I hope that this finds all of you having a wonderful start to the new year. May God pour out His favor over you during it and help you to be more aware than ever of how much He loves you.
I have been reading through Exodus lately and I keep coming back, in my still time, to when Moses and Aaron confronted Pharaoh and his magicians and their rods, turned into snakes, were swallowed by the snake which Moses and Aaron's rod turned in to. I have found that with that story . . . and with most in the Bible . . . it has become far to easy for me to simply read it, be familiar with it, and move past it. But . . .
. . . stop and think about it for a minute. A stick. A piece of wood. A part of a tree. It turns in to a snake! A living, twisting, life-filled snake. And then, tapping into Satan's power, Pharaoh's magicians do the same, but God shows that His power is always superior to the enemy's when their snakes are eaten! Sometimes I really struggle in my walk when I realize how far my anxieties, fears, priorities, expectations, etc., fall short of the incredible things I claim I believe. Then Satan comes along whispering, "Do you even really believe them? Are you even truly saved?"
I do believe the Bible. I do believe it is true, cover to cover, word for word. And that is why I can be so bothered by how easily I can read it and about the events it records and . . . be unmoved, be blase. I have had to force myself to slow down and process. To actually stop and think about what it must have been like to be a spectator in that room and literally, before my eyes, watch those rods turn in to living snakes and enter into mortal combat on the ground. Or later to watch the Red Sea literally part into two walls of water. Or to watch leprosy disappear . . . or a white and blind eye slowly turn clear and a person see for the first time . . . or to see the dead come to life. Yet, I believe these have happened, and I have met people who have, in our lifetime, seen the dead come back to life and seen a formless eye transition before their eyes into a seeing eye.
I believe these things, but unless I force myself to stop, project myself into the scenes, and be still and meditate on it until if affects my heart I find I too often breeze past them in to my next "crisis" or negative expectation or fear or grumbling or gloomy state. Yet, when I can slow myself down and take my feelings captive to the reality of the basic foundations of my faith I claim I believe, I find that awe starts to follow that exercise, and the things in my life that have gotten disproportionately big start to shrink down to their proper size and perspective in relationship to my God, His love for me, and His power.
One of my biggest hopes for myself this year as I read through the Bible is that the things it records will rock my world and my expectations and my faith and my attitudes, and not just be more theological knowledge that puffs up or makes me religious in form, but not different than a non-Christian in my true and deepest attitudes and fears and outlooks.
God bless you all. Thank you for reading and sharing in my life. As always, I treasure your comments, thoughts, feedback, things God has shown you, etc. I look forward to traveling through 2012 with you and seeing what our mighty God has in store! — Erick