Break Camp and Move Out

It is easy to become comfortable in our familiar routine, and settle in the surroundings that we know best. Sometimes, we may even find ourselves in seasons of wandering, yet that too can become so routine, that we become fearful of moving into something new. The Israelites had been wandering in the desert for forty years. They had seasons of movement and seasons of staying in place, each with a purpose to hear from the Lord and see the power of His provision and faithfulness in action. When at long last they came to the point where God was calling them forward, fear entered in and prevented the older generation from receiving the promise that the Lord had provided all those years prior.

 

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev, and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore He would give to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and to their descendants after them.” – (Deuteronomy 1:6-8)

 

Sadly, when Moses sent men to spy out the land to determine WHERE to enter, they came back and began to spread false reports about the conditions, because they were afraid of the risk involved with obeying what God had asked. Only Joshua and Caleb spoke truth and trusted that God would do all that He had promised. The faithful who trusted, saw God’s promises fulfilled, whereas those who chose to live in fear, missed out on all that God had for them.

 

The same principles are in play for us today. Where is God calling us to break camp and move out? What new territory is He asking us to step into, that He has already prepared in advance for us? Movement can be terrifying, especially when there are giants in the midst of plentiful land. If we give fear a foothold, we miss out on the abundance of what the Lord has prepared for us in advance. May we rise up in courage and obedience, break camp and move out into all that He is calling us to do.

 

Let not our comfort,Break Camp and Move Out

keep us from the Lord;

all He has prepared,

the grace He’ll afford.

When we hear Him call,

may we quickly say;

“Oh Lord, here am I,

help me to obey.”

No matter what’s seen,

make us strong in You;

for where You call us,

You will lead us through.

Rise up in courage,

break camp and move out;

embrace His calling,

our Help and safe route.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises and Your presence. Thank You that You lead us to new places of discovering more of You, that go beyond what we would hope for. Forgive us for our fearfulness when we see the obstacles in front of us between here and there, and grant us Your strength and courage to rise up and move out into all that You are asking us to do. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would focus on the promises rather than the obstacles that seem to stand in the way. Thank You that You are far greater than anything that would attempt to keep us from entering into the new You are calling us into. Lead us to love others in such a way, that they may see You in us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be exalted O God, as we break camp and move out into the new things You are calling us to do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you.” – Exodus 33:19

Standing Firm in the Storm

Paul, more than most, understood what it was to stand firm, even in the face of a long and raging storm. Several times, he was imprisoned for his faith, yet each time Paul utilized his time in chains as an opportunity to stand firm, and share with others, the foundation of the faith on which he stood. After two years of imprisonment, Festus brought Paul before himself and the accusers from Jerusalem. Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar.” – (Acts 25:8) As the hearing continued, Paul made it clear that he had no fear of death if he deserved to die; however, knowing that he was innocent, Paul made his appeal to be heard before Caesar as a Roman citizen. After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!” – (Acts 25:12)

 

Because Paul knew he was innocent and knew his rights as a Roman citizen, he was able to seek Rome’s protection. Also, Rome was a destination that Paul had hoped to go to preach the gospel, and this appeal would provide the opportunity – prisoner or not. Paul was standing firm in his faith in Christ’s strength, faithfulness, and provision, as he knew that though the path he was taking to get to Rome was not ideal, it was a way for Paul to arrive in Rome sooner than he might have otherwise. He did not bow down in despair as he remained a prisoner, rather he recognized the upcoming opportunity to share the good news with those who had not yet heard.

 

How can we do likewise? How can God use our circumstances to be light in the midst of darkness? When we remain grounded in Christ, regardless of what is going on around us, there is something magnetic that draws others in. Whether it is wonder or awe, people cannot help but draw near to a space of peace in a storm. May we stand firm in our faith, no matter what storm rages around us.

 

When mighty winds blow,Standing Firm in the Storm

and nothing is still;

depend on the Lord,

Who’s present to fill.

He will grant us strength,

when we have run out;

He’ll love us to life,

show us the safe route.

At times He will lead,

us right through the storm;

where we have to trust,

know He’ll keep us warm.

No matter what comes,

the promise remains;

His grace is enough,

to remove each chain.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us with Your life. Thank You Jesus, that as You stood secure through the storm of the cross and took our every sin upon Yourself, You conquered death and brought new life to all who choose to believe. Thank You that when we stand firm in You, You see us through our every storm. Thank You that You remain present, and You provide the strength and support that is needed to either ride out the storm, or find a way out. Forgive us for failing to stand firm when storms seem too strong for us to face, and teach us to trust You more. Lead us to love well all whom You place in our path. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand firm in You, through every storm that blows our way. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; …write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3