Tag: God’s direction
Scripture reading for August 15th: Jeremiah 40-45
“Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:1-3
These Jews were scared and feared the wrath of Babylon because their Babylonian appointed leader, Gedaliah, had been assassinated. They were thinking about fleeing to Egypt but decided to seek a word from the Lord. They approached Jeremiah and asked him to pray for them to “your God”. That was not a very encouraging sign!
After this group promised Jeremiah to abide by what the Lord would say, he agreed to seek the Lord. (Jeremiah 42:5-6) As Jeremiah prayed over their request for ten days and called the Jews together. If they would stay in the land, God would plant them and build them up. He would protect them from the King of Babylon and show them great compassion. (Jeremiah 42:10-12) However, if they chose to go down to Egypt, what they feared would overtake them and they would surely die by the sword, famine and plague! (Jeremiah 42:13-18) Jeremiah emphasized to them the right choice, “Do not go to Egypt.” (Jeremiah 42:19)
You would think that a people who asked for God’s word of direction and promised to obey would easily find the right answer. But they had no fear of the Lord or His holy word. They accused the prophet of lying and that God had not spoken through him or sent him! (Jeremiah 43:2-7) They proceeded to gather up everyone and head for Egypt! This is the mystery of iniquity in the heart of sinful man.
As you think about this story today, examine your own life and check out your heart. Have you sought the Lord for something you know is not God’s will? When a man or woman of God gives you truth that you disagree with, do you go ahead anyway? Hearts can be deceived!
Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Chronicles 22-27
I have attended and worked in different church families and one of the things that was often done poorly was the transition of leadership. When the pastor resigned, no planning had been done by the core leadership of the church and a confusion resulted. The ensuing power struggles sometimes divided the church. The new leader was sometimes so different that many left the church. Skillful leadership seeks an orderly transition that will continue the work of God through that church family.
David was old and “full of years”. (1st Chronicles 23:1) Under God’s direction, he made Solomon king over Israel. David’s son Adonijah had tried to make himself king but Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan worked together to redirect the situation according to the will of the Lord. (1st Kings 1:1-5) During a transition, those with ambition often seek to take power or to control the one who is in power. It is one of the strategies of Satan to bring division and confusion in a family, church, or nation.
After installing Solomon, David wisely made provision to help his son succeed. David shared with Solomon that it was God’s will that he build the Lord’s house. He was positive and encouraging and prayed for God’s wisdom and discretion that his son might keep the Law of God and enjoy God’s favor! A father’s blessing and God’s blessing makes success possible! (1st Chronicles 22:11-13)
David assembled materials for the Temple. He generously provided from his own treasury for God’s house! He set a good example for his son and the nation of generosity and focus on God’s house. He knew that when God’s house was cared for, God would bless the people. (1st Chronicles 22:14-16)
Then David gathered the key leaders of Israel and encouraged them to support Solomon. David cited the Lord’s victories and how God had given the people rest. He encouraged the leaders to seek the Lord with all their heart and to begin building. This transition would continue the vision of the Lord and further the accomplishment of God’s will. (1st Chronicles 22:17-19)
God has a plan for transitions of leadership! Prayer and provisions for these transitions will insure God’s work will continue smoothly when the time of transition is at hand.
Scripture reading for November 17th: Acts 27-28
Do you really believe that God can cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him? (Romans 8:28) Today, we read about events in Paul’s journey to Rome for trial before Caesar. These events were dangerous, exciting, and could have been fatal. But God worked them for good and His purposes stood through all the trouble! Be encouraged today as you read!
The trip from Caesarea to Rome was nearly 2000 miles by ship. It was decided that Paul would travel by a Roman navy ship in the fall season when travel in that direction was more difficult. As they made their way north, the centurion in charge of the prisoners, Julius, gave special favor to Paul by allowing his friends to minister to his needs. (Acts 27:1-3) As travel became more difficult, Paul warned the centurion and crew of impending danger and possible loss of life. They ignored Paul’s advice and sailed on. A great storm hit the ship and tossed it around for days. The crew threw the cargo overboard and after more days of battering, all gave up hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20)
Paul, again directed with a word from the Lord, encouraged the crew and passengers. He told them that an angel of God had given him a word, “Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” The ship would be destroyed but God would spare the passengers and crew! God is so merciful and His purposes will stand, no matter what trouble befalls us! All 276 men on board made it safely to shore when they followed Paul’s advice! (Acts 27:42-44)
As if the shipwreck and storm were not enough of a trial, Paul was warming himself over a fire on the beach after swimming ashore. Suddenly, a viper jumped from the fire and fastened itself on Paul’s hand. (Acts 28:1-6) Paul quickly shook the snake off into the fire and no swelling or death occurred. This opened the islanders to Paul’s message and he began to minister to those present with miracles of healing! God placed him on this island of Malta for three months to minister the Gospel to those there!
When you are committed to God, life takes on a new quality of supernatural direction and hope. God truly does work all things for His will! We can go through shipwrecks, storms, and even snake-attacks and trust that all works out for our good and His glory! What an exciting supernatural life! Are you ready for today’s episode in your life?