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praying_in_the_spirit1

I love how the old testament has so many things that happen in real life that picture something supernatural and spiritual.

Take for example when the Israelites were in the wilderness, fleeing from exile, heading towards the promised land and they were hungry.  Their reaction always amuses me – they were slaves in Egypt, treated terribly, forced to work in extreme conditions, oppressed and persecuted, yet here they complaining and wishing they were back in Egypt where I quote “here we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”  Now from reading previous chapters of the conditions they faced I’m not sure their filter was accurate.  They’re painting their past like it was satisfactory and forgetting that they belong to the God of miracles who split the sea to set them free.   And I confess I have read it and gone silly Israelites, you are so stupid, how could you forget your God, oh ye of little faith.

Until God reminded me, that I too am like a silly Israelite, forgetting my God, oh me of little faith.

We have moments in our life when the journey when hardship comes from left field, or things aren’t working out like we expected and we forget that the God who does miracles is with us and for us and at work doing a zillion things behind the scenes but we might see only 3 of them.

Gods solution to their complaining met their needs on a practical level but also on a spiritual level.  God provided manna that would fall every morning – like a supernatural bread that would appear around them – that they were to gather every day.  They were to gather just enough for that day for themselves or their families.  There were of course some that tried to hoard but when they went to open their manna pantry the next day their manna had rotted and was filled with worms!

Everyday they had to gather the manna for that day.

Everyday they had to find their satisfaction in God.

Everyday they got a tangible reminder that God is with them and for them.

Everyday they got a reminder that they are special to God.

Something in real life that reveals something supernatural and spiritual.

Everyday we have to gather the manna for our day.

Everyday we have to find satisfaction in God.

Everyday we need that tangible reminder that God is with us and for us and that we are His children and that He loves us with a never ending love.

Now we’re not heading out the backdoor to the lawn to pick up the days kai, our manna is time spent with God, in His word, in prayer, in worship and its not filling our bellies but filling our spirits and souls with peace, hope, grace and wisdom that being in God’s presence gives.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.

The passion bible puts it like this: Bread alone will not satisfy,[d]
but true life is found in every word,
which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.”

 

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Come find me again over at A Fearless Experiment : Today is a fresh day. Fearless ones, remember your God is with you. He is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. In each season He is faithful. In each season He has purpose. Allow your hearts to stay fresh and open.

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In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.  Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. Ruth 1:1-5

 

what a difficult situation.  famine.  a strange land.  foreign wives.  death.

i bet this wasn’t the future that Naomi had dreamed of.  i bet it wasn’t what she had worked her life for, what she had hoped for her sons.

life throws us unsuspecting curve balls.

i see this in my life, in my parents lives.  the things they had worked for taken from them because of injury and pain.

but i also see, in Ruth’s story how God is at work.  Ruth is in the lineage of Jesus. 

would Naomi have met Ruth apart from the famine?  apart from the marriage of her son? 

would Ruth have met Boaz apart from the death of her first husband and the leaving of her own lands to follow her mother in law into unknown territory?

 

the account of Ruth reminds me that God has my life in His hands.  He has a plan and purpose.  even for the famine.  even for the sorrow and loss.

my response is to trust Him.  that He will be my God and that where He leads i will go. 

We belong to God’s story which is bigger than ourselves.

God is intricately involved in the lives of His people, working for their good and His glory.  He was intricately involved in Ruth’s life to bring her to a place of hope and redemption.

 

We need to be transformed by the love and God in the same way that Ruth and Boaz are. Like Ruth, we can find ourselves in a place of fullness even after tragedy. At the end, she sits with a child on her lap and a husband by her side. We are reminded that in the midst of trial, we can trust His plan and care – not because we know how he story ends, but because we know that ultimately our inheritance is secure in our faith genealogy written ultimately by Christ. David, a man after God’s own heart is a descendant of Ruth, but is actually foreshadowing the provision of a Most Righteous King, Jesus Christ. This love of God is embodied in Jesus Christ, David’s greater Son, the One who has comes to save us from our sin so we might become children of God.  youversion note

 

 

I also love that God delights in redeeming unlikely people and using them for His purposes.  Ruth the Moabite woman.  Rahab the prostitute.  Samson the flawed judge.  Peter the hot headed fisherman.  Paul the persecutor.  David the murdering adulterer.  Me.

 

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

 

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labour] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.  Romans 8:28 AMP

 

 

 

 

As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.  Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, "The Lord be with you!"  "The Lord bless you!" they answered.   Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, "Who does that young woman belong to?" The overseer replied, "She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."  So Boaz said to Ruth, "My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Ruth 2:3-8

 

i like the way Boaz greets his workers.  He strikes me as a God honouring man, a God conscious man who walks what is inside his heart.

Because Ruth is a foreign woman, Boaz technically shouldn’t have given her a second thought or look.  But there was something about Ruth that caught his eye. 

and did you notice the beginning of verse 3… as it turned out… as it just so happened… a divine moment, a divine connection… God had ordered Ruth’s steps to Boaz’s field, the one person who could redeem her and bring amazing change to her life, the man she would marry and have children with, including a son who would become King David’s grandfather… it is one of those unmistakable God-ordained moments when everything falls into place.  God set it up for Ruth and Boaz to cross paths. 

Such an ordinary beginning – such an extraordinary moment of significance in her life.  She was at work, gleaming in the fields.  But it was a specific field that God had led her to. 

 

At the end of the story of my life, I think I will look back and see so many as-it-turned-out moments. So many things that just-so-happened. But that would mean I’m living in an as-it-turned-out moment right now. If I believe God is directing my paths, then…

every moment is divinely orchestrated.

every moment is strategic.

every moment is God-directed.

If you knew that this moment was a divine moment, how would you live differently? If you knew this was an as-it-turned-out, God-directed moment, how would you respond?  Craig Owens

 

 

 

 

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