Saturday, July 6, 2013
"The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too" (1 Kings 19:14).
The CEO walked into his manufacturing plant only to observe an employee standing by idly not working. Angrily, he walked over to him, peeled off a $100 bill and gave it to him: "Here, go spend your time elsewhere!" The man looked at the CEO somewhat puzzled, but left with the $100. "How long has that man worked for us?" said the CEO to the employee standing nearby. "Well sir, that man does not work for us; he is only the delivery man."
Perception is not always reality. Elijah was in a crisis. Jezebel wanted to kill him. The nation was falling to Baal worship. From his vantage point - it was all over. He was the only prophet remaining in all the land who had not bent his knee to the idol of Baal. He wanted to die.
Then, the Lord sent His angel to correct Elijah's perception: "Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel - all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:18). There were seven thousand Elijah knew nothing about! Elijah's perception was not reality.
Whenever things are going poorly, there is a temptation to believe God is not working in the situation. We may even believe our life is over. Everything from our vantage point is dark. We see no future. However, even in these times, God's plan is being orchestrated behind the scenes. He is accomplishing His purposes. But we need a fresh perspective on our situation.
Do you need a reality check on your situation? Ask God to show you the truth. It may be very different than your perception.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.
Monday, June 17, 2013
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
But sometimes I think we settle for less when all we ask for is answers to prayer. The truth is God is waiting to pour out something better than what we ask for, something that is in fact better than we can even think or imagine, Eph. 3:20.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
For instance when the early church asked God for boldness to speak His word in the face of opposition, Acts 4:29.
29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
God not only answered their prayer and gave them boldness to speak the word but He sent a power that shook the room they were meeting in, Acts 4:31
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
That’s pretty much the same thing he did in Acts 2:1 where they had been praying together in the Upper Room following the Lord’s ascension. God poured out the Holy Spirit and enabled them to speak in languages that everyone understood.
The problem is sometimes when we pray all we ask for is answers when what God really wants is to pour out his power upon us in a way that shakes the foundations of the church and leads to an outpouring of His glory. What I need to do then is stop just asking for answers to prayer and ask for an outpouring of His power upon my live and His church.
Friday, May 31, 2013
"Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel" (1 Chron 21:1-2).
God always requires total trust in Him alone for our victories in life. Throughout scripture we are cautioned not to place our trust in the strength of horses, other men or our own abilities. David's decision to take a census was a failure to keep his trust totally upon the Lord.
David's purpose in counting his population was to assess his military strength, much like the second census taken under Moses (Num. 1:2,3). David found 800,000 men eligible for military service in Israel and 500,000 men in Judah (2 Sam. 24:9), more than double the previous head count.
David's commander evidently recognized the grave error that his king was about to make. "But Joab replied, 'May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?'" (1 Chron 21:3).
This census displeased the Lord. David was falling into the temptation of trusting in the size of his army rather than in the Lord. God punished David and reduced his forces by bringing a plague that killed 70,000 men (1 Chron 24:14,15). How do we do this in our lives today? We trust our bank accounts, our skills, and the security of our workplace. When we begin placing our faith in these things instead of the provider of these things we get into trouble with God.
What a lesson this is for each of us. Today, place your total trust in the Lord for all of your needs. Copied from TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman 05-31-201, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.