Why?

 It’s the question that has taken up perpetual residence in the back of my mind  – Why?  I want answers, but answers don’t come when I want them. They may never come. I want to know now. But apparently it’s not time for me to know. And that’s okay.

 It’s okay not to know . It’s okay if we don’t know the why, what, where, and when. It’s okay if we don’t know what God is doing in our life or what His plan is.

It’s okay because we serve a God Who is worthy of our most explicit trust and that is what He wants of us – to trust Him.

The one thing we should strive to know is Him Alone. And in this, “we are finally led, not to the answer, but to the Answerer”. (Peter Kreeft)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; 
but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

Rechabite Faithfulness

Faithfulness: strict or thorough in the performance of duty. True to one’s word, promises, vows, etc. Steady allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: reliable, trusted, or believed.
I’m reading through the book of Jeremiah right now. Wow, what a life this prophet of God lived! His ministry began with these words, “Oh Lord, behold, I cannot speak: for I am but a child.”. How mightily God used him though, despite what he thought, because he was faithful to speak the words of the Most High – and His words alone.
Jeremiah’s life is an incredible read, but there’s another example of faithfulness in this book that greatly impressed me as well – the story of the house of the Rechabites. The full version can be found in the 35th chapter of Jeremiah.
The Lord told Jeremiah to bring the Rechabites to the House of Yahweh and give them wine to drink. Jeremiah did as he was commanded to do and set pots full of wine and cups before the whole house of the Rechabites and said unto them, “Drink ye wine”.
At first glance, this is an odd command. However, the Bible is full of examples of God testing the faithfulness of His people, so it’s not as odd as it appears. This was a test for the Rechabites. It doesn’t seem like a very hard test, in my mind, but then I wonder. Jeremiah was a well known man of God. If a prophet of Yahweh told me to do something, I imagine I would think twice about it before telling him “No”. The Bible doesn’t give us details, but it doesn’t sound like the Rechabites had any such dilemma.
“We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, ‘Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever.’… Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters…We have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.”
This answer makes me want to weep. What if we, as a people, were that faithful and obedient to the words of our forefathers?
Today it’s cool to be different. To leave behind all the “old-fashioned morals”, commands, and words of wisdom passed down by our ancestors. We are “smarter” now, and don’t have as many “hang-ups” as our relatives before us did.
Apparently, many of the Israelites had this same attitude. Yahweh sent Jeremiah to them with these words – words that should have cut them to the heart, and should do the same for us; “Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers’: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.”
The sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me: Therefore, Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered”.
Why don’t we learn from history? Are we truly doomed to repeat this mistake? Why do we think our way is so much better, even though it’s been proven false over and over again? We have gone after other gods, we have turned a deaf ear to the Word of Yahweh and allowed wickedness to seep into our lives and churches. Our time is not God’s – or even our own, as we have sold ourselves as slaves to the modern culture. Our lives are cluttered with worldly entertainment, trivial conversation, and sensuous, selfish diversions. The busier we are, the better, because it leaves less time to think about what really matters in life. So we shut out God – not on purpose perhaps, but there’s not a chance that we’ll hear Him over all this racket. 
We must tune out and turn off in order to hear Him again. We must set our faces like flint and know where we stand as the Rechabites did. We can not allow doubts to creep in and cause us to waver in our faithfulness!
Where is the faithful generation? Where is the generation that will stand in steady allegiance to the One True God and be loyal, constant, and reliable keepers of His Word?
The Rechabites were honored for their obedience and faithfulness to carry out their father’s commands.
And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you, Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.”
This verse excites me. Yahweh blessed the house of Rechab with a line of descendants that will continue throughout history. That means you might have a Rechabite for a neighbor! And all because of the faithfulness of their forefathers. If the Rechabites were rewarded in this way for obedience to their earthly father, imagine the reward for those who are faithful to the Lord of Hosts!
We have a trust passed down to us and written on our hearts. Let us be “thorough in the performance of duty” – diligent in passing on the Words of our Father and stressing the importance of obeying His every command. 
 When we are tested, I pray that, like the Rechabites, we will not think twice about what to do, but do what is right, fearlessly and faithfully. I pray that we will be the faithful generation – the generation that will stand in steadfastness and steady allegiance to the One True God!

Savor God

“Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” Mark 8:33
I read this verse several months ago in my daily Bible reading. I’ve probably read this particular verse several dozen times, but it wasn’t until this day that it actually hit me. Do I savor the things of God? What exactly are the “things of God”? And what, really, is “savoring” anyway? Peter was being rebuked because he did not savor the things of God – could Christ rebuked me today for that same attitude?
I was convicted. Even before answering all these questions, I knew that I was guilt. Deep down I already knew what the things of God were. His Word, for one. The people He has put in my life, the trials that I knew I should be counting as joy, the path that He has given me to walk, my relationship with Christ and with each member of my family…  And even deeper down, I knew that savoring isn’t exactly the term I would use to describe my feelings for these “things of God”…not all the time anyway. Yeah, pick the right date and the right micro-second and I might simply, isangelously, be savoring everything in that moment. I feel sorry for the person trying to catch that perfect moment though! Talk about waiting a life away…
The things of God… Wow! That encompasses so much! 
It’s the little things – like a radiant sunset, or a warm breeze on your cheek, a cup of cool water, a hug, a smile, a thoughtful gesture. 
It’s the hard things – physical pain, tough relationships, trials, road blocks and shut doors. 
It’s the huge things – reaching a milestone, overcoming a tribulation, heart healings and forgiving others and ourselves. It’s God’s mercy, compassion and eternal love. It’s all that Christ gave to us as an example so that we could go and do likewise to those around us.
If we believe that God is in control of ever aspect of our life, then we must believe that everything in our path is a “thing of God” and savor it as such. It’s a tall order, but our God is a Great God and He promises to give us the strength we need to do it. 
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.” Deuteronomy 30:11
The act of savoring God, according to Strong’s, is to “set one’s mind” on God, “to have a certain attitude”, as the one we should have toward God and His Word, “To be like-minded” with God, and to “set your affection on” God. But it was Webster’s definition that really lit me up inside –
power to excite or interest
to perceive with relish
to give one’s self to the enjoyment of
More questions flooded my mind – Do I perceive my God, my Creator, with relish? Do I give myself over to the enjoyment of my God? Does His Word excite me? Is my greatest interest Him?
How I wish I could have shouted a resounding “Yes” to those questions! I wanted it, Yes, I wanted it more than anything. Savoring God seemed to me, the key to what I had been seeking – true joy.
Now, months later, I know that savoring God, delighting in Him and relishing His Ways and Words is the key to true joy and happiness. It is the key to a fulfilled life.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Ps. 16:11

“Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.” Job 22:21

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Ps 37:4
Reading through His Word, time after time, I see our God pleading with us, His people, “delight in Me, savor Me, trust Me, seek Me, have faith in Me, turn to Me, live for Me”. “I will be your Joy, your Peace, your Comfort, your Healer, your All in all.”
That right there is something to savor! We have a God who wants us! He wants us to love, adore and cherish Him. He wants us to look to Him when we’re hurting, tired, angry, in pain or happy, thankful and excited about life. He wants a relationship with us. He wants to fulfill us and He knows He is truly the only One who can. You know why? Because that’s the way He made it.
I know it’s not easy. There are times when we would just rather feel sorry for ourselves. We think we deserve a little compassion and sympathy, or at least a pity party. But let’s encourage each other to press onward and upward – to savor the things of God!

Wait Training

“Hurry up and wait” seems to be the protocol for most Americans today. We can’t wait to start school, then we can’t wait to graduate, then we can’t wait to be an adult, get a great job, get a better job and get a raise . We can’t wait to get married, have kids, go to their wedding, become grandparents, retire…and the waiting goes on and on. Once we get what we want we move on to waiting for something else. Are we forever doomed to this treadmill of waiting?
The other night I was thinking of how tired I was of waiting when a question popped into my head…
“What are you waiting for?”
And I sat there thinking…yeah, what am I waiting for? It was a light bulb moment for me – I had just discovered counterfeit waiting.
“Well”, I stumbled clumsily over my thoughts, “I’m waiting for God to do this in my life. I’m tired of waiting and I want to start living. Yeah…that’s it! I want to live purposefully and do all this stuff for God and He’s just making me wait.”
“Don’t wait your life away. Start living now. Today. This minute. What are you waiting for?”
I realized this waiting – my counterfeit waiting – was actually just a cover-up for discontent and covetousness. Horizontal waiting, as I call it. I’m “waiting” for the something, anything – just the next thing in life to happen, which means I’m discontent with this thing in my hand right here, right now.
God put me here and He said “Live” and here I am, this little Pinocchio, saying, “But, God, I can’t live like this. I want to be married. Or I want to have children. Or I want a better job. I’ll just wait God, I know You’ll make it happen.” So we close our eyes to what is right in front of us – to the miracle staff in our hand – and we “obediently” wait. And we wonder why God isn’t giving us a spouse, or a job, or children. And we start to fret and wonder some more. And we really aren’t waiting at all, we’re just wanting and wanting and wanting something else.
But wait a minute, you say! God tells us to wait in His Word!
And you are right. You are so right! God tells us over 30 times to wait on Him. So what on earth am I getting at?
Every time we are told to wait in the Bible, it specifically says to wait ON (or sometimes FOR) Yahweh. Vertical waiting. In other words, we’re looking up and saying “What, Lord? I’m here, I’m ready, I’m listening. And I will wait here for as long as You see fit for me to wait.”, as opposed to looking at our situation – on our level – and “waiting” for God to “make it better”. He’s here and now and He put us here and now. Don’t you think that’s kinda where He wants you?
Webster’s dictionary has this definition on wait
    To watch; to observe; to take notice. To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart. To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await; as, to wait orders. One who watches; a watchman.
That’s the kind of waiting I’m talking about! To observe our God. To rest in expectation of His ways, to remain stationary in Him, to await His orders with patience, to notice God, to be in attendance to Him – at His feet, to stand in stick-to-it-ive-ness where He put you, to wait on Him. Forget ourselves! Forget what we want out of life, what we are waiting for in life, what we think should happen in life and just rest and hope in our Powerful, Amazing, Omni-potent, Almighty, Omni-present Creator!
“And now, Yahweh, what wait I for? My hope is in Thee.” Ps. 39:7

“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Ps. 27:14