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Archive for the tag “Israelites”

Day 39 Holy Ground

“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

I just watched the first episode of “The Bible” mini-series today. How perfect God’s timing is, yet again, to see Moses’ life-story and then be reminded of it in today’s devotion from Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle

“Tending sheep.

“Can you imagine a more monotonous existence? And Moses did it for forty years. He must have felt that God had put him out to pasture. He once dreamed of delivering the people of Israel out of captivity, but that dream died when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled the country as a fugitive. Moses spent the next forty years in spiritual exile on the backside of the desert.

“Then God appeared to him in a burning bush.

“I have a feeling that Moses got up that morning, put on his sandals, and picked up his staff, figuring it would be an ordinary day just like the day before, and the day before the day before, and the day before that. But you never know when or where or how God will invade the routine of your life.

“Jewish scholars used to debate why God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. A thunderclap or lightening bolt would have been more impressive. And why the far side of the desert? Why not the palace or a pyramid in Egypt?

“They concluded that God appeared to Moses in a burning bush for one simple reason: to show that no place is devoid of God’s presence, not even a bush on the backside of the desert. So they gave God a name I’ve learned to love: The Place. God is here, there and everywhere. So it doesn’t matter where you are; God can meet you anywhere.

“There are two moments in Scripture when God gives the same curious command: take off your sandals. The first one happens on the backside of the desert with Moses before God delivers Israel out of Egypt. The second one happens just before God delivers Jericho to Joshua. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua had heard the story of the burning bush a thousand times. But no one can live off someone else’s experience, someone else’s story. We need our own epiphany, our own testimony.

“So why did God ask them to take off their sandals?

“I think it was an act of humility, an act of worship. It was a way of acknowledging absolute dependence on God. It was a way of removing any obstacle that could get in the way of God and Moses, God and Joshua.

“One last observation, because sometimes the obvious eludes us. The holy ground wasn’t the Promised Land. It was right where Moses was standing. Don’t wait to worship God until you get to the Promised Land; you’ve got to worship along the way.

“This is holy ground. This is a holy moment.

“Right here. Right now.

“Take off your sandals.”

The purpose of prayer is not to give orders to God; the purpose is to get orders from God. -Mark Batterson

Are your sandals off?

Prayerfully, Paige

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Day 22 Prayer Fleece

“I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor.” Judges 6:37

You may have heard someone use the term ‘putting out a fleece’ in reference to making a decision. This term comes from an event in the life of Gideon where he wants to know what to do, so he “tests” God by placing a wool fleece on the ground and asking God to give him a sign with it (Judges 6).

Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle devotion states, “There are moments when we need to turn our desires, ideas, and dreams into prayer fleeces. Now, we have to be very careful when it comes to putting fleeces before the Lord. Generally speaking, signs don’t precede our steps of faith; signs follow. But there are occasions when it’s OK to ask God for confirmation because of our uncertainty. I don’t think we should do it often, and we shouldn’t approach it in a haphazard manner that amounts to nothing more than picking petals off a daisy, saying, ‘She loves me; she loves me not.’

“So here are a few cautions when it comes to fleeces. First, if God has already answered our question in Scripture, then you don’t need to even ask it. Don’t seek revelation when God has already given it. Second, check your motives to make sure they aren’t selfish. The fleece must come out of a genuine desire to honor God and do His will. Third, you have to be willing to accept whatever answer you receive without second-guessing it.”

I’m sure Gideon was filled with insecurity when the angel spoke over his shoulder telling him to rescue Israel. But God reassured him with: “I’ll be with you.” I’ll be with you is all we need to know isn’t it? “If we could come to grips with two fundamental truths, they would transform our lives; God is with us and God is for us. That is all you ever need to know.” says Batterson.

Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong people for answers (a boss, spouse, friend, sibling or colleague) and simply need to ask God instead. Seek God instead of answers and the answers will seek you.

When God gives a vision, He always makes provision. -Mark Batterson

What are you asking God for today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 21 Set Your Foot

“I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” Joshua 1:3

I remember when I first told my kids about The Circle Maker and circling things and people in prayer. I know they thought that there was something magical about it (since they started asking me to circle all kinds of things in prayer!) but there isn’t anything magical about physically circling something in prayer, only Biblical (i.e., when the Israelites followed God’s orders and circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down). It isn’t a magic trick to get what you want from God. You should want what you get from Him (and if you don’t, you won’t be drawing prayer circles, you’ll be walking in circles).

Circling something in prayer simply means “praying until God answers.” It’s being determined to pray as long as it takes (ALAT – see post Day 17) and remembering that if we stop praying, we could give up just short of a miracle (see post Day 18). “Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.” says Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle.

Having no idea how God would break down the walls, the Israelites obeyed God’s commands and circled Jericho over and over again. As Batterson states, “They circled the promise thirteen times over seven days! Why? Because even though they didn’t know how God would deliver on the promise, they knew that God would come through somehow, someway! And God didn’t just show up; He showed off His power.”

God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. -Mark Batterson

Below is an excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to provide you a sense of the Jericho March –

The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear.

A six-foot-wide lower wall and fifty-foot-high upper wall encircled the ancient metropolis. The mud-brick walls were so thick and tall that the twelve-acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress. It seemed like God had promised something impossible, and His battle plan seemed nonsensical: ‘Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times.’

Every soldier in the army had to have wondered why. Why not use a battering ram? Why not scale the walls? Why not cut off the water supply or shoot flaming arrows over the walls? Instead, God told the Israelite army to silently circle the city. And He promised, after they circled thirteen times over seven days, the wall would fall.

The first time around, the soldiers must have felt a little foolish. But with each circle, their stride grew longer and stronger. With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the seventh day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at six o’clock in the morning. At three miles per hour, each mile-and-a-half march around the city took a half hour. By nine o-clock, they began their final lap. In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in six days. They just silently circled a promise. Then the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. Six hundred thousand Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the wall came tumbling down.

After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise. He proved, once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.

I pray that you will keep circling your Jericho and that God knocks down the wall, giving you every square inch of the promise, miracle, or dream He wants for you!

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 39 Holy Ground

“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

I just watched the first episode of “The Bible” mini-series today. How perfect God’s timing is, yet again, to see Moses’ life-story and then be reminded of it in today’s devotion from Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle

“Tending sheep.

“Can you imagine a more monotonous existence? And Moses did it for forty years. He must have felt that God had put him out to pasture. He once dreamed of delivering the people of Israel out of captivity, but that dream died when he killed an Egyptian taskmaster and fled the country as a fugitive. Moses spent the next forty years in spiritual exile on the backside of the desert.

“Then God appeared to him in a burning bush.

“I have a feeling that Moses got up that morning, put on his sandals, and picked up his staff, figuring it would be an ordinary day just like the day before, and the day before the day before, and the day before that. But you never know when or where or how God will invade the routine of your life.

“Jewish scholars used to debate why God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. A thunderclap or lightening bolt would have been more impressive. And why the far side of the desert? Why not the palace or a pyramid in Egypt?

“They concluded that God appeared to Moses in a burning bush for one simple reason: to show that no place is devoid of God’s presence, not even a bush on the backside of the desert. So they gave God a name I’ve learned to love: The Place. God is here, there and everywhere. So it doesn’t matter where you are; God can meet you anywhere.

“There are two moments in Scripture when God gives the same curious command: take off your sandals. The first one happens on the backside of the desert with Moses before God delivers Israel out of Egypt. The second one happens just before God delivers Jericho to Joshua. As Moses’ assistant, Joshua had heard the story of the burning bush a thousand times. But no one can live off someone else’s experience, someone else’s story. We need our own epiphany, our own testimony.

“So why did God ask them to take off their sandals?

“I think it was an act of humility, an act of worship. It was a way of acknowledging absolute dependence on God. It was a way of removing any obstacle that could get in the way of God and Moses, God and Joshua.

“One last observation, because sometimes the obvious eludes us. The holy ground wasn’t the Promised Land. It was right where Moses was standing. Don’t wait to worship God until you get to the Promised Land; you’ve got to worship along the way.

“This is holy ground. This is a holy moment.

“Right here. Right now.

“Take off your sandals.”

The purpose of prayer is not to give orders to God; the purpose is to get orders from God. -Mark Batterson

Are your sandals off?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 22 Prayer Fleece

“I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor.” Judges 6:37

You may have heard someone use the term ‘putting out a fleece’ in reference to making a decision. This term comes from an event in the life of Gideon where he wants to know what to do, so he “tests” God by placing a wool fleece on the ground and asking God to give him a sign with it (Judges 6).

Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle devotion states, “There are moments when we need to turn our desires, ideas, and dreams into prayer fleeces. Now, we have to be very careful when it comes to putting fleeces before the Lord. Generally speaking, signs don’t precede our steps of faith; signs follow. But there are occasions when it’s OK to ask God for confirmation because of our uncertainty. I don’t think we should do it often, and we shouldn’t approach it in a haphazard manner that amounts to nothing more than picking petals off a daisy, saying, ‘She loves me; she loves me not.’

“So here are a few cautions when it comes to fleeces. First, if God has already answered our question in Scripture, then you don’t need to even ask it. Don’t seek revelation when God has already given it. Second, check your motives to make sure they aren’t selfish. The fleece must come out of a genuine desire to honor God and do His will. Third, you have to be willing to accept whatever answer you receive without second-guessing it.”

I’m sure Gideon was filled with insecurity when the angel spoke over his shoulder telling him to rescue Israel. But God reassured him with: “I’ll be with you.” I’ll be with you is all we need to know isn’t it? “If we could come to grips with two fundamental truths, they would transform our lives; God is with us and God is for us. That is all you ever need to know.” says Batterson.

Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong people for answers (a boss, spouse, friend, sibling or colleague) and simply need to ask God instead. Seek God instead of answers and the answers will seek you.

When God gives a vision, He always makes provision. -Mark Batterson

What are you asking God for today?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 21 Set Your Foot

“I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” Joshua 1:3

I remember when I first told my kids about The Circle Maker and circling things and people in prayer. I know they thought that there was something magical about it (since they started asking me to circle all kinds of things in prayer!) but there isn’t anything magical about physically circling something in prayer, only Biblical (i.e., when the Israelites followed God’s orders and circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down). It isn’t a magic trick to get what you want from God. You should want what you get from Him (and if you don’t, you won’t be drawing prayer circles, you’ll be walking in circles).

Circling something in prayer simply means “praying until God answers.” It’s being determined to pray as long as it takes (ALAT – see post Day 17) and remembering that if we stop praying, we could give up just short of a miracle (see post Day 18). “Drawing prayer circles starts with discerning what God wants, what God wills. And until His sovereign will becomes your sanctified wish, your prayer life will be unplugged from its power supply. And getting what you want isn’t the goal; the goal is glorifying God by drawing circles around the promises, miracles, and dreams He wants for you.” says Mark Batterson in Draw the Circle.

Having no idea how God would break down the walls, the Israelites obeyed God’s commands and circled Jericho over and over again. As Batterson states, “They circled the promise thirteen times over seven days! Why? Because even though they didn’t know how God would deliver on the promise, they knew that God would come through somehow, someway! And God didn’t just show up; He showed off His power.”

God is not a genie in a bottle, and your wish is not His command. His command better be your wish. -Mark Batterson

Below is an excerpt from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson to provide you a sense of the Jericho March –

The first glimpse of Jericho was both awe-inspiring and frightening. While wandering in the wilderness for forty years, the Israelites had never seen anything approximating the skyline of Jericho. The closer they got, the smaller they felt. They finally understood why the generation before them felt like grasshoppers and failed to enter the Promised Land because of fear.

A six-foot-wide lower wall and fifty-foot-high upper wall encircled the ancient metropolis. The mud-brick walls were so thick and tall that the twelve-acre city appeared to be an impregnable fortress. It seemed like God had promised something impossible, and His battle plan seemed nonsensical: ‘Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times.’

Every soldier in the army had to have wondered why. Why not use a battering ram? Why not scale the walls? Why not cut off the water supply or shoot flaming arrows over the walls? Instead, God told the Israelite army to silently circle the city. And He promised, after they circled thirteen times over seven days, the wall would fall.

The first time around, the soldiers must have felt a little foolish. But with each circle, their stride grew longer and stronger. With each circle, a holy confidence was building pressure inside their souls. By the seventh day, their faith was ready to pop. They arose before dawn and started circling at six o’clock in the morning. At three miles per hour, each mile-and-a-half march around the city took a half hour. By nine o-clock, they began their final lap. In keeping with God’s command, they hadn’t said a word in six days. They just silently circled a promise. Then the priests sounded their horns, and a simultaneous shout followed. Six hundred thousand Israelites raised a holy roar that registered on the Richter scale, and the wall came tumbling down.

After seven days of circling Jericho, God delivered on a four-hundred-year-old promise. He proved, once again, that His promises don’t have expiration dates. And Jericho stands, and falls, as a testament to this simple truth: If you keep circling the promise, God will ultimately deliver on it.

I pray that you will keep circling your Jericho and that God knocks down the wall, giving you every square inch of the promise, miracle, or dream He wants for you!

Prayerfully, Paige

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