A Time of Change and Transition

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As summer draws to a close, it’s a time of change and transition. Students go back to school and vacations come to an end. It won’t be long before leaves change color and fall to the ground. But one of the greatest times of change and transition recorded in the Bible is found in Exodus chapters 13-14.

In the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, God did not take them the shortest route to the promised land. Because he knew they were not strong enough, yet, to face the Philistines and conquer the land he would eventually give them, God took his people a roundabout way instead. You might say he took them the long way home.

Amidst our times of change and transition God sometimes does the same with us, don’t you think?

We see a direct line between where we are and where we want to be, but from God’s perspective, he sees things differently.

God doesn’t always take us the shortest route because he knows our strengths, and he knows our weaknesses.

The Israelites questioned, grumbled, complained, and resisted God the whole way. They didn’t realize the road God chose for them led away from disaster, not toward it. They didn’t understand receiving God’s deliverance meant obeying him. They didn’t want to accept the fact that in order to be delivered from bondage, they had to follow the route God laid out in front of them.

We do that too, don’t we? We want a change. We want God’s deliverance, but when God tells us to obey and follow him the long way home, we balk. When God tells us we have to be obedient to his law, his rules, his way, we cry out like the Israelites, and decide we’d rather die where we are than go one step further on the path God laid out.

When we read the story of the mass of humanity caught between the waters of the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, we read a story of fear; and rightly so. I doubt many of them were expert swimmers.

The odds didn’t look good from where they stood. When Moses told the people not to be afraid, to stand firm, and see God’s deliverance, I’m sure more than one of those Israelites thought Moses was loco.

Moses told the Israelites the reason they didn’t need to be afraid; the LORD would fight for them.

The same God who delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh’s army and safely led them across a dry river bed, is the same God who delivers us from the armies and seas that trap us. Following God does not mean all will be smooth sailing. No sirree. Anything but.

When we follow God, we will face frightening experiences. Guaranteed. The challenge, however, is to put our potentially frightening circumstances and situations up against the all-powerful Lord God Almighty. The One who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Change and transition can be frightening. The unknown can be frightening. Moving from one phase of life to another can be frightening. The main thing we should remember during our times of transition is the fact anything we might fear is nothing compared to the God who goes before us and leads the way.

Are there any changes or transitions you are facing in your life?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

So the people of Israel followed all of Jehovah’s instructions to Moses and Aaron. That very day the Lord brought out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt, wave after wave of them crossing the border. Exodus 12:50-51 (TLB)

I wish you well,

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Jehovah-nissi

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Jehovah-nissi. The LORD is my Banner. Moses first declared this truth during the Israelite battle against Amalek in Exodus 17.

In this battle Moses stood at the top of a hill with the staff God used in Moses’ hand to perform miracles before Pharaoh. As long as Moses held the staff high in the air, Israel won, but whenever his arms grew weary and dropped to his side, the Israelites lost ground. (I wrote more detail about this battle and the importance of helping each other when we become weary here, if you are interested.)

Many times during the Israelites’ battles to possess the land of Canaan they were told to be strong and courageous. They were told not to become discouraged when the odds didn’t look to be in their favor. Because the LORD their God would go before them and fight the battle, they were told to stand firm.

Jehovah-nissi went before them. His banner protected them. Those under God’s banner found victory through him.

God is our Jehovah-nissi just as much today as he was when Moses stood on that hill with the staff of God in his hands. Our Banner goes before us and fights our battles. We can find protection and victory under God’s banner of love.

To claim that protection, however, we must rally beneath his Sovereignty and not go off on our own to fight the battles we face every day.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). Exodus 17:15 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Stand in the Gap

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the 6th Century B.C. Ezekiel, the priest taken into Babylonian captivity, spoke to the generation born in exile about the sins of the Israelites that brought them so low and also to sustain the faith of the exiles by predicting national restoration, the execution of justice upon their oppressors, and of national glory under David’s monarchy.

In the middle of the Old Testament book of Ezekiel God tells the priest God has been patient with the Israelites, but they continued to rebel and disobey his laws. He tells Ezekiel Jerusalem’s doom is inevitable.

Near the end of Chapter 22 the Lord said he looked for someone to stand in the gap before him on behalf of the land, but found no one.

In considering what it means to stand in the gap, I thought of several things.courtesy bing

  • the story of the little Dutch boy who saved the village by placing his finger in the hole of the dike
  • the workers who kept their weapons with them as they rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem after they returned from exile
  • the prayer warriors who intercede before God on behalf of others

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 “I looked in vain for anyone who would build again the wall of righteousness that guards the land, who could stand in the gap and defend you from my just attacks, but I found not one.” Ezekiel 22:30 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Turn Back to God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The book of Isaiah is a book of Israel’s turning from and returning to God. Over and over and over.

We might read the book and think, What was wrong with those Israelite’s? Why didn’t they stay true to God and do what he told them to do? He provided for them before, why didn’t they trust him to provide again?

But you know that saying, be careful when you point your finger at someone because when you do, the rest of your fingers are pointing right back atcha’.

Have any of us turned away from God and returned again? Have we ever sinned and not done what his Holy Bible tells us to do? Have we ever doubted God was with us, would care for us, and see us through our time of difficulty? Have we ever resorted to our own devices instead of waiting on the Lord?

God longed for his people to turn back to him. He didn’t want to see the destruction that would come upon them if they didn’t. He wants the same for us today.

God does not want us to be destroyed by Satan’s lies and the pain of following the great deceiver. God longs for each of us to turn back from going our own way and get on the path God established for us. He wants us to never forget the price Jesus paid to sweep our sins away from us when we confess him as our LORD and Savior.

It’s easy to look at others and wonder what their problem is. It’s harder to look at our own lives and figure out what our problem is. The solution, I believe, is to turn back to God and follow his way.

I for one am extremely grateful God allows us to keep coming back whenever we stray away from him. How about you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Turn back to me! I have rescued you and swept away your sins as though they were clouds. Isaiah 44:22 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — The Chicken Little Effect

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Something I try to remind myself whenever a situation appears daunting, is to remember everything God has already brought me through and realize he didn’t being me this far to drop me now.

When I stop and consider each and every time God has shown up and showed out, the fear of the future event shrinks and releases the grip it held on my throat. But that takes a deliberate act on my part. It doesn’t come easy.

I have to choose to remember God’s goodness in the face of the awful.

Sometimes we get caught up in the crowd mentality around us. I call it the Chicken Little sky is falling effect. You know, the mistaken belief disaster is imminent. Fear can run through a group of people like a fast spreading fire, destroying everything in its path.

It seems the Israelites fell into this Chicken Little trap more than once when they made decisions and forgot to remember what God had already done for them, causing them to freeze in their tracks fearing the what-ifs.

When they reached the Promised Land they listened to the report of the ten spies who said the land couldn’t be taken. They didn’t listen to the two spies who said with God on their side, it most assuredly could be conquered.

The people forgot who God was. The Almighty Powerful Sovereign LORD. They lost perspective of who they were in God’s eyes. Beloved people. Set apart.

They stood at the edge of the land God promised them afraid to open the door and step inside. They refused to take the land and missed out on God’s blessings for them.

They accepted God’s provision of food, water, clothing, shade from the cloud by day and warmth from the pillar of fire by night. Maybe when it came to conquering the land of Canaan, with its men who made the ten spies feel like grasshoppers in their eyes, they didn’t believe God could provide and deliver them.

I wonder…do we do the same thing? Are we okay with believing God can handle the things we consider small, but allow fear to make us falsely believe he can’t handle the bigger, tougher, scarier issues in life?

We can get caught up in the sky is falling mentality and forget who holds the sky in place.

Fear can lead us to do some pretty strange things. Forgetting who God is and what he is able to do being one of those things.

Back to the beginning of this post…remember what God has already brought us through and realize he didn’t bring us this far to drop us now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

 We are afraid, because the men who explored the land told us that the cities are large, with walls that reach to the sky. The people who live there are taller and stronger than we are, and some of them are Anakim. We have nowhere to go.”

Then I said, “Don’t worry! The Lord our God will lead the way. He will fight on our side, just as he did when we saw him do all those things to the Egyptians. And you know that the Lord has taken care of us the whole time we’ve been in the desert, just as you might carry one of your children.”

But you still would not trust the Lordeven though he had always been with us in the desert. During the daytime, the Lord was in the cloud, leading us in the right direction and showing us where to camp. And at night, he was there in the fire. Deuteronomy 1:28-33 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!