Listen & Obey

Imagine this: You, along with your entire family, have been oppressed within the confines of a foreign land, ruled by foreign peoples, and rooted in foreign customs for nearly 430 years (Exodus 12:40).

Now imagine that the very person tasked in securing your deliverance was an 80-year-old runaway named Moses (Acts 7:30). And as unfathomable as this scenario was, this mass exodus would not take place solely on the backs of the latest factory edition model donkey or alongside a freshly paved city highway.

Why not? Because God desired for the Israelites to never forget who He is and what He had done. And He wanted to use Moses to accomplish this.

“So the people of Israel walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!” (Exodus 14:22).

What exactly was Moses supposed to do with a few million Israelites who needed a reminder of who the God of their ancestors is, and just minutes after their feet would step onto higher ground?

Enter: The Book of Leviticus

The very purpose of Leviticus was for God to establish a guidebook for holy living. These were His people and they were to be set apart from the nations that surrounded them. They had to be different. No longer were the Israelites under the reigns of Pharaoh. They now belonged to the authority of the One, Holy God.

Do you know that Holiness is mentioned more times in Leviticus than any other book in the Bible? 152 to be exact. Living among and worshipping a Holy God required God to constantly instruct Moses with His Holy commands. “Then Moses told them, “When you have followed these instructions from the LORD, the glorious presence of the LORD will appear to you” (Leviticus 9:6).

Obedience is the foundation to holiness.

The “when” is the first step in understanding the “why” and ultimately seeing the “Who” behind it all. Obeying God’s commands in your life, whatever they may be, glorifies Him. Friends, it is so incredibly easy to seek out glorious acts of God in our lives without submitting to His commands of obedience first.

So, let me encourage you. Before you are tempted to petition God to part the seas of your life, ask yourself one important question first: What is He asking of me?

Stefanie Calens
loveSTRONG Ministries, Author

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What Did You Say?

A couple months ago, while I was crowding around a table with others during a charity bake sale at work, I noticed a particular woman from one of the service departments who was also looking over the items.  I didn't pay much attention to her at first because I was busy focusing on the specialty cookies, cupcakes and nut breads our co-workers had made, and trying to decide among them. 

Each item cost $1 and I had brought a $10 bill with me, willing to spend all of it depending on what was there.

But while I was looking, I was distracted by this co-worker who mentioned a couple of times how good everything looked, but she didn't know if she should buy anything.  She repeated it so often that I was getting a little annoyed. 

For one thing, the area was crowded, and she was blocking the way for others by just standing there.  I felt like asking her to please move to the side while she was making up her mind, or even suggesting if she couldn't decide, she could buy a few things because the money was going to charity. 

And then I heard Elaine, another woman who was there, quietly say, "Carol, you do so much work for me all the time.  Why don't you let me get something for you as a thank you?"  Immediately Carol's face lit up and she enthusiastically replied "Yes!"

I can't tell you how ashamed and humbled I was as Carol eagerly accepted the brownie with the thick chocolate icing.  Money apparently was a little tight for her and she hesitated at the idea of spending a dollar – even if it was going to a charity. 

Instead of being so busy perusing the wares and seeing how much I could buy for myself, I should have been following Elaine's example and listening more closely to what those around me were really saying.

"(She) who has ears to hear, let (her) hear." – Matthew 11:15

Lois Thompson
Author

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