By Sandy Jones
They say time flies, and the older I get the faster it seems to go by. The other day I saw something that basically said, “There’s two months left in this decade. What are you going to do with them?” In the hurried hustle and bustle that is life, somehow the fact that 2020 is a new decade had escaped me, at least to this literal of a point.
This thought challenged me. What have I done with this decade? What is still on my to-do list that should probably be completed prior to a new decade? What have I done for the Lord in this decade? Have I dug deep enough into His Word, so that I understand Him more? What if He returns tomorrow — am I prepared, or am I procrastinating until I’m “ready” to take those steps to whatever may be distancing me from Him? Deep thoughts, with some time spent in serious reflection, and, yet, at the same time a growing excitement as the anticipation of what the 2020’s may hold for us.
Each morning I receive an e-devotional. Usually they go through a book of the Bible, with each day covering a different chapter of that book. Recently we went through the Book of Numbers and now are into the Book of Leviticus. While I realize that when Jesus died, the veil was torn as our sacrificial lamb gave up His life for us, the timing of these two studies couldn’t have been better for me personally.
Like everyone I sometimes struggle. Life gets overwhelmingly busy and my focus shifts, and the next thing I know I’m in a dry season.
At these times we often hear the enemy screaming in our ear things like, ‘you’re not worthy,’ ‘you’re never going to be enough,’ or, to me, one of the worst things he whispers in my ear, ‘it doesn’t matter, He’s always there for you, you’ll get back to it one of these days,’ leaving me the impression I have all the time in the world — and even sadder yet is that this is often where the relationship between the Lord and I becomes far too casual on my end.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
In studying Leviticus, reading all the steps Aaron was to take to prepare himself and the sacrificial animals to atone for his sins, and with such reverence, this is a huge reminder to me that God is holy and deserves my utmost love and respect.
All too often my prayers are a hurried ‘Thank You, Lord, for…’ and off I go. Reading Leviticus reminds me that the Israelites at this time were still a traveling tent caravan; these sacrificial offerings were all that more difficult to do, as everything was done in a mobile unit, so to speak.
Just about the time I start feeling like maybe the enemy is right, that I’ll never measure up and never be enough, or I realize I’ve been buying into his lie that someday I’ll have time to be closer to God, the Holy Spirit reassures me this is not the case by taking me back to the studies in Exodus and Numbers.
If the Israelites could walk through the Red Sea, eat manna, and drink water from a rock (just to name a few miracles) and still lose their focus, and all the while God continued to love, guide and forgive them, showing them His grace and mercy time and again, then there’s hope for me. Yes, I know, they wandered in the desert for 40 years, and many never crossed over into the promised land because they continued to sin, they continued to disrespect God, and they suffered the consequences.
I’m not a Bible scholar but what I get from this study is that if the Israelites could live and breathe these mighty miracles, and still lose focus, that this is normal human behavior. God shared their story with us to inspire us to know that when the enemy tells us his lies, then we can reflect back on the Israelites’ story and realize that there’s still hope for us. God invites us to re-center and re-join Him, wherever we are, as we are. It gives me great faith in my future.
So as we close out this decade and move forward into the next, my goal continues to be much the same: to do my best to walk with God on a daily basis, and to do all I can to grow closer to Him and to share His love with as many people as I can.
How does the current Casting Crowns’ song go?
“I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody who saved my soul.”
I hope they don’t mind me borrowing this line; these words sum my life up perfectly.
I remember well the difference the Billy Graham Crusade made in my own life in 1982, and I admit I’m eagerly awaiting May 1-3 when Greg Laurie comes with his Boise Harvest Crusade. I can’t wait to see what the Lord will bring forth in the coming months as the Church comes together in preparation of this great event. I hope you’ll save at least one of these dates and join us there.
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God bless you through this holiday season!
Until next time…
“He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” — Psalm 103:7-12 NIV