Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Daniel 8

 

Scripture

Daniel 8:27

“Then I, Daniel, was overcome and lay sick for several days. Afterward I got up and performed my duties for the king, but I was greatly troubled by the vision and could not understand it.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

Daniel had another one of his terrifying visions of the world’s end. This vision entails a ram and a goat, (of course everything in Daniel’s vision symbolizes something or someone else). Daniel was unable to understand and interpret the vision he just had. So God sent the angel Gabriel to help Daniel understand the meaning of it. In a nutshell, the vision Daniel had was regarding the end times and how the Antichrist will assume power during these times. In verses 21-25 it explains how the Antichrist is destined to do evil, is dramatic in appearance, dynamic in leadership, demonic in power, destructive in reign, deceitful in practice, will deify himself, will disguise cruelty with peace promises, and ultimately will be destroyed supernaturally. The vision as a whole had Daniel feeling sick for days.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Although the end times may seem grim, and the enemy may seem overwhelming, our God is in control, He is almighty and powerful, and will not forget His children.‬‬

Like Daniel, (and many of us), I too was terrified and confused when I came upon these visions. I still remember when I was young and my dad was teaching a Bible study on the end times… It literally scared the hell out of me! I knew I didn’t want to be left behind during those end times. It wasn’t much later when I accepted Jesus into my life to save me from a fate like those described in Daniel’s visions (as well as John’s visions in Revelation).

Looking back now, and being more mature now in my faith, I realize that yes, these visions of the end times can be a bit scary, but only to those who don’t know the Lord. For those of us who have found our salvation in Jesus, it should be a time to be celebrated. Our King will return to bring back order, do away with sinfulness, and do away with the enemy once and for all! 

If there is one thing being a comic book nerd has taught me, it is that good will always conquer evil. And although the villain may seem all powerful and unstoppable, it is to simply paint a picture to show the reader just how much more powerful, mighty, and awesome our hero truly is. 

That is how I now see these visions of the end times. Things do look grim and scary, but I KNOW my God is good, and when all the smoke clears, and the dust settles, it is God who is victorious. It is God who saves the day and saves His people. It is God who will bring justice and judgment to all!

Life Application

Although the end times shouldn’t scare those of us who are saved, there are still scary things that await those who aren’t. 

Father God, thank You for saving me through Your Son Jesus. It’s because of Him, I am no longer afraid. I am no longer scared of what’s to come. I know You hold my future and You are in control. Father God give me a heart for the lost souls out there. Help give me courage to share the good news with them before it’s too late. Help me to not procrastinate on these things, but instead act with a sense of urgency. In Your name I pray Jesus, Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Daniel 7

 

Scripture

Daniel 7:13-14
“…there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Observation

Daniel receives a dream and a vision of four great beasts. He is given the interpretation of the dream and the meaning of these beasts by one of the multitude from every tribe, nation and tongue who are worshiping the Ancient of Days. The beasts represent four future kingdoms that will arise, out of which will come a future leader who will wage war against God’s holy people; defeating them until the Ancient of Days pronounces judgement against this imposing, powerful and boastful “horn”. This king will be utterly destroyed and the sovereignty, power and greatness of all of the kingdoms the world will be given to the holy people of the Most High and this will be an everlasting kingdom.

Understanding

As we began our study of the Book of Revelation in Higher Learning last Wednesday, a few people shared about why the think so many Christians shy away from reading the book; the most obvious reason being out of fear – fear produced by the vivid and overwhelming pictures of the cataclysmic and apocalyptic events of the end times. Daniel states that he was just as overwhelmed and troubled by his visions of the end times. And certainly, if both Daniel’s visions and the Book of Revelation only contained these horrifying descriptions and prophecies, then terror would be the only proper response. But Daniel’s visions, as well as the Apostle John’s visions on the island of Patmos, are accompanied with the promise of triumph, deliverance, dominion and authority for the people of God and praise, honor, and everlasting worship for God Most High! Knowing the glorious outcome from the very outset allows us to have hope and faith even as these necessary events unfold across the world stage.

Life Application

When the circumstances of life become overwhelming; when it seems that evil is triumphing, and when I am overwrought with fear, anxiety and doubt I need to remember the end of the story – that no matter what transpires, no matter who they are that sit in positions of power, no matter if all seems lost, God’s victory is preordained, my victory is assured by virtue of being “In Christ” and God will forever reign over His eternal kingdom of peace and prosperity; a kingdom of which I am already a citizen. 
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker 


Daniel 6

 

Scripture

Daniel 6:20-23

20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

Observation                                      

So much great stuff in this chapter. 🙂

Daniel was kind of a rockstar. He had “so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom” (v3). This created haters – people that were jealous, people that wanted his position, people that wanted to see him fail!  In fact, they wanted to see him fail so much that they created a way for him to do so in the only way they could – by making it illegal for him to serve God.  They tricked the king, he signed a decree and Daniel continued to serve his God, landing him in the lion’s den.  But even the king wanted to see Daniel survive and put his trust and hope in God in the waiting.   

Understanding

While it is not stated in this chapter, it seems to me the reason Daniel had “so distinguished himself” among the 120 satraps and 3 administrators is because his lifestyle was centered around God.  As Christians, we are called to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. – Colossians 3:23-24

Based on everything we see about Daniel throughout this chapter, I believe he lived this out wholeheartedly.  And even when they created a decree to try to stop him, he continued to set himself apart, to worship and seek God openly – asking for help.  And it was all to God’s glory. 

Darius had intended to set Daniel “over the whole kingdom” (v3).  Perhaps he did know and understand WHY Daniel was different (I’m assuming not since he ultimately agreed to put the decree in place) but he did know that he liked what Daniel, his work ethic, what he stood for, how he presented himself…and he had enough faith and trust in him to set the intention of giving him leadership over his whole kingdom.  I think this is an example to us.  Although we should never be ashamed of our God, we don’t necessarily have to go into every situations proclaiming God with our words.  As we work unto the Lord, though, we show in our consistent and daily actions that we are trustworthy, operate with integrity, respect authority, treat others with kindness, etc.  And, as we do so, there will be opportunities to share our faith…perhaps not in a den full of lions (although I’ve been in some meetings that felt a little like that!), but in conversations with our coworkers, our boss, a colleague at lunch.  Opportunities will arise for us to glorify God.

And, as we glorify God, it gives rise to opportunities for hearts to be turned to Him – just as Darius’ was, which created a ripple effect for the entire kingdom.  This is the power and partnership that God has entrusted to us…if we are willing.

Life Application

Dear God, may I have faith and obedience like Daniel.  Obedience to serve you, even when it’s not convenient.  Faith that you will hold and protect me when I do.  May I seek you regularly, openly, devotedly.  May I set myself apart in a way that brings glory and honor to you and you alone.  As I go throughout my day, show me ways to better love you and to partner with you in ways that draw others’ hearts to seek, know and love you too. 

In your name, Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei

 



Daniel 5

 

Scripture

Daniel 5:4

As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Observation – What does it say?

Between chapters 4 and 5, there was a transition of power as Belshazzar took the throne of his father Nebuchadnezzar. During his massive banquet that had a guest list of a thousand, Belshazzar had the gold and silver goblets brought that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem. As they drank wine from the goblets, in open idolatry they praised gods of these various materials. This is incredible! Why?

Belshazzar’s father had one of the most incredible journeys of discovering God and coming to worship him (see chapters 1-3). Daniel later recounts his father’s journey to him, saying, “though you knew all this” (4:22). Chances are, he had observed his father go through this journey first hand! Yet, he didn’t honor God and worshiped these empty idols.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Two things stand out to me in this, from a parent’s perspective:

  1. The parent’s responsibility is to “Train up a child in the way he should go,” (Prov. 22:6) and “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).

Despite his amazing personal journey with God, it appears Nebuchadnezzar failed in this department. Consider in contrast King David raising Solomon to love and worship God and setting him up for success by providing all the materials for him to build the temple. And, like Proverbs 22:6 (Written by Solomon and possibly with his first-hand experience in mind!) concludes, “…even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

  1. The child’s choice is ultimately their own.

Belshazzar hadn’t just heard about his father’s journey of faith but he “knew” all about it, most likely as an eyewitness. Yet, despite witnessing the power and sovereignty of God in his father’s life, unlike Solomon he exercised his free will to turn from God to idols.

Life Application

Fulfill my responsibilities to teach my children to love and worship God.

AND

Pray that when my children grow older and are faced with the decision, they choose God.

God, what an incredible opportunity and responsibility you’ve entrusted to us as parents! Please give us wisdom to know how to train our children in the way they should go. May our example in following you be one worth imitating. Yet, we recognize that ultimately they will have to choose. Holy Spirit, have mercy and grant that their hearts would be turned toward you. Bless our children to know and rejoice in your salvation all the days of their lives. Amen.
 
– Levi Thompson
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.


Daniel 4

 

Scripture 

Daniel 4:37

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Observation-What does it say?

Commentary says that King Nebuchadnezzar wrote this chapter of Scripture, and Daniel got a hold of his writings to include as part of God’s inspired Word.  King Nebuchadnezzar recalls how God had brought Daniel (aka Belteshazzar), into his life because he was the only one who was able to interpret his dreams.  King Nebuchadnezzar recalled a dream that led him to “renounce his sins vs. 27”, and glorify God as the Most High God.

Understanding-What does it mean?

Through King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about a Tree being cut down and destroyed (that tree representing him), he realized that he had to surrender His life to God. He realized that God was greater and had the power to humble anyone who had pride in who he was and what he had.  God had the power to give and the power to take away. The King made a wise decision by surrendering to God and worshipping Him and praising Him, and he ended up being restored to the place that he once was.

Proverbs 16:18-Pride goes before destruction, a haughty (arrogant) spirit before a fall.

Job 1:20- At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:  “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

Life Application

I will give my life fully in surrender to Jesus, my Lord, Savior and King. There is no room for pride when we surrender completely to Him.

1 John 2:16-“For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life-comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

Psalm 146:3-Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.

Dear Lord, I pray that my desire to serve You and surrender my life to You would never fade.  Like the song Come Thou Fount says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.  Take my heart Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy Courts above.” Please seal my heart for You alone Jesus and may I remain humble, teachable and obedient to Your will for my life.  I pray that You would be glorified alone as a result of my surrender to You. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi


Daniel 3

 

Scripture

Daniel 3:28

“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a gold statue 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. The king invited everyone in the land of Babylon to come see the statue he had made. King Nebuchadnezzar declared that when everyone hears the sound of musical instruments playing, they are to all bow to the ground and worship the king’s gold statue. Anyone not in compliance to the king’s command would be immediately thrown into a blazing furnace.

Enter Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three Jewish men refused to bow down and worship any other God but their own (the one true God). King Nebuchadnezzar even called them in to give them one more chance. They still refused to bow down and worship the gold statue.  I love what they tell the king in verses 17-18, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Wow!!! Talk about standing your ground and sticking to what you believe in!

This infuriates the king, and he orders the furnace to be heated seven times hotter, and for them to be thrown into the blazing furnace immediately. The furnace was so hot that the soldiers throwing them into the furnace were killed! As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the furnace, the king saw a fourth who was in there with them. To the king’s surprise they were all unharmed! The king knew that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rescued them from the blazing furnace. The king called the three men to step out of the furnace. To everyone’s surprise, not a hair on them was singed, their clothes were not even scorched, and they didn’t even smell like smoke! These turn of events caused King Nebuchadnezzar to not only back these three Jewish men, (he promoted them to even higher positions in Babylon), but also he backed their God as the one true God!

Understanding-What does it mean?

Choosing to obey and follow God can lead you into some difficult situations in life, but if you stay true to your faith and your beliefs, you just never know who it may end up saving.

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew‬ ‭10:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a very difficult decision to make. Either bow down and worship the king’s gold statue, or be thrown into a burning furnace and die an excruciating death. The choice was easy for the three of them. They chose to please the one true God who they knew and loved. They knew what fate awaited them by the choice they made. But they would rather die than offend and displease their God. They knew that their God had the power to save them. They also knew the fate that awaited them if they chose to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue… and this one also ended up in a burning furnace, but this fiery death would be an eternal one. 

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew‬ ‭10:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Little did they know that their decision to stand their ground, stay strong in their faith, would affect thousands of people! Not only did God rescue them from the burning furnace, but in the process, the thousands of people who witnessed the miracle that day would also believe in their God, and that included King Nebuchadnezzar!

Life Application

As a Christ-follower I must lead a life that would encourage others to follow Jesus.

I know as a Christian my behavior and actions are under a public microscope. The world is just waiting for that very second for me to slip up so that they can say “You hypocrite!” I also understand that being a Christian doesn’t exclude me from life’s difficult circumstances. If anything, it increases my possibilities of heading into them. The key is how I respond to them. Or should I say how God calls me to respond to them. Living a life of faith even when life’s storms are in my way can be difficult, but reading today’s passage is encouraging. You never know how God is planning on using these parts of your life for His glory. All I do know is He is. Whether it’s using them to encourage others how a man of God responds to life’s difficulties, or even using them to perform a miracle in life so God’s power can be revealed. You just never know. All I can do is my part…trust and obey in Him. Look what it did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It led King Nebuchadnezzar and the thousands of people of Babylon that day to believe in the one true God of Israel!

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi


Daniel 2

 

Scripture

Daniel 2:11

What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”

 Observation

Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream and assembles the magicians of Babylon to not only interpret his dream but tell him what it was that he had dreamed. The magicians and seers vie for time, but the king sees through their vanities and decrees that unless one of his counselors can satisfy his wishes, then all of the wise men and diviners shall be put to death. Upon hearing of this edict, Daniel enlists the intercession of his closest friends that God might give him insight into the king’s dream. God gives Daniel the spirit of revelation and the ability to interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel gives God the glory for the interpretation, and because Daniel was able to rightly divine the kings dream and the interpretation, the king also glorifies God and places Daniel and his friends into positions of power and influence in the king’s court.  

Understanding

If only the magicians of Nebuchadnezzar’s courts could have really divined the future, they would have been able to look ahead to a time when God did live among humans. The most earth shattering, mind blowing and miraculous truth of the gospel is that for one brief, shining moment there was not Camelot, but Immanuel; God with Us. For three years of human history, God did live among humans in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Clothed in the humility of flesh and blood, God lived an earthly, sinless life so that He could die as the atoning sacrifice for sinful mankind. God as a baby, redeemed at the temple; God as an obedient child in His Father’s house; God as a man – who hungered, thirsted, tired, laughed, and wept. God the Son who was righteously angered and who struggled with, but ultimately surrendered to, God’s perfect will. God the Creator, captive, humiliated, beaten and killed at the hands of His creation in order to save them. You are in error, counselors of the king. God did dwell among humans and purchased redemption for them with His very blood.

Life Application

As wondrous as is the truth of Immanuel, perhaps even more incomprehensible is the miracle that the Spirit of God does not merely dwell with humans, but dwells within me to guide me into all truth, to convict me concerning sin and righteousness and to give me insight into the Word of God that is not available to the natural mind. Thank you, Holy Spirit, my counselor, comforter and teacher, for condescending to live within the heart and mind of a sinner like me and to lead me along the journey of transformation and sanctification. Help me to live a life of surrender to all that you desire to do in and through my life so that it may be with me as it was with Daniel – that kings may give you glory as they see your power displayed through my faith, trust and obedience.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker 


Daniel 1

 

Scripture

Daniel 1:17-20

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.

18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

Observation                                      

Daniel was selected to take part in training to enter the king’s service. The fact that he was selected meant that he had to meet certain criteria – young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed and quick to understand (v4); and, once selected, they were to be taught the language and literature of the Babylonians (v4), be able to eat and drink “from the king’s table,” and be trained for 3 years (v5).

Understanding

It sounds like it was quite special – in the eyes of society, at least – to be selected and deemed “qualified” to serve in the king’s service. And one of the “perks” of being selected was to take part in the royal food and wine.  But despite being chosen for the king’s service, Daniel did not lose sight of his being chosen for the King’s service…the one true King, that is.  It would have been easy to go along with and take part in what was approved, expected and encouraged by the king and his officials; but Daniel chose to be obedient and set himself apart – seeking “permission not to defile himself this way” (v8). 

As Christ-followers, we may find ourselves in situations that the world sees as “important” but we recognize is nothing compared to what God has called us to…or find ourselves in positions of servitude for Kingdom purposes that the world would consider inconsequential. In short, our priorities and motives differ from that of the world. 

Yet, in faithful obedience, we find God’s favor – which is ten-fold greater than that of the world.

[As a side note…it’s likely that with taking in more nutritionally sound food and abstaining from alcohol, Daniel and company were of clearer mind, healthier, etc. They had better/healthier habits…all which would lead to better results compounded after the 3 years of training. So, it would make sense that they would be much better off than their counterparts; yet, the glory is still God’s – because it came out of obedience to God. Rightfully so, it started and ended with God.]

Life Application

Dear God, may we place the cause of Christ greater than any worldly “perk” or status. May we remember why we are here – to know you and make you known, to further your Kingdom.  May we be willing to stand against the grain, set ourselves apart in faithful obedience to You, finding ourselves in the center of your will.  And, God, to You be the glory – for any earthly or heavenly reward!

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei

*PS Honestly, the first thing that stood out to me were verses 12-16, from which I momentarily concluded that we should all be vegetarian! 🙂  But…I love double-doubles a little too much. Mmm…In-N-Out!  Happy end of fast everyone! 😉



January 27 – Faith Accepts God’s Provisions

 

Join us this evening @ 7 for a time of open worship at the church.  Come prepared to share a scripture, testimony, a song that blesses you (we will sing together).  I am looking forward to this time.

Scripture

  • Hebrews 11:28  By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the first-born might not touch them.

Observation

Here is the second of three things faith accepts. This is the positive side of making right decisions. True faith accepts the Lord’s provision as well as His plan.

The tenth and last plague that God sent on the Egyptians was the death of all first-born (Ex. 11:5). To protect the Israelites from this plague the Passover was instituted, in which a lamb’s blood was sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels of their houses (12:7). Obviously the blood itself had no power to stave off the death angel, but sprinkling it as God had commanded was an act of faith and obedience and the blood was symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice by which He conquered death for all who believe in Him. The people of Israel, including Moses, did not understand the full significance of the ceremony, but they knew it was part of God’s plan. God required it and they obeyed. Moses accepted God’s provision. Faith always accepts God’s provision, no matter how strange and pointless it may seem to human understanding.

When a believer accepts Jesus Christ by faith, he accepts God’s provision for salvation. To the world, good works seem like a much better way to please God than faith. But the world’s way is not God’s way. To Him, “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isa. 64:6). Faith accepts Christ’s righteousness applied on our behalf. This is God’s way, and is therefore faith’s way.

Understanding

What is God saying to me?

Faith always accepts God’s provision, no matter how strange and pointless it may seem to human understanding.

What do you think happened to any Israelite household that did not accept God’s provision of protection?  They experienced death.

How many of us are experiencing death because we are unwilling to believe and act on it?

  • Our finances are dying because of your lack of action.
  • Our relationships are dying because of your lack of action to forgive and take the next step of reconciliation.
  • Our spiritual man is dying because you are not willing to seek and pursue God and give up the pleasures and plenty of this world.

Our victory awaits, our breakthrough is waiting for us to believe God and act in accordance to His Word.

Life Application

What will I do about it?

God I desire the fulfillment of your will and purposes in my life.  I desire to walk fully in your promises, so Lord I will press through for the breakthrough.  Regardless of all the reasons why your commands seem pointless and irrational, I will pursue them.  No excuses – my breakthrough awaits and I will not stop halfway. 

-Pastor Gary
 
Join the discussion by clicking here

Supplemental Reading: Psalm 149



January 26 – Faith Rejects the World’s Pressure

 

70 Hour prayer vigil begins today. http://signup.com/go/FQ69AW

Join us this evening @ 7 for a time of intercessory worship at the church.

Scripture

  • Hebrews 11:27  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.

Observation

The first time he left Egypt, Moses was fleeing from the pharaoh, who wanted to kill him for slaying the Egyptian slavemaster (Ex. 2:15). The second time he left Egypt, another pharaoh wanted to keep Moses from taking the children of Israel with him. In both cases he was in trouble.

In addition to his problems with the kings, Moses faced other pressures. For one thing, he was under pressure to preserve the prestige, pleasure, and plenty that have already been discussed. The prospects of desert living could not have been very appealing. When he fled for his life, he had no idea that he would marry a shepherdess and tend her father’s sheep for the next forty years in Midian. But at best, he knew life in the desert could not begin to compare with life in Egypt’s royal court.

The greatest pressure Moses faced, however, was fear, because of the wrath of the king. It is the same fear, though perhaps of a different sort and source, that believers may face on occasion. Fear is one of Satan’s most effective, and therefore most used, weapons. We are afraid of being thought different, or of losing our job, reputation, or popularity. We are afraid of criticism, often from people that we do not even respect.

Moses was doubtlessly tempted to fear, but he did not. He left Egypt with full determination to follow a better way.  He did more than simply leave; he turned his back on Egypt and all that it represented. He renounced it permanently. Moses forsook everything to follow the Lord. He was not thwarted or delayed or intimidated by Satan’s fear.

Fear is a great pressure, and all of us are tempted at times to bend when standing for the Lord requires us to say or do something that is unpopular or dangerous. But true faith does not fold under the world’s pressure.

Fear did not work on Moses, at least not when God called him out of Egypt. He knew he had an invisible but powerful means of support, as seeing Him who is unseen. He knew that, no matter what happened, whatever he had to face, he would be held up and strengthened and rewarded. He believed with David,

  • “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Ps. 27:1).

When Moses wanted to leave Egypt the second time and take all the people of Israel with him, he not only met the resistance of the king but of his own people. When he first told them of God’s plan of deliverance, they were thankful (Ex. 4:31). But when Pharaoh made things worse on them every time Moses made a demand, they lost heart and turned against Moses’ leadership (6:9; 14:11-12). Now he had both the king and his own people against him. But he was afraid of neither. He continued to say what God wanted him to say and do what God wanted him to do.

Moses was the kind of man he was because he chose to focus his sights on God rather than on a monarch in Egypt. Yet how many times do we fall apart or back down in face of a much lesser threat. When we are afraid of the world, when we are afraid of what people will say or do, we are exposing ourselves to God’s displeasure and discipline for lack of faith. Faith rejects the world’s pressure, whatever it may be.

Understanding

What is God saying to me?

  • Hebrews 4:1-2 (NASB) 1  Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

If we are going to fear anything let us fear that we will fall short of God’s promises for us and to us.  If we must live fearfully then live in the fearful wonder that God will accomplish His Word to us if we will couple His Word with our faith.

Life Application

What will I do about it?

The Word + Belief + Action = Profit to us

Remember that Belief and Action are the elements of faith.  I will allow God’s Word to profit me because I will act in obedience regarding it and not let the pressure of the world rob me of my victory.
 
 – Pastor Gary
 
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