Speak to the Rock!

Numbers 20:8 “Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”

The nation of Israel have congregated at the waters of Meribah and there is no water to be found for them or their livestock to drink. They complain to their leaders, Moses and Aaron, regretting they ever left Egypt. Moses and Aaron are humble men of God and they throw themselves on their faces and cry out to God for his intervention. God directs Moses to speak to the rock, with a promise that water would gush out from the rock for the people to drink. Instead of obeying the voice of the Lord, Moses is fed up with Israel’s complaining and he reacts in anger and frustration, striking the rock with his staff and cursing the people as he did it. God does intervene, the rock does yield its water and the people do drink, however, Moses and Aaron are brought under God’s judgement for their disobedience and eventually die in the wilderness. Like Israel, everyone of us face circumstances that threaten our peace, well being and survival. It’s easy in those moments to panic, make rash judgements and question God’s faithfulness to us. If we humbly seek God, he will provide strength and sustenance through his word. We must be careful to obey all that God’s word calls us to, not only for our sake but also so that we don’t misrepresent God’s heart to those around us. Notice a fresh supply of water didn’t automatically gush forth, Moses had to partner with God in the process of the miracle. This takes faith and without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Moses took matters into his own hands, showing he didn’t have faith in God’s word. God in his grace, intervened but God’s holiness and character was misrepresented to Israel. My encouragement to you is the next time you seek God for intervention into your challenging circumstance, follow his instruction carefully. Don’t allow your own emotions to dictate your response. Not only will you receive God’s gracious blessing but you’ll have witnessed to the world around you of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Selah!

Follow the Cloud, Not the Crowd!

white-clouds

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Wow! I love this verse of scripture. Here is a beautiful picture of God leading his people through night and day seasons by going before them in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. The people weren’t left without a witness to follow and this must have been so encouraging for Moses in his leadership of what sometimes was a group of very difficult people to lead.

In our lives, we can too easily get distracted by the opinions and voices of the crowd. The crowd can have far too much influence in our lives than what God wants or intended. There will always be someone out there who thinks they know best for you and who has a wonderful plan for your life.

It’s in these moments, that you and I need a conviction that heaven has spoken and that God is going before us to make a way in both dark and light seasons of life.

What about you? Are you following the crowd or the cloud? God loves you and wants to lead you in such a significant way. Stay focused on the cloud before you.

The Oracle!

The Solution to 10,000 Problems!

goal-setting-the-90-day-challengeA. W. Tozer believed that a low view of God was the cause of a hundred lesser evils, but a high view of God was the solution to 10,000 problems.

Everyone of us have to go on a journey to have our minds renewed about who God really is. Our biggest problem is a small view of God. This is the cause of all lesser evils and it’s a high view of God that is the solution to 10,000 problems.

A wrong perception of God will affect how we approach and relate to God. We are not to just know facts about God but actually know him intimately for who he is. Knowing God must become our chief aim and goal in life. It’s out of knowing him that our faith and fruitfulness flows. Wrong thinking about his character and ways will limit our faith, our prayers and ultimately our fruitfulness.

When God asked Moses, ‘Is there a limit to my power?’ He wasn’t asking out of insecurity. God was helping Moses to ascertain who he perceived God to be and what God was capable of. Of course, God is omnipotent and all-powerful but until you and I can come to the conviction of this truth in our hearts that God’s grace and power is bigger than any problem we might face then our prayer live’s will be the equivalent of a beggar asking a billionaire for a cup of coffee. Not cool. Ask for the moon!

God’s grace and power is super sized and we need to get a revelation of the magnitude of what God can do and who He is at the core. Where does this revelation come from?

  • It comes from meditating on the truth of who God actually is
  • It comes from making knowing God our aim above everything else
  • It comes from refusing to listen to the lies of the enemy about God
  • It comes from speaking and acting in alignment with the truth of God’s Word

A high view of God is the solution to 10,000 problems. What problem are you facing today that seems larger than life and bigger than God? Get them into perspective and change the tone and intent of your prayers. There is nothing too hard for God!

The Oracle!

Calling vs Career!

Too easily do we look at the issue of ‘calling’ through the lens of contemporary cultural paradigms rather than what the bible actually reveals to us.

A calling is God’s unique soul print on a person’s identity (Ps 139:13-15). A calling is a strong heart conviction that God burdens you with (Rom 4:20-21). A calling is God’s anointing that rests upon you (1 Sam 16:13). A calling transcends a job or specific occupation (Acts 9:15, the apostle Paul worked as a tent maker but was called to be an apostle to the gentiles). A calling is witnessed to by others, especially spiritual authority (Jn 1:29).

Calling comes in different shapes and sizes and transcends the practical application of it being outworked. Noah saved a remnant by building a boat. Abraham became the father of many nations by faith in God’s promise. Moses delivered a nation by leading them out of Egypt into the Promised Land. Elijah performed signs and wonders as prophet to Israel.

The difference between a calling and a career is remarkable:

  • Calling = Treasure in heaven VS Career = $ on earth
  • Calling = Life of sacrifice VS Career = Life of convenience
  • Calling = God’s always right VS Career = Your rights
  • Calling = Applause of heaven VS Career = Applause of man
  • Calling = Faithfulness VS Career = Success
  • Calling = Continues VS Career = Conclusion

What are you pursuing, a calling or a career?

The Oracle!

Passing the Baton!

Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1 is a fascinating insight into a major transition in Israel’s history from Moses prophetic ministry to Joshua’s conqueror ministry. The contrast between Moses and Joshua is massively intriguing to say the least. They passed through each other’s lives for a significant period of time and yet had two very different callings.

Moses was called to be a Deliverer of God’s people out of the bondage of Egypt. A deliverer gives birth to a new move of God’s Spirit, rescues, preserves and positions a remnant for God’s sovereign purposes in the earth. Moses was foremost a prophet who knew God face to face and led Israel through 40 years of pruning, preparation and miraculous provision. God gave Moses a vision of the Promised Land but didn’t let him enter into it.

A vision isn’t always possessed by the person who carries it. Abraham carried God’s vision for a new land and a new people but it was his offspring that actually possessed and lived in the reality of the vision. Sometimes we think that because we can see something, that we are the one’s entrusted with the fulfilment of the vision. Not always so. 

Moses saw the Promised Land but Joshua entered it. Moses passed the baton of leadership and faith to the Joshua generation. Even though Moses’ energy and spirit was not waning in any way, God was calling him home and required him to pass the baton to the next generation.

Joshua was called to be a Conqueror. Conqueror’s defeat and subdue their enemies. They gain ground and overcome obstacles and prevail over their adversaries. Joshua inherited a nation and led them into the Promised Land of God’s purpose and promise for them. However, Joshua grew mightily in his anointing and authority under the ministry of Moses. After Moses would leave the tent of meeting, Joshua would linger and soak in the presence of God. When Moses prayed, Joshua would fight on his behalf because God built Joshua for combat. Moses knew God face to face and Joshua benefited from Moses relationship with God.  However, there came a time for Joshua to step out of Moses shadow and lead Israel into God’s promises for them. God has given us a great example of generational leadership in Moses and Joshua.

Someone has said that Christianity is only one generation away from extinction. For 2,000 years Christianity has continued because each generation has taken responsibility to train and tell the coming generation of the greatness of God, often at remarkable cost.

King David said, ‘One generation shall commend your works to another generation, and shall declare your mighty acts.’  (Ps 145:4)

Each generation has to take responsibility to equip, empower, train and tell the generation coming through of what God has done and what He’s wanting to do today. Sadly, Joshua didn’t follow the pattern shown to him through his mentor Moses and did not raise up a successor after him to carry on the legacy of God’s promises and God’s purposes. It says in Judges 2:10 ‘There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.’

This tragedy occurs when the current generation becomes happy with what they have achieved and falls into a spirit of complacency about the generation to come. God has never called any of us to retire in our calling but to re-fire the next generation to carry the anointing of God’s Spirit to hearts who desperately need to hear and respond to the Gospel message.

Who are you passing the baton to? Just like a relay runner in a 4x100m race needs to run their leg well and pass the baton onto the next runner in order for the team to complete the race, You and I need to identify who God has called us to mentor and raise up in order to pass the baton on, so that God’s kingdom can continue to move forward in every successive generation.

The Oracle!

What is in your hand?

Exodus 4:2 “The Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?” He said, ‘A staff.'”

When God came to Moses and called him to deliver Israel from Egypt, Moses came up with a long list of reasons why God had called the wrong man. But God didn’t retreat from his call but simply asked Moses to consider what was in his hand.

When God calls you, he doesn’t begin with what you haven’t got, he begins right where you are with what is in your hand. Often we can feel overwhelmed by our inadequacies and what we lack rather than be looking at what is right in front of us. As a pastor of a growing church, I often find myself looking at the gap between the need and what we have to meet the need, be it people, leaders, ministry, resources, etc. I had such a moment the other day and God reminded me again, ‘Everything you need is right in front of you, you just need to use what is in your hand.’

Leaders, the resources, people, opportunities you need to breakthrough to the next level are already in your hands, you just need to look beyond the obvious, like Moses needed to (a staff) and see the potential of what God can do with the little you already have. Pastors, the money, people, ministry and opportunities are all before you but you need to use what is already in your hand. Stop looking at what you just lost or what you don’t have and see what God has already put into your sphere of influence.

God will begin right where you are. God called Moses to deliver a nation but it all began with what was in Moses’ hand. Don’t be discouraged by the challenges before you. God can perform the miraculous if you will faithfully use what he has put in your hand and better still, entrust into His hands what he has put into yours and he can multiply it and use it for his glory.

Insight!