Holy Ground on God’s Path

The stories of Moses are wonderful.  His encounter with God at the burning bush is especially compelling.  At the beginning of the encounter, God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.

Moses had walked many places.  He grew up in the Pharaoh’s palaces.  No doubt he had entered Egyptian temples.  He killed a man in fields where the Hebrews worked.  He ran away to Midian.  He tended sheep in pastures.  On Mount Horeb, though, Moses went to see a burning bush and God called it holy ground.

Until he stepped on holy ground, Moses went where he chose.  After he stepped on holy ground, Moses went where God commanded.  Before Moses had chosen his own way.  Afterward, Moses followed God’s way.

Adelaide Pollard had a passion to serve God.  She wanted to be a missionary in foreign lands.  She never went because she lacked financial support.  At a prayer service, though, she heard another woman say, “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.”  Those words taught Pollard to accept God’s way for her life, and they inspired her to write the words to Have Thine Own Way, Lord.  Make the words of this verse your prayer today.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Follow the Lord’s way.  His way is holy ground.  His way is the only way that leads to life.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Choosing Moses, day 23 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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Sufficient Need

Some of us take pride in being self sufficient.  We are rugged individualists who don’t need to depend on anyone else.  We provide for ourselves and fend for ourselves.  If we lack for anything, we get it ourselves or simply make do.  As admirable as that may sound, though, it isn’t always the best approach.  And from a spiritual perspective, it never is.

Jacob was a tricky young man.  He thought he was self sufficient by using what he had, and when he saw an opportunity to get more, he took it.  When his brother Esau was hungry, Jacob seized his chance and traded a bowl of soup for Esau’s birthright.  When his blind father was ready to give his final blessing, Jacob disguised himself and tricked his way into receiving it.  When his uncle Laban agreed to share the offspring from his herds, Jacob managed the herds to produce more animals for himself.  It was a way of life for him.  Jacob wanted to come away from every encounter as the winner, no matter what he had to do.

When he finally decided to leave Laban and return to his own home, Jacob encountered a stranger and fought with him.  Once again Jacob wanted to come away as the winner.  After fighting all night Jacob was injured and could not go on, yet he clung to the stranger and demanded a blessing.  The stranger changed Jacob’s name to Israel and blessed him.  That blessing, more than anything else, assured Israel’s future.  That blessing had, in fact, come from God.

Jacob was not really self sufficient.  He had to trick and fight his way into blessings.  He had to take what did not belong to him.  He had more needs than he could fill.  Jacob’s insufficiency continued until one day when he received God’s blessing.  On that day, Jacob finally had sufficient need.  He needed God’s mercy.  He needed God’s care.  He needed God’s blessing.  And God, whose nature it is to be merciful and caring, blessed that needy man.

We all need God’s blessing.  We need it every day.  We need it every hour.  I Need Thee Every Hour was written by Annie S. Hawks.  Like Jacob, she cried out for God’s blessing.  Think of your spiritual need as you read the words to her familiar chorus.

I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

May we understand our need for God’s blessing, and may we receive God’s richest blessings on our journey to the foot of the cross.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Choosing Israel, day 22 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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