Rogue One is going to be awesome!

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Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie, is coming out in just a few weeks and it is going to be awesome! How do I know this? Because it’s a Star Wars movie. It’s that simple. When Episode 7 came out, there was much anticipation also. It didn’t disappoint. It was full of great storytelling, awesome characters, amazing CGI, wonderful special effects… and no Jar-Jar.  What more could you ask for? Rogue One is going to be awesome, too. You just wait; you will see how awesome it is.

I’m not the first person to utter that sentiment, “you will see how awesome it is.” Many a people have said it before me.  People who had eager expectation. People who were waiting with anticipation. But before all of us said it, God said it.

Exodus 34:10 Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you.

On December 16th, people all over the country are going to be sitting in movie theaters waiting for the wonder to begin. Their eyes will be wide open and smiles will be on their faces. Children will have fist fulls of popcorn going into their gaping mouths, ready to be awed. The genius of Lucasfilm won’t let us down.

I think about the people of God and wonder if they had that same sense of awe and anticipation that Star Wars fans have. I hope that their sense of wonder was even greater. In Exodus 34:10 God makes a bold promise. He says that he will do wonders never before done. His wonders were better than any CGI and any special effects. These wonders would be so wonderful that anyone within range would see how awesome the work of the Lord was.

God has made a covenant with me, too. He sent Jesus to die for my sins and to purchase my freedom. He promised wonderful wonders for me. My inheritance is that same work of awesomeness. The question is, am I living in the wonder of my God? When I think about how amazing he is, does my heart leap like a new Star Wars movie is about to come out? Or does it flip through the channels of life looking for old reruns of Gilligan’s Island?

I want to truly experience the awesome work of the Lord in my life. I want to live a life of wonder before Him. So I invite him to do wonders in my life. And hopefully I live my life in such a way, that the people I live among will see that awesomeness. Yes, I hope that my life will be a display of how awesome he is. And I hope yours will be, too. Break out the popcorn, people. This is going to be good!

In the presence

Recently I attended a worship conference that concluded with a time of corporate worship. It was heavenly. I discovered during the time of worship that there were some things within me that were broken. While I was worshiping I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord and I sensed Him speaking to me. He spoke simply, but His words repaired my heart. If you’ve ever had a moment like that, you know how precious is the presence of the Lord.  Moses had moments like that. Let’s look at one of those moments in Exodus 24.

Exodus 24:15-16 15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, 16 and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.

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What a moment! Moses was hanging out in the glory of the Lord. Now if you read this fast, what you see is that the glory of the Lord was there and that the Lord spoke to Moses. But if you slow down, you’ll see that Moses hung out in the glory for six days and the Lord said nothing. It wasn’t until the seventh day that the Lord spoke.

This is something I have been learning to do this last year – just hanging out in the presence of the Lord. So often, my relationship with God can become about what I need from Him. So I go to Him in prayer. I ask Him to speak. I wait on Him for vision. I place my hope in all that He can do. He is my lead, my provision, my strength, my song. He is my joy and my peace. All of these things He does for me. So I go to Him with my needs. (There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact there is everything right with that)

At the same time, He is not just to be my personal vending machine. Because that’s not how relationships work. Often in a relationship, you simply spend time together hanging out. And so this past year, I’ve tried to do more of that. I’ve attempted to still my thoughts and my mouth and just spend time in the presence of God. I have spent time in His presence while worshiping. I have spent time with Him out in nature, where trees and rivers and rocks cry out His praise. I have spent time with Him in silence, just enjoying the fact that He is my God.

Moses was at the top of a mountain waiting to hear from God. And for six days, God said nothing. He just was. He was present and Moses got to experience His glory. Today, I challenge you to spend time in the presence of the Lord. Do it with no expectations, no requirements, and no limits. You’ll be amazed at what the glory of the Lord will bring to your life!

I have no idea

Genesis 41:16  “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

no ideaMany years ago, I was working for a company in which I was climbing the ladder.  I was being promoted and was moving up quickly.  I recall many days in which I was being stretched beyond my ability. My boss or even district manager would ask me to do things that I didn’t know how to do.  At first, I was not very confident and would tell them I was unsure if I could do it: “Um… I have no idea!” But I had a manager one time tell me that the answer should simply be, “No problem. I’ll get it done.”  So this became my answer.  When I was given something I didn’t know how to do, I figured it out. I found people who knew and they helped me.  Because of that, I became trusted.  There didn’t seem to be anything I couldn’t do.  That wasn’t remotely true, but it seemed that way since I always said, “I’ll get it done.”   Kind of risky, don’t you think?  But God gave me favor and it worked. If only I had given Him some of the credit.

In Genesis 41, Joseph didn’t have a problem giving God the credit right up front. He was asked to do a job by the highest authority in the land and his response was, “I can’t do it.”  But before the Pharaoh sent him back to the prison, he followed up with, “but God can and will.”  To answer like that requires both faith and absence of fear. You can’t care what others will think about you. You can’t question whether or not God will pull it off.  You just have to trust that He will.

I wonder sometimes how well we do at giving God the glory for something He deserves glory for. I see people operate in their gifting and take for granted that God is the one who gave it to them. A word of prophecy shouldn’t glorify the giver, but should glorify God. A song of worship should draw attention to Jesus, not the singer.  Yet we go along taking all the credit for things that God pulled off.  Not Joseph – He was clear about who was really doing the work. I think it would be a good idea if we did the same.

*In what places in your life do you take the glory for things that God is doing? In what places are you afraid to speak up where God is working?