1 Samuel 17:8 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
One of the most well-known stories in the Bible, the tale of David and Goliath was one of my favorites as a child. To this day I love the trust David displays in the Lord. The unwavering knowledge that since God was with him, nothing could destroy him. He went out to battle ready to face what none other would because he knew firsthand the faithfulness of God. And didn’t doubt Him for a second. What I have never caught before in reading this chapter in 1 Samuel is the reaction of David’s brother. The anger and snide remarks seem to betray loathing for David’s faith in the Lord. Or maybe Eliab’s history with David made him unable to see the mighty call God had on his brother’s life. He took David’s sureness of the Lord’s might as bravado, conceit and wickedness. I wonder how often my familiarity with people in my life taints my view of them. Instead of seeing them as God does, I judge them based on past experiences. Continue reading
A lone person clicked on this devotional from March today — and it prompted me to go back and re-read it. Just what I needed. How nice of God to allow me to remind myself of what He showed me 9 months ago. I was having a down day today…after following my own advice at the end of this devotional, I feel much better. Thanks God.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
Sometimes, my kids do things so adorable, it’s hard not to shout from the mountaintops that my children are the absolute best. I take great joy in pretty much every accomplishment. Each milestone, big or small, is met with exuberant praise and excitement. They never cease to please me and make me proud. How incredible to think that the mighty God of all creation is rejoicing over me in the same way. Continue reading
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Power made perfect in weakness. What a backwards thought. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with my mom about allowing myself to be weak. Recognizing that where I am most vulnerable is where the Lord can show his great strength. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, well – since I was 5 anyway. However, most of my adulthood has been spent trying to do it on my own might, instead of relying on God. Part of the problem is that I’ve been very richly blessed. I know, to have such “problems”, right? Really though. God has poured out blessings in heaps and mounds on me. I frequently have struggled with pride in my heart because of it. Like somehow my talents are my own doing, not gifts from the Lord. Continue reading
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
So many times I have heard this passage, usually talking about monetary blessings, physical, tangible things. Which is all great. I totally believe that God wants to pour out blessings into our lives. Today however, this verse touched me at my weakest place, a place of great need in my life. Today, the promise that I will have all that I need, to do whatever God asks of me (good work) is especially welcome news. Cause I’m struggling. I’m trudging thru the same issue I’ve been actively fighting for the past 5 years. Continue reading
Mark 6:8-9 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.
Jesus was sending his disciples out to preach repentance. They were going to heal the sick and drive out demons, but they were not to take with them money, food or a change of clothes. Why?
It’s amazing how much I depend on God when I’ve reached the end of my rope. When I have nothing on the journey to sustain me, it’s much easier to turn to the Lord to fill my needs. Obviously I’m making some assumptions here, but if the disciples had been given several weeks of spending money for hotels, a carry-on of clean tunics and enough groceries to last their trip – do you think they would have been in a place of reliance on God? Continue reading
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Thanks again Mom for my “Jesus Calling” devotional. It’s awesome. From today’s reading “If you live your life too safely, you will never know the thrill of seeing Me work through you. — It is so wrong to measure your energy level against the challenges ahead of you. The issue is not your strength, but Mine, which is limitless.”
So often in life, I see obstacles and suddenly, my focus shifts from allowing God to work through me, to figuring out how to conquer the problem myself. I easily forget that regardless of what I see or feel, the Lord has it under control. At no time in the history of the universe has God said “Wow. Didn’t see that coming.”. Continue reading
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJ) For we walk by faith, not by sight.
People associate success with victories in life. We strive for a bigger house, nice job title or well-behaved children, but what we should really be looking for is problems, failures and weakness. When by my own strength, intelligence or resourcefulness I’m achieving great things, I feel like I don’t need God’s help. In the times when I stumble and fall – my dependence on His grace and mercy in my life becomes an intimate need, not just a casual fall back plan. The closest I have ever felt to my Lord was in the lowest of lows in my life. The times when I had peace resonating through my being were in choosing to turn my problems over to God, knowing that there was no earthly way to fix them. The growth that results from just letting go, from really depending on the Father to manage the details cannot be developed any other way. Unless I rely on Him, how can I tell others He is reliable? If I’m always “making it” without any real submission to God’s will, how am I a follower of Him?
2 Corinthians also says “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (verse 9) While it’s all good to be driven to the Lord’s feet in times of struggle, if we can come to a place of dependence on Him always, our lives would be so much more fulfilling. Sometimes I think we limit God’s ability to work in our lives in amazing ways, because we think we’re not good enough, strong enough or smart enough to go after big dreams. But that’s the whole point right? WE aren’t. But God is! There is no aspiration that’s too big for Him. No unattainable goal. When I’m in God’s perfect will and am striving for the seemingly impossible, I have the ultimate partner to turn my failure into His success.