Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#FOODFORTHOUGHT: TIME OUT

Hey Cuties! I was casually reading Numbers 21 the other day; I wasn't in study, "I gotta get a word" mode. However, the Lord still gave me a word though (Thank you Jesus!). I often talk about the times we suffer purely due to persecution, living for Christ, and enduring life's uncontrollable occurrences. Yet, I rarely touch on the times in which we suffer because of our own disobedience.

For a very quick and brief summary, the Israelites are traveling in the wilderness in Numbers 21. They came to a town and they asked the Lord to help them to overcome their enemy. Of course, the Lord came through. But as soon as the Lord gave them the victory over that situation (basically, not to let them get killed in them wilderness streets), they began to complain about the journey and about the quality of the food they had to eat. Really?! The Lord just saved your life and the future of your inheritance but you are upset that you don't have what you want to eat?! No sense. Apparently, the Lord thought they had lost their minds also because he sent down poisonous snakes that bit and killed many of them. But our gracious God always provides a way for us to escape, even when we bring the drama on ourselves.

Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” (Number 21:8 NLT)

What I thought was most interesting was that the Lord gave them a bronzed replica to look at to be healed. At first, my mind went immediately to them melting gold to make idols and I didn't understand why the Lord would give them a statue to activate their healing.

Soon after this thought, I had another. A replica is a copy; it is not a replacement for something. And the value of bronze is far less than gold as it is made of two inexpensive metals. This wasn't a statue they could kneel to; it was high on a pole that forced them to look up. The Lord didn't create an idol. The Lord created a memorial.

Often times as Christians, we think that we are always supposed to get the victory and we begin to blame God and question His authority in our lives when things don't go as we want them to. The Lord may have just allowed you to whip some major demons in your spirit. But then you are ungrateful because you don't have a new car yet and you have to catch the bus. Is God not good because you only got one victory today and not two?

Initially, I was going to call this post "When Pain Heals" because the Lord used the very thing that caused you harm to be your healing. Many times when we make an effort to really examine what we've been through, we are forced to look up to God for the healing we need. For instance, I know that many times I went through because I was having sex outside of marriage after I made a promise to the Lord that I would remain pure. I went through so much pain with the immediate aftermath that I had to look up to God. No one or nothing else could heal me. After some time,  I was left with the memorials of low self-esteem, insecurity, depression, loneliness, fear, and abandonment. Those memorials really forced me to look at my sin and my actions. It forced me to look at how I treated God when I knew better. It forced me to really look at the stuff that caused me pain even though I didn't want to revisit it because my heart was finally healing. When we bring pain on ourselves, it doesn't just hurt us. We hurt God.

On the flipside, sometimes we really need a time out. We are so out of pocket. I think the Lord had to remind the Israelites who's the boss. You are stuck in the wilderness because of your own disobedience. You are eating manna as a byproduct of having to walk in the wilderness. You've been here for years and it was supposed to take you few days. Let's not forget you made idols to replace God and disrespected His leaders on several occasions. With all of your foolishness, He is still letting you live, fighting your battles, and listening to your cries. Yet Israelites, you have the nerve to complain about what you don't have. Saints, we take God for granted. We don't acknowledge where He has brought us from when He brings us out of our own mess. We want Him to bless us with things and riches we did not earn or tarry for. Then we get mad, we doubt His plan for our lives, and we complain. Saints, you need a time out!

I am so guilty and I think the Lord gave me this world to check myself. Yes, we love God. God is amazing. God is righteous. But do we really respect Him? Do we respect the discipline that He places on our lives? When we doubt God, talk against Him, and complain over what He has done for us, we are disrespecting Him. When children are disrespectful and act out, they are put in time out. You have to sit, reflect, stare at a blank wall (or should I say your lowliness of self; our lives are a blank wall without God who gives us our colors), and think about the mistake you made. Spiritually, God will give you a timeout by allowing things to hit your life and humble you.

So folks, heal and remain humble. Let's not continue to disrespect the power of our Holy Father with our complaints of lack when we have already won without even having to battle. He told us that it was the Lord's. The things we deal with here on earth aren't the battle. This life we live is sometimes hard for us. But it is not a surprise nor is it hard for our God. No need to complain and go against God if you know He got you. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. SMOOCHES XOXO

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