Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#13 - God's Little By Little

Reaching out to ex-teens has a whole lot to do with timing; acting when God gives you the green light, pausing when you see the caution signal and having a 'time-out' when you only see God's stop light or an 'opportunity door' God has marked 'not now'.

Besides killing a bear, a lion, and a giant, David was also a musician who played well enough to soothe King Saul. In the Bible, the Book of Psalms is a book of songs. In his songs, quite often David included small “hold-its” or pauses. You see them each time you read the word “Selah”. Bible scholars all agree that Selah also means to pause or wait just a bit. It is used as something like a musical pause.

Many believe Selah also means to “pause and reflect” or “pause and retaste”; what came before. This would be like smacking your lips after having eaten a tasty morsel. I believe it is fitting and consistent with scripture to assume God wants us to “taste again” His printed words of truth. We should ask ourselves, “What have I just read? What is the deeper meaning of the words I’ve just heard preached?”

This fundamental truth, to be learned early on, is that waiting long or short periods has very profound purposes. Waiting on God is far from just sitting on one’s hands and shifting the brain out of gear. David gives us the simple process in Psalms 37:7:

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

To rest, wait patiently, and fret not requires that we acknowledge that someone has the power and authority to control our circumstances. Further, that we acknowledge that someone knows and cares about our needs. Well, there is, and He does. Have you remembered the previous topic teaching us that God cares and controls?

Oh how we need to simply convey the peace, purpose, and rest in God's control, to those ex-teens we want to reach out to. Read that ‘Rest in the Lord…’ verse again and “Selah” on the words “Rest”, “wait patiently”, and “fret not.” That verse is a perfect one for placing over the kitchen sink, on the refrigerator, above your desk, inside your toolbox, or near your speedometer.

Little by Little.

Here we are still working on timing i.e. God’s timing.
There is a sweet wonderful truth about waiting on God that surrounds three little words. The words are “little and little”. These are the equivalent of our “little by little.”

By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. Exodus 23:30

And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. Deuteronomy 7:22

These verses are used to describe the slow, orderly timetable God uses. This was just the right timing for the Israelites to capture their idolatrous enemies and to seize the land that God had promised them. God could have snapped his fingers and all of the enemy nations would have instantly been dead. Some of the reasons why He did not are ones we need to internalize, and maybe even apply to our own lives.

1. One reason why He did not is in the word Selah, which we have just learned about. After each and every battle God wanted the people to stop and reflect (Selah) on how God had delivered the enemy into their hands in times past. He also wanted Israel to reflect on what happens to people who worship idols.

2. The verses refer to the wild beasts that would flourish uncontrollably upon the countless corpses that Israel could not have buried fast enough.

3. Because God purposely did not destroy all the enemy nations all at once, fields would still be planted and tilled. The cattle would also be maintained also. Can you see the result is that God is blessing us mightily by having others begin the work we are to continue?

He shows us step-by-step, little and little, that He hears and wants to answer our every prayer to be victorious in His name. And He wants us to savor and share every morsel of His blessings with those ex-teens He has placed in our harvest field. Treat those "waiting on God's timing" moments, with the same precious times as those we call 'mountain top moments'.

Read more about God's timing in the songs He inspired David to include in the Bible's book of Psalms.