Seeing the Future in Light of the Past

Today I read Exodus 12-14, Acts 2, and chapter 3 in Refuel. I think this morning my mind is processing a number of things. Last night I listened to my Pastor Rick Warren do a sermon on the prayer he gave at the Presidential Inauguration. His talk was very powerful and inspiring. I love how Rick does everything for a purpose and his boldness in going where ever God wants him to. He talked about how his prayer was built around 6 steps to renewal and revival and it was challenging and energizing to think about my own life and the things I need to do in my own life to move down the path of renewal.

So with that in the back of my mind, I read about the Israelites and their exodus from Egypt and a couple of things stand out to me. The first is God’s command to practice passover forever. God knows us better than we know ourselves and he knew that the Jews would forget the impact of what he had done for them as time wore on. When God does a miracle in our lives if we don’t find some way to remember it or memorialize it on a regular basis we start to question the event and it loses the impact it once had in our lives. So He tells the Jewish people to practice passover every year the same way so their sons and daughters will ask why they are doing that and the parents will be able to explain the symbolism behind what they are doing and what that meant to them as a Jewish people when God intervened in a miraculous way. I have frequently talked about memorial markers in my own life as a way to remember places I have met God. I need to figure out a better way to display these things so I see them and then remember. My call to ministry had a number of huge God moments that I need to memorialize and reflect on frequently to keep me in the game and focused.

The other thing that struck me was the fact that even in the midst of being led out of Egypt, having the Egyptians hand them their choice treasures, being led by a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, at the first sign of problems, the people began to long for what they had before which was terrible at best. What is it about us that causes us to shy away from difficult situations and forget all that God has done in the tough times? Instead of praying to God and asking for His help or just trusting his heart and direction, we panic and look for ways that we can solve the problem or complain when things don’t go our way. We are very fickle with God and that fickleness causes us to be very inconsistent in our walks with God. I know that I can many times go with my feelings instead of what I know. So rather than trust and stay consistent I can have a tendency to panic and freak out when things seem to be going wrong. Despite all the things God has done in my life that I can point back to, I can forget and wonder if God really cares now. I’ve got to get focused on Him an what’s important realizing that He doesn’t need me to accomplish what he wants but He loves me so much, He allows me to experience the joy of ministering to others and serving Him. Just yesterday I lamented helping someone in my neighborhood who had a friend who needed counsel because it messed up my plans. Yet after going over and listening and sharing what God had given me, that person felt better about a tough situation and I too felt used by God to help someone else. I need to get beyond my feelings and plans to align with God’s no matter what comes my way!

Lord, help me to always remember what you have done for me and allow the things of the past to serve as my strength and resolve for the future. Don’t let me wallow in my own emotions or plans but help me to enjoy the journey and the surprises around the corner knowing you are there and always the same no matter what I face. Amen.
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