Here is Your Proof


TODAY’S READING: Exodus 3:7-14 Then the LORD said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them. 10 So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 God said, “I’ll be with you. And this will show you that I’m the one who sent you. After you bring the people out of Egypt, you will come back here and worship God on this mountain.” 13 But Moses said to God, “If I now come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they are going to ask me, ‘What’s this God’s name?’ What am I supposed to say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. So say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’”

God said, “I’ll be with you. And this will show you that I’m the one who sent you. After you bring the people out of Egypt, you will come back here and worship God on this mountain.” 

This verse has always captured my imagination. If I were Moses … no strike that … since I am me, if I had asked God to provide me with proof that this plan of His was going to work, I’d want something more than “After you bring them out …” After? Really? After I have done what you are commanding me too do … then you’ll prove that this plan will work? After it is done then I’ll have the proof! How about a little proof up front?

However, this is not the way God does things. It is never up to Him to prove Himself. It is always up to us to prove ourselves to Him.

In the first few verse of Genesis chapter 12 “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.‘” and He makes some promises to Abram about what he’ll receive after he obeys.

In Judges chapter 6 we are told the story of Gideon being told by the Angel of the Lord (many believe that this is Jesus in pre-incarnate form) to go in his own strength and save his people. Gideon began a theological debate about why his people are in this mess in the first place. God’s answer ignore the question and instead tells Gideon “I’ll be with you.” And the proof He offers? The entire army of Israel is repeatedly pared down until only 300 men are left to fight nearly 130,000 Midianites. The proof of victory only came afterwards.

In the book of Jonah he is told,“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it”. Jonah being a practical man, rather than going to the capital city of the Israelites biggest enemies and telling them to repent, tried to run away. And the proof offered by God? After Jonah finally did as commanded, the mini bikes repented.

You want proof from God? Do what you are commanded to do..

Changes Both Heart and Life

Luke 15:8-10. “Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.”

I’ve read this passage many times. I’ve heard countless sermons on this passage and the verses preceding it about lost sheep. Great sermons on recovering the lost. Yet today, for the very first time, I saw, “sinner who changes both heart and life.”

The change of heart is a one time experience. It happens in a moment. It is like a traveler who comes to an intersection along the road and decides to change direction and destination. That is a change of heart.

The change of life is an ongoing process. Traveling the new and unfamiliar road will have some challenges. There will be barren hills to climb, dark valleys to pass through.  Sudden unexpected curves may cause doubts. Fog may obscure the road ahead. However, there will also be spectacular views from the mountain height and lush valleys teaming with beauty. There will be bright sunny days when all is well with the soul. The change of life is a day to day and moment to moment commitment to the new destination.

Wherever

Read: Matthew 28:19.    So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Think:  Does this sound like a suggestion to you? It is not! It is a command. The command was issued by Jesus to his disciples and, by extention, to all Christians. “Wherever you go” does not mean that you need to go to a foreign country (unless God so calls you). It means everywhere you are, home, work, school, shopping, clubs, restaurants – wherever you find yourself is your mission field. 

Pray:  Lord Jesus, give me opportunity to make disciples in every situation. Give me strength, courage, love, and words to further your kingdom wherever I am. Amen.