I Samuel 15:17-21
Psalm 68:24-29, 34-35
2 Timothy 2:11-15
Psalm 68:24-29, 34-35
2 Timothy 2:11-15
So Samuel said [to King Saul], "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel? Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.' Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?"
And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."
Have you ever had an opinion? I have had a lot! And have you ever wanted your way in a situation? Of course we all have. Sometimes the reasons we want things a certain way is because we believe that we see a better way to do it. Sometimes we are right.
Some seem much more gifted at following orders than others. But it is usually the headstrong and strong willed that make the better leaders, IF they can submit that will to God. Easier said than done, right?
The worse deceit we can get into is deceiving ourselves. King Saul protested to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord!" But he hadn't. It would only follow that after lying to himself that he would turn around and lie to the prophet Samuel. Samuel had to deal with that lie in harsh terms. Later in that passage it says that he diligently prayed for Saul but that God had made up His mind!
God wants us to obey Him, even at the expense of our own ideas and desires. Realize the importance today of obeying God to the best and fullest of your ability can have lasting consequences. Only halfway can cause you to lose out!
A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan. Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever. The chariots of God are twenty thousand, Even thousands of thousands; The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place. You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.
Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah."
This is one (of many) of my favorite Bible passages. There is so much to be gleaned from it in and by the Spirit!
Do you have a joy when the Word goes out? There are many in churches where the Gospel is a business and political affair.
But if Jesus is your first love, you want Him glorified in every way possible. You don't care in what form it is expressed, you just want people to know the truth and the Good News! When people try to control the way the Gospel is delivered (there is a difference in controlling and correcting), you can pretty much bet there is a religious spirit involved. And you can learn, as have many others, that you cannot reason with this spirit, because it is not of God.
You will see the fruit as it is described: "For men shall be...traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." [2 Timothy 2:4-7] Jesus said we will know a tree by its fruit!
One translation rendering of the passage that says "Great was the company..." implies that it was a company of women who proclaimed the Good News! There is a great power in the believing women's prayers! The most beautiful part, "Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold" took me a while to figure out. Poetically it is beautiful, but the Holy Spirit will shed His light on it.
The sheepfolds are the people of God. There are many who are not very sophisticated or "attuned" or fully knowledgable in His Word because they are young or not well discipled and they can seem trying to the souls of those who desire to move on in the things of the Spirit. We can attain Spiritual knowledge and then become proud!
But if you really love God's people, you will love them no matter what state they are in and try to make them better off than what they were before, even if all you feel you can give is a kind word!
There is a reward from Heaven for serving the people of God. The gold and silver is symbolic of the anointing and the view from God's eyes in Heaven. From a Spiritual point of view, if you are willing to lay down your life for God's people, you are rich and beautiful!
The results of the prayers of the meek and humble in faith is powerful. Kings, which is represented of not only the natural kings, but principalities and powers in the heavenlies of evil motives, will be driven backwards by these prayers! When the evil is cleansed, the mountains [God's structures of people] are cleansed whiter than snow, even the snow in Zalmon.
God will dwell in the praises of His people, in the "high places" of His Spirit. There is power in praise. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus. When He rose from the dead, He gave gifts unto men and you will read in Ephesians 4 that these gifts are the five fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
Through God's ministry gifts, the Body is enabled and loaded with benefits.
Last night as I was watching Christian television, one program was ending in high praise and the next one that came on was about militant spiritual warfare. There was a quick grief in my spirit as it went to adjust from one mood to the next.
I believe in Spiritual warfare, in fact, I live it everyday. There are times that we must set our face "like a flint" and endure and press into the next level of His Divine Realms.
But as I watched it, I felt the Lord saying, "Beware the overuse of militancies and regimens. How did I send my people Israel out to war? Wasn't it with the praisers first?" And I had to affirm.
There is something in praise that sets the atmosphere in those things around us. Praise runs off a lot of "devils." There is a song from a Bible verse that says, "Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, lift up your voice to God..." Praise will run off many an oppressive spirit. It's amazing what Christian music can do in the home, the car and the workplace.
I once worked for a non-believer, and he was often troubled about things and it set a tension in the atmosphere. When he was gone out on an assignment, I turned up my Christian music radio station as loud as I could get away with and loudly sang the praises of God in that office and invited God's holy angels to come in. As I saw him drive up, I quickly turned down the radio and went along with business as usual, but the atmosphere had changed.
I'm a better driver when I have my praise music on. People often comment about the peaceful spirit in my home.
God will command His strength to you in the midst of praising Him. Come with a childlike heart. Yes, the place of His Habitation is great, but He is even greater. Have a blessed week!
The mother bird has built her nest in the safest place she knows. And God who sees every sparrow that falls, is keenly aware of the baby who has fallen out of the nest.
God has priorities for the human soul. Outside of His order, there is danger. What can seem tempting and attractive and "not so bad" can end up being the fly that spoils the perfumer's ointment. Jesus said, "A little leaven leavens the whole lump." In other words, it permeates the whole thing and changes it.
What joys we miss and rewards are lost and what precious time is wasted when we are not in God's perfect Plan. We must seek God's plan for our lives. "My people perish for a lack of knowledge," Scripture says. If we fail to learn the Word of God and neglect developing our Spiritual gifts, then we will miss the great purpose of our lives.
Many people follow many things, because they have no plan that truly belongs to them. Any plan will do. Therefore they lack confidence because they are unsure and they are moved about as their foundations shift.
But there is a Plan that will not only get you safely through this life, but will also take you into the life to come. The Word of God and prayer will take you into the most fulfilling life that you could possibly have. Are you brave enough to seek and pray for it? You won't be disappointed!
But if you wander from your nest, anything other than that can happen. God will bless you as you seek Him daily. We can miss so much by one wrong turn, but the responsibility is ours to get it right! And with God's help, you can!
Let us stay on the sure things of God. So often people want to get us off track by challenging us in ways that they think will prove that you are just as confused as they are. Don't give into it!
The Apostle Paul writes, "This is a faithful saying..." We can trust it. If we put our trust in these things, we will stand where it counts when the shaking comes, and it will come. One day, we can really have our act together, and the next day we are saying, "What happened?!!!"
Sometimes things happen because of pride, but let us not also forget that we have an enemy who is not pleased when we are sure in the things of God. Don't let people point an unjust finger at you!
For when we are sure, our light is shining brightly, steadily and beckoning. People will be drawn to us for Jesus' sake. We are then a shining witness for Him and the devil can't stand it!!! "If I be lifted up," Jesus said, "I will draw all men unto Me."
Has anyone ever told you that they see Jesus in you? Often that can happen when you least expect it, if you have been putting your focus on Him in a daily manner.
If we endure, we shall reign. Why? Because we are tested, tried and sure. We can be trusted to be like Him. Some day, our test will be over and then we will stand.
If we deny Him, He will deny us. Why? Because then we are not agreeing with the truth!
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. I think this is one of my favorite verses. I'll never forget its comfort one day when I felt I just could not live up to His standard and was wallowing in self pity and condemnation. God will be true, even if we fail!!! We can get up and try again, because He will remain faithful to us!!!
When we can learn and know what the truth is, then we will learn to avoid unnecessary confrontations that just drain us and are to no avail. And when people debate Scripture or even ask us for interpretation, we will be able to give them the accurate view, that does not lift up man but draws all to Him.
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
Can your praise be "heard" a far off? Is the work of God in your life something that can be seen by others?
And, next question: Do we fail to see the glory in God's new thing? These are times where we must not live in the past but look forward to the new and current thing that God is doing! God has a present glory as well as a past and future glory. We must be sensitive to our times!
God is not limited with what He can do in our generation. God will do as much in you as you allow Him to do! Do you remember the parable that Jesus told about the treasurer?
"Jesus saith unto them [the disciples], Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:51-52. Jesus is instructing us to treasure everything we can find, in the new day as well as the old. Don't forsake either!
For the Spirit of God to move in our lives, things must be in their proper order. In another parable, Jesus spoke about the house on the foundation of the rock as the one that was able to withstand the storm. When the Spiritual, as well as the physical foundation is laid, then the dressings for praise can take place, but not before!
When the Spiritual order is established, then the ministers can move in their righteous apparrel. And why did the people shout and praise and give thanks to the Lord? Because "He is good, and His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel." We are that Spiritual Israel, if we believe!