Thursday, October 30, 2008

II Chronicles 20:6

"And he said,'O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not Ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.'"

Notice God's place in the universe, His position over all authorities, and His power that cannot ultimately be thwarted.

As gifted as king Jehoshaphat was administratively and politically, it was his personal godliness and spiritual leadership that most inspired and encouraged his people. Here we find him verbally reminding all Judah (v. 13) of the greatness and sufficiency of the living God. He begins by focusing on the LORD's sovereign place in the universe. In stark contrast to the deities worshiped by the sons of Ammon and Moab (v. 10), Jehoshaphat affirms that there is only one God who is preimminent in the heavens: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the immediacy of the situation (v. 11), where armies have amassed against him, Jehoshaphat next speaks of God's superiority of position over all the nations' kingdoms on earth. The families need to know that God is not indifferent to their vulnerability. He knows they are outnumbered, and feel helpless (v. 12). The king wisely directs their attention to Him Who is their Hope.

Finally, Jehoshaphat speaks of the power and might that are God's, against which no one can stand. Citing the ways the LORD showed Himself so strong on Israel's behalf in driving out the hostile nations before Abraham in his journeying, the king compells his hearers to faith God's power to act on their behalf again.

Father, when situations become overwhelming, bring this scene to mind afresh. Use it to shift our focus from the seen to the unseen, from creatures to You, the Creator. Bid us muse anew on the truth that You are GOD, supreme in place, position, and power, sovereign over all that is.
In the Lord Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Romans 11:33

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"

Interesting is the irony that, in this age when each one does what is right in his own eyes, the Lord providentially incorporates each one's most minute maneuverings into His sovereign design.
Without outward coercion, without violation of individual integrity, and without the slightest miscarriage of justice or love, the living God fulfills His every promise, proceeding to do precisely as He has declared in His Word all that He has said He will do.
Only One who sees the end from the beginning, before Whom all things are open and laid bare, could there exist such supreme coordination of immeasurable complexities.

Praise to Your Name, Father, that You are as great in Your minuteness are You are in Your magnitude! Nothing escapes Your notice, absolutely nothing. To think upon Your omniscience always brings me to my knees, instantly aware of my finitude, my short-sightedness, seeing so little of life's gigantic panorama. Call me afresh to seek Your face moment-by-moment, knowing Your perspective is my greatest need for living wisely.
In Your Son's Name, I plea,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Haggai 2:8

"'The silver is mine, and the gold is mine," declares the Lord of hosts.'

The statements, the promises, the declarations of Scripture present the absolute truth by which we know the mind of God. And in the process of revealing His heart, the Lord also counters the lies of the enemy, the devil. America has embraced the lie that silver and gold is hers, with so many making and spending as much as possible by whatever means in order to please him- or herself to the fullest. Greed is applauded as praiseworthy ambition, seen as absolutely essential for successful business dealings. Self reigns supreme, garnering more and more silver, more and more gold, little realizing that life does not consist of possessions (Luke 12:15).

Exceedingly grievous to the Holy Spirit is the fact that this spirit of greed is also found within the body of Christ, His church. The spirit of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), who motivated them to lie to the Holy Spirit still works in some assemblies today. Oh, for more churches of the Macedonian sort (II Cor. 8), who, though financially struggling (v.2), gave liberally to the work of their own accord (v.3); stemming from having first given themselves to the Lord (v.5). They understood that giving went beyond the silver and gold, straight to the yielded heart. May we, as well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Isaiah 64:4

"For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him."

Implied within the commands, exhortations, and promises found throughout the Word to wait upon the Lord is the truth that His ways & thoughts are not like our ways & thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9). This includes His clock, as well.

As everything about our God is perfect, so is His timing. And when we ask for His will to be done, we are praying for His schedule as well as His direction! For, the "when" of His will is every bit as needed as the "where" and "what." How, then, do we keep our impatience in check when His answer is "wait?"
Several thoughts come to mind:

*Read & re-read biblical accounts of times when God acted in behalf of waiting saints. Elijah praying down fire from heaven is only one among many Old Testament instances, while the church praying fervently for Peter's release in Acts 12:5 ff. is an excellent New Testament account.

*Reflect upon the times the Lord has shown Himself strong on your behalf previously. This self-encouragement is enhanced by keeping a spiritual diary, recording ways He has faithfully kept His word, without fail.

*Rehearse the truth, aloud if necessary. Praying the Word back to the Father, pointedly emphasizing the promises He has made related to waiting, fixes our focus where it belongs: on Him, rather than circumstances.

You are the one and only true and living God, Father. There is no God but You. All else and others are created beings, powerful but finite, many mightier than man, yet immeasurably inferior to You their Creator. You, uniquely in Your triune Godhead, are preeminent in the universe, absolutely sovereign, utterly unlimited in Your wisdom and understanding. Acknowledging Your omniscience, increase our willingness to wait upon You, learning how to wait upon You during those times when it pleases You to teach us afresh Your transcendent timing.
In the Name of the Lord Jesus we pray,

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

II Chronicles 20:6

"and He said, 'O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.'"

Whether faced with military foes as was Jehoshaphat, or militant woes in the form of spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies as are believers today, prayer must ever and always be our first response and our God's sovereignty our first reflection.

Scripture is replete with passage after passage which speak of God's sovereign supremacy, and we must memorize and meditate upon them, filling our thoughts with them, encouraged, uplifted, rehearsing the truth that His eternal purposes can never be thwarted.

I recall Psalm 103:19, "The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all."

Daniel 4:35 also comes to mind, "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'"

Oh Father,
In these times when politics and economies are viewed as so very powerful, wreaking havoc in the lives of so many, call Your children to a fresh awareness of Your sovereign might, Your limitless awareness, Your absolute control over the affairs of men. Nothing is hidden from Your sight, but all things are open and laid bare before Your eyes. Be pleased to have Your perfect will accomplished in this wicked land for the sake of the remnant. Whether to the praise of Your justice or the praise of Your grace, Your Name be praised! May the Name of the Lord Jesus be given great glory as You see fit. Teach us how to rest in Your sovereignty, confident in Your providential care, regardless of circumstances and externals. May such distinctive peace prove a winsome lure for lost souls hungering for spiritual relief.
In Your Son's Name,