I read through the Bible every year. There are books I love, books I dread(hello Leviticus), and books that I don’t anticipate getting as much out of after reading several times already. Deuteronomy is one of those books I just thought I’d read through and check off my list. I’m reminded with this years reading that The Bible is always full of surprises. It’s living and active. That means God bring fresh revelation at any point from even the most unexpected places. Like this verse.. It jumped off the page to me today. It’s saying God reveals to us with expectancy that we will act on that revelation in response. And not only does he expect us to act, he holds us accountable for what he’s revealed.
That means, when he brings someone to mind or gives us a dream about them, we need to seek the Holy Spirit to determine what to do with that information. He may lead us to just pray, or reach out.
That means when he’s opened our eyes to an injustice we have the power to make right, he expects us to respond.
That means when he gives us a promise he holds us accountable to stand firm and believe he will deliver.
That means when he provides direction and guidance, he holds us accountable to follow it.
So here I am again this morning, as I’ve been though out this years reading of this book of preparation, readying God’s people to enter the promised land — camping out and relishing the wisdom found in this most unexpected place!
When Jacob wrestled with God, he said, “I’m not letting you go until you bless me.”
In the same way, when we pray with persistence we are wrestling with God. This unwavering commitment to keep God’s promises before him, is an emblem of the true spirit of faith and prayer. Nothing gives God greater pleasure than to see the hearts of His people firmly fixed on Him.
When these moments come in our lives, we must not grow weary in praying, fasting & pressing in. However tired or discouraged we may get, we will prevail, and prevailing with him in prayer, we will also prevail against everyone and everything that sets itself up against his plans and purpose coming to pass in our lives.
As I was writing in my prayer journal this morning, this thought hit me.. How would I live each day differently if I lived with eternity in mind?
Would I get so tunnel vision focused on the specific promises I’m waiting for God to show himself faithful in as he brings them to fruition in my life?
Would I love my family more purposefully?
Would I interact with strangers I encounter during the day differently?
Would I use the gifts and talents God has placed within me with more intentionality & drive?
How about you, how would living today with eternity in mind alter your steps and help you live with a greater sense of purpose?
It’s definitely worth pondering.
Has God ever called you to love someone, that in all honesty you just didn’t want to love? He is audacious enough to do that! In fact, it’s not a once in a while request, it’s an all the time mandate. Jesus commanded us to love one another. In Matthew 5:46, he said, “if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”
God calls us higher. He calls us to more. He calls us to love differently than the world loves. He says we can have extravagant God given gifts, but without love they mean nothing. He calls us to love, as he loves us – with forgiveness, compassion, mercy and with out condition.
Yes, there’s wisdom in healthy boundaries. But there’s no wavering in His call to love.
Today, if you are struggling to love the difficult, the undeserving, the marginalized, the lost, the broken, your frenemies, or your enemies –may I encourage you to pave the way through prayer? Commit to praying for everyone this post has brought to your mind, daily. Pray blessings, health, favor and prosperity over them. And as you do, you will find your heart soften toward them, preparing the way for love.
Maybe you were in the wrong. Or maybe their judgment was a result of gossip they’d heard, false assumptions of wrongful motive behind your actions, or projection of their own motives onto you.
Either way, judgement stings. I’ve been on the receiving side many times. I know first hand how it feels. I also know what it is to dish it out. When wronged, I far too easily seek justice, asking God to be the rightful judge and bring the gavel down proclaiming my wrongdoers “guilty”, over extending mercy and grace.
Jesus said in John 8:7, “Let any of you who is without sin cast the first stone.”
When we remember we too have been extended mercy it’s easier to offer it. When we find ourselves on the judging side, it’s pretty safe to say we’ve lost sight of this truth. Today, may we remember God’s gift of mercy towards us, and let’s generously offer that gift of mercy to one another.
Remember when Samuel went to anoint the next King of Israel, how he thought Eliab was the one? Jesse thought any of his other sons could be the one, but God had MARKED David.
When God marks you everyone else can get it wrong, but he will exalt you in due season. Don’t worry about those around you jockeying for position — no one can market their way into God’s divine destiny on your life. He builds his church, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. He places everyone in the body as he sees fit. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. When he speaks, he acts, and his promises endure. No word that comes out of his mouth will ever return void, but will accomplish every purpose for which he sent it. Surely as he has planned so will it be, and as he has purposed, so it will stand.
So today, I encourage you to trust God. Stay the course. And at the appointed time, He will promote you!
Be still & know God is for you, and if He is for you–no one can stand against you.
Be still & know God will fight for you.
Be still & know the king is enthralled at your beauty; even when you know there are times your behavior has been less than beautiful.
Be still & know God will show up for you. He will move mountains for you. He will make a way, where there is no way–for you!
Be still & know God sees you. He sees everything you’ve been through. He knows what you are going through right now.
Be still & know God is still in the miracle working business.
Be still & know He is the God who heals you.
Be still & know He is the God who makes all things new.
Today, may I encourage you to quiet your mind? Lay down your anger (even righteous anger). Lay down your fears. Lay down your worries, cares & concerns. I speak peace over you from your head to your toes. His peace he leaves you, his peace he gives you, let not your heart be troubled or afraid. And today, my prayer for you, is that you will simply rest in Him. That you will BE STILL & KNOW… He is God!