Feb242016
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God Invites Us To Write His Name Upon Our Hearts

By Jenna Devotions Leave a comment

Shocked, dazed, heartbroken, questioning… These are some of the desperate feelings we experience when life goes flying off the tracks.

Many years ago almost everything in my life seemed to crumble. Health, home, employment, church family: all were dearly shaken. My heart felt broken. Panic attacks began to grip me. The days were painful, and difficult.  Very, very difficult.

That desperate time nearly derailed my faith too. I wanted to dig a big deep hole, climb inside and never come out. But God (and my husband) made me put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. And I learned something valuable stumbling along in the dark, something that carried me through and back out into the light.

Barefoot Feet

In the darkest, most devastating hours of life, what my soul needed most, was to know to whom it belonged. Deep down in my inner most being, what name was carved out there? Because I think somehow what we hold onto in the darkness is what will define us in the light.

As we Life Journal our way through the Bible, we’re reading the most detailed portions of the Old Testament: Leviticus and Numbers. In these meticulous accounts of God’s Law a message calls out across the ages. God is whispering an invitation to His people, “Come away with me.”  He calls, “Let’s walk together.”

“My children, come, be set apart, holy, sacred, mine.”  God invites.

What does it mean to be holy? Set apart?

It means to become His.

In Leviticus 25 and 26 God reveals the concepts of the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee. To follow and obey such radical ideas, letting the land lie fallow for an entire year and trusting God to provide, is entirely counter-cultural to the very fabric of our flesh. We want to rely on ourselves.  God wants us to rely on Him; to be different than the crowd.

But the promise is worth the risk.

Leviticus 26:11-13 presents the promised rewards for a relationship of trust and obedience with God, “I will put my dwelling place among you… and I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” God wanted to walk with His people again, just like He did in the garden. God set up the elaborate rules and guidelines to set them apart, to give them an identity so they could know who they were. “I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

In the years of devastation, I desperately fought letting go of control. Things were spiraling into chaos and I struggled to stop it. I didn’t want God to shake my world up; not at all. But I realized that in my grasping I wasn’t fully holding onto Him.

My hands were too full, my life was too full, for what He wanted to give. I was trying to hold onto so many good things, that I was missing even greater God-things.

God invites us to walk {far} away from the curse and {fully} into His Covenant.

It’s a different kind of life.

The curse says, “I need this, and this, and this and that, then I will be fulfilled…”

The covenant says, “I have God; I am fulfilled.”

The books of the Law, the details of worship in Leviticus and Numbers, whisper to our hearts, “Come, away with me.  Walk with me and be mine.” 

walking feet

The rest of the Bible, the whole of God’s Word, says the same. The context may be different today, but the message is not.

This was the verse that imbedded itself in my heart last week:

“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:27)

Those that walk with God, will have His name written upon their hearts. We are His. The books of the law paint an elaborate picture of what it looks like to belong to God:

Our lives become sacred.

Again, the context has changed but the message has not. The book of Numbers details the Tabernacle, the sacred home of God’s presence.  Whenever it was time to move on, the Tabernacle was to be carefully packed up and carried at the center of the people. God not only wants to walk with us,  but to walk at the center of our lives.

When God is at the center, everything else takes it’s rightful place; life is whole. But when God’s not in the rightful place, life is fragmented.

Later in Numbers 14 when the people rebelled and said, “We can’t risk our lives to follow you into the Promised Land! We wish we could go back to Egypt!” The troubles looked so big for them, like it did for me all those years ago, that they couldn’t bring themselves to trust. And some days, neither could I. But in the end, what made the difference for them (and for me) was that God’s name was written upon their lives. (See Numbers 14:13-25). When you belong to God, the equation changes. When you belong to God, you live under the Covenant, not the Curse. The promise outweighs the pain.

God invites us to write His name upon our hearts; to be wholly His.

So here’s the thing: God still has a sacred tabernacle today where His presence walks among the people of earth.

We are His tabernacle.

Our lives tell The Sacred Story.

Let’s tell that story well: by opening our hearts {deep}, releasing our fears {fully}, and trusting Him {wholly}.

May His name be forever engraved upon your heart and all your tomorrows be found in Him. Amen.

 

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