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If We Knew What God Knows

If we knew what God knows, we would choose to wait for His timing rather than push Him to act now. God made His creatures to live in dependence on the Creator. As such, we wait for the provision.

If We Knew What God Knows

(Photo via ooomf.com, by Tyssul Patel)

As much as we hate it, dependence demands waiting. Refusing to wait amounts to independence and even rebellion from the one who created us.

Insisting on instant gratification (even for good things) minimizes and overlooks the infinite worth of God’s sovereignty—a wisdom that sees beyond the next five minutes. Or the next five years.

Are you waiting for God to do something in your life?

If you knew what God knows, here’s what you would do.

Abel-beth-maacah—How to Deal with a Problem Person

At first, its name looks like a misprint. Abel-beth-maacah. (Try saying that 10 times fast.) Located in the north of Israel near Dan, it served a vital role in watching over the northern entrance to Israel.

Abel-beth-maacah—How to Deal with a Problem Person

(Photo: Abel-beth-maacah. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

As a result, Abel-beth-maacah often found itself one of the first cities to suffer destruction during the foreign invasions of Ben-hadad of Aram and Tiglath-pileser of Assyria (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Kings 15:29).

But Abel-beth-maacah is much more than a strategic site on the pages of history.

The place offers a biblical lesson on how to deal with a problem person.

Who is Guarding Your Great Wall?

I just returned from a trip to China with colleagues from Insight for Living. What a vast and beautiful country—and so much potential for ministry. While there, several of us got to visit the Great Wall.

Who is Guarding Your Great Wall?

(Photo: By Hao Wei from China. Flickr. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I was amazed at how vigilant the wall builders were to ensure the safety of their country against potential enemies. (See some of my pictures below from my Instagram Feed.) Of course, history reveals that a guard allowed the enemy to enter through a gate and compromise the wall’s security. 1500 miles of wall compromised by one traitor in the gate.

In our spiritual lives, we have that same traitor.

Redefining Leadership- Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders

Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders (Zondervan, 2014)

Most leadership books focus on methods, tactics, strategic planning, and vision. This book hubs on a more essential part of leadership.

The leader.

Joe Stowell redefines leadership from the perspective of a shepherd rather than a CEO. From a person driven by character as opposed to a manager driven by results. From one who leads by serving rather than one who keeps score of outcomes.

Redefining Leadership comes in three parts:

On a layover to Israel, we spent several hours in Philadelphia—the birthplace of our nation. We visited the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and saw Ben Franklin’s grave. Wonderful day.

While there, I got to check off one item from my bucket list:

  • Run the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Yeah, I know . . . kinda nuts. But a lot of fun!

Question: Have you ever run the Rocky steps? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Rocky feet Rocky statue
Rocky music in video from here.

Walk on the Wild Side—Biblical Wildlife Reserve & Red Canyon

How many animals in the Bible can you name? After camels, donkeys, sheep, and goats the mind kind of goes blank, doesn’t it?

Walk on the Wild Side—Biblical Wildlife Reserve & Red Canyon

(Photo: A leopard at the Hai-Bar Biblical Wildlife Reserve. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Biblical Wildlife Reserve in southern Israel exists to provide a place for the protection and breeding of animals that existed in biblical days, as well as other endangered species of the desert.

Combined with the nearby beautiful Red Canyon north of Eilat, these two sites in southern Israel allow visitors a walk on the wild side.

How to Quit a Life of Compromise

If you think about it, King Solomon never started out to build pagan shrines. It was his failure to deal with the tiny spiritual cracks in his heart that produced a life of compromise and dissatisfaction.

You can quit a life of compromise.

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

The backwash from Solomon’s life reminds us how we only kid ourselves when we think we can have a healthy walk with God and still keep our hidden life of compromise on the side.

The good news? We don’t have to.

What Do You Think of When You Hear a Rooster?

One morning when I was in Jerusalem, I chose to have my devotions on the Mount of Olives at sunrise. Making my way through the Old City’s dark and narrow streets, I passed beside the Temple Mount and exited the city on its east side.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

(Photo: Overlooking Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Photo: צולם ע, via Wikimedia Commons)

After climbing the steep ascent of the Mount of Olives, I sat near its summit as the sun began to warm my back. Turning to Matthew’s Gospel, I read about Jesus leaving the Temple, predicting its destruction, and sitting on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1–5).

Looking across the Kidron Valley at the Temple Mount—now crowned with a Muslim shrine—I thought about how Jesus’ prediction proved true. Because Israel rejected Him, they ultimately lost the very objects they hoped to secure through His death—their Temple and their nation (John 11:48).

Suddenly I heard a sound that jerked my mind in another direction.

Nahal Zin and Avdat—A Biblical Border with a View

Moses and the Hebrew nation, traveling in the wilderness of Zin, would have stood speechless as they reached the precipice of this breathtaking canyon—the Nahal Zin.

Nahal Zin and Avdat—A Biblical Border with a View

(Photo: The Nahal Zin and Ein Avdat. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Nahal Zin, or Ein Avdat, drains the northeastern Negev highlands to the Dead Sea, dropping 500 feet in a series of waterfalls. The Ein Avdat spring surfaces at the base of a spectacular 50-foot waterfall to create a saltwater pool 25 feet deep. The origin of the spring remains an enigma.

Visitors today can park at a beautiful overlook and hike down into the canyon. The view is breathtaking.

Even Moses’ jaw would have dropped when he saw it.