“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” - Romans 12: 12 (NIV).
The nation of Israel had migrated to Egypt where long after the patriarch Joseph had long passed on, there was a generation of new rulers who had come about without any attachment to Israel’s past role in their once liberation from famine. So, once Moses, who had escaped being killed as an infant on the orders of Pharaoh, one day, “ went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labour. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand” (Exodus 2: 11-12).
Things didn’t work out as he desired. For when Pharaoh heard of the news, “he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well” (vv 15). A door had been slammed right in the face of Moses, with his hopes of mounting a quick liberation.
This experience of Moses when one has a particular desire to achieve something is not unique. There are many episodes in the lives of believers when they feel a certain strong urge to achieve something, a matter that has been pressing them. This might be a job situation. There could be acquisition of a precious object, like land. It might be a matter of travel. Or perhaps it is offering a marriage proposal expecting a positive reciprocal affirmation. Then the door is slammed.
Such a denial may leave one confused and upset, perhaps angry with God. These emotions are only natural, except that, it doesn’t mean God has forgotten or abandoned one. After a period of forty years, finally the Lord reveals Himself in the wilderness, prompting the once impatient Moses, with a message, “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey” (vv 16-17). And the rest is history.
A door closed does not mean it is shut forever. There are cases where God is pointing you to yet another opportunity down the road. Sometimes it means to wait, for down the road, you will find the door wide open, as we see in Moses’s case.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as a new day dawns, where I find a door closed, I start with a fresh hope, for I know where one door is closed, lies another opening, and Lord I pray you give me the patience to wait with hope, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.