Monday, April 02, 2012

Vegas Theme Verse

As I am preparing for sabbatical there are a whole bunch of thoughts and emotions that are stirring in me and today I wanted to share what I have called my "Vegas Theme Verse".  Many of you know that I grew up in a small mountain community and haven't really been much of a city kid for my entire life; there is actually a weird struggle in me that would prefer to be in the mountains but feels called to the city to share Christ.

After being in Vegas for a year or two I called one of my mentors to chat about what God has been teaching me.  See I love to read the Bible from cover to cover every year.  One year I was reading and this verse just stuck out to me:
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.  Deuteronomy 8:2 (NIV)
After I shared the verse with him he said something I will never forget: "You know you are dry when the Old Testament speaks so much to you."  He was right I was dry.

Now I know you may be thinking something like: "But you are a pastor, don't you have it all figured out?"

The truth is no, I wish I had it all figured out but I am on the same journey as millions of other people in the world who are seeking to know Christ more.  As I read this verse there are four things that stick out to me:

I know when I face situations that may not be what I desire most that God is leading me.  Moses is asking the Israelites if they remember how God lead them in the desert.  God did not abandon them mid journey (even though He had ever reason to) but saw to it that they would safely enter the Promised Land.

I am not much into being humbled but I can tell you this "I am a different person today because of what God has taught me in the desert."  Just last week I was meeting with my mentor and was telling him that when I go back to So Cal on sabbatical that people are going to know I am a different person.  God wants to humble our hearts which leads us the next step.

Have you ever sat down and taken some time to examine your heart?  The Bible tells us that our of the overflow of our hearts our mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34-35).  While God has been leading me in the desert, and humbling me, I have had to deal with the junk that is in my heart.  God has been purifying my heart during these last seven years.

The last line in here that sticks out to me is will I keep God's commands?  During all of this, all of the times that God is teaching me to trust Him I have to make sure that I will keep His commands.  As much as God is shaping me, humbling and purifying my heart I am committed to trusting in His commands.  I want to seek hard after God to become the man he is making me; that is what I am committed to.

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