Monday, November 19, 2012

Genesis 45:19-20

"Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours."
Genesis 45:19-20

I like the "regard not your stuff" part. :)  And this verse in interesting because it is getting all of Joseph's family into one place... which saves them from the famine.  But this is also what gets the whole group into a predicament with Pharaoh later, which Moses has to save them from.  It is interesting because we see the hand of God saving a people, but also getting them into a bind.  And isn't that what all of life is?  If God asks us to make a choice one day, it doesn't necessarily mean that that is the best choice forever.  Definitely not encouraging a musical-chairs view of relationships here, by the way.  But with many things in our lives something can be totally the right thing for a while, and then change later.  What changes?  Well, in this case, the circumstances.  The Israelites didn't need to be saved from a famine anymore, and they did need to stop worshipping idols and settle in a different place that God had prepared for them.  Would they have done it without drama?  Perhaps... but perhaps not.  Do we uproot our own lives or change ourselves dramatically without some drama?  Rarely. 
Instead of questioning God about why he told us something months or years ago that isn't working out now, lets work at understanding God's will for us today.  God teaches us in many ways, and sometimes a reversal of fortune is part of that.  We can't stay in our own personal Egypt forever.  It was awesome of God to save us and send us there where everything was plentiful... but then it kind of turned around, right?  And we needed to get out.  Today, let's listen to God.  Let's go into Egypt when God asks, and get out when God asks as well... and try not to get stuck in the middle.  And, while we're at it, let's regard our stuff a little less too.  God will help it all work out, as we do what he asks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Doctrine and Covenants 88:86

"Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes."
Doctrine and Covenants 88:86

I wonder sometimes how much we give up our own freedom.  God gives us freedom as a gift.  He balances out the influences on us, enabling us to make choices without being overwhelmingly pulled in one direction or another.  Without him there, protecting our free agency, we wouldn't have any.  And yet, we throw it away at the slightest provocation, or pretend it isn't there... claiming that for whatever reason, we couldn't resist. :)  So, today, maybe we should take a step back and remember Nephi.  The Lord doesn't ask us anything, ever, without making sure that there is a way for us to accomplish what he asks.  It might seem impossible in the moment that there is a way out of the hole that we've dug for ourselves, or that there is no going back from the bad choices that we've made.  But there is a way... always.  It might be a hard road, and painful, to pull ourselves out and untangle those knots in our souls.  But we can do it.  It is possible.  And when we have, and when we know what it feels like to be clean again... on the outside of temptation, looking in... let's remember what it's like to be in chains of our own making like that.  Let's stop considering the temptations, and walk away... give ourselves the chance to learn and grow so much more without limiting ourselves with sin or addictions/obsessions.  Let's stay clean, and stay free... waiting on the Lord.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Proverbs 3:5-7 -- On Trusting and Departing

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil."
Proverbs 3:5-7

I think that sometimes it is hard to figure out life. :)  We all want to understand it and know exactly what to do... and we don't always get instructions that clearly from God.  Often we'll think we have it all finally figured out, or maybe just part of it.  And then our plans kind of fall apart.  We might feel like failures for a while, but after that we start trying to figure it all out again.  That's a good thing, a cycle of learning, of trying out new things, of becoming stronger and smarter, and working at understanding ourselves and the world around us.  The problem comes when, instead of looking at it all as a learning experience, we start getting mad at God, or trying to cram the extra, unexpected pieces into different shapes... to fit the puzzle that we wanted instead of realizing that once again we've underestimated the size of God's puzzle. :)

It's awesome to learn and grow and become smart and wise.  The problem comes when we start thinking that we are wiser or smarter than everyone else... even God.  We're so not. Even if we could earn a PhD in every degree offered, get all the special training from every government agency and branch of the military in every country, even if we knew all languages on earth at a native speaker level... would we then even know anything--even *ourselves*--better than God does?  The answer is clearly no.  It doesn't mean we shouldn't learn, or try to figure things out at all.  It only means, let's not just tap into the world's learning... let's also tap into a better source, that is conveniently available to us all the time. :)  God. 

The scripture asks us to trust God more than we trust ourselves.  To not think that we can walk a fine line between good and evil, or stand on the cliff of light and dangle our feet over into the dark.  Let's stop thinking that we know where those lines are better than God does, or that we can play with evil and feed it, but that we won't fall in love with it and take it home as a pet.  Let's do as God asks instead, and stay far away.  Today, let's acknowledge God.  Let's pray to him, tell him that we're not as smart as we thought we were, and that we're willing to listen.  Let's ask him to direct our paths.  He knows the way better than we do, and he will help us figure it out. :)

Total Pageviews