When You Can’t Even . . . Put Your But in the Right Place

When You Can't Even . . . Put Your But in the Right Place (via www.JeanWilund.com)


When You Can’t Even . . .

It’s a universal truth. Trials don’t like to be alone. They swarm in together like fire ants.

It seems they can’t patiently wait their turn. They invade our lives in unison.

Wham! A moose T-bones you on a dark road in the middle of the night 30 miles from civilization while on your way to comfort your best friend who lost her dog and her job right before her house fell into a sinkhole, and now you have to walk to get help because there’s no cell phone coverage, and an alligator is blocking your path and eyeing your juicy legs with plans to bite them off. They’ll do that.


Oh my! Oh my! I Can’t Even!

Okay. This exact scenario has probably never happened. But we’ve all experienced our own real-life version of Oh my! Oh my! I can’t even!

If you haven’t had a moment like that, hold on. It’s coming.

I don’t mean to be gloomy, but the darkness of trials will descend upon you.

Jesus promised.

“. . . In this world you will have trouble. . .” John 16:33

A few translations replace the word trouble with the word suffering.

When trouble and suffering come, what will you do?

What should you do?

Pray and put your but in the right place.


Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen

Moses and the Israelites knew plenty of trouble. For Moses, it started in the crib.

Egypt’s Pharaoh ordered all the Hebrew baby boys drowned in the Nile River so they couldn’t grow up and revolt against him.

In faith and desperation, Moses’ mother hid him in a basket and floated him down the river to safety (she hoped).

God saved Moses and, in an ironic twist, caused his attempted murderer to raise him with all the wealth and benefits of Egyptian royalty (Exodus 1-2).

But 40 years later, Moses killed an Egyptian slavemaster for whipping a Hebrew slave. He had to run for his life because Pharaoh now had a renewed desire to kill him.


But God, I Can’t Even!

Fast forward 40 more years. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and grabbed his attention.

God said, “Pharaoh’s party is over. I’m sending you back to Egypt to tell him to let My people go.” (Actually, He said a lot more than that and with much more eloquence. See Exodus 3:7-8))

If the pharaoh who raised Moses had tried to kill him (his own “grandson”) over his slaying a single slavemaster, what would Moses’ demanding the millions of Hebrews slaves be set free get him? Dead most likely. Or so Moses feared. He wanted no part of God’s plan.


God’s Plans – God’s Power

God knew Moses’ fears. He guaranteed him He would free Israel by His own mighty hand.

“ . . . I will be with you . . .” (Ex. 4:12).re

“I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt . . .” (Ex. 4:17).

“I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it: after that he will let you go” (Ex. 4:20).

“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians . . . so you will plunder the Egyptians” (Ex. 4:21).

Moses heard God’s promises with his ears but responded with his but in the wrong place.

“But behold, they will not believe and . . .[ blah blah blah]…” (Ex. 4:1).

In essence, Moses said, But God, I can’t even! The problems are too big and too many!”

What he should’ve said was, “The problems are too big and too many! I can’t even! But God!”

Putting our but in the right place reminds us God’s plans always come with God’s power.

God's Plans Always Come with God's Power (from: When You Can't Even . . . Put Your But in the Right Place (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Putting our BUT in the right place reminds us God's plans always come with God's power. I can't, BUT God can and He will. #Jesus #God #christianity Click To Tweet


But God Training Camp

As soon as Moses reached Egypt, the Israelites, Egyptians, and Moses entered God’s training camp – the Ten Terrible Plagues (Ex. 7-12).

After the tenth plague, the Egyptians begged the Israelites to go. They even loaded them down with silver, gold, and other treasures as parting gifts. Freedom gained!

But then Pharaoh changed his mind.

He sent an army of soldiers on iron chariots to chase them down and drag them back.

God had indeed brought Israel out of slavery, but it seemed He’d now led them into a trap.

On one side loomed the Red Sea, deep and wide. From the other, Pharaoh’s thundering army.

“Thanks a lot, God,” the people cried. “We’re doomed.”

But Moses had learned.

He had seen God reveal His power throughout Egypt in more than 10 epic displays.

Israel forgot and trembled. Moses remembered and believed.

Moses didn’t doubt in the dark what God had shown him in the light.

And he kept his but in the right place.

Israel cried out, “BUT GOD, we’re trapped!”

Moses declared, “We’re trapped! BUT GOD!”

Moses declared to Israel: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Ex. 14:13-14).

God parted the Red Sea, led the Israelites safely to the other side, and then brought the sea back down upon the Egyptian army.

Slavery swept away. Freedom maintained.


Big Problems Exist – So Does God

God doesn’t expect us to pretend our problems don’t exist.

But neither does He expect us to act like He doesn’t exist.

God is real and bigger than any problem you’ll ever face. Will you remember and believe?

Before you doubt God, doubt your doubts.


Never Doubt in the Dark What God Has Shown You in the Light (via When You Can't Even . . . Put Your But in the Right Place @ www.JeanWilund.com)

Never Doubt in the Dark What God Has Shown You in the Light


I Can’t Even, But God!

When trouble comes, put your but in the right place.

Don’t cry out, “BUT GOD! This and that and so much more!”

Cry out, “This and that and so much more! BUT GOD!”

BUT GOD is everything I need for every moment. He’s the Great I Am (Ex. 3:14).

BUT GOD shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

BUT GOD is a God who saves (Psalm 68:20).

BUT GOD is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:6).

My flesh and my heart may fail, BUT GOD is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

When you cry out, be honest about your feelings. He already knows your every thought. Don’t pretend to feel stronger than you do.

But then remember. Remember who God is and what He’s done. And refuse to doubt.

Let the truth of God’s Word overwhelm your emotions, or your emotions will overwhelm you.

Let the truth of God’s Word overwhelm your emotions, or your emotions will overwhelm you. #God #Jesus #Christianity Click To Tweet

It’s probably not a universal truth that trials don’t like to be alone. But it’s quite true that if trouble swarms into your life, it’s okay.

Excruciating, but okay, because — and only because — we have this never-changing and storm-overwhelming truth contained in two powerful words:

BUT GOD . . .

Jesus promised we’d have trouble. He also promised we can take heart because He has overcome the world. 

“I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”
~ John 16:33

When You Can't Even . . . Put Your But in the Right Place (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Worry is momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good, sovereign God. Suffering breaks self-reliance. ~ Randy Alcorn

Lord Jesus, I can’t—You never said I could—but You can, and always said You would. This is all I need to know. ~ Major Ian Thomas based on Galatians 2:20

When you can't even . . . put your but in the right place! BUT GOD! #God #Jesus #Christianity Click To Tweet

 




Thursday Truth: Three Great Articles To Lead You into Truth 09-20-18

“If I speak what is false, I must answer for it; if truth, it will answer for me.” ~ Thomas Fuller

Thursday Truth: Three Articles To Lead You into Truth 09-20-18

If God Doesn’t Need Anything, Then Why Does He Command Us to Serve Him?

by Mark Altrogge

God doesn’t need our work.  

He doesn’t need our money, either. God can get everything done without a heavenly Kickstarter campaign. He didn’t ask for any help when he created the galaxies. He can get along just fine without our peewee contributions to the universe. Continue Reading


If the Holy Spirit Lives in Us, Why Can’t We Live Perfect Lives?

by R.C. Sproul

Let me suggest to you that we can live perfect lives. Now that may sound like the most outrageous thing you have ever heard, because one of the few things you’ll get both Christian and non-Christian to agree on is that nobody is perfect! Continue Reading


Lift High the Name of Jesus

Free Hymn of the Month from Getty Music & Blue Letter Bible

Each month Blue Letter Bible offers a free hymn from Getty Music.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15 ESV)

Download the powerful hymn and read the story behind it:

Latest Free Hymn of the Month by the Getty’s

“BLB is very blessed to partner with Getty Music and offer you these wonderful modern hymns, which promote sincere, Bible-based worship in the hearts of God’s people.”


“Jesus Christ Himself is the final exegesis of all truth. He is all that we need to know about God, and He is all that we need to know about man.” ~ Major Ian Thomas

#ThursdayTruth: Three Great Articles To Lead You into Truth Click To Tweet




DEUTERONOMY ~ Dipping Our Toes into the Book of Deuteronomy

DEUTERONOMY - Dip your toes into the book of Deuteronomy. A Super-Short Summary and Less-Than-Super-Short Summary (Welcome to the Bible series) via www.JeanWilund.com

Book #5 ~ DEUTERONOMY

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV


Super Short Summary:

In Deuteronomy, God prepares Israel for entering the Promised Land and, through Moses’ final words, gives a picture of what the Christian life should look like.

Less Than Super Short Summary:

The curtain opens on Deuteronomy at the end of Moses’ life and the beginning of Israel’s new life in the Promised Land, the land of Canaan.

In Exodus, God had brought Israel out of slavery to Egypt, which gave us a picture of Jesus setting sinners free from slavery to sin.

In Numbers, Israel wandered the wilderness because of their unbelief. Even though God had promised to give them a land and His blessings to enjoy, they’d refused to believe Him.

Through Israel’s unbelief, God gave us a picture of Christians who’ve trusted Jesus to save them from sin and give them eternal life but refuse to trust Him for today’s challenges. Their fears and selfish pride keep them in a barren, wilderness-type life.

They never enjoy the full freedom Jesus promises to Christians who walk by His Spirit rather than by human effort. Bondage to fear and unbelief (often expressed by the less convicting word “doubt”) send them stumbling into sin and discouragement.

God provided for Israel in the wilderness, but He didn’t design the wilderness to be their permanent residence.

He brought them (us) out of slavery to Egypt (sin) for the purpose of bringing them into the Promised Land. There they could enjoy the fruit of His blessings (victorious Christian living).

All who refused to trust Him suffered loss. And Christians do, too. They will be saved from an eternity in hell separated from God, but they’ll miss out on God’s blessings in this life – the blessings of unshakable peace, joy in Christ, and much more.

Moses’ Final Words

In Numbers, God had told Moses he wouldn’t enter the Promised Land with the Israelites because he didn’t honor the Lord before the Israelites at the life-giving rock (Numbers 20:10-13).

In Deuteronomy, Moses was now 120 years old, but his eyesight hadn’t weakened, nor had his strength given out (Deuteronomy 34:7). Regardless, Moses’ apprentice Joshua would lead Israel into the Promised Land, not Moses (Deuteronomy 31:1-3).

But first, Moses had some final words for Israel – words they must always remember and never forget.

(The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy, Debarim, means the words.)

Always Remember, Never Forget

Moses began by reviewing Israel’s past since the time they’d left Mt. Sinai 40 years earlier. He reminded them of their rebellion and the painful consequences.

The rebels, however, weren’t Moses’ audience. Their children were. Their defiant parents had died.

But God’s promises lived on. Faithful to His Word, God was going to give the Promised Land to the children.

Before they entered, Moses made sure they remembered, through vivid recollections, how easily and often their parents had made empty promises to trust and obey God.

He then commanded this generation to remain faithful and obedient to God rather than to idols – worthless scraps of metal or wood, or anything they’d place over God.

He reminded them of God’s rules, regulations, and commandments (Deuteronomy 5), which were designed to lead them into right living and allow them to dwell safely in God’s presence.

The Shema

God then gave a command that later became a daily prayer for Israelites known as the Shema.

The word shema means to hear and listen in such a way as to elicit a response.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV

The Shema is still prayed today by orthodox Jews.

Jesus quoted it when asked what was the greatest commandment.

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” ~ Mark 12:29-30 ESV

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” ~ Mark 12:29-30 ESV

Warfare

To further prepare Israel for entering the Promised Land, Moses taught Israel how they must handle warfare.

They were to treat the people of the Promised Land (Canaan) differently than those outside it. The hearts of the people in Canaan overflowed with sin, making them ripe for judgment. God commanded they be devoted to destruction (Deuteronomy 9:4).

But those outside the Promised Land were to be shown mercy.

It can be hard to understand how a loving God could order entire cities to be devoted to destruction until you understand the depth of those nation’s sin and the mercy they could’ve enjoyed had they bowed to the Lord rather than raising their swords against Israel.

God is a righteous judge. The wonder isn’t how God could order Canaan’s destruction, but rather how He could have offered anyone extravagant grace and mercy.

Guard Your Heart

Toward the end of Deuteronomy, Moses addressed the condition of the Israelites’ hearts and alerted them to the many ways they’d be tempted to sin.

And he warned them that God would test them.

God would allow prophecies made by false prophets to come to pass in order to expose the true condition of the Israelites’ hearts. They needed to see for themselves when they saw their signs and wonders that they’d run after the false prophets’ idols rather than stay true to the one true God.

Everyone would see they didn’t want a true King. They wanted a Burger King. (Have it your way! Have it your way!

Blessing and Curses, Life or Death

Moses detailed the blessings God would pour out on them if they obeyed Him.

Astounding blessings! Surely Israel would faithfully obey so they could enjoy the many undeserved blessings the rest of their lives. (They didn’t!)

Moses also detailed the curses God would reign down on them if they disobeyed.

Terrifying curses! Certainly, they’d never risk forfeiting the great blessings by disobeying God and thus suffering the horrific curses. (They did!)

Regrettably, we’re not much different – if different at all. Too often we’d rather be our own god than serve the one true God.

Moses stood before Israel and commanded they choose. Life or death. Blessings or curses. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Life and blessings were the obvious choices, but – Spoiler Alert – Israel often chose shocking sin over life-giving blessings. (Just wait until we get to the book of Judges! Oh my!)

God predicted Israel’s rebellion. He gave Moses a song to teach Israel which would stand as a witness against them that they’d been warned (Deuteronomy 32).

Moses then pronounced a blessing on each tribe of Israel (Deuteronomy 33). God’s grace in action.

Farewell, Moses

As the book of Deuteronomy closes we see Moses, the leader and prophet God called His friend, walking up to the top of Mount Pisgah. There the Lord showed him the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)

Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died (Deuteronomy 34:5). He entered his rest and reward.

Hello, Joshua

Israel’s leadership passed to Joshua, who may have penned the final verses in Deuteronomy and this beautiful testimony to Moses:

“And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12).

 

 

 




Why Can’t God’s Highest Purpose Be My Comfort Instead of His Glory?

God's Glory is His Highest Purpose-not our comfort-and that's good news for us! (Jean Wilund via www.inspireafire.com)

Aha!

Ever had an “Aha moment?” Like when you discovered coffee is amazing. Or that you needed reading glasses.

We’ll probably experience lots of aha moments in heaven. For now, we have lots of head-scratching and wondering moments.

Jesus’ disciples had one. . . Read More


Read the rest of this post at InspireAFire.com. I’m blogging over there today!

God's Glory is His Highest Purpose-not our comfort-and that's good news for us! (Jean Wilund via www.inspireafire.com)




A Cross, Not a Stone Because Jesus Came to Set Us Free, Not Be Set Free

Easter Tuesday ~ Everything could've been different, but God required a Cross, Not a Stone ~ Jesus Came to Set us Free, Not to be Set Free (Featuring "Freedom" by Michael W. Smith)

A Cross or a Stone?

Everything could’ve been different—horribly tragically different—if God hadn’t intervened. 

Whew!

One of the first lessons we learn in church is that Jesus came to set us free from sin and He accomplished it through His death on the cross. 

But did you know God chose the time, place and manner of Jesus’ death before the foundations of the world? 

And that man tried to change it with some stones?

For years, I never stopped to think about all the complex orchestration and maneuvering Christ’s crucifixion required. 

As man moved, God moved because He required a cross, not a stone, and Jesus came to set us free, not to be set free. 

Let’s consider just a few of the main events God had to coordinate.

But first, for your listening pleasure, hit the play button on Michael W. Smith’s song “Freedom” from his Freedom album. It could be the soundtrack to Jesus’ life.

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.comStone Him!

A short time before the week leading up to the cross, Christ enraged the Jewish leaders.

He claimed equality with God. 

Them’s fightin’ words by Jewish law. Stoning words, to be exact. 

“anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them…”
~ Leviticus 24:16a

The Jewish leaders declared utmost loyalty to the Law of Moses. Moses was The Man to them.

But even with their devotion to God’s laws passed down to Moses, the hardness of their hearts blinded them to the truth standing before them.

They refused to see Jesus, the Christ, for who He really is—God in the flesh. Messiah, come to save them from sin.

Thus, those loyal leaders faced Jesus and bowed low to the ground—but not to worship—to pick up stones. 

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
~ John 10:33

But God Required a Cross, Not a Stone

God had already predetermined that Jesus would be crucified on the cross, even before Roman crucifixion was a thing. Even before being Roman was a thing. 

Long ago, through their hero Moses, God had pointed to Christ on the cross. 

“The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”
~ Numbers 21:8 

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;”
~ John 3:14

Through the prophet Zechariah, God had revealed how Christ would die.

“…they will look on Me whom they have pierced…”
~ Zechariah 12:10

The leaders picked up stones and set out to kill Jesus, but fortunately, God is not hindered by man’s plans.

“…they tried to seize Him, but He escaped their grasp.”
~ John 10:39

Not even a crowd can hold onto one man if that one man is the Son of Man. 

Two other times Jesus slipped away from those who wanted to kill Him before His appointed time, place, and manner. (John 7:30, Luke 4:30)

No one could lay a hand on Jesus at that time because God required a cross, not a stone.

Jesus Came to Set Us Free, Not Be Set Free

The Jewish leaders had tried to kill Jesus before His hour had come. 

The Roman Governor, Pilate, tried to do the opposite. He tried to set Jesus free.

So Pilate said to Him [Jesus], “You do not speak to me?
Do You not know that I have authority to release You,
and I have authority to crucify You?”

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above . . .”
As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him . . .
~ John 19:10-12a

Jesus’ words transformed Pilate from speaking with boldness and arrogance about his great authority to quaking in his Roman sandals.

Pilate had set out to put Jesus in His place. Jesus showed Pilate that His place is above all earthly rulers.

It seems Pilate grasped this truth enough to make “efforts to release Him.” 

When you’re one of the heads of the government in Jerusalem, that shouldn’t be too difficult, unless the Head over All intervenes.

God moved because Jesus came to set us free, not to be set free. 

Christ Had an Appointment With The Cross He Couldn’t Miss

God wouldn’t allow Pilate to cancel Jesus’ appointment with the cross even though Pilate was right. Jesus wasn’t guilty of any wrong.

Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.”
~ Luke 23:4

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.
~ Luke 23:14

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

And he [Pilate] said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.”
~ Luke 23:22

All through the last week of Christ’s life, God moved each of the players into place so our relationship with Him could be restored. 

If Jesus had been killed before the appointed time, place, or manner, or if He’d been set free and not crucified, we’d be lost today.

Everything would be different.

We’d be without our Savior, and we’d have a God who wasn’t able to save us. 

We’d be without hope. 

But God is able, and we do have a Savior—a crucified and risen Savior.

We’ve been set free because Jesus wasn’t.

for truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place.
~ Acts 4:27-28

If God Can Orchestrate Christ’s Life, He Can Orchestrate Yours

At times, it looked like God’s plan was falling apart. But He never lost control.

God worked all things out perfectly for our good and His glory.

But sometimes even God’s perfect plan involves pain and heartache for a good purpose that we, unfortunately, don’t always get to understand this side of heaven.

Let’s not lose heart when we feel like the plan for our life must be falling apart.

Pray and trust God to work in His time.

Look to Him for your next step.

God never fails. 

The Red Thread of Jesus via JeanWilund.com

Share this post with your friends and family and join me tomorrow as we move through Easter week to Resurrection Day. 

God required a #cross, not a stone, & Jesus came to set us free, not to be set free. #Easter Click To Tweet

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