Sunday Scriptures–Are You in A Place of In Between?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Are you in a place of in between?

I’m in a place of in between, and imagine many of you may be as well. You left one place in your life and are headed to another. You aren’t where you were, but you aren’t where you’re going, either. You are in between.

After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea in a magnificent display of God’s power, glory, and grace, they came to the desert oasis of Elim with its twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. God provided this stopping point for his people to rest before they hit the wilderness again on their way to the place Moses would receive from God’s hand his commands for how his people are to live. Mount Sinai.

Between Elim and Mount Sinai stretched the wilderness. That place Priscilla Shirer in her book, Awaken, calls the in-between. Priscilla says in between times are necessary because they are the bridge between what God has done for us, and what he’s preparing to do in our future.

This is where we learn to draw close to God as he teaches us how to depend on him for everything.

Perhaps at this moment, the wilderness feels as though it’s draining you dry. The refreshment of Elim is no longer dripping off your tongue, nor is Sinai’s peak in your line of sight. … But trust God. Believe that if He has positioned you in-between, for now, this is where you’ll grow nearer to Him and where you’ll be best prepared for what lies ahead.

The in-between time is not a waste.

Elim was yesterday, Sinai is tomorrow.

But for now … be in-between.  (Awaken)

If you are in-between, what do you do to draw near to God as you wait expectantly on the LORD?

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They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. Exodus 16:1 (ESV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Between Elim and Mount Sinai was the wilderness. That place Priscilla Shirer in her book, Awaken, calls the in-between. Priscilla says in between times are necessary because they are the bridge between what God has done for us and what he’s preparing to do in our future.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Being Content

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Content. A state of happiness and satisfaction.

A few words we might use as a synonym for content are fulfilled, cheerful, glad, restful, peaceful …

How often, I wonder, would we describe our lives as being content? The apostle Paul went through many, many dreadful life-threatening situations, yet declared he knew how to be happy no matter what.

Priscilla Shirer tells a story in her book, Awaken, about a family who went on a safari in Africa. The goal being to check off the sighting of the “Big Five”; elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion, and leopard.

Although they managed to check off four of the animals, they’d yet to spot a rhino.

This fact disturbed one family member to the point he was miserable and unable to enjoy the magnificent beauty of the things that surrounded him.

He was not content.

Seeing the other four animals, and I’m sure there were many more spectacular sights besides the big five, wasn’t enough. He wouldn’t be happy until he saw a rhinoceros.

We may shake our heads and think, “How silly. With everything God allowed him to see and experience, he’s gonna’ pout because he didn’t get to see a rhino?”

True. The experience alone should have brought joy to his heart, but what about us?

How many times do we pout and get all huffy because we don’t get that ONE thing we have our hearts set on?

How many times do we ignore all the good gifts God places in our life, and pine away for the ONE thing we don’t have?

When I look at my life, I’d have to say I’ve pouted over missing more than one rhino.

I’ve pouted over many rhinos.

Right now I’m keeping my eyes open for one particular rhinoceros which I do believe God will shoo out of the bush into my field of vision one day.

Until that time, however, I mustn’t lose sight of all the wonderful blessings he has already given, and is currently giving.

What about you? Any rhinos you’re pouting over, and in doing so, missing out on all the other good things?

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Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want;  for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. Philippians 4:11-13 (TLB) 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”How often, I wonder, would we describe our lives as being content? The apostle Paul declared he knew how to be happy no matter what.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

 

Sunday Scriptures — What’s Your Nineveh?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Priscilla Shirer’s book, Awaken, she asks the question in one of her devotions, “What’s your Nineveh?” She goes further and asks, “Where’s the place you never want to go?”

We’ve heard the story of Jonah and his outright refusal to take God’s message of repentance to the barbaric people in the terrifying city of Nineveh. Who could blame him? He knew what they did to people they didn’t like. Especially people who were Israelites and followed the One True God. And it wasn’t pleasant or pretty.

We know Jonah ran away, boarded a ship, was tossed overboard, swallowed by a large fish, spit out on dry land, and proceeded to Nineveh like God originally told him.

We know the Ninevites repented, and Jonah pouted.

Back to Priscilla’s devotion.

She asks us to look at the places or people where God is calling us to go. Those Ninevites, if you will, who we don’t really feel comfortable around. Those people with a reputation for being pretty rough. The ones who are nothing like us at all.

She says if we want to see God’s harvest, then we need to say yes to his call and go to our Nineveh. Priscilla says to say no “is to invite the chaotic distress and confusion that put Jonah in the belly of a great fish.”

How easy it is to say, “Where you lead me I will follow. Where you send me I will go.” And we truly mean it. We do. Putting feet to those words, however, requires something more. It requires action.

What’s your Nineveh? Are you willing to go, or like Jonah will you run?

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But the very first day when Jonah entered the city and began to preach, the people repented. Jonah shouted to the crowds that gathered around him, “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” And they believed him and declared a fast; from the king on down, everyone put on sackcloth—the rough, coarse garments worn at times of mourning. Jonah 3:4-5 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”In Priscilla Shirer’s book, Awaken, she asks the question, “What’s your Nineveh?” She goes further and asks, “Where’s the place you never want to go?”” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Your Servant is Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament we read the story of a woman who desperately cried out to God for a son. Samuel was the answer to Hannah’s pray. After he was weaned, she took him to the temple of the Lord, and left him in the care of Eli, the priest.

One night when Samuel was a young boy, he woke from his sleep to a voice calling his name. Thinking it was Eli, he went to him and asked what the priest needed, but Eli hadn’t called the boy. This happened three more times before Eli realized God was the one calling Samuel. He told Samuel to lie back down, and if he heard the voice again, to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”

In my February 25, 2018 Sunday Scriptures post I referenced Priscilla Shirer’s book, Awaken. 

Today, I’m going back to her book. This time to talk about listening to God’s voice when he speaks to us.

Priscilla told of being on a volleyball team where team members would shout, “I’ve got it!”, then both players stepped aside believing the other player had the play.

When neither stepped up to hit the ball, it dropped and the point was lost.

I’ve seen that happen in sports. Perhaps you have as well.

The point of Priscilla’s devotion, and mine, is to question whether we yell, “I’ve got it!” when presented with a ministry opportunity, only to step back and let the opportunity fall to the ground?

Though a boy, Samuel stepped up and answered God’s call. He was listening.

Priscilla’s final thoughts were these:

If the Father allows you to see a need, and He softens your heart to be tender toward it, this is your opportunity to engage. It’s your invitation to respond and join in His work.

Just as Samuel was willing to be a part of the plan God had for his life, and join in God’s work which included anointing David as king, don’t you think we should respond as Samuel did?

Speak, LORD for your servant is listening.

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Later, the Lord came and stood there, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!” as he had before.

Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (ISV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Samuel was willing to be a part of the plan God had for his life, don’t you think we should respond as he did? Speak, LORD for your servant is listening.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]