On my prayer walk yesterday I climbed a rather steep hill. On the way up I was on a path that followed the power lines. It was quite sandy in some places so I picked my steps very carefully. Stepping in the wrong place would have landed me on my bottom and quite possibly lower down the hill. I certainly didn’t want to climb the hill twice!
I saw a different path to take on the way down that had plenty of rocks. It was not always easy on the feet, but stepping on them gave me solid footing so I could successfully make it downhill standing up.
Jesus is our Rock. He gives us the sure footing we need so we won’t go tumbling through life. Will it be easy? Not always, but it sure beats slipping and sliding through life on our rear ends! Ask Jesus to give you the truths you’ll need from your BIG reading to put into your shield of faith to know how to step through today victoriously.
S“E”t Free Nowww
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” This passage from Habakkuk 3:17-18 was the answer I needed to hear.
You have to understand how I read the Bible through each year before I can tell you what the question was. After completing each book I ask Jesus what book I’m to read next. I’ve sensed this is what He wants me to do as I’ve read through the Bible front to back many times.
This particular year I was reading the Minor Prophets and was stopped after Nahum. I was directed to go back and read 1 Samuel, then 2 Samuel, 1 Kings and finally 2 Kings. It would have seemed logical to finish out with I and II Chronicles. Instead I was directed to go finish the Minor Prophets picking up where I had left off at Habakkuk.
The Spirit of God is alive! I “just happened” to be reading the above passage the exact day I faced a pretty good test that could have led to great discouragement and the temptation to take my drug of choice. Yet, our God speaks to and cares about His children.
He knew the test and the exact day that test would come. He gave me the order of reading the Word to have me at the exact passage I needed in order to get the truth I had to put into my shield of faith to ward off the attack He knew was coming. I had the truth already in place to filter out the lies presented by my enemy. This truth was the answer to the question, “Would this discouragement defeat me or would I choose the Spirit’s power to defeat it?”
I chose victory! The smile on my face is owed to the awesome God that I love. You’ll experience this same victory as you practice listening to and following Him everyday everywhere for yourself, even in your Bible reading.
“S”et Free Nowww
One day a little girl was traveling with her father, a doctor, on a train. While sitting next to him, she asked, “Where do babies come from?” He said nothing for the longest time and she didn’t repeat her question.
When they reached their destination her father asked her to pick up his medical bag. Try as she could, it was just too heavy. Seeing that she couldn’t lift it, he picked it up while saying nothing. Once they reached the train platform he said, “My darling, the answer to your question is like my medical bag. It’s too heavy for you to lift right now. One day you will be strong enough to lift it and I’ll give you the answer then. Do you trust me?” She nodded as they continued to walk, she with her dolly in hand and he with his medical bag.
Stress, a peace destroyer, is often related to situations that we can’t handle at the moment. They are too heavy for us to lift, let alone carry. If we focus on the stressful situation, we’re more apt to use our drug of choice to relieve that stress, temporarily. Give the bag, what ever is causing the stress, to your dad instead of trying to carrying it. Focus instead on what you can do at the moment, which is to listen to and follow Jesus. Then ask Him to give you the strength to do what you can do, which is carry your dolly. Give the bag to your dad and your peace will be restored.
“S”et Free Nowww
It’s been said that heroes are just regular everyday people who do the right thing when others do not. The question naturally arises, “Would I be a hero? Would I act like Daniel before he went into the lions den? Or David with Goliath?” We all hope we would.
How do we know though? The only answer is, do it now. If you are practicing listening to and following Jesus everyday everywhere now, you’ll be prepared to do it later. If you want to pass the big test on Friday, you must prepare for it on Monday.
As you practice using your biblical tools you will have trained your brain with the truth and your will to exercise that truth with the Spirit’s power. In other words, your character will have been replaced with Jesus’. Did His pass the big test at Gethsemane? It sure did as He said, “Not My will, but Yours.” Jesus didn’t all of a sudden make that decision. He had been making it everyday everywhere He went, “I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me.” He’d been preparing for the big test long before it ever came.
We know from Scripture that challenges will come our way, some a little bigger and harsher than others. The way to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow is to practice using our biblical tools today. Keep practicing and getting better at filtering out all the other voices, including your own, to keep hearing and following His.
“Set Free Nowww”
Small things can become big things. We often think the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” are only the big things like leading people to Jesus, being part of the worship team or teaching a Bible Study. Where does this thought come from? Yes, they can be. But what about the “little” good works He is asking us to do each day? The following story illustrations this point.
A cashier turns off the light above her register as she is about to end her shift for the night after she finishes with her last customer. In this case, it was a young couple in their early 20’s with a small child.
As she was scanning this couple’s items, a gentleman walks up with a few items asking her if she is closed. She could have said yes, but for some reason didn’t. As the gentleman puts his items on the counter, one credit card after another that the young couple puts forth to pay for their groceries is denied. Realizing they don’t have enough cash to pay for their groceries, they start pulling items out of their grocery bags in hopes of lowering the total to match their cash.
Noticing their dilemma, the gentleman, without the couple’s knowledge, swipes his credit card for them. As the cashier hands them their receipt, the young wife tears up and thanks the kind man for his generosity while her husband can’t stop shaking his hand.
Question, who did the “good work” that God prepared for them to do at that moment? We often think it was only the gentleman who paid for the groceries. But if the cashier hadn’t let him in line, though she had every right not to do so, he would have never been in position to pay for those groceries.
This is the essence of listening to and following Jesus everyday everywhere. We can do the good works, which He prepared for us to do, at the exact moment they are needed only as we use our biblical tools to hear His voice throughout our day. It seemed like a little thing at the time, but it was huge in the end. Five people saw Jesus in the flesh that day because of her act. Tiny things when done in response to Jesus can indeed become huge!
“Set Free Nowww”