God selected Moses and Aaron for special roles in leading His people. He also set apart the whole community of Israel. They were God’s chosen people, His special people. In Numbers 16, we read about the rebellion of Korah. The people united against Moses and Aaron. They stood up and claimed two things. The first was true- that all of the people of Israel are set apart. The second part was about greatness. Korah asked why Moses and Aaron acted like they were greater than the rest of the LORD’s people.
We don’t read a bunch of text talking about Moses and Aaron having pride issues. But Korah took the faithfulness of these brothers and made it seem as if they were acting as if they were above the people. The truth was that God placed them in a position above them. Korah was also in a special position. Verse 9 speaks about how they had this great position that allowed them to be near the Lord. However, that wasn’t enough for them. Moses and Aaron had a larger role in their eyes. As a result, they incited a rebellion.
Moses and Aaron allowed the Lord to intercede. Moses understood that it was God Who selected those who enter the presence of the Lord. Moses was a mere man. He also spoke about his calling and recalled “all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own.” He pointed to God as the One. God was behind everything. God allowed everything. It was Korah who had “gone too far.” Today, remember that God places each person in a position. Wherever He places you, rejoice in that position. Be thankful that He wants to use you. May you be a faithful, humble servant of the Lord!
“They united against Moses and Aaron and said, ‘You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the LORD, and He is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the LORD’s people?’ Then he said to Korah and his followers, ‘Tomorrow morning the LORD will show us who belongs to him and who is holy. The LORD will allow only those whom he selects to enter his own presence.” And Moses said, ‘This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things that I have done–for I have not done them on my own.’” – Numbers 16:3, 5, 28 [NLT]
I love what happens in Genesis 13:8. Abram recognizes that the conflict or strife between Lot and himself could not continue. When we get wrapped up in conflict, it may keep us from keeping our eyes fixed on God and His call on our life. It also may cause division. God’s Word speaks a lot about unity, not division. He wants a united people, a united people with a heart for Him.
Abram takes the initiative to do something about it, rather than allow the conflict to continue. What a great example of a leader—one who can notice a situation and take steps to ensure it would not lead to something worse. This meant a separation from his nephew, but it was necessary. It reminds me of what Jesus says in Matthew, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
God has great plans for His people. It requires us to humble ourselves and have a unity of mind. What does this mean? It means we are united for one purpose – doing the will of God. We don’t allow ourselves to get in the way, to be a stumbling block, to what God is doing. We don’t put ourselves first, but we show brotherly love to others and look out for their best interests. We trust that God has the best plan, and we surrender to it.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9 [ESV]
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” – 1 Peter 3:8 [ESV]
Aaron and Miriam appear green with envy in Numbers 12, when they begin to criticize Moses, and speak about how the Lord speaks to them also. What was so great about Moses?!? The Lord commanded the three siblings to meet at the Tabernacle. Then He spoke to them about Moses. “He is the one I trust,” He said. “I speak to him face to face,” He said. “He sees the LORD as He is,” He said.
The Bible tells us that Moses was humble. He was “very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.” Now that’s humility! If we’d look up humility in the dictionary, perhaps we’d find Moses picture. God tells the siblings that it is Moses He trusts, Moses He speaks to face to face. Then He said that Moses sees Him as He is. Imagine that. Moses saw the LORD as He is. He saw Him. How did this happen? Moses was humble. In his humility, he desired to know the LORD deeply. He realized he was nothing without God, and he lived a life devoted to Him. God rewarded his humility. God revealed Himself to Moses in an intimate way.
If you find yourself not knowing much about God, not knowing God intimately, maybe you are not approaching with a humble heart—a heart that longs for God. Jesus gave us the perfect example of the humble servant. When we are able to empty ourselves, rid ourselves of self, we can focus on Him. We can listen more closely to Him. Our hearts are more open to Him. Today, ask God to help you to rid yourself of yourself. Ask for Him to help you become more humble so you desire and seek after Him.
“(Now Moses was very humble–more humble than any other person on earth.) But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as He is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” – Numbers 12:3, 7-8 [NLT]
On my morning walk today, I passed by this block of cement that was different from the pavement. It is a very white cement, instead of the typical off white pavement color. Most people wouldn’t know what happened last year. When you look around today, the trench that was dug the previous year is no longer visible. Grass has grown over the nasty construction area. The block of pavement that was missing, is no longer an area of stones. Instead, we have the block of cement.
Over the years, you probably noticed change around you. God has given us different seasons of the year. We also have different circumstances, different periods of rest and rhythm, and time of pruning and growth. It is good to look back and remember what God has done. This keeps us humble and provides us an opportunity to praise God. It is also good to look back and remember what God has gotten us through in the past. We are reminded of His faithfulness. As we remember the trenches of the past, we now see the great growth He alone provides.
Today, you may be going through a trench. Remember that you will not always be in the trench. One day, there will be no more trench. Be reminded of the faithfulness of God. Be reminded that this time is temporary. Be reminded that God has a great plan and He will see it to completion.
“He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name.” – Psalm 111:6-9 [NIV]
“For he loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!” – Psalm 117:2 [NLT]
When I speak with people about church, they always ask the denomination. Then I say, “Oh it’s non-denominational.” It’s an interesting phrase. There’s different denominations (for example Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist). Then there’s non-denominational. Those are the churches that claim to not be affiliated with any of the known denominations. After the Early Church that you read about in Acts, things started to break apart. As time continued, groups were formed from other groups. Some churches have so many different divisions in their names, it becomes a tongue twister.
The denominations all came about from a difference of beliefs. This still happens today, hence the reason we have tons of church plants and longer than life names. The reason for the differences of beliefs, and at times, disunity of the church, is because we are a broken people. The church is filled with sinners, many sinners who are saved by grace alone. But we aren’t perfect. Some of us are proud, lazy, quick to speak, discontent, disorganized, agenda focused, bossy, or fable telling folks. We aren’t perfect, so it’s hard for us to all live together in harmony.
Nonetheless, the Bible speaks a lot about unity or harmony. Yes, that’s the vision God has for His Church. The capital “C” Church is the universal church. Broken down, this is all of the denominations and non-denominations. Together, as the big C, we need to be united. Remember, the Church is the body of Christ. The Church is people, not buildings. As the big C, we must remember Who we worship, Who we follow, Who is the Head of the Body. Even so, all of the little C’s need to also be united as separate bodies.
This seems like an impossible task. People can rarely get along. There are bound to be disagreements. Yes. Very true. But with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Remember the reason for the Church. Keep running the race. The Spirit will unite us if we allow ourselves to be led (Ephesians 4:3). Don’t be proud. Don’t think you know it all. Humble yourself and seek the best for others (1 Corinthians 10:24). Love. It’s the bond of perfect unity (see Colossians 3:14). Live in harmony.
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” – Romans 12:16 [NLT]
I got a new debit card with a chip recently. I did not know much about the chip and asked the bank representative if there was anything special I needed to do with the card. I was told I just should swipe my card like usual. Everything was going fine. Today, I went to swipe my card but the machine wasn’t working. I did not know what was happening. My son told me to turn my card and insert it somewhere else, and just keep it there. I was so confused but listened to his wise instructions. In doing so, my account was debited—the bill was paid.
As you read the Bible, one thing you can easily see is the humility of Jesus. He is the Son of God; however, as He roamed this earth, He did not walk around acting like He was better than anyone. He did not act like He had no time for people. He didn’t act like He was perfect even though He was the only One Who ever lived a perfect, sinless life. What an example He is for each of us!
It is easy to ignore the wisdom of others, especially those who you deem as less experienced or people who are younger. Remember that God reveals Himself to all He desires. He teaches and uses whoever He desires. You are never too old or so educated that you know it all. You always have something else to learn and God puts people in your life to help you continue to grow. Be open to others. Do not let your ears close to people. You may be missing out on a key that will unlock something great in your life simply because you considered you knew it all. You will never get to where God meant you to be if you do not walk humbly with God.
“Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2 [NLT]
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” – Romans 12:16 [ESV]
I love when Jacob and Esau reunite. When Jacob and Esau were last together, Jacob was stealing Esau’s blessing. His mother and he were following a plan of deception with included wearing clothing to disguise the truth, and cooking food to carry out the bad intentions. Yes, it was all a part of the youngest son ruling the oldest, as was spoken before these men grew to this point; however, the deception was present and emotions were high. Esau wanted to kill Jacob.
Jacob was fearful of Esau and took off for another area directed by his mother. When Esau was nearby, Jacob separated his family into sections and sent forth a large gift. Esau doesn’t seem angry at all. He doesn’t seem like the same Esau who threatened Jacob’s life. Instead he comes forward with a smile and an embrace. Jacob says that Esau’s smile “is like seeing the face of God!”
Wow. The face of God. Esau’s smile was like the face of God because it was grace-filled. It was compassionate and merciful. Esau did not approach wanting the vengeance he once desired. He came with forgiveness. When people see you today, will they say it is “like seeing the face of God” or something very different? Remember, we are to bring Jesus everywhere we go—forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, compassion, humility—everywhere we go.
“But Jacob insisted, ‘No, if I have found favor with you, please accept this gift from me. And what a relief to see your friendly smile. It is like seeing the face of God!’” – Genesis 33:10 [NLT]
We often keep our Father waiting. We don’t spend time with Him. We go through our entire day and don’t even speak to Him or even think of Him. Sometimes we walk away. And as the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, our Father waits. He’s always reaching out, always wanting us to just speak to Him—to have a relationship with Him.
In Psalm 90:12, Moses said, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (ESV). He understood time was our most valuable possession. As such, we must always be reviewing how we spend our time because that’s our priority in life. Is God your top priority—your number one priority?
Matthew 13:45-46 speaks of the pearl of great value. This pearl was found and because of the great value, the merchant sold ALL that he had just so he could buy it. But what do we do? Sometimes we do not consider our pearl of great value – Jesus, our prized possession. Instead we choose lesser pearls in life (possessions, power, pleasures).
You need to make room for God’s presence. In 2 Kings 4:8 we read about Elisha going to Shunem. A wealthy woman there fed Elisha when he passed through. She spoke with her husband about building a room for him—she wanted that man of God to come whenever he passed through and stay at her place. Do you have a place where you go to read your Bible or pray? A special place to push away the noise of the world and fix your eyes on Him? In Matthew 6:6, before Jesus tells the disciples how to pray, he tells them to “go into your room and shut the door” (ESV). Why? To shut out the worldly noise.
Routine – Not Routine
Routines are great. They help you to get a better night’s sleep. They help you to have less stress in life. But the issue is that sometimes routines are like traditions. The Bible doesn’t speak about too many traditions we are to keep. Most of the traditions we have are man-made traditions. I love traditions but sometimes we find our hearts not ii them because it’s simply routine. Like this man I met once. He sang the words, “Jesus loves me, the silo.” Yes, that’s not how the song goes, but he didn’t know that. He heard it wrong and continued to sing it wrong for over a decade. He didn’t know the truth—his life was built around tradition. Only when he was an adult did he learn what those words truly were and what the song truly meant.
In Luke 18, we read of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee was all about tradition. He was going to the Temple to pray. He was fasting twice a week. He was tithing from all that he got. Yes, he was going through the motions, but his heart was proud. He didn’t have his heart fixed on God. The Tax Collector, he stood before God as a humble man, emotionally beating his chest. He recognized his need for God. He truly was baring his heart before God. That’s what God wants. He wants honest, raw, truth. He wants you to open up and pour out your heart. And He wants your ears to listen when He responds.