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Hosting the Presence

My dear friends! Please forgive my for my rather extended blogging absence. Suffice it to say that exams, leave, travel, family and studies have been abundant, and so has God‘s grace! However, I am BACK and I’d like to share this titbit from Moses‘s life which I’ve been meditating on the past couple of weeks.

One of my greatest desires as Christian, is that the spiritual will become more real to me than the physical. By this I do not imply that it is my desire to live on cloud nine, oblivious to the reality of life. Rather, it is my desire to see and experience things from God’s perspective rather than rely on myself and my on perception of life.

The other day I read a tweet by PJ Smyth that said: “The Holy Spirit empowers us for many things, one of the most important surely being MISSION.”

In Acts 1: 8 it says that we will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and He will empower us to be witnesses in Jerusalem (your town), and in Judea (your state or province), and Samaria (your country), and to the ends of the earth.

Basically, this scripture says that Holy Spirit empowers us to share the Gospel wherever we go. Now, you might ask what this has to do with Moses? Allow me to explain.

In Exodus 3 we read about Moses and the burning bush which is the introduction to Leading Israel out of Egypt.

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of the Median, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, ” Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Exodus 3: 1 to 6 (ESV)

The burning bush encounter was a defining moment in Moses’s life. Up until now, he was nothing but a shepherd, a run-away prince, a murderer. However, when he met God, the course of his life changed.

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hitites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Exodus 3: 7 to 10 (ESV)

This was a defining moment for Moses. God reminds him about the calling that has been on his life since he was a baby — to bring freedom to Israel. Yet, we see that Moses is insecure and he rambles off a list of excuses as to why he is not the perfect candidate for the job.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Exodus 3: 11 (ESV)

In Exodus 4 Moses tells God that he is not fit to speak before Pharaoh because he stutters and is slow of speech. It is only when Moses realises who God is, and realises his own identity in God, that he truly comes to realise the significance of the assignment which God calls him to.

And this, dear friends, is the first point that I’d like to make. Often times God calls us into a position of leadership and we find all kinds of excuses in trying to avoid responsibility. However, as Christians it is our job to share the Gospel. You might say things like “I’m not an Evangelist,” or “I don’t know how to approach strangers,” or “You don’t know the people in my family,” etcetera. Regardless of the circumstances we should be witnesses. A WITNESS is someone who gives evidence, specially one who testifies to an event at which he had been present, serving evidence or proof. The cool thing about being a witness is that it is not even YOU who does the work, but the SPIRIT that empowers you!

Look at what God told Moses in Exodus 3:13 and 14 (ESV):

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

God assures Moses that he will not be alone. The God who is I AM is with you. And this is true in our lives as well. When we share the Gospel, we do not testify out of our own ability, but by the empowerment of Holy Spirit.

Still looking for excuses, Moses asks God, (in Exodus 4:2) how he should testify to which God answers, “What is in your hand?”

Moses’s staff was not Excalibur or a light saber. It was simply a shepherd’s staff, but through God’s power it became a tool to witness.

And God said, “Throw it on the ground.” So Moses threw it on the ground and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail,” — so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand — “that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you,”

Exodus 4: 4 and 5 (ESV)

My friends, you don’t have to be the next Benny Hinn or TD Jakes. You simply have to use what is in your hand. Perhaps you have great people skills, or perhaps you run a business — those are all things God can use. Standing at the check out at the local supermarket, you can pray for healing for the lady in front of you. Or perhaps you just share a scripture or encouraging word with your boss. THIS is what being an everyday missionary is all about. Not eloquent speeches or hour-long prayer meetings (not that I’m saying you shouldn’t pray!) but simply ling in relationship with God on a daily basis.

If we fast forward a couple of days to where Moses meets Pharaoh, the story basically goes like this:

  • Moses asks Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, Pharaoh says: “No,” and doubles the amount of work the Israelite slaves have to do.
  • Moses’s staff is turned into a serpent that eats up the magicians’ staffs.
  • Then ten plagues come over Egypt. (Each plague God sent belittled one of the gods the Egyptians served. For example, the three days of darkness defeated Pharaoh himself, who was worshipped as the morning and evening star, the source of light.
  • Upon his son’s death (Plague 10) Pharaoh finally agrees to let the Israelites go.

And then finally, in Exodus 14, Moses comes to stand before his greatest challenge yet: the Red Sea. The Israelites panic when the see the Egyptians in pursuit — chariots, horses, an entire army! They even ask God whether He only rescued them so that they could die in the wilderness. Look what God tells Moses in verse 16:

The Lord said to Moses, “Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.” Exodus 14: 16 (ESV)

Back in the day, there weren’t things like blogs, iPads, smartphones, journals, paper, etc. Back then, men would chronicle events by making markings on the walking sticks or staffs. So, sitting around a fire, Guy A would ask Guy B, “So, tell me your life’s story,” to which Guy B would reach for his staff and start sharing.

When Moses came to the Red Sea, he was probably just as rattled as the thousands of Israelites around him — knowing that their enemy is in hot pursuit at their back and an impenetrable obstacle lies before them.

When God told Moses to lift up his staff, he might just as well have said: “Lift up your testimony,” because when Moses lift up his staff, he did not see a simple herder’s stick, but a record of the works of God. Moses would look up at his staff and he would see the marking he made the day the Nile turned into blood. He would see the marking he made the day the frogs swarmed the Egyptians. He would see the marking he made the day gnats were sent over the Egyptians. Everything God had done in Moses’s life was chronicled before his eyes and thatfanned the flame of faith in his heart that threatened to die in the face of death.

Often times, in the face of a challenge, our faith might falter, and it is then that Holy Spirit empowers us, reminds us of His faithfulness, drawing our attention to the many miracles he has performed. And it is with THIS TESTIMONY that we fight the enemy.

I love sharing testimonies! It fuels my faith and the faith of those with whom I share it. Also, it’s black on white evidence of God’s faithfulness which I get to print out in BIG BOLD LETTERS and stick into the enemy’s face, telling him, “Devil, you’re a liar!”

Last night, a friend of mine brought her cell group to my house. She wanted me to pray for and prophesy over them. After a short discussion, I asked if any of them wanted to be baptised in the Spirit and they all said yes. So, we prayed for them to receive the Spirit, and they did! They spoke in tongues and shared prophesy with one another. As we prayed for Jani, one of the women from Valeska’s cell group, I got a word of knowledge that she had pain in her lower left leg and lower back, which she confirmed. I then told her to sit down and I measured her feet up against one another to rind that her left leg was at least one centimetre shorter than her right leg. I commanded the leg to grow out in Jesus’ Name and pain to leave — and her leg grew out!

Ministering with Holy Spirit is my favourite part of being Christian. I get to share God’s love with people and be a part of the adventure as their hearts are touched and lives transformed. I guarantee you — I’m not the Next Big Thing in global ministry. I simply love God and I love loving people.

In many ways, trusting God for healing, sharing prophesy, performing signs and wonders, those are the carvings on my staff.

The promises from God’s word, the things He tells me during my quiet time — those are the things I look back to when the devil is breathing down my neck with lies.

Getting back to what I mentioned in the beginning — living from the Spiritual to the physical — this is what I meant: My REALITY is dictated by God’s perspective, NOT by whatever evidence the devil puts before me.

Dear friends, this is my prayer for you:

Firstly, that you might encounter God like Moses did on Horeb — that God might reveal Himself to you, that He might affirm your identity in him. Secondly, that you might get to co-lab with Holy Spirit, not for the sake of power of glory, but as TESTIMONY of God’s great and unfailing love. May you be a witness of God’s love through Holy Spirit every day and may His greatness never cease to amaze you. Do not be dismayed or persuaded by the things of the world, but use the skills God has given you. And lastly, in the face of challenges, may you be reminded of God’s faithfulness, and may your Red Sea turn into a tiny puddle. May he prepare for you a feast in the face of your enemies.

May the Lord bless and keep you!

Love in Christ,

Cornelia

 

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