Fresh Manna © by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org/ Part Three: Perspective for Better Relationships
Exodus 25:22 “And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment unto the children of Israel”
I’d like to continue this series and start off today giving you a thought that if you took to heart – if you asked God to show you the truth of it in the Word of God and in your life, and if you made it a core value in your life, it would change your life – greatly and for the good!
Here is the thought: The primary way God brings blessing into your life is through people! We all have times when people can wear us out. Yet, we need them and we have to love them as God commands. If we don’t, we’ll will miss out on the very blessing God would bring to us through people.
Some silently think, God will supernaturally provide for me like He did for Elijah – through ravens – not people! “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.” So Elijah did what the LORD had told him… The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:1-6)
This is a powerful story and reveals to us how God will provide for us supernaturally as we follow out and obey His direction for our lives. God will and desires to bring supernatural provision to us. Stories like this are there for the very purpose of building our faith in that truth. Yet, He bringing it through ways other than people is the exception, not the rule! The most common way He brings blessing – words of knowledge, words of wisdom, help, encouragement, comfort, provision, and direction – the most common way He brings these things to our life is through people. In Elijah’s case God used ravens because He had to hide and seclude Elijah from all people. Why? The King had everyone in his kingdom looking for Elijah to kill him because of the drought on the land. He blamed Elijah for it.
I was listening to a national speaker last night and in his speech, he indicated that people and Christians tire and frustrate him because they seldom follow through on what they know to do – such as failing to vote. There is obvious truth in that but no one can afford to get to this place where they are tired of people. If you get to this place, a HUGE part of the problem is you and your attitude and you’ll soon cut yourself off from God’s blessing coming to you through people!
Today I promised you a key that would greatly refresh your attitude toward working with people and help keep your attitude in a great place. James 3:17-18 begins to reveal that key saying, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” This verse helps us discern our own words, attitudes, and actions to see if the place we are coming from when working through conflict is from an ungodly or godly perspective. A key will help us get the entire context of this verse. That key is “mercy.”
Are you absolutely aware that almost every offense that ticks you off about other people, you yourself have violated? Proverbs 20:9 says, “Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? We may not say this but we often act like we believe we are without sin. Psalm 143:2 says, “Don’t bring your servant to trial! Compared to you, no one is perfect.” What this verse is saying is that in your eyes you will always be justified but the offender will never measure up to your standard. The truth is, not one of us would survive without mercy. Mercy is one of the most powerful forces in the world and the one that God used to bring you and I back to Himself through Jesus Christ.
If we learn to imitate God, we can bring mercy into our daily living experience when and wherever possible to help soften or remove offense and conflict.
In today’s Fresh Manna verse, we see God’s offering of mercy to us. He says “And there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
We all know that not one of us could possibly obey all of God’s laws without missing it and sinning. This isn’t an excuse for sinning or to sin. It’s a covering for when we do intend to do right but blow it. God says that He will meet and have fellowship with us at the mercy seat. It’s the place where we get mercy so that we can continue in an intimate and loving relationship with Him. If you are like me, you are there often. If God continually has mercy on us, then it should also be given from us to others – often. It has the power to instantly soften and reunite our hearts with someone we’d otherwise be offended or upset with.
I realize it doesn’t solve the problems that cause conflict. It does give space and time to , to work out and work through conflict with the Heavenly wisdom spoken of in the verses above from James. We are all a work in progress and therefore all desperate for God’s mercy. As liberally as we would want or need it, let us give it out. Are you in conflict? Meet them at the mercy seat. Then the blessing of God can flow without interruption from you to people and from people to you. More later…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt http://www.freshmanna.org/
Published by Pastor Tim BurtCopyright© 2006 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.