Saturday, April 12, 2014

Crooked Paths!

"The Lord will fulfill HIS purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever." Psalm 138:8

Yesterday evening, my daughter asked us to join her at the “Dream Event” at Mariner’s Church. It was an event to encourage people of all ages and walks of life to pursue God’s purpose for their life. 

The speaker caught my attention when he said, “Nothing happens in straight lines.” Boy did that resonate with me and I am sure that it resonates with some of you as well! It is true that a straight line will get you there quicker, but the road that has the most twists and turns may be the road that we need to journey, in order to prepare us for our destiny.

The speaker talked about the life of Moses. As many of you know, God had a purpose for Moses’ life. He was going to be the one used by God to deliver the people of Israel out of slavery from Egypt.  But before that was to happen, God was going to take his life on a journey that would have some serious twists and turns!

From the moment Moses was born, to the end of his life, his journey to his life purpose was definitely not a straight line!

Moses was born to Amram (the father) who was a Levite and Jochebed (the mother) who was also a Levite. Moses had an older brother, Aaron and an older sister, Miriam. (Numbers 26:59). Moses was born to a family who were enslaved in Egypt.

About the time Moses was born, Pharaoh made a decree that all male Hebrew children were to be killed (Exodus 1), but his mother was able to hide Moses. When she could hide him no longer, his mother made a floating basket, which could hold Moses, and asking God to protect him, she placed him in the Nile River.   

While the daughter of Pharaoh was bathing at the river, she found the basket with Moses in it. Pharaoh’s daughter heard him crying and she felt compassion for him and realized it was one of the Hebrew babies. 

Miriam, Moses sister, approached Pharaoh's daughter and asked her if she would like to have one of the Hebrew women nurse the child for her. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes, go.” Miriam went and got Jochebed! Pharaoh’s daughter asked Jochebed if she could nurse the child until the baby grew older.  When Moses grew older, Jochebed took him to Pharaoh’s daughter who then adopted Moses as her son. God used Jochebed’s courageous act of saving and hiding her baby to begin his plan to rescue his people from Egypt!

The first 40 years of Moses's life were spent in Egypt learning from Pharaoh the skills needed to run Egypt. One day when he saw one of his own people, an Israelite, being beaten, he took things into his own hands and killed an Egyptian. Because of this impulsive act he had to flee in fear for his life from Egypt and from Pharaoh to live in Midian.

Moses’ life took a significant turn from the powerful position in Egypt to a very lowly position as a shepherd. Moses spent the next 40 years working as a shepherd in the desert for Jethro in Midian.

When Moses was 80 years old God spoke to him and told him to return to Egypt as God was going to use Moses to free the Israelites from slavery!

In each of Moses’ life changing events, God had a purpose for developing Moses’ character for what God had ultimately planned for his life.

The first 40 years of his life the Bible says that, “Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” (Acts 7:22) He would have been schooled and prepared to one day become the ruler of Egypt. This gave him many skills that God would use later in his life to lead His people out of Egypt.

In the desert as a shepherd, God taught Moses patience and trust as well as provided him the tools that he would use to deliver his people. Moses was no longer being schooled by the wisdom of Egypt but instead he was being schooled by the wisdom of God!

“What a contrast between Moses’ life as an Egyptian prince and his life as a Midianite shepherd! As a prince he had everything done for him; he was the famous son of an Egyptian princess. As a shepherd he had to do everything for himself; he was holding the very job he had been taught to despise (Genesis 43:32; 46:32-34), and he lived as an unknown foreigner. What a humbling experience this must have been for Moses! But God was preparing him for leadership. Living the life of a shepherd and nomad, Moses learned about the ways of the people he would be leading and also about life in the desert. Perhaps Moses couldn’t appreciate this lesson, but God was getting him ready to free Israel from Pharaoh’s grasp.” Commentary

When Moses was 80 years old, God’s purpose for his life had come full circle and he was now ready to begin the steps to realize God’s purpose for his life! 

Where are you in your life story? What purpose and dream has God placed in your heart? Don’t be discouraged if you feel your life is at a dead end or in a dry, dry desert with what appears to be no resources or options.  It is at these times, when we feel we are out of options, that God does his best work! 

Many times the men and women who have made the biggest difference in this world, have experienced significant set backs and disappointments only to find out later that it was God’s ordained twists and turns to prepare them for their life purpose!

Be confident of this: The Lord will fulfill His purpose for you!

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