Search for the Why

Today’s reading was found in Numbers 22:21-33. This passage tells the story of Balaam and his donkey as they are on their way to a Moabite town with Moabite officials. Balaam’s journey was not pleasing to the Lord. Three times, an angel of the Lord stood in the path of Balaam on his donkey, and blocked the way. Though Balaam could not see him, the donkey certainly could. In fear, the donkey turned away, held back and finally laid down, refusing to go forward each time the angel appeared. Unfortunately, Balaam could not see the angel, and chose to beat the donkey each time it refused to move forward. Finally, after the third time, God opened the mouth of the donkey and gave it the ability to speak. The donkey asked what it had done to deserve the beatings, and Balaam was concerned only that the donkey had made him appear a fool. What really stood out to me this morning, was the donkey’s reply to Balaam’s rant about being made appear a fool.

 

“But I am the same donkey you have ridden all your life, have I ever done anything like this before?” – (Numbers 22:30)

 

When those around us do things that are out of character, it is better to ask why, than to get angry or upset at the abrupt change. Most of the time, when people operate outside of their norm, there is a reason. It is almost always in response to something. If it is to hurt, how can we help? If it is to fear, how can we reassure or heed the warning? May we be sensitive to those around us, taking note of attitudes, actions or words that wander from their normal mode of operation. Lord, lead us to be sensitive to Your voice as we listen to those around us, so that we may identify the why when something is awry.

 

When words are like weapons,

Equipped for Desert Seasons

Where never before;

It’s our job to find out,

Discover the sore.

For panic or wounding,

Great heartache or fear;

Each one can be reason,

To ask and draw near.

Let Balaam’s example,

Be warning to us;

Sometimes the uncommon,

Is help from Jesus.

Lord, make our hearts tender,

Ready to give ear;

Help us see through Your eyes,

So all becomes clear.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we seek You, You show us things through Your eyes, and give us Your heart for those around us. Forgive us for getting angry or upset when those around us operate outside of their normal mode of operation. Teach us to trust You more, so that we might patiently and lovingly pursue answers as to why someone is “off” rather than be bothered by it. Help us to love others well, just as You so patiently and extravagantly love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek to understand when things are awry, rather than respond as the recipients of offense. Amen.

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

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

Love Him More than Life

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – (Revelation 12:11)

 

The “they” in this passage is referring to all whom believe. “Him” who they overcame, is Satan. The blood of the Lamb, is the power of Christ that set us free from sin, as He sacrificed Himself in our place on the cross at Calvary, and declared that it is done. Our testimony is a powerful thing. No one can refute the truth of what we have experienced first hand. As we share what Christ has done for us, with those who do not yet know Him, the devil is defeated, as he cannot contest the truth. Both early and some present day believers have been placed in a position of life and death decision, as a result of their faith. Our charge is to stand strong, regardless of what we face, for our future is assured for all eternity with Christ. It is far better to lose our life on earth with heaven’s gain, than to waiver with the security of our souls. May we stand strong in Christ, placing Him first, above all else.

 

Our soul’s enemy,Love Him More than Life

has been overcome;

the blood of the Lamb,

the battle’s been won.

We need not love life,

more than we love Him;

our future’s assured,

all else appears dim.

Fear not death on earth,

but spiritual loss;

invest in the truth,

we’re saved by the cross.

May we each stand strong,

placing the Lord first;

sharing the good news,

with those who still thirst.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we have all that we need to overcome the enemy of our soul. By Your blood that covers us, Your Spirit who dwells within us, Your Word that is in our heart, and our testimony that is the collection of experiences of You alive and active in our lives, we are more than conquerors in You. Thank You that You grant us Your strength and courage to face and overcome whatever lies before us. Forgive us for our fearfulness or for forgetting the powerful weapons that we have to wield in You, against the enemy. Teach us to be bold on Your behalf, and may many come to know the truth. Let the lost be found in Your love, and may we love others as we are so lavishly loved by You. Be glorified, O God, as we stand strong in You. Amen.

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

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Wage Love

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

 

People do not always play nice. Situations and circumstances, the obstacles that come our way, are not simple nor predictable. However, when we are in Christ, we have help to overcome every obstacle that comes our way, and the power to persevere and keep loving people, even when they are less than loveable. Our “weapons” are the things that God gives to us to aid us in our lives – His word, the Holy Spirit, prayer, faith, hope and love. All of these are powerful and effective, and can help us through anything that is thrown our way. He is good and His presence is promised forever.

 

When we are washed in His word, our thoughts are centered on Him. It is much easier to be obedient to that which is known. Prayer is our ongoing conversation with God, Himself; so it is essential for hearing and knowing His will and His direction. Faith is the very thing that fuels our foundation in Christ. Hope is what we hold, even when the road is rough. Love is what lives in us and shines through us, leading the lost to the Lover of our souls. May we wage love, rather than what is wielded by the world.

 

Though in the world,Wage Love

play not by its rules;

offer kindness,

His traits as our tools.

In Him, there’s strength,

we have never known;

power to stand,

He calls us His own.

God gives us love,

where others would not;

He offers hope,

our eternal spot.

Fighting ended,

strongholds are destroyed;

nothing can stand,

where God is employed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that though we are in the world, we do not have to fight as the world does. Thank You that You provide us with Your word, Your Holy Spirit, prayer, faith, hope and love – all of which are powerful weapons against anything that might try to come against us. Thank You that You are our help and our hope, and that our strength is found in You. Forgive us for not depending on You when the world seems to wage war against us. Help us to run to You, and trust You to be our help and our hope. Teach us how to hear Your still small voice, even when the world around us is raging. Lead us to love others as You love us, and may many come to know the mighty hope and help that is found in You alone, personally. Be exalted in everything we do and say today. Amen.

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

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6