Thursday, September 26, 2013

Done with doubting!!

Hi friends! It's a cloudy morning outside here, but oh how the "Son" is shining in my soul today! :) 

In the reading plan today, the assignment is 1 Kings 3-4.  As I read 1 Kings 3, I am intrigued at the conversation between Solomon and God. 

Why am I so intrigued? 

Well, the Bible is God’s living word.  2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”  God breathed His Divine breath and life into this book for us to know Him more!  Doesn’t that get you excited?!  

Anytime I can get a glimpse of the “greats” in the bible talking with God, I get giddy inside.   We can learn SO much about our Lord and about how to talk to Him by “listening in” on conversations between Him and His servants in the Bible. 

This entire chapter is extraordinary to me.  The exchange between Solomon and God is beautiful.  Let’s hone in on 1 Kings 3:5, 7-9:

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, "Ask what you wish Me to give you." … Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?

God appears to Solomon in a dream … I wish I could have these kinds of dreams every night! I love hearing from the Lord in an intimate, vivid way.  

And look at what God says! “Ask what you wish Me to give you.”  This seems too good to be true, huh? If only we had God’s attention and favor like Solomon … right?

But you know what?

We do!!

John 14:14: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  To me, this verse directly correlates with Psalms 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

If we delight in the Lord, in being in His presence, and in pleasing Him, He will make our desires His desires for us!  He changes and molds our hearts to be for Him and His glory!  And when we come before the Lord, asking boldly in the name of Jesus according to His purpose, God will honor our prayers and answer us. 

If we are truly seeking the Lord, He will hear our prayers and give us a heart like His.  He will give us the desires of our hearts.  And when we ask anything in His name, He will do it!

I don’t know about you, but this gets me fired up!!

Now look back at 1 Kings 3.  We can learn so much from Solomon’s response to God.  He comes in humility saying he’s a little child.  "The statement is actually Solomon's poetic way of expressing his inadequacies as he faced the awesome tasks of leadership." (Dilday)  He wasn’t actually a child.  He just saw himself as under qualified for the great task at hand.  He knows he can only do it with God giving Him the strength and power to accomplish success. 

And what does Solomon ask for next? He asks God for an “understanding heart.”  He desires wisdom and discernment as he leads God’s people. 

And how does God respond in verses 11 & 12? God grants Solomon his request.  And not only does He promise to give Him wisdom and discernment … He is so pleased with Solomon’s heart that He also promises to give him riches and honor, more than any other king in his days. 

Friends, how often do we live in confusion or doubt, unsure of God’s will for us? 

If we’re being honest, it’s probably more often than we’d like to admit.

If only we had godly wisdom and discernment in our lives, right?

How do we do the right thing when dealing with our spouse? Our children? Our friends? Our coworkers?

Well, let’s take Solomon’s cue! I don’t want to spend one more second in doubt or confusion! I want to come boldly before the throne of God and ask Him to give me wisdom.  This is something I pray everyday as a mother of four children and devoted wife.  I cannot do any of this with success unless I’m seeking God’s will.  His wisdom is perfect.  And I want that in my life!

All we have to do is ask Him for it! And if we’re in His Word and in His presence in prayer and worship continually, He is going to be pleased with us.  And He will answer our prayer!

God, give me Your wisdom today.  Help me have discernment in all things, whether big or small, today.  God, I desire to please You and lift high Your Name! Please hear my prayer this day and grant it, Lord, according to Your perfect will.  In Jesus’ name! Amen! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rotten fruit ...

I've still been reading through the reading plan that my church, Eastridge, provides (and that SHINE Girls participate in).  I'm so enjoying the Old Testament.  Having read through 1 Samuel a couple months ago, I was thrilled to continue with the story of David in 2 Samuel!

In reading 2 Samuel 11 about David and his sin with Bathsheba and then in the following chapters through chapter 19, I started thinking about the snowball affect of David's sin.  In chapter 12 we see Nathan tell him what the Lord said:

"From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 'This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you.  I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view.  You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel.'” (2 Samuel 12:10-12 NLT) 

And so we see the 'fruit' of David's sin begin to fall. It unravels: he lost his son born out of his sin with Bathsheba. Then later, David's son, Amnon, rapes his sister, Tamar (David's daughter).  Sin!  Another son of David, Absalom, avenges his sister and kills his brother, Amnon.  Sin!  Absalom, after fleeing Jerusalem for fear of King David's reaction to his murdering Amnon, returns only to become full of pride, ultimately conspiring to overturn his father's throne for himself!  Sin!  All of the events trace back to David's sin, and they are the fulfillment of Nathan's prophecy from the Lord. 

I'm not even through the whole book yet, but the Holy Spirit has been reminding me that sin breeds sin.

As the wife and mother of my family, I need to take my calling and responsibility seriously every minute of every day. I need to be in constant communication with the Lord in prayer and in the Word.  My appetite for Him needs to win out over my flesh.  And I need to continually be filled with His Spirit so that I am led by Him and don't fall into the temptations of sin.  

Why is this so critical? Because my choices and my sins don't just affect me.  They poison my life and impact all those around me. I don't want to be a reason for sin in my family, my church, or my realm of influence. 

Lord, today, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead … the power of Your Spirit in me, help me overcome the temptation to sin! May my life bring glory to You and magnify Your name.  I desire to daily put on Your Armor! Help me not just play defense against the enemy, trying to overcome sin.  God, I want to be on the offense! I want my children and others around me see Your Light! I desire for others to enter Your kingdom because of my testimony.  I will daily make this choice, Lord. Help me, Holy Spirit!  In the powerful name of Jesus!  Amen.