earnest desire is to serve You, but if this desire that consumes me is not in Your full and perfect will for me then I ask You to demolish and remove it, replacing it with the simplest trust in You.
I crave deeper relationship with You. I dare to come close and invite You to draw me closer still. If the rest of my life in this earthly realm consists of waiting upon you and doing nothing that is not specifically, and clearly, Holy Spirit led, then I am content.
I ask that You increase this wonderful sense of contentment that I am beginning to experience. I rejoice in the true sensing of it, for it feels like a very real expression of confidence in You. Yes, that’s it! Lord, please grow and expand my confidence in You. This is not about me, but all about You. There is nothing complaisant about this sense of contentment. Rather it is akin to “coming home”, to finding that right place of rest in security.
Lord God, my full and only security is in You. I surrender all that I am and all that I might ever hope to be to You. Yours is the way I want to go. Yours is the voice I want to hear, calling me and guiding me.
Speak to me, Lord. I have actions in my diary and in my mind for today. I lay them all before You. I wait upon You. Speak to me and lead me. Your way is my way.
I love you, Lord. Receive my love. Draw me to you, closer and closer, in Jesus’ Name I ask. Amen.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling. Exodus 15.13
These words are part of the song of celebration that Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord after He had delivered them from the Egyptians. But they can apply equally today. These words may be said or sung by anyone who truly believes in the Lord and His saving power.
God’s love is never failing. The believer who trusts God and humbly seeks to follow the ways of the Lord will experience the unfailing love that He has for all who turn to Him. His love will lead, and He will guide in His strength. There is a whole area of revelation contained in this simple phrase. The strength of the Lord is possibly beyond the imagination of the finite human mind. This is the strength that brought the universe into being. This is the strength that created humanity. This is the strength that overcame sin and death. This is the strength with which God loves and guides His children.
And in this strength He guides us (those who are willing) to His holy dwelling. Several interpretations are advanced for “holy dwelling”. Maybe, for the Israelites, it was the house of worship at Siloh; maybe, ultimately, the temple on Mount Zion. Or maybe it was the Promised Land.
For me, these words speak clearly in the present of the place where I can live and abide with the most holy God. He guides me to this place, yet He also gives me the freedom to choose whether I will follow His guiding. He will not force this upon me, but leaves the decision to me. And if I decide to follow there is absolutely no guarantee that the going will be smooth or the journey trouble free.
I understand something of this, for I see the way forward with Him as a process of sanctification. As He leads me forward so He will work in me to transform me more into His original creation. I see this, and I embrace it. I am willing to face the rigours of transformation from sin to sanctification knowing that He is there to strengthen and guide me.
My deepest desire is to live in holy dwelling with Him, to know His presence as a constant, to be ever mindful of his love, companionship, guidance and correction. For I will not get everything right! Then, I must remember humility, confession and repentance – and not allow the enemy to gain a foothold through my wrongdoing or carelessness.
Every acquisition costs. I will risk paying the price for the joy of living in wonderful, holy communion with my maker.
I praise You as Moses and the Israelites praised You. I rejoice that You have rescued me and delivered me out of “Egypt”.
I commit to Your leading. My desire is to live in holy dwelling with you. I understand there could be testings and hardships in the process of transformation from the man of the flesh into the child of God. With You on my side I look forward. I know I cannot do this alone, but I claim Your promise that all things are possible with You.
Lead me, heavenly Father. You are my everything. As surely as the Israelites in the desert received manna from You to sustain them through each day, so I cry out to You now for Your presence to accompany me through this day. I need You, Lord. I am nothing without You. I want You. I enjoy you so much. I hope, in true humility, that You enjoy me.
Go with me, Lord. I desire to go nowhere without You. May we go now together, in precious partnership. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.