Christian, devotion

In the Wilderness with God

What do we do when God has delivered us from “Egypt” and we are now in the wilderness?  That trying time when we are separated from the things that used to enslave us and forced to have faith in the one true God. We do this because God is the only one who will get us through the wilderness. In the book of Deuteronomy God makes it very clear what we as His people should do in situations like this. Let’s first see what God said.

Besides loving God with all our being, Moses made it very clear not to put God to the test. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did in Massah.” Deuteronomy 6:16   Moses was referring to the time when the Israelites had no water in the wilderness and started complaining. “But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst? Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” -Exodus 17:3-4

God had been faithful to provide for their every need, and had done miraculous things to deliver them from their slavery in Egypt. God had given them absolutely no reason to doubt. In Exodus He proceeded to tell Moses to strike a rock and from there the water would come. After all this happened Moses called the place Massah. “And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”-Exodus 17:7

Not only have the Israelites been guilty of testing God, but many Christians today test God and do not realize they are doing it.  This happens when we start to lose faith despite all that God has done for us.  We start to think God Himself is setting us up for failure and simply does not care.  Have you ever felt this way?  I’m guilty! Doubting God and losing faith leads us into the sin of testing God.  Testing God is really a bad decision on our part.  Here is why.

In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, the Israelites had made it close to the promise land, yet there was one obstacle that stood in their way.  Their lack of faith in God.  Though the land was currently taken over by the Amorites, God told the Israelites to take possession of the land.  “See, the Lord your God has given you the land.  Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 1:21  After the Israelites had sent the spies to scope the place out, here was how they responded according to Moses,  “But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.  You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.  Where can we go?  Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear.  They say, “The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky.  We even saw the Anakites there.”-Deuteronomy 1:26-28  Moses then proceeded to tell them this beautiful verse of why they should not be afraid.

“Then I said to you,”Do not be afraid; do not be afraid of them.  The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as He did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness.  There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a Father carries His son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”-Deuteronomy 1:29-31

I love the word of God because it is how we come to know God’s character.  God is faithful, and pulls through with all of His promises.  He is like a Father carrying His child.   Sadly it is so easy for believers to fall into the same mindset of the Israelites in the wilderness.  The Israelites become stiff-necked, and despite all God had done for them, they still continued to doubt God.  Here is how the Israelites responded, according to Moses, “In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.”-Deuteronomy 1:32-33  

Because of their lack of faith, that generation was then not able to enter into the promise land.  All except for one man named Caleb.

The Lord was angry and solemnly swore:  “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh.  He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.”-Deuteronomy 1:34-36

Let us not be like the Israelites that tested God but like Caleb, who followed the Lord wholeheartedly!

“Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.  For the Lord your God is a God of gods and Lord of lords, the Great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”-Deuteronomy 10:16-17


Christian, devotion, Uncategorized

The Fire that burns within

One would have never known the feelings that are woven so deeply within the core of my being.  I myself would have never known.  The love, the dreams, the desires, that if properly lit could set the whole world on fire.  That is… if it is carefully lit.  There is a fire that rages within, that can not be smothered.  Though one may try to smother it, the fire stays.  It keeps  its flame.  What is this, this strange fire that will not be smothered?  I feel it roar through my very veins,  setting my soul aflame.  It is fiery love that courses through my veins.  I have become the flaming star that shines on the coldest darkest nights, even during the dead of winter.  I have become a burning candle that will light a whole house through the darkest hour.  Watch my flame, see how it dances?  Praising and thanking the Mighty One who has lit me.  It is only by the All Consuming Fire I can be lit.  He is the only one who sets my soul on fire.  He is the only one who will fill me with His fiery love.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,  for our “God is a consuming fire.”-Hebrews 12:28-29

For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.-Psalm 18:28

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.-Philippians 2:14-15

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.-Luke 11:33-35

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.-1 John 4:9-12


A Love Poem to God

All the stars in the sky
can never compare to the number of times
my weary mind conjures up
that image of Your smiling eyes
lighting up my very soul and mind
won’t You always be mine?

Your smile and Your wind
the whispers that come from Your lips
are like the rustling of the leaves
on a nearby tree
the bloom of a long awaited flower
watching it grow with all its power

Like the shooting of a star sky high
being seen by a passerby
it is the little things in life
my Love
that make You so dear to me
please, won’t You stay with me?

I no longer have to watch for shooting stars
You are the one I have been looking for
show me what it means to love once more
God, You were the missing piece
into the rest of my life that is meant to be
It is You that completes me
my Love
Forever more we shall be.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”-1Kings 19:11-13

bible verse, Christian, devotion

A letter to Those searching for Love

Dear All who have been let down by human love,

It is so amazing how temporary human love is. How we obsess so much over it. How powerful it can be in one moment, then gone in the next. How fragile it is. And often times we choose it over God’s love, which is unbearably much more powerful, fulfilling, and everlasting. It never fades, not even the slightest bit. His love never gives up, but always perseveres. It always forgives. When we have God and His love, we do not need anything else. In fact, His love is better than the life we live, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. His love out does it all. If only we could understand more! To know God and to feel Him! To be drenched and filled with His love. We have all been searching for that true love, when He’s been knocking on the doors of our hearts all along. Maybe it is time to answer the door and find out what real True Love is.

Sincerely,  Ally ❤

P.S.- I would totally recommend reading 1 John 4, it is my favorite passage and beautifully defines love.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.-Psalm 63:3

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.-Psalm86:15

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.-1John 4:8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.-1 John 4:18-19

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.   For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.   Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.-John 3:16-18

bible verse, Christian, devotion, Uncategorized

Comfort for those in Distress

“But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.  He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…” -Job 36:15-16

This is for all of you who suffer from heartbreak, sorrow, distress, misfortune, and all the other painful things life brings. These are the things that cut our hearts the deepest and leave their impressions on us for the rest of our lives.  We ask, “Why did God let this happen to me?” and “How will I ever be able to go about my life like normal again?”  We see the broken, bruised pieces of our hearts and try to shove them back together again.  Whenever the pain comes back we yell, “Just heal already!  Get over it!  You are making a big deal out of nothing.”  As if we could heal our own hearts.  I hate to break it to you, but we can’t heal our own hearts.  Only God can.  So the big question is, why does He allow this pain in our lives?  What if we are innocent like Job, yet all this pain and suffering comes our way?  What many Christians will come to realize is that the biggest turning points in their relationship with God is usually during the most painful periods of their lives.  That is when you realize that you need something strong to hold on to, or else you will shatter into a million pieces.  You suddenly realize all the things you put your faith and trust in you can’t depend on after all.  Everything in life suddenly becomes a blur and you can’t find meaning and purpose anymore.  You thought you had your life under control, and all the sudden your worst nightmares are coming around.  Sometimes we need to be broken in order to realize how much we need God, how important it is for us to be deeply rooted in Him.  When life is good, we easily forget the importance of the Solid Rock in our lives.  But when all hell breaks loose, that is by far the best reality check for us.  He is teaching us to grow and dwell in Him, so that we can have a closer relationship with Him.  We shouldn’t be growing numb to Him!  When we are in distress He will “Woo you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…”  Sometimes growing closer to God is a painful process, but it is absolutely worth the pain, because God’s love is better than life.

For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.-Isaiah 25:4

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?-Romans 8:35

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” -James 1:2-3

“Lord my God, I called to You for help, and you healed me.”-Psalm 30:2

Christian, devotion

Introducing “Planted by Streams of Water”

Hello!  My name is Ally Poole, and welcome to my blog Planted by Streams of Water.  I am 22 years old, originally from North Carolina, and have recently come back home from traveling for 8 months. It is actually funny how I got this blog started, as in originally I was going to dedicate it to my travel adventures.  I think God had other plans though, because instead of writing about my crazy adventures,  I found myself writing about some of the incredible passages in the bible I would come across in times of trouble or during my devotion.   Even though traveling was absolutely incredible, it didn’t get rid of the troubles and questions that would constantly bother me.  The more I saw and experienced, the more questions I would have.  During my traveling, that is where I discovered I actually enjoyed writing.  When I write, it is the best time for reflection, and helps me layout my thoughts in a helpful way.  What was most interesting of all was that though traveling didn’t bring the answers I was looking for,  the word of God did.

I figured blogging my devotions was a way to keep up with my adventures in Christ.  My main goal is to inspire others to read God’s word, as reading it has transformed my life and my relationship with Christ.  Most of the things I will be posting will probably be inspired by my devotions, and I would love to share them with you.  I got the inspiration for the name of my blog from my favorite passage in the bible, Psalm 1.  Here is a little piece of it,

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields fruit in every season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers. “

-Psalm 1:1-3

I really love this passage!  I think it really shows that reading God’s word is absolutely vital when you are a follower of Christ.  His word is what keeps you spiritually alive and healthy.  Also it is a great way to get to know God and let Him speak to you.  I hope the passages I blog about are as encouraging and life changing for you as they are for me.  Or at least something that makes your day a little better.  Please feel free to ask questions or share scripture in the comment section; I would really appreciate it!

“For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  -Hebrews 4:12

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”-Psalm 119:105