Respect, Anguish, and Confusion

     When Moses was called upon by the Lord to stand before Pharaoh to lead His people out of the land of bondage, Moses had to convince the people to hear the Lord. It is interesting in early portions of Exodus to note the struggle the people had in this regard.

First, they bowed their head in respect and worship of the Lord when they learned what the Lord was going to do for them (Exodus 4:31). When you have become accustomed to do a certain thing you become comfortable in doing that certain thing. What is now routine is not easily disrupted without resistance; one hopes that if disruption come, that disruption is toward something better. This is the occasion with regard to the Israelites and their respect and worship toward Moses and the Lord.

Second, they refused to hear Moses because of the anguish of spirit (Exodus 6:9). The routine was upset and the upset routine did not turn out as a result of something better, but more anguish. This can easily oppress one’s soul. Thus, when Moses told the people what the Lord would do—they did not want to hear! In fact, they were not hearing much of anything if it was going to be worse!

Third, to add to this struggle, you will recall that Moses was a reluctant leader. It is evident that Moses had to contend with his own insecurities and anguished spirit as a result of his first experience with Egypt’s king (Exodus 5:1-11); now he must go to the people and speak to them about what the Lord was going to do that was positive for the nation. This seemed a bit much to him (Exodus 5:23).

A couple of lessons we can learn, I think. First, let us take inventory with regard to our own routines. Routines are, by nature, habits and habits become comfortable for each of us. Routines, however, that are in the Lord’s way need to be upset—even when it causes us anguish. Second, it is very easy from the underneath (incomplete) side of knowledge to judge something harshly. The Israelites did, and we are no different in that regard. The lesson they learned, however, was that when the Lord called upon a change of circumstance (and heart), it was Him who had full knowledge and the judgment made by any and all people that was underneath that full-knowledge was out of place. Important lesson to learn, don’t you think?  RT


#anguish, #moses, #routine, #worship

The (not so) Daily Nudge: Routine or free flyer?

Here’s a nudge for you, the first one this month, maybe? Are you a person who likes routine, or are you the type that flies by the seat of the pants? Do you hate any kind of regimen, labeling it a rut, or does a regular schedule give you comfort? Does spontaneity thrill you or cause anxiety?

The nudges have a long history, so here’s hoping this one hasn’t been asked before. I don’t remember. If it isn’t new, the old ones can sit out or link to their reply earlier; the slackers can get up to snuff; our newer Fellows will have a chance at it.

#routine, #spontaneity


Randal asked about how our respective Sunday’s went. Thinking on that, I think I would be interested in hearing (reading) what a daily routine is for the fellows. Though no one may be interested, I will give my morning (not afternoon, it varies too much) routine.
1. In the office by 4:30, make a pot of coffee, check emails, facebook, and make the morning post on TFR.
2. Open my Bible and begin the reading. I started out the year with a goal of 10 NT chapters each day and 8 OT chapters each day. That has not worked out so well. I meet the NT, but the OT is down to 3, perhaps 4. Finally, I will do critical work in a text (like today it it will be on Acts).
3. I do additional reading in various works (currently a NT Grk Gram, a book by FF Bruce)
4. I write articles, which generally consist of modified sermons. None of my sermons are in manuscript form, but when I turn an outline of a sermon (generally just a 1 page outline) into an article, I am able to get about 1200 words.

This is my routine; it may not be much in comparison with another, but it works well for me. I like reading (or hearing) about the routine of others because, perhaps, I can improve upon mine to help me just a little more.


Growing spiritually

We’ve talked before what spirituality is, so maybe because of that nobody has given attention on this question to define spiritual growth. But before I add my two bits to the question, “When do you grow the most spiritually?”, I’d like to put in a short description of spiritual growth as growing closer to God. I think it was Richard who touched on it in his response.

Mountain-top experiences have been wonderful, but few and far between. In those, I’ve felt close to God, but I’m not sure the emotion actually corresponded to a greater proximity to the Lord. May have, but can’t say.

Two other moments, and some of these have already been touched on in the excellent replies already given by the Fellows.

One, is when I was at the end of my rope. There have been in my life several moments of rope-ends. One was a deep depression I went through many years ago. I have some of my journal and prayers from that period, and I see the despair of a man who throws himself upon the Lord.

Another is the imperceptible day-to-day routine of going about my business and working for the Lord. It’s stone upon stone, brick on brick, that raises the walls and builds the house. Yes, there are the peaks and the valleys that we all walk through. But the routine of getting up in the morning, doing my task, for better or for worse, going through those seemingly mindless and repetitive motions that so many despise, these are the stuff of life, these are the tiny movements that inch me closer to the Lord. Be it the reading from Scripture, the morning prayer, the word with wife and children, the task of writing, visiting, edifying or teaching, the hidden preparation for ministry, the teaching of yet another Bible class to a pagan, the greeting today that shows me to be the same person I was yesterday and the day before — these are the steps that bring me ever closer to the image of Christ, the face of God and the fellowship of the Spirit.

#growth, #routine, #spiritual-growth, #spirituality