Keeping Our Eyes on the Pillar of Fire

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During their forty years of wandering through the wilderness after they left Egypt, God provided the Israelites with a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud by day to guide them. When the pillar rested over a place, the Isrealites rested. When the pillar moved, the Israelites moved. These pillars assured the people God remained with them.

God did not take the Israelites the quickest route. He took them the long way home. His timing. His route. His pace.

I was reminded of this truth recently, once again, in regards to my quest to have my books published. While I may not see a physical pillar of fire, or a pillar of cloud, God is still with me on this journey. That fact right there should be enough to comfort me, but sometimes I choose not to see this journey that way, and I need God’s gentle reminder this is his timing. His route. His pace.

My assignment, should I choose to accept it, is to keep my eyes on the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud, and follow where God’s pillars lead.

It doesn’t matter whether I understand or not.

More times than not, I don’t understand. But that’s okay, because God is still the one controlling the pillars.

Any pillars of fire or pillars of clouds God is setting before you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

During the day the Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and during the night he went in front of them in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day. The pillar of cloud was always in front of the people during the day, and the pillar of fire at night. Exodus 13:21-22 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Making Comparisons

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

You’d think by this stage of my life I’d be done with making comparison between myself and others, but you’d be wrong. If you do the same thing, or know someone who does, perhaps something I read in 365 Pocket Morning Prayers will interest you.

The author stressed the best way to deal with making comparisons is to accept who we are in Christ. Sounds simple, right? But still I struggle when I am tempted to see how I stack up with the people I encounter through the course of my week.

Some days we might do better than other days. Maybe the days when we don’t compare ourselves to others are days we feel more confident. More comfortable with how God made us. Woven and spun, after all. 😉

But on the days we’re not feeling so confident, we can become discouraged when we spend our time making comparisons between our achievements and what others accomplish. Of course, there is the other extreme where we might compare ourselves to others and become prideful. It all depends on who or what we use as our standard of measurement, don’t you think?

The author of the devotion I read said, “Instead of inspecting others and worrying about anyone else, I should focus on myself and my relationship with God. How I stack up to others has no bearing on our relationship.”

God’s timing is always perfect. It just so happened I read this devotion while Pilot and I spent several days at the beach. Talk about someplace ripe for making comparisons. 🙂

Do you find any wisdom in the above quote by the devotional writer?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

What Good Must I Do?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The story is told in the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew of a man who came to Jesus and asked Jesus, “What good must I do to earn eternal life?” The man many call the Rich Young Ruler felt he had all his bases covered. You know; he keep all the required religious laws. Yet, he wanted to make sure he hadn’t left anything undone. So he went to the one he considered a good teacher. Mind you, this man did not call Jesus Lord or Messiah. Just teacher.

“What good must I do to earn eternal life?” Sounded like the man wanted a checklist of good deeds to follow to be sure he earned his spot in heaven.

I’ve met students like this. They never came right out and asked me what was the least they could do and still pass the class, but their actions made it quite clear that’s what they wanted.

Internal motivation to do a job to the best of their ability, was nowhere on their radar.

When Jesus mentioned several commandments recorded in what we refer to as the Ten Commandments, the man said he’d kept all of them, and wanted to know what he lacked. Jesus told the man if he wanted to be perfect, then the man must sell his belongings and give them to the poor. Then, Jesus told the man to follow him.

Matthew tells us the man went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Although the man asked, “What good must I do to earn eternal life?” he wasn’t willing to put Jesus before his possessions when asked to.

The first commandment tells us not to place anything before God. We might not put our possessions before God, but what about our relationships, jobs, leisure activities …

Jesus told the man if he wanted to have eternal life, it wasn’t a long to-do list of external things to check off.

Jesus is more concerned with heart attitude than outward show. Our motivation to strive to keep the commandments should be because we love God and desire to please. It’s all about internal motivation, not external motivation.

Do we love Jesus enough to let go of the things that keep us from following him?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

A man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to have eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions May 17, 2017. Please stop by and check it out.

The Fine Art of Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Yesterday  morning as I read through the various emails from lists I subscribe to, I noticed a trend. Out of eight different emails I read, five spoke on the subject of the fine art of listening, being still and shutting out the noise around us. You think God’s trying to tell me something? 🙂

And because I figure this was more than a coincidence, maybe God is trying to tell you something, too.

Below are excerpts with the link to the original posts. I hope you’ll take the time to go to the original posts, read and consider the full messages these authors wrote. Then join me in  developing the fine art of listening.

What if we stopped dialing up to be heard, and instead started listening again? Listening is an art. One that is getting lost in the noise. Getting lost among the technology, the text messages, the emails. Do people even know how to listen anymore? Finally, remember that we can only surrender to God’s plan if we are still and listen to his plan. Does that mean once a day? Or does that surrender occur 24/7? Tina Radcliffe 

We forget to look outside. We forget to take walks or just sit, listening to the bird sounds, to crickets at night, to the call of a loon, the hoot of an owl. We forget to stand in a drizzle and let it wash down our hair and over our face. We forget to let the sunrise welcome the day or the sunset ease us into night. Normandie Fischer 

Job waited for God’s answer—easier said than done. As believers, we can say with Job, I will wait for my renewal to come (Job 14:14). Whether considering tomorrow or eternity, God has us covered. Diana Derringer

David wrote more on waiting, and Psalm 40:1-3 gives us a vivid image of God’s care for those who wait on Him:

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (NIV)

Reading this passage makes me wonder how long David waited on the Lord. Or if David had a special ability for this very difficult virtue. But then I remember that David often learned things the hard way. Waiting on God was a skill David continued to develop throughout his lifetime.

I long to be still in God’s presence, not plotting or scheming or worrying or … you name it. Unfortunately, I often find myself doing the exact opposite.

Being still takes intentionality and a heart that’s trusting. I need to stop trying to rush God and remember: God is faithful. God is good. God loves me. God never leaves me. God is worthy to be praised. Kim Johnson

Friends, it’s time to stop listening to the lies. Time to close your ears to ignorant and hurtful comments, whether they come from outside or in. It’s time to turn to the TRUTH, to embrace it and immerse yourself in it. It’s time to remember Who gave you this task, and what HE has to say about you and your work. Come to the One True source of Truth, and let His words dwell within you to put an end to writer’s obstacle. Lies. Karen Ball 

And I would add, no matter what our task, we should listen to what our Creator God has to say about our work, and let his words put an end to whatever lies the opposition dumps on us.

Do any of these quotes resonate with you more than another?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. Matthew 13:12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

The Final Victory

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Yesterday, May 8, was the anniversary of Victory in Europe May 8, 1945. Although V-E Day was a major victory, it wasn’t until September 2, 1945 World War II officially ended with V-J Day and the formal surrender of Japan. As the people in Europe celebrated their liberation from the enemy, I believe at the back of their mind they realized there was still a final victory yet to come.

While I contemplated the significance of those two days in history, I considered the major victories Christians have through our Savior Jesus Christ that lead up to the final victory over the enemy the day God tells his Son, it’s time. Go get your bride.

We are grateful for the liberation from God’s enemy, but we realize there is still a final victory yet to come.

Jesus’ death for the sins of the world, his resurrection and defeat of hell, sin, Satan and death, his return to his throne in heaven-where he sits at the right hand of his Father and  prepares a place for believers to live with him as he awaits the day of his return-are victories that will culminate in the grand, final defeat of Satan. Glory hallelujah!

Although it was a major victory, V-E Day was not the end to World War II. Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension were major victories, but not the end of the spiritual war. That victory is yet to come. But it will come.

While we wait for the Final Victory, let’s not grow weary in doing good.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider’s mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-16 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scriptures — Spiritual Warfare

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book, Peace With God, Billy Graham states Christians have three distinct dangerous, vicious enemies who will use any method to defeat us in our Christian life; Satan, the world, and the flesh. So, we must be prepared to ward them off.

First off, Satan. We know he was defeated at the cross by Jesus, but he still has power to influence us toward sin. Just look at the names the Bible gives him. The wicked one. Devil. Murderer. Liar, and the father of lies. Adversary who seeks to devour. Serpent. Accuser of the brethren, and other none flattering titles.

Satan is not happy when anyone gives their life to Christ. In fact, it makes him really mad. Billy Graham says we shouldn’t rely on our feelings, because that’s where Satan attacks first. He’ll do whatever he can to tempt us and lead us into sin, to make us doubt, to discourage, and disappoint. Satan might tempt us by making us feel proud and important to make us confident in our our powers, instead of trusting in God.

There are a lot of ways the deceiver can tempt us; jealousy, hatred, envy. The father of all lies would like nothing more than for us to follow his example and become liars and lead others astray. He is powerful, crafty, and subtle. He is called the god of this world, the prince of this world, and the prince of the power of the air.

In his book Mr. Graham told a story regarding Satan’s attacks.

Years ago I heard my friend J. Edwin Orr compare the Christian attacked by Satan to a mouse being attacked by a housewife wielding a broom. The mouse does not sit there contemplating the housewife or the broom. It is busy looking for a hole — a way to escape. So we Christians under satanic attack should look for our “way of escape.”

He goes further to say, “The devil will tremble when you pray. He will be defeated when you quote or read a passage of Scripture to him, and will leave you when you resist him.”

Next, among our enemies is the world. Mr. Graham said when anyone asks him how to know what is “okay” to do, and what isn’t he tells them to “earnestly and prayerfully ask, ‘What would Christ have me to do?’ ‘Can I ask His blessing upon this particular thing for me?’ ‘What would Christ think about my amusements, recreation, books, companions, and television programs?’ ‘Could I ask Christ to go along with me to this particular event?’ Being omnipresent, He’ll be there anyway. The point is, should you?”

He continues by saying, “This does not mean that in society we are snobs or have a superiority complex, lest we be in danger of spiritual pride — which would be far worse than any worldliness. But today there are so many professing Christians who are walking hand in hand with the world that you cannot tell the difference between the Christian and the unbeliever. This should never be.”

Lastly, Mr. Graham addresses the third enemy we face; the lust of the flesh, which he calls that evil tendency of your inward self. “It is the battle of the self-life and the Christ-life. This old nature cannot please God. It cannot be converted, or even patched up. Thank God, when Jesus died He took you with Him, and the old nature can be made inoperative and you can “reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin” (Romans 6:11). This is done by faith.

Aren’t we glad we don’t have to fight these battles alone?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. Ephesians 6:12 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!