All people have a longing for two things – comfort and relevancy. God gave David fame(relevancy) and security(comfort). On the otherhand, Saul sought both elements of this equation but he went about it wrong. He thought he was relevant as the king of Israel and he longed for comfort. In his search and inability to find what he wanted, instead of going to the Lord he became angry. The anger increased over time to the point of wanting to kill David and looking to others. His kingship was ripped from him and given to someone else.
It is said that it takes only seven seconds to make a first impression. When you focus on what God has given you and His provision, on His blessings and your knowledge of Him, what impression are you leaving with the One who matters? Look at David; he turned to God for direction and what He should do. His first thought was to consult with God. Saul, on the otherhand, did not focus on the gifts God had given him. Rather, it went to what he needed to do to keep the kingdom. He feared the fame and recognition that David was getting from the people. David had praised God and asked for His help in killing Goliath. Fear gripped Saul’s heart and thoughts only to turn him to anger and isolation. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.
“Talent is God given, be humble Fame is man given, be greatful Conceit is self-given, be careful.” (John R. Wooden – former coach of UCLA)
The consequence of fear is hate. It is the expectation that something is out there that will stop you and overcome you and is better then you giving one doubt. Fear will destroy normal brain activity. How do you cast out fear? Truth! Truith will refocus the mind and heart. Only God’s truth and love will cast out fear. God wants us to surrender our lives to Him.
The note on the door said, “Due to unforseen circumstances the American Psychic Association will not be meeting tonight.”
Foresight. Predict. What do the two words have in common? For starters, they both refer to the future. In my mind, predict has to do with the fortelling of a future event, while foresight is a thoughtful regard for the future and making provisions for it. In otherwords, prudently thinking ahead (like playing chess); having the forethought or the foresight to plan accordingly. Having a premonition and acting or preparing appropriately. There are ministries that are setup to peer into the future and make predictions for it.
True prophesy is a function of God’s character and sovereignty. God gives people the words to say or inspires them with those words. Just like God did for the Levites, God promises to the believers an inheritance.
Is there anything that the world can offer that will live forever? The answer is unequivocally “no”. Jn14:27″( Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.)” A baby is born and a person dies, A new product is developed and because of technology, a new and improved product makes the other obsolete. New medicines are created and the old ones are put to the side or taken out of the mainstream of life. There is peace and then because of cultural differences, lines of thought, the role of government, etc… war breaks out. Then there is peace and then there is war and the cycle continues. History proves all of this to be true.
We learn many things from history especially if we want to learn and continue to make forward progress. History is like a shadow that is always behind and never gets ahead of us. It is always following us around. History is a fact and the future is not known. We can only surmise what it will be. History does not change but it can change us. We can put it another way. We cannot change history but history can change us.
God understands history and the future. He is part of history and He is in the future. More importantly, God is here, now. The many promises in the Bible are being fulfilled. His promises are personal and for His purpose. So how do God’s promises define our purpose? The Living God is the only god that inserts Himself in time and purpose. This allows Him to be omnipresent. His promises are faithful and true. They are irrevocable. Furthermore, the Living God’s promises never fail.
So, if you want to know the future just look to God and talk to Him. He will take you on a journey into the future. A future with Him.
Have you ever seen or heard of someone coming to faith on a dare? Some live life by doing things this way and in this manner. A way of thinking is developed and you fall into a pattern of complacency. Everything works well so why change it. Then a decision is made that has eternal consequences. You decide to let Jesus Christ be the king in your life, let Him sit on the throne and accept Him. The person who made the decision is doing what they call “coming to faith”. Out of all the options available they decide that coming to faith will have the most impact. In their life and the life of others around them. This is a process. A process of breaking the chains of an old life on a daily basis, a moment by moment basis and creating a new life.
This is spiritual maturity but what does that mean? It means a decision has been made that is radical, will bring joy and heartache and will upset the applecart. Things will change and give a whole new meaning to life. Whether it is better or worse depends on the decisions that are made. How this equates into something understandable from the results on a graph is not simple. It turns out to be the distance between God’s call and the ability to answer that call thru grace. It is a process. Spiritual maturity is not the same as spiritual perfection
God does not judge us on age. He does not say that you need to be at this level or this stage in the journey with Jesus Christ. It is His desire that we be spiritually mature. This maturity is how we explain the consequences of sin. The biggest driver of sin is pride and obedience. It is clear that two attributes which are a result or an off-shoot of this way of life – being spiritually mature and obedient – are actions and attitudes.
God tries to help us to reach that point of spiritual maturity but do we accept that help? Do I accept that help? God sent His Son to die on the cross and shed His blood for all mankind – for all mankind to see. So what is the driving force in my life? What is the driving force in your life? Is it out there on the cross for all to see or is it tucked away inside in some special place that no one can see or get to?
God makes us free at the cross! We all need the church for the support of others and the support from others! Then we can reach true spiritual maturity.
GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS!
Prayer – the one tool that we as believers have and is more powerful than any modern day weapon that we have today. So, how is your prayer life? Are you a prayer warrior? A question for thought and reflection.
God answers the prayers of the faithful(2 Chronicles 6:19) -“Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication. O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee…” 2 Chronicles 16:9-“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen the hearts of those who are fully committed to Him.”
The best way to get to know God and who He is through prayer and His suffering. The pain that He feels when we sin. A simple prayer like “O’ Lord, I pray that I may come to know you, and be in your presence. As a father myself, that I feel the pain you go through when we, your children, sin and we have to be disciplined. To understand the pain you felt when Your Only Son, died on the cross, and shed His blood to free me from the shackles of my sin”.
Do I feel the presence of God in the battles of life? The Lord God of Israel commanded prayer. He thought it so important that He even gave us a prayer and taught us how to pray. God is sovereign over all things. Even though we sin He will still go before us and lead us. When we pray to God, He will allow us to conquer according to His Word. We must be consistent in our prayer to God.
God is trustworthy and true. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are delivered. God remains faithful to the believer.
The cost of obedience can be very high. The cost of disobedience can be even higher. There are rewards for obedience and punishment for disobedience. It is what we learn when we drown ourselves in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament.
Abraham is one of the great examples of this virtue. It is a spiritual discipline that must learned. Obedience is not a talent or a skill or an art. It must be learned. We learn this in our journey with God, as a believer. As a believer, it is something that the Spirit teaches us along the way. So we learn it over time. Obedience is part of the santification process. This is a life long process in which we are shaped by God. God changes the heart and sanctifies us for His purpose and does a heart transformation in us. Here is the question – do I recognize that God has changed my heart? Do you recognize that God has changed your heart?
God santifies us for the sake of His name. So why do I forget the awesome power and character of the One True Living God so easily? This is an excellent question to end on but there is one more thing.
God’s santification is a call to obedience! Am I to self-absorbed to hear it? To obey is better then sacrifice.