Posts Tagged king

Help Wanted … Under Qualified But Overwhelmed

by Rick Robinson

Did you ever feel like God has call waiting, kind of like your telephone, and He switches between the calls He wants to talk to—and you’re the one on hold? Here you are in the most difficult of situations, and God doesn’t seem to be concerned about it at all. If this description fits your life right now, you and God are in a great place to help each other. Yes—I said help each other. Let me explain. There are scores of stories in the Bible to illustrate this, but I have selected accounts of Moses as an example. 

God called upon Moses to help deliver the people out of Egypt. God did not need Moses, any more than He needs us, but He loves working together with us. He is not cold and impersonal, but a relationship oriented God. Trusting us with a task is one of the ways God draws us closer together. Even as God ask Moses to participate in the deliverance of His people, Moses feels under qualified.

Exodus 3:10-11

“Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

God has great patience with Moses, showing Him miracles and proving His power, yet Moses continues to express his own feelings of being under qualified and overwhelmed, even begging the Lord to enlist someone else. 

Exodus 4:10

Then Moses said to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” 

Have you ever made excuses about why you can’t do something for God? I am a pro, but He is not impressed with that part of my resume. As Moses surrenders to “help” God with this task, we can see the relationship transformed as he transfers his trust from his own ability over to confidence in God. If you want your relationship with God to prosper, you too will have to look at the truth of His ability, not your own. 

While the people are in the desert for what should have been a short journey, disobedience sends things sideways. There is no meat and fresh produce in the desert and the people grumble wishing they had not left Egypt. Moses is found questioning his own relationship with God, because he is looking to himself for answers. Once again, Moses is feeling under qualified and overwhelmed and perhaps overlooked. Have you ever felt that way? You’re in good company and not alone like you thought. 

Numbers 11:11-15

So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? “Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers’? “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, ‘Give us meat that we may eat!’ “I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me. “So if You are going to deal thus with me, please kill me at once, if I have found favor in Your sight, and do not let me see my wretchedness.” 

Quail would migrate across the Sinai Peninsula in large numbers at certain times during the year, usually between March and April. God brought the birds over the camp of the Israelites with a great wind in the evening, and also wherever they camped for forty years, daily He dropped manna to the ground with the dew. Each family was to take what they needed with no leftovers. God made the manna unfit to eat overnight, so it was of no use trying to store up a supply. Daily trust in the Lord for provision was required. In case you wonder about it as you read, a measure of omer is about 2 liters. 

Exodus 16:16-24

This is what the Lord has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.’ The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat. Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, “This is what the Lord meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the Lord. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.” So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it. 

This was not the normal manna they were familiar with. It melted in the sun, it became foul overnight, and it could be worked into nutritional bread. This was not a normal substance that the people recognized, it was a miracle. 

Deuteronomy 8:3

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 

If we want to live in the provision of God and share in deep fellowship with Him, we will need to take heed of these words the Prophet Isaiah wrote. 

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. 

Isaiah used this timeless picture of the heavens, which is a great illustration of the wonder of our God. We cannot even imagine the things He has created. The speed of light is our basic measurement for distance in space (the heavens). Light travels at some 186,000 miles per second. That means a beam of light could travel around the earth several times in one second. We don’t all own rockets, but most of us own a man made car. If you could drive your car non-stop to the sun, it would take over 160 years to get there, yet the light from the sun (God’s creation) reaches us in seconds. How great is your God? Are you still looking for provision on your own standard? Are you looking for a place to serve in your own ability or still making excuses of why you will fail? God wants to provide for you, and wants your help in some capacity. Most of all, God desires an intimate relationship with you. Did you know God has given you manna (bread) from heaven? Will you scoff and complain, or expect daily supply?

John 6:30-33

So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 

You and I may be under qualified for certain things and we may be overwhelmed with others, but God is neither under qualified nor overwhelmed. His word will accomplish everything as He desires, and you are a part of that plan—we all are. 

Isaiah 55:10-11

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. 

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Feel Like Giving Up?

Have you ever felt like things were so hopeless, you just wanted to give up? Ok, so you want to give up now, but whom do you surrender to? What is it you want to give up? Why are you willing to accept defeat? Wars are not won by killing enemy soldiers and destroying enough equipment or supplies. Wars are won by breaking the enemy’s will to fight. Is that where you are right now? Has Satan broken your will to fight? One strategy of Satan is to get us to compare ourselves to others, so that we become unsatisfied with who we are or what we have. This was the wrapper to the first lie Satan used on Eve.
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

This does not mean we have no room for improvement, but he wants to control our will. If he can wrap the lie in an attractive presentation, your will to fight is more likely to be broken. If you want to give up right now, it could be a marriage, a vision, or even a ministry, is it because you have been comparing your life or your possessions to someone else? The thing we need to compare our lives to is the word of God. You may think your freedom and peace comes from giving up, but if you give up because your will to fight is broken, you may be surrendering to Satan. This does not lead to freedom and peace, but to captivity.

2 Timothy 2:22-26

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

When you feel like giving up, you must surrender to God, not to Satan. This runs the risk that God may not want you to give this something up, but it must be a decision made according to God’s word. His will not our emotions. So then, what is it we are giving up? Some have been willing to give up their very lives to follow the will of God.

Daniel 3:28

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

Although Nebuchandnezzar did not accept God as his own, the faithfulness of these three men changed a law that was contrary to God’s word. A decree went throughout every nation that nothing must be said against God again. The words of Jesus support a willingness to give up all to Him.

Luke 14:33

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Has God required you to give your very life and it is too much to handle? This probably is not the situation today that is overwhelming you. Most likely your trial that is cause for you to feel like giving up, is even based on a lie.

There are three stages in your heart that effect decision making. First is “want”. Do you want to follow God in all your decisions, no matter how difficult? If the “want” is not there, you are not in a good place in your spiritual life. If this is what you do want, you are on the right track.

The next is “wish”. The “wish” in your heart could carry you either way because it is more emotional. If you wish you could be more like Jesus, you can. If you wish you could be more like one of your contemporaries, you should not. God created you, and called you to a specific purpose. It is just for you, and should not be compared to others.

The third is “will”. This is the one based in faith, which is conviction of the truth. Satan tries to adjust your wish list until it breaks your will to fight. Many people in the church today have a want, but have not learned to control the wish, and have allowed it to defeat the will.

Search the scriptures and seek God for direction and confirmation about giving up. Have you allowed your emotions and circumstances to break your will to fight? Your wish needs attending. Give up to God, and trust Him to help you see the future through a new wish list. This is the way to strengthen your will until it is unbreakable.

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Are You Desperate?

Psalm 142:6

Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Have you ever felt like you were in a desperate situation? Maybe you are feeling a little desperate even now. Desperation moves deeper than discouragement and can skew your thinking. Asking if you are desperate may be like asking most people reading this if they are hungry. We do not necessarily understand the word hungry, since there are levels of being hungry. When you keep returning to the refrigerator hoping something new will appear to satisfy your appetite, it is not yet hungry. When you did not eat all day because of your schedule, it is not yet hungry. Being hungry, is more like the pictures you would see on a “feed the children” commercial. You know the ones with the skin and bones children, with flies on their face. That may be a true example of hungry. When God looks at us in our churches, does he see pews full of nicely dressed people with smiles? No, when God looks at us in our churches, I think He sees something that looks more like the “feed the children” ads. That is because God sees us spiritually. He sees us for what we really are and not as we appear. A people starving for God’s word, yet not realizing what it is to be hungry.

Your desperation may drive you in the opposite direction from the answer. It might be though, that if you look at your desperate situation from God’s perspective, it would draw you into a hunger for His word and His fellowship. That is entirely your choice. While David was hiding from Saul and the thousands of hand selected, finest soldiers in all of Israel, he cried out to God.

Psalm 142:5-7

I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

The word prison he used here, is a metaphor for trouble and distress. Are you in a prison right now? When you are in such a prison, it is hard to remember that God is your portion (inheritance). 

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

Your prison may seem desperate, but there is always another perspective to see it from. God had a greater call for David than hiding in a cave to survive. God has a greater call and purpose for you than surviving your current crisis.

When you are desperate it is not uncommon to feel alone, as though even your God has abandoned you. It is God’s desire for us all to be united with Christ, but we must be willing to relinquish our entire self unto Him.

When we think of sin, we may think of it like hunger or desperation. We may set it aside into degrees of severity. God does not look upon it that way. Our pride of being able to accomplish anything, including walk out of our prison, without His help is just as much a sin. Our unwillingness to release all that we think we own and hold affections for unto Him, is just as much sinning. Not being willing to serve where He has ordained, no matter how meager it may seem, is just as much a sin.

One of my favorite stories about desperation brings my own desperation into a new perspective for me.

2 Kings 6:24-31

Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels. As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him, “Help me, my lord the king!” The king replied, “If the LORD does not help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?” Then he asked her, “What’s the matter?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.” When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his robes. As he went along the wall, the people looked, and there, underneath, he had sackcloth on his body. He said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today!”

What a story of desperate people that has lost hope and the sense of direction. Have you ever been desperate enough to eat a donkey’s head, (and pay a great price for it) or to eat a child? No, you have not! Perhaps we do not really understand what desperate is.  Even the King himself could not help the people who came to him. Essentially, his response to the woman was if your God cannot help you, what could I do? The king did not consider the nation had turned its back on God under his own leadership, but placed the blame on the prophet of God.

As you cry out to God, do not think He cannot, or is not willing to hear you. Perhaps the despair you feel is a call to draw near to Him. When God sees you, perhaps He is looking at you like a child in the feed the children ad. Maybe He is calling you near through your circumstances, that you may be well fed, and that He may be glorified. Is there this thing in your life right now, that if God does not take control, you will fail? Give Him control of everything. Your government cannot deliver you and you cannot rescue yourself. It is God alone with the power to open the doors to your prison. Relinquish all to Him today, for His grace is sufficient for your desperation.

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