Monday, March 24, 2014

Jeremiah 41-45: Man Pressuring or God Calling

One of their own had heinously murdered, Gedaliah, the governor the king of Babylon had set over those remaining in Judah.  The people were afraid, afraid of how King Nebuchadnezzar would avenge Gedaliah's death. 
Jeremiah 41:18
Amplified Bible (AMP)
18 Because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land [and whose death the king could avenge without much discrimination].
The people came to Jeremiah asking him to seek God's counsel, but the people already had their hearts set on a plan...go to Egypt and hide. 
Jeremiah 42:3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 [Pray] that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do.

Jeremiah warned the people that God wanted them to stay put, but they would not listen. 

Jeremiah 43:2-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

2 Then Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the proud and insolent men said to Jeremiah, You are not telling the truth! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, Do not go into Egypt to dwell there temporarily.

3 But Baruch son of Neriah is setting you against us to deliver us into the hands of the Chaldeans, so they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon.

God knew that if His people would go to Egypt, they would been drawn into idolatry again, and that is exactly what happened. 

Jeremiah 44:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

8 Why do you provoke Me to anger with the works (idols) of your own hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you [of your own accord] have come to dwell temporarily, that you might be cut off and become a curse and a reproach (an object of reviling and taunts) among all the nations of the earth?

Just before going to bed tonight, I asked the Lord to give me a dream of encouragement and direction.  I awoke with "Man pressuring or God calling."  I thought about how man often can make a determination about a situation by natural means, by the hearing of physical ears.  I then thought about the remant of Judah who had their minds set on doing what they thought was best.  They didn't hear God's call because they succumbed to man's pressure.  These poor, frightened people ended up worse off in Egypt then they would have been if they had just followed God's call and stayed in the land of Judah.

I love the way the Holy Spirit uses an ancient story to direct and encourage me right now.  Well meaning men may pressure with their words because they see in part and have a partial understanding of a situation.  Their heart is right, but what they have heard in the physical has influenced their hearing of the Lord. 

My response, Holy Spirit search my heart.  Is there any wicked way in me?  Show me Your ways and Your heart.  Empower me to hear Your call and not be pressured by man, even a man with a good heart.  Lord, I trust You to save and deliver.  I trust You are hearing my prayers.  You have repeatedly said, "Watch and see what I will do."  I am watching, Lord.  I am waiting for Your intervention.  I will bring my petitions and tears to You, because You love me the best and have my life's story written.   You are so good to me!  Watching for You, my King!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Habakkuk: Hind's Feet For High Places

Habakkuk 3:19
Amplified Bible (AMP)

19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

Progress in the midst of trouble...interesting thought. None of us desire a trouble-filled experience, but troubles are a part of life. If we rely upon God to be our Strength then, grace is released into that trouble-filled situation. 

Keeping our eyes open to God's acting on our behalf stimulates bravery. As we watch the Almighty God take a stand for us, courage arises. Suddenly, we aren't crouching down, curled up in a cringing ball of fear, but we stand and stand tall, knowing, seeing that the Lord is for us. Who then, can be against us?

Romans 8:31
Amplified Bible (AMP)

31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]

Keeping our eyes fixated on God reveals the interaction of His angel army warring on our behalf. Why should we ever waste time fearing? Every detail in our life can and will be used for our own good. Troubling times. Devastating emotional or physical suffering. Overwhelming responsibility. These challenges don't need to be stumbling blocks. ALL of these can be the stepping stones to receiving the "hind's feet" necessary to walk upon the high places (mountains of adversity).

Abba, thank You for Your Word of encouragement! I have personally experienced Your empowerment to walk upon the high places in my life, and I am grateful!!! 

Grace, grace, grace!!! I speak grace over myself, my family, my friends reading this post. Grace is the reason we stand and walk in all circumstances. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for leading and guiding us on the path You desire. In Jesus' name, AMEN!!!