I have never been here

Numbers 13:1-3 (AMP) Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel. From each of their fathers’ tribes you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” So Moses sent spies from the Wilderness of Paran at the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the Israelites.

My oldest son will be returning from his first ever solo trip today. He got to the airport before ten this morning and his flight out does not take place until after six this evening. He is ready to come home. This trip was a gift for his high school graduation from us (mom and dad). He flew eight hundred miles, to a city he had never been before, to meet people he had only had a relationship with online. This was not a hook up. This was suppose to be an in person meeting because they play games online with each other nightly.

The Lord told Moses to send out leaders to spy out the land. One from every tribe. They were to be gone for forty days, longer than the trip took to reach their destination.

Numbers 13:17-20 (AMP) Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the Negev (the South country); then go up into the hill country See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many,  and whether the land in which they live is good or bad, and whether the cities in which they live are [open] camps or fortifications,  and what the land is, whether it is fat (productive) or lean, whether there is timber on it or not. Make an effort to get some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the time of the first ripe grapes.

Before my son’s trip I encouraged him to research the area. What are some places you can go? Find out how you will get around? Let’s just say, he was clueless when he arrived. The person who was suppose to stay with him backed out at the last minute, because he was not good with talking to people in person. The others that he was suppose to meet up with did not want to leave their hotel rooms and the ones that lived in the city had their car towed the night before. It took my son until the third day to leave the little place we rented him for the week. He had to learn to get out for himself and go.

Eventually he made it to the beach, which was three miles from where he was staying. He took an Uber to an island, that a couple of the people were working, so he could meet them. He made an effort. He did not just order in all week and not leave until it was time to fly home. He got out. An effort is a serious attempt, it is not just showing up.

When the Israelites got back to the camp they were excited for the land. Verses 17-18, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. But the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified (walled) and very large…” They had never been there before. They could not move forward because of fear of who they might come in contact with. This is the same group of people that witness God stop an army with the Red Sea. These were heads of the camps. They were leaders. They were men Moses trusted. Did they carry the vision? Could they walk in trust that God would deliver them into the Promised Land? Unfortunately, they could not and wandered in the wilderness for an other forty years. They were so close. However, since they had never been there before they did not have confidence and wanted to go back (under new leadership) to what they knew even though it would not be a land of milk and honey.

Right now we are navigating through areas we have never been before. Gas prices are at an all time high. It takes over a hundred dollars to fill up our tanks. Food costs are at an all time high. We are having to get creative with what we cook. Businesses do not have the man power to keep open and are cutting their hours short.

Refuse to let fear make the decisions for you. Do not let fear be how you raise your kids. We are raising them to GO. Raise them for the Great Commission. Do not let fear of someone else’s views be why you do not want to listen to them. Be an example of the New Commandment (love that unselfishly seeks the best for others). Do not let the fear of circumstances halt your generosity. We are to encourage each other to do good works. Do not let fear of never being here cause you to go back to where you are familiar.

My prayer for you: I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (Ephesians 3:15-21 MSG)

I want to glow up!

Luke 11:33-36 (AMP) “No one lights a lamp and then puts it in a cellar nor under a basket [hiding the light], but [instead it is put] on the lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive, focused on God], your whole body also is full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But when it is bad [spiritually blind], your body also is full of darkness [devoid of God’s word]. Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. So if your whole body is illuminated, with no dark part, it will be entirely bright [with light], as when the lamp gives you light with its bright rays.”

One of my favorite people in the Bible to read about is Moses. I especially liked how he enjoyed being in the presence of God. Reading Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy you can see that he not only spent time with God for wisdom, but he genuinely enjoyed the companionship. Moses spent so much time with Him that the glory of the Lord transferred to an outward glow shining from Moses’ face. My heart’s desire is to carry that same glory with me where ever I go. That is why I loved reading the above verses yesterday.

The eye is a lamp to our bodies. Often times people will use this verse to condemn others for what they watch for entertainment, but they did not have movies or television sitcoms back then. They did have people. They did have relationships. They did have lives to maintain. Sometimes our eyes will even deceive us when we do not see the progress during the process of growth. I like how the Amplified tells us “when I our eye is clear”, that is “spiritually perceptive” and “focused on God”. It is when we take our focus off of God that we become spiritually blind and our bodies full of darkness, it even says we are “devoid of God’s word”.

How can my whole being radiate the light of glory of God? 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP), “ And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.” What will it take for us to have a fervent spirit? He is the one who sets me on fire! When I spend time, like Moses did, to see His face. It all has to do with our focus. When can read our Bibles and still not be focused.

Focus eliminates distractions. We will never be able to fulfill our eternal purpose if we allow temporary circumstances to distract our focus. Remain focused on the Kingdom. Do not allow weariness to become a false prophet in your life. Weariness will try to get you to accept that is okay to give up. You cannot rest from God, because He is rest.

Why do you think Joshua said in Joshua 24:15 (AMP), “If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”? Sight, your eye being a lamp to your body. You have to choose this focus, your natural self is not going to want to do it.

Hebrews 12:2 (AMP) Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

What has been the desire of your heart? This is why I call this blog “Desiring for More.” Just like Moses, I desire a face to face relationship with God. When we draw our eyes on Him then our whole bodies cannot help but illuminate with His light! Let’s have a glow up party!!

Willing Vessel

When you love someone, or something, you are willing to make an investment into it. You will take time and resources into making it successful. They want to see their dream a reality. When they have a set back they do not give up!

I never pictured myself as someone who would willingly get up and speak in front of people. I was quite reluctant and not at all good when I started doing it. Moses was the same way.

Exodus 4:10-16 (NIV) Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.

Check out the grace God gave to Moses. I would like to point out that they were still under the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant of the law had not been established yet. So even in Moses imperfection, God put steps in place for Moses to be able to fulfill what He called Him to do. We will eventually see, later on, that Moses was bold in his speech.

(If we apply our life to the way things manifested from the time of the Mosaic Covenant and to the cross, then we are not walking in the fullness of this New Covenant. We need to read those passage now through the eyes of the cross. They should speak about the great need for the cross and not what we have to go through any more).

In the past, I was satisfied with setting up the church events. I did all of the prep work. I would do the research for particular people for them when they taught. I would come up with the themes for the events and do all of the preparations and then hand it over. I liked being in the background. I still do. Before church on Sundays I am there thirty minutes before my teams. I walk through the building setting up areas, making sure their tools are ready to go before they walk in the door.

What I love though is that God calls inadequate people so He can work through them. He in turn will receive the glory that is only His. I am a vessel, but I have to be a willing vessel. He uses imperfect people! I just love that. I love that in my desire to see His Kingdom established, I get to be a part of it. I am not waiting on the sidelines for Him to put me in. You may be asking, when do I get to be a part of the game? Now!

What I love though is that God calls inadequate people so He can work through them.

1 Peter 4:7-10 (NKJV) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:11 (TPT) For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.

When we start to do the works of the ministry as it talks about in Ephesians 4, we will start to grow. God knew that if He could get Moses to start, Moses would start to grow. He is not asking you to have it all figured out. He is asking you to start. When we keep waiting, we are putting it on pause. I understand and know that in the Word it says to be still, or when you have done all then stand. This is not a physical reference though. This is talking about your inward, spirit being. We can become anxious in the waiting, that is what He is telling us to be still. Be at peace.

I love this verse and I will speak it over myself and you continually: 1 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG) Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! Please hear my heart! I want you to live!! He wants you to live!!!

If you need prayer or someone to talk to, please message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

Enough to share

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP) Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.

As I was reading these verses yesterday, three things jumped out at me: (1) I need to reflect His character, when I do this I can lead others to Him; (2) Being deeply rooted in Him helps me accomplish number one; and (3) This will result in me becoming increasingly more established in my faith.

John 15:1-8 (TPT) I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. “I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words live powerfully within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!

I have to be attached to the vine (Jesus). His roots run deep! Rooted there I am going to grow. When I grow I will begin to produce fruit. The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared. When I share my fruit from this vine, others will want to see where it is planted and will eventually become rooted as well. This is what increases my faith. My expectation and passion will grow. I start making more Kingdom impacts. I am beginning to reflect His character.

The amazing thing about this fruit is that the nourishment that comes from it is meant to be shared.

Whenever I think of reflecting God’s character it makes me think of His glory. We are to glorify His name when we pray, when we worship and when we talk about Him in the streets. It also makes me think of Moses and how his face glowed after being in the presence of the Lord. I came across this verse, 2 Corinthians 3:13 (AMP) and we are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not gaze at the end of the glory which was fading away. The glow from Moses face would eventually fade. Then we go a few verse down, verses 17-18 (AMP) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. I am no longer bound to my mistakes and my short comings. I like how it says that we are “progressively being transformed.” This year my goal is progress. Part of that progress is coming out of my comfort zone. I am an introvert by nature. I feel awkward when I have to start a conversation ( I feel like our teenagers today who do not know how to answer a phone). When I see the fruit of what my God encounters do bring, it increases my faith.

I want to lead others to a fulfilling relationship with the Father like I have. In order to do that, I need to reflect His character. I need to be attached to the vine (Jesus). Growing in God is so very rewarding. Giving nourishment to others will increase your faith. The Holy Spirit will draw those to you, but He cannot do that if we refuse to leave the comfort of our homes. This is me too. I need to get out more and I need to step into more serving opportunities (outside of my church). Fruit is meant to be shared. People need to see that it is not perfection He is after, it is progress. They need to see me mess up and depend on Him in my recovery. His glory does not fade anymore, like it did from the face of Moses, it radiates through me because I am in Christ (whose glory never fades).

I pray this encouraged you today. Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, know that we should never feel pressured to be at any faith level, just keep making progress. Keep growing. Stay rooted in Jesus, He is the vine. Take a step to give nourishment to others, it will increase your faith when you see fruit growing in their lives.

Please feel free to message me at amanda@desiringformore.org if you need prayer.

He Goes Before Us

Exodus 33:14 (NIV) The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

This week I started reading Numbers. Basically, I was suppose to have read it last week, but I skipped it and read Deuteronomy instead. This week, as I was reading Numbers, I empathized with Moses in how his heart must have been in anguish. I identified with Caleb this time.

As I was telling my youth about reading Numbers, they were like, isn’t that just a census you are reading? I told them that is what I thought at first, as to why I fought reading it. I found out that they had heard the story of why the Israelites were not allowed into the promise land from the summary in Deuteronomy, but there is so much that we see in Numbers.

In Chapter 13 we see the twelve men sent from the twelve different tribes being sent out to look at the land. They even brought back a single cluster of grapes that took two men to carry! Verses 27-29 in the Message Translation: We went to the land to which you sent us and, oh! It does flow with milk and honey! Just look at this fruit! The only thing is that the people who live there are fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified. Worse yet, we saw descendants of the giant Anak. Amalekites are spread out in the Negev; Hittities, Jebusites, and Amorites hold the hill country; and the Canaanites are established on the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan.

This is my guy right here! Sometimes I feel like Caleb the cheer leader. In verse 30 (MSG), Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land – now. We can do it.”

Sometimes I feel like Caleb the cheer leader.

We read on how the other men carry on how much land it is. How much stronger the other inhabitants are. The whole community get in an uproar and cry all night long. Then they go back to wishing things were like the old ways. At least in Egypt they knew how to handle those challenges. They were slaves, but they were use to that kind of life.

This is what I think of when I hear believer’s complain about having to wear a mask because of COVID. I have to admit that it is uncomfortable. I have compassion for my husband that has to wear one all day long in his work environment. I have to wear one to enter the gym, to go grocery shopping, to drop off items at the post office, etc. What it has not stopped me from doing is showing love. I still make it a point to talk to that grocery clerk. I want to be aware of God moments even in the midst of my discomfort of wearing a mask. I often think, what can God do with this?

Numbers 14: 6-9 (MSG) Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephenneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Isreal: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land – very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Do not be afraid of them!”

How do we rebel against God today? By not being where He told us to be, doing what He told us to do. Do you not think He knows that you are required to wear a mask now? I do understand the autistic and there are other medical reasons. I am not talking about that, I am talking about the mature in Christ. I am talking about how there is a watching world of unbelievers that need hope and they are watching how we walk.

Other than wearing a mask, let’s look at the fact that we are scared of the unknown because of living this way for so long. Maybe God has been urging you to get a job or even a better job. I was telling my youth that in order to have the type of life you want to live, you start acting like and preparing for it now. You want to be a successful person, you act like you are a successful person. You want to have your own home, drive a nice car, then start preparing now. Your life is only as small as your thought life brings it to be. You want to be seen as someone who can make good choices, stop ordering chicken nuggets and picking out the vegetable when you go out to eat! (OK, that might be a little pet peeve of mine).

Like Joshua and Caleb, I feel like people are about ready to throw stones at me. All I want to do is scream “stop your complaining!”

Numbers 14:11-12 (MSG) Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust Me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough – I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”

I underlined the “how long refuse to trust Me.” This is what I hear when a believer complains. Of course we know that God does not kill them all. It is after this encounter that we find out that only Joshua and Caleb will be entering the Promised Land, but everyone one twenty and older would not. This is when God turns the camp around and makes them wander in the wilderness.

They had to wander forty more years in the dessert. We read in Joshua how they entered the land and victory after victory given to them. This is what I want you to get. The people that had inhabited the land that was promised to them had not changed, they had probably grown in numbers. Your surroundings are not going to change unless you start to act. God has made a promise to you, but you have to do your part. Stop hiding, stop complaining, stop lamenting on what was.

Balaam was summoned by Balak to curse the Israelite camp and bless his. Balaam could not keep himself from speaking God’s words only. He feared God, more than he feared displeasing Balak. It was Balaam who spoke this revelation found in Numbers 23:17-24 (taken from out of the Message Translation), “God is not a man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through? I was brought here to bless; and now he’s blessed – how can I change that?

Stop waiting for God to change things. He can do so much more when we understand who He truly is! Watch your world change when you start walking out in confidence that He has already made the way. I understand there are giants out there, but like Caleb I am cheering you on! God is on our side, who can be against us!!

I will go any where with you

My husband and I have been married for twenty years. We were married the week after I turned twenty in the year two thousand. I made anniversaries and birthdays real easy for him to remember. My husband had just graduated from college with a degree in Business Administration and started a job with a salary the week before we got married. During this time the leadership role that he had performed in the church was leading worship. We had attended seminary during the time before we married, but he had no real desire for ministry at that time. He just wanted to serve. His desire was to one day run his own company, be a CEO, or something along those lines. I was still in college at that time on the path to become a nonprofit lawyer. Five months into our marriage my husband comes to me and tells me that he is called to ministry…”Are you with me?”

Going into full time ministry was a big step of faith. I had to quit college and go to work full time, finding something with benefits. It was difficult, but because I stood beside my husband in what God called him to do, I received favor. I started out with a temporary agency going where I was assigned. Then I received full time employment with a large corporation (that meant the benefit package was good) and quickly received promotion after promotion. These positions were usually offered to those with college degrees. God was gracing me to retain the knowledge and skill to be promoted.

We did make financial mistakes, but we repented and God would restore. We did have to go through the difficult consequences of our choices, but God was our provision. I cannot tell you how many times He has met our needs. There was a time near Christmas and we did not have the money to buy anything for each other. Our realtor knocked on the door and presented us with $300 for recommending her to a customer that had recently bought a home!

When my husband answered the call to be in full time ministry he knew eventually he would step up as the lead pastor of our church. He knew it was not time when he was called, he had to go through a process. When he stepped up into the role, it was the time that God wanted the shift to happen. There we those who tried to get him to do it earlier, but he knew it had to be God leading him.

As God was leading him, he was leading me too. Over the past thirteen years God had done a major transformation in my life. Even though my husband asked, “Are you with me?” my answer yes was not just to him. My answer was to Jesus, “I’ll go anywhere with you. I’ll do anything. It doesn’t matter, as long as we are together.” When a marriage is centered on God, He will speak to the heart of the both of you. He will not just speak to one and the other will be dragged along.

My answer was to Jesus, “I’ll go anywhere with you. I’ll do anything. It doesn’t matter, as long as we are together.”

Moses in the book of Exodus was leading the people to the land of promise. God sent an angel before them to make a way. Moses’ desire was that God would never leave them. He petitioned God that if His presence was not there to please not send them. Was it not enough that He made provision? Moses knew that provision might be good enough for the people, but he knew that God’s presence was far better.

I realize that my relationship with God is whatever I want it to be. We have that freedom. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (Christian Standard Bible) says, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.” I usually apply this verse when I talk myself out of making bad food decisions, but I use it here because we have the choice of how much God we want in our lives. Which areas we allow Him to work in. I guess I am selfish in that I want Him in all of it. Like Moses, ‘God if you are not present do not send me! I will go anywhere you are.’

Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 30:22 (NIV) So you will be my people, and I will be your God.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

My husband says that success is being where God told you to be, doing what He told you to do with the people He told you to do it with. He says that if you can say “yes” to all three, then you are successful. I say that if you make God first above all else then it is easy to say “yes” to all three of those questions.

And Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go (with me), do not lead us up from here.” Exodus 33:15 (AMP)

Say “Yes” to the Adventure

Today on my Facebook Memories I came across an album titled “St. George Island Camping Trip.” This was a trip that a very dear friend of mine, who I can say is one of my best friends, did together with our two boys (since then she has added a few more to her family). We were two boy moms who decided to take our boys camping at the beach. We had never done this before on our own and we were going to do this together. All six of us packed up my minivan and headed to Florida.

I had grown up camping with my parents going to St. Andrews every summer growing up. I wanted to share this experience with my kids. My husband grew up on the mission field in Belize, camping was not a fun adventure idea for him (still isn’t, but is open to buying an RV).

This trip did not go 100% perfect. We struggled to get the canopy tent up on the beach (a good Samaritan came and helped us struggling mamas). The camp site had so much vegetation that mosquitoes were awful and on top of that my van got infested with sand fleas. Oh and I got sick in the middle of the night from the dinner we ate! However, we stayed positive…because we were on an adventure!!

I have been on many other trips without my family since then. I stepped out and went to some Women’s Conferences without anyone else from my church joining me. I started going out and sitting in restaurants by myself to enjoy a meal.

I have visited other cities with other women in ministry. On one such trip we went to Las Vegas. It was the Retreat for Leading and Loving It. A couple of the women and I got brave enough to go to the top of the Stratosphere and get on the rides. Yep I did that one!

Here is the thing though, there is more to life than just these kinds of adventures. There are adventures that God wants to take us on as well. It just happens that all of these experiences I had was because of the relationships I made from saying “Yes” to God. I got out of my comfort zone, because to be honest, I have to fight my introvert tendencies. You know the ones where the voice inside of your head makes excuses as to why you cannot step out into “ministry.” The “I don’t have enough money” excuse. Or how about the “I don’t have enough time” excuse. My all time favorite, “I am too young/old” excuse.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you do.”

Stop trying to figure things out on your own. If He put a desire in your heart to do it, then do it…just don’t let it be the pizza talking. How do you know you heard from God in this adventure? Does it line up with His character and nature? How will you know His character and nature? By reading the Word that He gave us.

Stop trying to figure things out on your own.

In the time that the Israelites were in the Wilderness, Moses sent twelve spies into the land that God told them would be their inheritance. Ten of those spies came back with a negative report, but two did not. The two that did not were Joshua and Caleb. They were the only two from that generation to enter into the Promised Land.

Joshua 14:7-12 “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, say, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on that day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for was, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

That mountain was Caleb’s inheritance because ‘he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel’ (Joshua 14:9). God wants us to actively pursue Him and what He wants us to have. As His follower’s we should boldly say, “Give me my mountain!” when it comes to pursuing the vision that God has given us for our lives. Mountains are not easy to climb, depending on how high it goes, you might have to adjust for the climate change. This could even mean getting out of your comfort zones and entering into other cultures you have never known before.

Hey, if you get some bumps in the process, do not be discouraged. You are on an adventure!

Do not come down until you are ready!

From Nehemiah 6 MSG “I’m doing a great work; I can’t come down. Why should the work come to a standstill just so I can come down and see you?” “They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, ‘They’ll give up; they never finish it.’ I prayed, ‘Give me strength.'”

It is hard when other people do not meet your passion. There are countless men and women in the Bible that God gave them instruction and people questioned whether they even heard God at all.

Moses is one of my favorite people in the Bible. I can so relate to him! I probably would have reacted the same way to all of the grumbling and complaining as he did in Numbers 20, when he struck the rock, afterGod told him to speak to it. I might have even taken out a couple of people when going for that swing too! Not really, but you know he was thinking it.

In return Moses would not be able to join in with the others in entering the Promised Land. However, he still makes it into the Hall of Faith found in Hebrews 11.

Near the end of Moses life he writes the book of Deuteronomy. In this book he recites over and over the escape out of Egypt and their time in the wilderness. He was so adamant about teaching their children, and for generations to come, all that had happened (Stephen even stands before his accusers in Acts 7 reciting much of this). This all occurred after he was told he could not bring the people into the Promise Land.

Above all, Moses desired God’s presence more than he desired to enter the Promise Land. He was seeking His face. In Exodus 33:18 Moses asks: “Please, show me Your glory.”

Moses desired God’s presence more than he desired to enter the Promise Land.

Exodus 33:21-23 God responds, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you into the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand wile I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Moses kept going up to the mountain to commune with God. He face would shine so bright after his encounters. Don’t you think while he was up there he could see the Promise Land knowing he would not enter it. Or did he…

Matthew 17:1-3 “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, let them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking Him.”

Moses appears with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, which happens to be in the physical location of the Promise Land. When he desired to see God before, he could only see His back, but now he sees Him face-to-face.

Moses did not give up going on the mountain top and neither should you. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Icebreaker Question: Who do I relate to in the Bible?

This is one of the my favorite questions I get asked in small group settings. You know, it is your first time meeting a group of people and you are going to spend the next few weeks on a certain topic or doing a certain activity together. We are going to break the ice and talk about people we identify with in the Bible.

I actually identify with two people in the Bible.

The first is Moses.

Years ago, before my husband had to practically rip the mic from my hands on Sundays, I was petrified to speak in front of people.

Years ago, before my husband had to practically rip the mic from my hands on Sundays, I was petrified to speak in front of people. So bad in fact that one time my mother in law pushed the mic in my face to tell about the fundraiser I was having through my day care. People thought that I had such passion for the organization that they were handing me hundred dollar bills, because I was crying so hard telling them about it. So I identified with Moses because of his lack of speaking ability.

Another way I identified with Moses, was not how I was, but how I aspired to be.

Whenever Moses came back down from the mountain after speaking with God his face would glow. Moses spent so much time with God that the people would ask him to wear a veil in their presence because of the glow. My desire is to be like that.

The second person I identify with is Peter.

Peter gets a bad wrap to begin with. He is over zealous. Talks out of turn. Can be hot headed…he cut the ear off of the soldier trying to protect Jesus not knowing how to wield a sword. Then he denies Jesus three times even after telling Jesus (to his face) that he would never do that.

Here is what I love about Peter. He was the first one out of the boat to meet Jesus on the shore.

“Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land)…” John 21:7b-8a

Then Jesus takes the time to restore Peter. I love this because often times when I mess up I can see Jesus having the same conversation with me.

Taken from John 23:15-19 “Amanda, Do you have great affection for Me?” Me, “Yes, Jesus! You know I have so affection for you.” Jesus, “Then take care of the my children.” “Amanda, do you burn with love for me?” Me, “Jesus, I have so love for you.” Jesus, “Then take care of my people.” “Amanda, do you have great affection for me?” Me, “Jesus, I have already told you how much I love you.” Jesus, “Then feed my people.” Jesus, “Amanda, when you were younger you made your own choices and did as you pleased. Now it is time you grew up and follow after Me!”

We all need that “aha” moment. We get that moment where Jesus speaks directly to us. We start off as children still doing what we want. We make mistakes. Even when we follow after Him we still make them. Just like Jesus did with Peter, He doesn’t throw us away.

I love that story. I can hear Him saying my name. Can you hear Him say yours?