A Rock Song

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.” (2 Samuel 22:2 NIV) 

We are weaker than we are willing to admit, and God is stronger than we are able to comprehend! We are easily moved, yet God is immovable. We are unsteady, yet God is unshakable.

Do you currently feel as though your life is on shaky ground? Do you feel like your strength is nearly gone and you are on the brink of giving up? Then today is a perfect day to remember that God is your rock, your refuge, and your strength.

Music often grabs our attention, captures our emotions, and inspires our imaginations, and in the Bible, no one enjoyed music more than King David. Music was the instrument of expression for this man after God’s own heart. He wrote countless songs that trumpeted the heights of his love for God, and he also sang psalms that sounded the depths of his soul’s despair. His words resonate deeply with us today because an emotional and spiritual harmony is shared through our mutual struggles, fears, and joys.

Here in 2 Samuel 22 (and in Psalm 18), David wrote a “rock” song of thanksgiving that summed up his life and relationship with God. David praised God for who He is. David recognized and lifted his voice to God his rock, his fortress, and his deliverer. David was well acquainted with anxiety and often found himself on shaky ground, but God had been a stronghold for David, and when David cried out to God in his times of distress, God delivered him. After David was delivered from the hand of Saul and all the enemies of Israel, he sang this song of praise to God for His deliverance.

God was a refuge for David, and He is a refuge for His people today. He is a shelter, a stronghold, and a safe place to run to for all who trust in Him. He is a firm foundation upon which we can stand and upon whom we can build our lives. As much as we need to recognize these truths, we must also go beyond the mere realization that God is all these things and more to His people. We must also personalize these truths. Ask yourself this: Is God my rock? Is God my fortress? Is God my deliverer? The best way to move from the realization that these things are true to the personalization that they are true for you, is to consider the words of Jesus: “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock” (Matthew 7:24 NLT).

When your life is built on Jesus, you can trust Him to be a rock in shaky times, a fortress in hard times, and a deliverer in fearful times. Build your life on the solid rock of Jesus, because there is no rock like our rock, and there is no God like our God!

 

For more daily devotions get your copy of God Every Day: 365 Life Application Devotions. Available in print or as an e-book for when you are on the go! 

Eating Biblically

Enjoy my latest article written for THE OC CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE. For more articles like this visit TheOCChristianmag.com

One of my favorite verses in the Bible has to be, “I have given you every French fry and milk shake on the face of the earth, every double cheeseburger and variety of pizza. This shall be your food to eat.” Ok, well, the Bible doesn’t actually say that, but some of us eat like that is a commandment from God. So, if the Bible doesn’t say that, what then, does it have to say about the food we should eat?

 

We were created as omnivores. It may sound a little Jurassic Park, but all it means is that God gave us the ability to eat both plants and animals. That being said, the Bible seems to indicate that we physically benefit the most from a diet consisting of less meat and more vegetables (Genesis 1:29, Daniel 1:12-15). After creation instructions about food, came some additional food laws, dietary restrictions that are found largely in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy; dietary restrictions that were intended to apply only to the Israelites. The purpose was to make the Israelites distinct from all other nations, but when we move into the New Testament those laws become a choice, not an obligation.

 

Jesus in the New Testament declared all food to be clean when He said: “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”(Mark 7:15-16) Other references to our food freedom can be found in (Acts 10:15, Roman 14:1-3)

But clean food doesn’t necessarily mean healthy food when it comes to the diet we should follow on a daily basis. So what’s a Christian eat?

 

Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone

Perhaps looking at what people ate in Jesus’ day is a good place to gain some perspective. Most people in the late BC early AD time period consumed a plant-based diet. In that part of the world, lentils, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dates, nuts and fish were all very popular and very plentiful. For snacks, some, like John the Baptist, even ate grasshoppers and crickets! Don’t worry this isn’t going to be an article listing Fifty Tasty Ways to Eat Crickets, there won’t be any honey roasted cricket recipes, no lightly salted cricket trail mix recommendations, and no instructions on how to make your own cricket jerky (although that might make an interesting cooking show).  

 

Some of the foods that Jesus likely ate would have been olives, figs, grapes, lamb, legumes (like lentils or beans), melons, pomegranates, dates, nuts, raisins, milk, cheese, eggs, and cucumbers. A few foods we know Jesus ate were fish and honey (Luke 24:42), bread and wine (Matthew 26), although the type of wine commonly drunk would have been a less fermented version closer to our grape juice, and figs would also have been an everyday type of food for Jesus (Matthew 28:18-19).

 

The usual day-to-day foodstuff for that region, in that era, would mean a simple start to the day with a light breakfast of bread or a piece of fruit. At midday, persons in the Holy Land would likely eat a light lunch of bread, grain, olives, and figs. The main meal was eaten at the end of the day and was often a stew where bread was used to spoon the stew. The stew might consist of vegetables, lentils, or chickpeas and ordinarily would be spiced with garlic, leeks, and herbs. Meat was only served occasionally, for example when an important guest was visiting. Among the well to do, lamb or calves were kept for feasts (Luke 15: 23–30).

 

All You Can Eat

Clearly we live in a different day and age. It is a day and age in which there is an over-abundance of food choices, all you can eat buffets, and microwave ready meals. A day and age where bags of processed foods line the shelves of every grocery store, and where much of our foods come with additives and preservatives, artificial colors and chemically concocted flavors, and our dependence on “convenience foods” contributes to some serious diseases. So with all the modifications and developments to our food is there really such a thing as eating biblically in today’s day and age?

The simple truth is that eating a diet loaded with processed food means we are eating a diet of empty calories, a diet that is not as God intended. It means we are eating foods that are high in sugar, loaded with salt, and filled with fat, all the while providing our bodies with little nutritional value.

 

Does that mean if we want eat a more biblically based diet we must go to the extreme of clearing out our cupboards and throwing away all our processed foods, vowing never to drink another soda again, banning all cereals from our homes, and burying every individually wrapped cream-filled sponge cake in the back yard? Well, although that might be a bit extreme, you might want to stop and take an inventory of just how much processed food you are eating and make some adjustments! Now, the extent of your processed food cleanse is up to you, but one thing is certain, the less your diet consists of processed foods, the better and more biblical it will be.

 

You Are What You Eat

Whatever cleansing course of action you decide to take you need to be realistic in your approach to eating a healthier more biblical diet. You need to understand that a diet with fewer processed foods and more whole foods, a diet with less meat and more plant based produce, a diet of moderation and not of overindulgence, a diet that seeks to treat your body as a temple and less like a compost heap of junk food, will lead to a diet more inline with how God intended us to eat.

 

A realistic approach to eating biblically also needs to recognize that change doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t go from junk food junkie to steadfast vegetarian in seven days. And while becoming a vegetarian certainly is one option, it isn’t necessary for eating biblically. The Bible doesn’t spell out what our daily diets should be, but it does have an important word of warning regarding how much food we eat. The warning here is against the regular practice of overeating, aka, gluttony. (Proverbs 23:20)

 

A realistic approach to eating more biblically means that as you begin analyzing your eating habits ask yourself a simple question, why am I eating this? Eating biblically doesn’t happen by chance, it means being purposeful and disciplined. Determine to start being thoughtful and intentional about what you eat and not haphazard and random.

 

Next, a realistic approach to eating more biblically means you should start incorporating more fresh foods. As a Chef I can add this, fresh food always makes for tastier food and it is better for you too. Now, adding more fresh foods to your daily diet doesn’t mean that you are eliminating all processed foods cold turkey (no pun intended). Whether it is out of convenience or cravings, taste or time, odds are most of us are going to eat of the forbidden processed food tree from time to time, but our goal here should be that these times of processed food clemency should be the exception and not the rule in our regular food regimes. Make it a beginning goal to simply eat more fresh food.

Here’s a tip: I have heard it said that when grocery shopping you should “shop the perimeter” because the center of the store is where the more highly processed foods are located. And that is a good rule of thumb. One additional food shopping guideline I have tried to stick to as often as possible is when purchasing “processed foods” I try to buy only those products with five ingredients or less. The idea here is the more ingredients the more processed and the more words that you need a Chemistry degree to be able to pronounce.

 

Another realistic approach to eating biblically means you must use wisdom. Be wise when it comes to the food you choose to eat because in so doing you are being a good steward of the body God has given you. The Bible tells us that using wisdom leads to long life (Proverbs 9:11) and eating healthy is a wise decision that can improve your health and thereby extend your life. 

 

            Finally let me say this, eating biblically is mostly about choices. It is about finding simple ways to incorporate healthy choices into your current lifestyle and it is about choosing to remember and be motivated by the following, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

A good rule of thumb is to balance your diet in the following way, 50 percent of what you eat should be made up of vegetables, 25 percent nutritious proteins, and 25 percent whole grains (or starchy vegetable). Below is a list containing 45 foods to help you make eat biblically.

 

 

Fruits and Nuts: Almonds (Genesis 43:11; Numbers 17:8), Dates (2 Samuel 6:19; 1 Chronicles 16:3), Figs (Nehemiah 13:15; Jeremiah 24:1-3), Grapes (Leviticus 19:10; Deuteronomy 23:24), Melons (Numbers 11:5; Isaiah 1:8), Olives (Isaiah 17:6; Micah 6:15), Pistachio’s (Genesis 43:11), Pomegranates (Numbers 20:5; Deuteronomy 8:8), and Raisins (Numbers 6:3; 2 Samuel 6:19).

Vegetables and Legumes: Beans (2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9), Cucumbers (Numbers 11:5), Gourds (2 Kings 4:39), Leeks (Numbers 11:5), Lentils (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9), and Onions (Numbers 11:5).


Grains: Barley (Deuteronomy 8:8; Ezekiel 4:9), Bread (Genesis 25:34; 2 Samuel 6:19; 16:1; Mark 8:14), Corn (Matthew 12:1; KJV – refers to “grain” such as wheat or barley), Flour (2 Samuel 17:28; 1 Kings 17:12), Millet (Ezekiel 4:9), Spelt (Ezekiel 4:9), Unleavened Bread (Genesis 19:3; Exodus 12:20), and Wheat (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8).

Fish (Matthew 15:36, John 21:11-13)

Fowl: Partridge (1 Samuel 26:20; Jeremiah 17:11), Pigeon (Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 12:8), Quail (Psalm 105:40), Dove (Leviticus 12:8), and Eggs (Job 6:6; Luke 11:12).

Domestic Livestock: Calf (Proverbs 15:17; Luke 15:23), Goat (Genesis 27:9), Lamb (2 Samuel 12:4), Oxen (1 Kings 19:21), Sheep (Deuteronomy 14:4), and Venison (Genesis 27:7 KJV).

Dairy: Butter (Proverbs 30:33), Cheese (2 Samuel 17:29; Job 10:10), Curds (Isaiah 7:15), and Milk (Exodus 33:3; Job 10:10; Judges 5:25).

Misc.: Grape Juice (Numbers 6:3), Honey (Exodus 33:3; Deuteronomy 8:8; Judges 14:8-9), Locust (Mark 1:6), Olive Oil (Ezra 6:9; Deuteronomy 8:8), and Vinegar (Ruth 2:14; John 19:29).

 

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All Things New

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. (Revelation 21:1)

A day is coming when hurts will be history, when sorrows will subside forever, when death will disappear into obscurity, when tears no longer will trickle down a troubled face, and when mortality will give way to immortality. A day is coming when there will be no more physical or emotional pain and no more brokenness in the world, there will be no more broken bodies, broken hearts, broken relationships, and broken lives. A day is coming when God will make all things new.

In the first two chapters of the Bible, we see how God created the first heaven and the first earth, prepared for the first man and the first woman. God prepared a perfect and beautiful place for them to live called the Garden of Eden, where even God could be found walking in the cool of the day. Unfortunately, the first sin was committed in this same place, bringing death into the world and thereby vandalizing God’s creation. What followed this fall of man were the preparation, reception, and continued proclamation of the redemptive work of God through Jesus Christ. All of this leads us to the final two chapters of the Bible, where God’s original intentions for the creation are fully and finally realized.

In order to properly understand the Bible and live lives that glorify God, we must never lose sight of God’s big picture. “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) gives us the context for creation. “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16) gives us the redemptive plan for God’s creation, and “Behold I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5) provides the culmination of creation.

One of the best ways to live a life that honors God and works toward accomplishing all that He has planned for your life is by living in light of heaven. If you are not looking forward to life in eternity, then you are reducing your ability to be effective for God today. The Bible tells us that we are to be looking ahead and living for heaven because “there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20 MSG). This heavenly reminder keeps us motivated to share the hope of heaven with others and keeps our eyes off the hardships found here on earth, as we wait patiently for the new heaven and new earth.

A day is coming when body and soul will be as God had always intended. A day is coming when sin will no longer bind. A day is coming when creation will be as the Creator intended, and we will dwell in the brightest light imaginable as we live in the light of God’s glory, as we rejoice in His holiness forever, and as we see Him face to face. A day is coming when God will make all things new!

Looking ahead to all the possibilities that a New Year has to offer keep God’s big picture in mind as you live out each new day. 

Get more devotional thoughts like this in my daily devotional "God Every Day: 365 Life Application Devotions", available everywhere!

A Christian Response to Terrorism

Bombings. Beheadings. Mass shootings. Kidnappings. Rocket attacks. Suicide blasts. Has terrorism become the new normal in the world? For some countries, incidents like these have been the norm for far too long.

 

According to the US State Department there has been a thirty-five percent increase in terrorism globally from 2013 to 2014, and that number continues to rise. We know, all too well, that the US is no longer a stranger to these modern acts of terror, from Manhattan to Boston, Oklahoma City to Sandy Hook, the list goes on, and on, and sadly on some more.

           

Now, with the latest attacks in Paris what does a Christian response to terrorism look like? 

 

First, let me say that this is in no way is the be all and end all to the Christian response, but it is a place to start, and sometimes as we are in shock and trying to process an act of terror what we need most is the next step, a place to start.

 

Pray. It seems like an obvious place to start, but it is not the simplest place to start. Yes, we pray, and in this case we pray for Paris, for the victims, their families, and the nation. We pray for healing and help, for protection and provision. But, we also pray for our enemies. This is where prayer gets difficult, but it is also where it gets uniquely Christian.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). But how, how do I pray for my enemy when, if I am honest with myself, all I want is payback, and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

 

Here is one way you can pray for an enemy: “Father, grant that my enemy would come under the saving, power of the Gospel and that you would make my enemy part of your family. Grant, Father, that my enemy would love to do your will on Earth as it is done in heaven with the purest of motives and great joy. And forgive my enemy his sins, as you bring him to repentance, and protect him from the destructive power of evil.”

 

Love. Love is a choice we make. Sure, sometimes love comes with that special “feeling” in our hearts, but biblical love is defined the choices we make, because love is more than a feeling, true love is backed up by action. Whether it is with Paris or some other place where terrorism strikes, love often begins by weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15). This means we share in their grief, we support them in their sorrow, and we come along side them to help in their healing.

 

Trust. Our trust must be in God and it must remain there. We cannot allow evil to push us off our foundation of faith. Evil is a reality, it has existed from the beginning of creation and it will continue to be a reality until God establishes a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, we trust in God’s sovereignty. Trust like this means, confidence in God is not shaken even though evil abounds. Trust like this means leaning on the absolute reliability of Gods Word. Trust like this means maintaining ones faith, hope, love.

 

Serve. Let’s get practical for a moment shall we. The Christian faith isn’t pie in the sky wishful thinking; it is a practical faith. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus and that means putting on our boots, rolling up our sleeves, and doing what needs to be done. Donate blood, buy some needed supplies for victims, help at hospitals, give generously, make food for rescue workers, support other volunteers, and donate time, energy, and resources in whatever ways are possible for you. Christians need to be doers instead of spectators.

 

Fear Not! When we see the horrific images on TV it is easy to become overwhelmed with fear, but we cannot allow fear to rule our lives. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Simply put, fear does not come from God. The enemy wants us to be afraid and to live in fear, but God wants His peace to guard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7). We should take precautions, be mindful of our surroundings, evaluate situations, and respond appropriately, but we must not let fear keep us from living our lives.

 

When terrorism hits, like it has in Paris, we are angered at evil, and anger is natural and it is an acceptable reaction towards evil, but we must remember that God calls us not to sin in our anger (Ephesians 4:26). These acts of terror are devastating and painful for sure, but the Christian response must be one that seeks to help and to bring hope. The Christian response must include forgiveness and continue to dispense grace. The Christian response to terrorism is one that reflects the nature of God, that looks to Jesus as the example, that searches the scriptures for instruction and direction, and it is one of compassion.

6 Ways to Tune Up Your Prayer Life

I have been asked to write two articles on prayer for the fall issue of The OC Christian and LA Christian Magazine. Here is a sample of one of the articles. The Fall issue comes out at the end of September so get your printed copy or go to www.theocchristianmagazine.com for an eversion when it hits the stands.

6 Ways to Tune Up Your Prayer Life

Prayer does not come easy to everyone, for some it is a hard habit to maintain, for others it comes as automatic as breathing. So, if your prayer life could use a boost, and honestly whose couldn’t use a little improvement, then take a look at some of the practical guidelines below, and who knows they just might make your time with the God more fruitful. 

Be aware that these are suggestions and as such not every one will apply to your particular situation, but if you begin to incorporate some of them, your prayer life is sure to be strengthened.

1. A quite time should start off by being quite, so choose a place to pray that is free from distractions so you can concentrate. Sitting in front of the TV and hitting the mute button for ten minutes doesn’t cut it. Find a place where you can be alone and uninterrupted during this time.

2. Pray at the same time every day. Why is this important? Well, simply put, it will help you to make prayer a regular routine and by making it a regular routine it will eventually become a habit and we all know habits are hard to break, so why not have a good habit of prayer in place.

3. When possible pray out loud. This will help keep your mind from wandering off in a thousand different directions. It is so easy to let our minds wander to our cares, concerns, to do lists and so on. Praying out loud helps maintain focus and keeps your attention on God.

4. Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to incorporate a few different ways of connecting with God. You can spend some of your prayer time praying scripture, worshipping through song, meditating on a psalm, or even going for a walk and allowing God’s creation to inspire your prayer time.

5. Keep a prayer journal. This can help you keep track of what you have prayed for and when you prayed for it. You may choose to simply make a few notes or you may want to write out your prayers completely. Either way this will help you to keep a record of how God answers your prayers. 

6. Keep a prayer list handy. Let’s be honest, sometimes our minds can use a little help and by keeping a prayer list handy you can help jog your prayer memory, so here is a list of 30 Things You Can Pray for:

  1.    Praise to God
  2.    Family Members (By name)
  3.    Friends (By name)
  4.    Co-workers (By name)
  5.    Acquaintances 
  6.    Church Family
  7.    Church Ministries (Youth, Children’s, Missions)
  8.    Corporate Church Body (Local, world)
  9.    Your Town
  10.    Your City
  11.    Your State
  12.    The Nation
  13.    The World
  14.    Work/School
  15.    Finances
  16.    Personal Struggles
  17.    Family Struggles
  18.    Confession
  19.    Special Needs
  20.    Salvation Requests
  21.    Evangelism/Spreading the Word
  22.    Missionaries
  23.    Giving Thanks
  24.    Marriage
  25.    Physical Needs/Health (Personal, Others)
  26.    Christ-likeness (Thoughts, Words, Actions)
  27.    Loving (1 Corinthians Example)
  28.    Stewardship (Time and Treasures)
  29.    God’s Word 
  30.    Gods Will

A Short Summer Time Devotion

Summer is here, and that means its time to break out the flip-flops, sunscreen, and charcoal. As people make their way to the beaches, as they gather for summer BBQ’s, and sit out by the pool it can be easy to allow the relaxed atmosphere of summertime to carry over into your walk with the Lord. Packed calendars, summer weddings, family reunions, and squeezing in some sort of vacation can leave you needing a vacation from your vacation. So here are a few ways to help you keep God on your mind while you are on your way here and there to your summertime destinations. If you’re heading to the zoo, think about Noah and the ark and the diversity of Gods creation (Genesis 7:1-5). Heading to the beach, talk about the difference between building your house on shifting sand verses solid rock (Matthew 7:24-27). Spending some time near a lake or on a boat, consider how Jesus calmed the storm (Luke 8:22-25. Cooking out at a BBQ, as you enjoy the sweet smell of coming from the grill consider how we are the fragrance of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). There are many opportunities to bring God into your daily summer activities, so be creative and enjoy your summer more as you consider how God can be seen everywhere you go.

Don't fool yourself...

James 1:22 -24 Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” (TMG)

 

When we read the bible - we learn about God (that should be obvious) because through the Word:

·      We discover God’s Nature

·      We discover His character

·      We see His majesty        

·      We see His power

 

And as we discover God through the pages of scripture we are often left speechless as we encounter the greatness of God. We are often left awestruck as we gaze upon His power and majesty, as we who are finite seek to understand the infinite. As we journey through the bible learning about God, We must ask an important question– What difference does it make?

 

If what we learn about God doesn’t move us to be different – then what is the point!

 

Consider the question this way: Is an unchanged Christian – really a Christian?

 

Griffith Thomas, an early 20th Century Pastor in England, said this about this about Romans chapters 12-16:

 

“After revelation comes responsibility; after principles, practice and after belief comes behavior; after creed comes conduct. Right thinking leads ultimately to right living. If good theology is the foundation of the Christian life, then godly Christian living rises naturally from that solid foundation. It is never enough simply to know the truth; at some point we must begin to live the truth. Likewise, we must not simply embrace the truth; the truth we believe must at some point embrace us.” 

Don't fool yourself  into thinking that if you just go to church or just read you Bible you are "OK."

Don't fool yourself  into thinking that it no change is acceptable. 

Don't fool yourself into thinking that just because you might "look" better or "act" better than this person or that person you pass muster.  

If more knowledge doesn't lead to more right living than, as James says, you are fooling yourself, Don't fool yourself!

What's Your Excuse?

Excerpt taken from "God Every Day: 365 Life Application Devotions" by Mike Lutz

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)

* * * *

The German poet Christian Hebbel once said, “Whoever wants to be a judge of human nature should study people's excuses.” Whether it is “I forgot,” “I’m too busy,” “I had car trouble,” “There was traffic,” or the all-time favorite excuse of students, “The dog ate my homework,” we have all heard them and maybe even used them ourselves at one time or another. People fundamentally use excuses to justify their own actions or avoid getting involved in something they would prefer to stay out of.

Have you ever made an excuse to God? Have you ever sought to justify your actions before God or attempted to offer an excuse to avoid involvement in some opportunity that He was making available to you?

For Moses, it had been forty years since he attempted God’s will. At that time Moses was presumptuous, impulsive, and prideful, but now, after forty years in the backside of the desert, he had become reluctant, cautious, and humble. It was then that Moses had an encounter with God at the burning bush, and he was overwhelmed by what God asked him to do.

Moses’ reaction to this phenomenal opportunity that God placed before him was to make an excuse: “Who am I?” Perhaps Moses was thinking he was too old, or perhaps he was haunted by his past failures, or perhaps it was the fear of being rejected. I suspect that it was all of the above and more that led Moses to offer God a series of excuses.

God took the time to reassure Moses that He would be with Him, that He would guide Him, and that He would give Him the words to speak and the miracles to perform. In short, God was telling Moses, “I will take care of everything.” All Moses had to do was trust God.

We need to keep in mind here that Moses’ reluctance to do God’s will was not a rejection of God’s will, but it was the starting point for Moses to learn and understand that if he was going to do God’s will, then it would have to be God’s way. It was through Moses’ reluctance that he recognized his weaknesses, was able to admit his failures, could see his inadequacies, and was able to understand his need for God’s help. God used Moses’ excuse to reveal to him that it didn’t matter who Moses was; what mattered was who God is! Eventually Moses let go of his fears and weaknesses and allowed God to use him.

It is okay to recognize your weaknesses, because the fact is that we all have weaknesses and limitations, but we cannot allow them to keep us from what God wants to do in and through our lives. If we allow our excuses to get in the way of following God, then we are demonstrating a lack of faith in God’s ability to accomplish His plans and purposes through us. Everyone has shortcomings; no one can do it all. And the sooner we recognize our weaknesses, the sooner God can work by His strength through us.

Don’t let reluctance turn to rejection. Don’t let inadequacy to into inactivity. God gives us what we need, when we need it, in order to accomplish what He wills. What excuse is holding you back from obeying God and serving Him with all your heart? Don’t let excuses keep you from experiencing the blessings that God wants to give you.