“We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from some of the things God brings round us. Never! God engineers circumstances and whatever they may be life we have to see that we face them while abiding continually with Him in His temptations.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 19.
“Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things; he tempts us in order to make us lose what god hap put into us by regeneration, viz., the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come on the line of tempting us to sin, but on the line of shifting the point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this temptation of the devil.” -Oswald Chamber, My Utmost for His Highest, September 18.
“A man’s disposition on the inside, i.e., what he possesses in his personality, determines what he is emped by on the outside…
Beware lest you think you are tempted as no one else is tempted; what you go through is the common inheritance of the race, not something no one ever went through before.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 17.
“Do not have as your motive the desire to be known as a praying man … Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven …
Prayer is not simply getting things from God … Prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.
“Everyone that *asketh* receiveth.” We pray pious blether, our will is not in it, and then we say God does not answer; we’ve never *asked* for anything. “Ye shall ask what ye *will,” said Jesus. Asking means our wil lis in it … But remember that we have to ask of God things that are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 16.
I get hung up on what to ask for. Am I asking for something just to make me comfortable? Worse, am I asking for a sin?! What if I ask for something and receive it, but God had so much better planned? “One in the hand is better than two in the bush”…unless we’re talking of God’s blessing of abundance.
I seem to finally be getting around to asking for specifics, both tangible and intangible–and then tack on the end, “Your will be done.” I’ve also started a new line that I like to remind myself with” Your plan, Your timing, Your will, Your glory.
See, I know that God doesn’t need me. He’s not going to change in any way, shape or form if I don’t pray. He loves me so much, though, that He has given instructions of me that give *me* a better life.
So I will put more effort into asking for specifics, but I will also keep remind myself that if given the choice of my wants vs. God’s will, I always pick God’s will–His way is so much better! (Not easier, not shorter, but better).
12 He humbles the spirit of leaders;
he is feared by the kings of the earth.
Those who do not fear the Lord are not wise. Those who do evil, promote evil: These will not last; the Lord will bring them down.
Thankfully there is a large percentage of believers in the US, and President Trump has made more references to God than all the other presidents that I can remember (back to Clinton), combined.
Lord, please give President Trump wisdom; raise Your people up against the evil, the tyranny, the globalists that are not of You, are not following Your commands to love, love, love.
The United States is the linchpin. If she falls, the rest will fall in line with the globalists’ agenda. Please don’t let this happen.
I know 200 years is the historic max for a democracy, but the US is a democratic republic–but still apparently susceptible to the same issues … people convinced they can get free things, but they do not consider the cost.
Even with the electoral college, if enough people can be convinced, they can be swayed to get enough communists into office. The US could be in trouble.
What can be done for term limits on Congress, Lord? Congress would probably be more inclined to work for the people if there were term limits and they weren’t in office for life. That’s on of the things I will look forward to with President Trump. He doesn’t want anything past this next term.
Bring the evil to light; the Satanism, the pedophilia, super evil, unthinkable to most. These things must be brought to light so they can be dealt with. I understand the information must be released slowly–the masses have been lulled, dumbed-down, they will not be able to believe it, let it register, grasp it.
America’s elite, the leaders, the celebrities, those admired by so many; those are going to be the ones who’s deep, dark–blacker than black–evil is coming to light. Crimes against humanity. People’s worlds will be rocked, shaken to the core. Please hold this country together.
Bring the people together, Lord, not for free things–which are simply paid for by someone else–but with hard work, determination, American founding values and principles–rights granted by You, not by man.
“Simplicity is the secret of seeing things clearly … You cannot think a spiritual muddle clear, you have to obey it clear. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will think yourself into cotton wool. If there is something upon which God has put His pressure, obey in that matter, bring your imagination into captivity to the obedience of Christ with regard to it and everything will become as clear as daylight…
Spiritual muddle is only made plain by obedience. Immediately we obey, we discern. This is humiliating, because when we are muddled we know the reason is in the temper of our mind.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for High Highest, September 14.
In Ladies’ Bible Study last week, we were talking about testing, proving we will do the right thing, be faithful,, and loyal to God, even when it goes against what we think is supposed to happen.
We were then talking about if any of us were going through testing and msot everyone was, some have some very alarming, sad trials going on.
Mine is different. Mine is a trial that keeps repeating itself. Apparently I haven’t got it right yet; and even that may not be accurate–as if I get it “right,” I win the big prize, a farm in Missouri.
We’ve been looking at moving to Missouri for 12 years, actively–desperately–trying to pull some huge piece of property off for 10 years. Now, today, we have everything, minus a water and septic inspection, set up in Missouri, but can’t do anything until this house in Colorado sells. Closed door.
I was worried. I fretted, I did mental push-ups, trying to figure out how to finagle the situation into my desired outcome. Finally, I could take it no more–I was driving myself crazy.
The Lord is so gracious and merciful to me. He hasn’t sold this house in Colorado, but he laid on me to concentrate on something else … the children and homeschooling.
It’s not that I don’t care about moving to Missouri–or sometimes it is. I’m waffling back and forth on my desire. Some things will be great, some will be good, most will be different. I’m not naive enough to think everything will be great, I just don’t know which parts I will wrestle with most.
Yesterday I was contemplating no Internet at the house–again. This seems like a better and better idea. Really. I’ll have my mobile service for me to be able to look things up, pay bills online, etc. I can do most everything from my phone.
To let the kids online, I’d have to take them to the library. They all have laptops or devices to us, they just need the WiFi. (How sad is it that each of the kids has their own device, yet they still want *more* in this world?).
Literally, I lived on $7/week with only a computer and Internet connection–in a house with utilities–for three or four months). How do I get the kids to be more thankful for what they have and not striving for more? How do they open their eyes to what they already have and look at anything new as an undeserved blessing from God?
Also, in the meantime, God has laid on me to write a book…again. Really, though, He’s combined all these pieces in my life–years of experience, knowledge, education–into one umbrella topic: Mom Management.
Time management, prioritizing, organizing, parenting, household, husband, and all the other contributing factors to women’s chaotic, pressured lives. All in one neat package–kind of.
How does one put it all in one book? So I write, and I ask God to give me the words, and give me the layout of the material so it is understandable and comprehensive enough to help the reader.
So rather than muddle myself down with Missouri, I occupy myself with homeschooling and writing. I trust God to do what needs to be done, and to put in front of me anything I need to be doing for Missouri. Worrying, fretting, daydreaming, etc. about life in Missouri is not going to get us there any sooner. Moving to Missouri–if it happens–will be on God’s timing and terms.
Thank You, Lord, for filling me with inspiration and everything I need to be able to write something helpful to so many; I pray it will be of service to so many and that they recognize your hand in their life and through it all that You will be glorified.
2 Kings 18:15
15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace.
Hezekiah’s weak moment, the sin of taking the gold and silver from the temple to give to the Assyrian King–not believing that God would take care of him, trusting in the silver and gold… David sinned, though, too, and his lasted longer–a child, until that child was struck by the Lord for David’s sin.
10 Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”
This was a representative of King Sennacherib of Assyria. Assyrians were not believers in God at the time.
Is this like people claiming to be Christian but really don’t have Jesus in their heart? Using a claim of God to convince someone of something to get their way? I can think of some politicians that are playing this card!
4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”
Mocking, that’s what I was looking for. The royal spokesman was mocking God–lumping God in with man-made gods.
15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:
16 Lord of Armies, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 18 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands. 19 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made from wood and stone by human hands. So they have destroyed them. 20 Now, Lord our God, save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.
Short, sweet, Hezekiah didn’t have to go on and on and on.
34 He will go back
the way he came,
and he will not enter this city.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
35 I will defend this city and rescue it
for my sake
and for the sake of my servant David.”
Defeat and Death of Sennacherib
36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning, there were all the dead bodies! 37 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.
Then, in Isaiah 37:38, King Sennacherib was assasinated by his own sons.
This is after Jonah. So when did Jonah preach in Nineveh? When did the Assyrians fall away? How long- or short-lived was their belief in the Lord?
“Stand off in faith believing that what Jesus said is true, though in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you ask.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 12.
I have to think of this often, because I get so wrapped up in what I want–to make my physical situation more to what I think I would life–that I forget, block out ,that there is a whole big world out there that God has complete control of, and He knows the priority order, not me. I also have to remember that He has plans for me to succeed (Jer 29:11). That success is on the slow boat to China, but it will get there ,God won’t let the boat sink.
I thin get to the point of “Why even ask for earthly things, God has it all planned, He knows best. Why should I ask for something in particular when He has better planned? Isn’t that cutting myself short?”
It is after this personal, internal argument that I reach the point of simply praying for God’s plan, God’s timing, God’s will, God’s glory.
That is the best and most a person can hope for, night? I don’t even know what I’m praying for exactly, but I know that it will be better than anything I could ever come up with!
“Generally speaking, among the rulers who had gone before him, Hezekiah was second only to King David as a monarch of Judah … From a human perspective the odds were overwhelming in favor of the Assyrians, but the Assyrian threat was no threat to God.” (CSB Day-by-Day Chronological Bible, 2017, Holman Bible Publishers, Dr. Guthrie, Week 29, Day 6).
And if I would have come back to Christ and read my Bible before my sons were born, I would have named one of my boys Hezekiah!
I know of only one possible person alive today–a boy about 9 or 10 years old–that is possibly named Hezekiah; we call him “Ky.”
I know quite a few males named David, ranging from infant to elderly.
“We imagine we would be all right if a big crisis arose; but the big crisis will only reveal the stuff we are made of, it will not put anything into us … If you are not doing the thing that lies nearest, because God has engineered it, when the crisis comes instead of being revealed as fit, you will be revealed as unfit. Crises always reveal character.
The private relationship of worshiping God is the great essential of fitness … Worship aright in your private relationships, then when God sets you free you will be ready, because in the unseen life which no one saw but God you have become perfectly fit, and when the strain comes you can be relied upon by God.
… If you have not been worshiping as occasion serves, when you get into work you will not only be useless yourself, but a tremendous hindrance to those who are associated with you.
4 Say to the cowardly:
“Be strong; do not fear!
Here is your God; vengeance is coming.
God’s retribution is coming; he will save you.”
Was Jesus God’s vengeance? Usually I think of vengeance as harsh, violent punishment, but isn’t that similar to the Jews believing the Messiah would be a conquering war hero that would defeat the Romans?
That just flipped a lot of what I though I knew on its head … Randi once again feeling not-so-smart.
Lord, thank You for opening my eyes and mind!
8 A road will be there and a way;
it will be called the Holy Way.
The unclean will not travel on it,
but it will be for the one who walks the path.
Fools will not wander on it.
The Lord always makes a way–a path through the wilderness of life. The path is the way of Jesus. What would Jesus do?
I need to be careful to not mis-characterize Jesus. My mind’s eye has Him as some white guy, gently caring for children, similar to Snow White surrounded by the forest animals. Each vision is about as real as the other.
I’m really bad at reading tone, inferring tone, but there are times that it is specifically pointed out that Jesus was angry or frustrated. I’m sure it came out in his voice. Surely he didn’t speak in baby talk *all* the time. How boring, too, if he was monotone.
“Determinedly demolish some things. Deliverance from sin is not deliverance from human nature. There are things in human nature ,such as prejudices, which the saint has to destroy by neglect; and other things which have to be destroyed by violence, i.e., by the Divine strength imparted by God’s Spirit.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 8.
2 The Lord is angry with all the nations,
furious with all their armies.
He will set them apart for destruction,
giving them over to slaughter.
13 Her palaces will be overgrown with thorns;
her fortified cities, with thistles and briers.
She will become a dwelling for jackals,
an abode for ostriches.
Where is Edom? Abode for ostriches? Where is ostrich habitat?
Edom was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west and the Arabian Desert to the south and east. Most of its former territory is now divided between Israel and Jordan. (From Google search)
Natural Ostrich Habitat: The towering birds live in sandy and arid habitats, particularly in open country. Common environments for these birds include savannas, woodlands, desert, plains, semidesert, dry grasslands and scrubs. (From Google search)
So ostriches live everywhere. Got it. They don’t live with humans, though, so I guess that the point of the verse is that the human locations will be taken back over by nature, the humans will no longer inhabit that area.
14 The desert creatures will meet hyenas,
and one wild goat will call to another.
Indeed, the night birds will stay there
and will find a resting place.
Desert creatures will meet hyenas, which hyenas are not desert animals, right?
Hyenas are widespread and found in most habitats. Spotted hyenas are found in all habitats, including savannas, grasslands, woodlands, forest edges, subdeserts, and even mountains up to 4,000 meters. (From Google search).
So no, not desert. Closest is subdesert.
“If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the lower. Keep right at the Source, and — you will e blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.
… It is not a blessing passed on, not an experience stated, but a river continually flowing. Keep at the Source, GUARD well your belief in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow for other lives, no dryness and no deadness.” (emphasis added by Randi)-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 7.
I have found this exceptionally true. Being married to not only an unbeliever, but someone who is antagonistic to God–and then has some outside influences that have gone so far as to send websites and writings claiming Yahweh is Satan!… But I digress–I find I have to really guard and protect both my dedicated time to God and my relationship with Him.
One thing I’ve had to learn was to protect and guard myself my belief and my relationship, but not God, not any part of the Trinity. God doesn’t need me to protect Him. Thank goodness!
I exhausted myself trying, that’s a lot of ground to cover! God is huge, and sort of similar to my defense of my sing through my good looks, intelligence, and charming personality, my ability to defend Him was sorely lacking in appearance, smarts, and tact.
I did buy and Apologetics Bible, but I don’t anticipate making it into it for about another one or two years. The little bit I’ve read was great, but I’m certainly not knowledgeable or articulate enough to defense God–I never will be.
Apologetics will hopefully allow me to better-articulate defense for my belief in real, solid terms, rather than, “I believe God because I have experienced Him way too much to not believe.”
I will also add, blessing is commonly used as a term for things we consider good, pleasurable. Someone once referred to blessing as God working in our lives, which isn’t always pleasurable, but it is always good–even if it takes 25 years to see it as such. I much prefer the working definition, as it helps change perspective–I’m an eternal, die-hard optimist.
This definition also lets me be thankful for blessings always–since I know God is always working in my life, even when I’m down in the mud, wallowing with the swine. (Which I must add, this always made me wonder, since pigs are actually the smartest and cleanest animal on the farm. That doesn’t seem to be common knowledge, though. So I guess the analogy holds.)
19 You will no longer see the barbarians,
a people whose speech is difficult to comprehend—
who stammer in a language that is not understood.
This is not just foreigners, this is people who don’t know God–the same as the person I tried to defend God from. These people don’t know their Shepherd, don’t know His voice. Pray for these people!
As happened on Pentecost, all will hear in their own language, so all will understand. Babel will be reverted, everyone will understand each other; but everyone will be reliant on God, not on themselves or humanity.
“The river of the Spriirt of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source.
… Got has been opening up marvelous truths in our minds, and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has nourished in your mighty torrents of blessing for others” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 6.
6 For a fool speaks foolishness
and his mind plots iniquity.
He lives in a godless way
and speaks falsely about the Lord.
He leaves the hungry empty
and deprives the thirsty of drink.
7 The scoundrel’s weapons are destructive;
he hatches plots to destroy the needy with lies,
even when the poor person says what is right.
8 But a noble person plans noble things;
he stands up for noble causes.
How scary the fools I know!
Can scoundrel’s be believers? Does someone truly act like this if they sincerely have Jesus in their heart? I’ve known a few “Christians” that fit this scoundrel description. Only God knows the heart.
Be a noble person.
9 Stand up, you complacent women;
listen to me.
Pay attention to what I say,
you overconfident daughters.
Complacent! This perked my interest for sure! One of the things I can’t stand is someone to be complacent when there is a wrong occurring, especially when that wrong is against the complacent individual. I’m speaking specifically of elderly people being complacent when they are being abused.
14 For the palace will be deserted,
the busy city abandoned.
The hill and the watchtower will become
barren places forever,
the joy of wild donkeys,
and a pasture for flocks,
15 until the Spirit from on high is poured out on us.
Then the desert will become an orchard,
and the orchard will seem like a forest.
Desolation until we have the Holy Spirit poured on us. How pathetic their lives must have felt without Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
Wait! The majority of the world is still in that apathetic condition! Oh, Lord! Please heal these people! Come into hearts in miraculous ways! Save us, Lord! Save this very broken world, conquer evil, bring Your love, joy and peace. Please hurry, Lord!
16 Then justice will inhabit the wilderness,
and righteousness will dwell in the orchard.
17 The result of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness
will be quiet confidence forever.
18 Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
in safe and secure dwellings.”Quiet confidence forever.” I have this, my hope is that it is forever. This brings to mind the Armor of God, Ephesians 6:14-17. There is a great study HERE.
7 For on that day, every one of you will reject the worthless idols of silver and gold that your own hands have sinfully made.
How many things do we end up worshiping because we’ve spent so much time making them?
I know a guy who really should move. The location he is in is not suited to his nor his wife’s desires for what they want to do. He is really stuck on the property he is on, though, because of the time, effort, and energy he has put into it.
He can’t see that there is a better location–or he can, but he holds to what he’s built. He doesn’t know the Lord, but I pray he and his wife will accept the gift the Lord offers; and I pray he will stop holding onto what his hands have made and he is idolizing.
7 Egypt’s help is completely worthless;
therefore, I call her:
Rahab Who Just Sits.
What does Rahab Who Just Sits mean? Rahab used the other time … prostitute during Israel’s time of taking of the Promised Land.
10 They say to the seers, “Do not see,”
and to the prophets,
“Do not prophesy the truth to us.
Tell us flattering things.
11 Get out of the way!
Leave the pathway.
Rid us of the Holy One of Israel.”
Very similar to today, except it isn’t Israelites, it is the whole world. Sadly, even people claiming to be Christian do this–Sunny Day Christians, don’t want to hear the bad and how they are sinning, just make them “feel” good. Everything is about them and their feelings.
12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says:
“Because you have rejected this message
and have trusted in oppression and deceit,
and have depended on them,
13 this iniquity of yours will be
like a crumbling gap,
a bulge in a high wall
whose collapse will come in an instant—suddenly!
14 Its collapse will be like the shattering
of a potter’s jar, crushed to pieces,
so that not even a fragment of pottery
will be found among its shattered remains—
no fragment large enough to take fire from a hearth
or scoop water from a cistern.”
The video of the idea of the “true Istraelites” being scattered around the world as slaves … this totally matches up.
20 The Lord will give you meager bread and water during oppression, but your Teacher will not hide any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher, 21 and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”
Jesus prophecy. Thank You, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus!
“How am I to pour out unto the Lord natural love or spiritual blessing? In one way only–in te determination of my mind …
If you have become bitter and sour, it is because when God gave you a blessing you clutched it for yourself; whereas if you had poured it out until the Lord, you would have been the sweetest person out of heaven. If you are always taking blessings for yourself and never learn to pour out anything unto the Lord, other people do not get their horizon enlarged through you. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 3.
5 everyone will be ashamed
because of a people who can’t help.
They are of no benefit, they are no help;
they are good for nothing but shame and disgrace.
What good are people who cannot help? “There is no benefit, they are no help,” they are good for nothing, maybe worse, needy. Back to resources, and again I reiterate: Earthly wealth is not bad or sinful–it is what is done with that wealth that is sinful. To use it to better peoples’ lives through creating products and services that people need and want (capitalism), which also provides to employees livelihoods, is a complete cycle, is good.
To hoard that wealth–which doesn’t allow it to flow, which actually causes it to lose value–doesn’t help people. That is the rich that are holding onto earthly things. Holding onto earthly things, holding them above the Lord within the heart is why Jesus said it was harder for a rich man to get into heaven.
“I’m sorry, wish you well,” is not as helpful as, “Here’s some food, clothing and money to buy from others what you need.”
“His purpose is not the development of man; His purpose is to make man exactly like Himself, and the characteristic of the Son of God is self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain, but what He pours through us that counts … Spiritually, we cannot measure our life by success, but only by what God pours through us, and we cannot measure that at all.
… Our Lord is carried beyond Himself with joy when He sees any of us … not being set on this or that economy, but being abandoned to Him.
… It is time now to break the life, to cease craving for satisfaction, and to spill the thing out.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 2.
I am so very selfish. Everything about me, how I feel about it, where I will be satisfied, what I want, what will please me best. Striving for me, me, me. My wants will also affect other people in a positive way, but that is no justification.
Once again I’m reminded to appreciate what I have, where I am (literally and metaphorically) and do the best I can with what I “got” (I know it’s not proper grammar, but really the slang adds to the meaning).
Family meeting, told the kids we had to continue here as if we were going to be here forever. This house hasn’t sold, we want to move, but as of right now noting is going to happen. We’re going to concentrate on homeschool. The Lord convicted me–laid on my heart in dramatic fashion–that these kids’ upbringing was of utmost importance.
It’s the slow boat to China, but it is the surest way to change the world–teach your children and they will not stray from those ways. So my duty, my JOB, is to teach these children to be God-fearing, honest, productive citizens and functional adults. I’m not raising them to be children!
With the current conditions in America, parenting apparently went wrong somewhere; someone forgot to teach their children that throwing a temper tantrum was not the way to get something they want. Very sad that they didn’t learn this lesson when they were younger. As an of-age adult, this lesson will be tougher, more devastating, and possibly deadly. Sad, really. What a disservice their parents did them.
2 I will oppress Ariel,
and there will be mourning and crying,
and she will be to me like an Ariel.
What is an Ariel? Google says it is: a gazelle found in the Middle East and North Africa.
9 Stop and be astonished;
blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
they stagger, but not with beer.
This sounds like the “protesters” in the US today. They are blind and drunk, but their eyes still see physically and they have not been drinking alcohol. Their minds are addled, they have been brainwashed, indoctrinated to zombie-like status of belief by Marxist, Communist, which are socialism’s opposite side of the coin.
11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.”
People are full of excuses why they can’t do something. How about some optimism? How about take on some of the hard things to improve the condition of humans in the world, to make a path, who them the way to Jesus. Downtrodden people kept in a perpetual state, will not see or come to God. Add some physical comfort and it opens doors, helps them to make the decision to look for God–or allow God to open their eyes to Him.
Conversely, those who are kept in earthly comfort and are fooled that they don’t need God are less likely to make the decision to follow Jesus–trials encourage humans to look for things to make them feel better. There is no greater comfort than Jesus Christ.
13 The Lord said:
These people approach me with their speeches
to honor me with lip-service,
yet their hearts are far from me,
and human rules direct their worship of me.
Ritual. Religion and ritual turn so many people away from God (and ironically suck so many into false beliefs–ritual, doing the right things, does not give a person salvation!). Almost everyday I get attacks from non-believers about things done by “the church” (religious leaders). From the molestation of boys by Catholic priests to how the Bible has been manipulated by man. These people are so opposed to God, they don’t just ignore Him or those that believe, they attack the believers *and* the beliefs.
16 You have turned things around,
as if the potter were the same as the clay.
How can what is made say about its maker,
“He didn’t make me”?
How can what is formed
say about the one who formed it,
“He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?
Which is exactly what mass numbers of people are doing right now in America–and presumably around the world.
19 The humble will have joy
after joy in the Lord,
and the poor people will rejoice
in the Holy One of Israel.
Notice it does not say, “everyone will be rich and have all the comfort they could ever want”?
22 Therefore, the Lord who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob:
Jacob will no longer be ashamed,
and his face will no longer be pale.
With the giant issue–or supposed issue–in the US currently being color of skin, this verse stands out. Especially interesting because I had a discussion the other day and ended up watching this video. The person who sent it and when I was having the discussion was in Africa and claiming Jesus had black skin.
Skin color doesn’t really matter to me, but there were some valid points made; because if the video is accurate–which it has compelling evidence–God’s chosen people have been scattered around the globe, just as He said they would be–many in America, many most likely unaware of their heritage.
But what does this verse mean? No longer be pale—did the people from Jacob turn white or brown (faded, diluted black at some point)?
24 Those who are confused will gain understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction.
Vindictive of me, but I look forward to this day! I don’t know that I will see it in my lifetime ,but I look forward to it nonetheless!
“The destined end of man is not happiness, or health, but holiness. Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right, good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfillment, but in the meantime God has to atrophy them … At all costs a man must be rightly related to God.
God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men; He did not come to save men out of pity: He came to save men because He had created them to be holy.
Never tolerate through sympathy with yourself or with others any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means unsullied walking with the feet, unsullied talking with the tongue, unsullied thinking with the mind … Holiness is not only what God gives me, but what I manifest that God has given me.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, September 1.
5 On that day
the Lord of Armies will become a crown of beauty
and a diadem of splendor
to the remnant of his people,
6 a spirit of justice
to the one who sits in judgment,
to those who repel attacks at the city gate.
7 Even these stagger because of wine
and stumble under the influence of beer:
Priest and prophet stagger because of beer.
They are confused by wine.
They stumble because of beer.
They are muddled in their visions.
They stumble in their judgments.
8 Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit;
there is no place without a stench.
9 Who is he trying to teach?
Who is he trying to instruct?
Infants just weaned from milk?
Babies removed from the breast?
10 “Law after law, law after law,
line after line, line after line,
a little here, a little there.”
Comparable to America?
16 Therefore the Lord God said:
“Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
the one who believes will be unshakable.
“…The one who believes will be unshakable,” Stand firm in Christ. Do not let this world make you stagger with drunkenness, with doubts and worry. Stand firm in Christ’s salvation and His commands to live an abundant life, regardless of outside circumstances.
19 Every time it passes through,
it will carry you away;
it will pass through every morning—
every day and every night.
Only terror will cause you
to understand the message.
“Only terror will cause you to understand the message.” How many people come to Christ when everything is rosey-peachy in their life? Even those who have everything physically are still empty inside without Jesus in their heart.
Physical, mental, spiritual, but flip in the order of importance to an individual’s well-being. How desperate someone is spiritually–and they recognize it–determines that individual’s degree of reception of the gift of salvation and an introduction to God the Father. The willingness of the individual and the openness to God–the Trinity–and God’s plan determines how quickly God begins opening the individual to Himself and giving them understanding.
24 Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed?
Does he continuously break up and cultivate the soil?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
does he not then scatter black cumin and sow cumin?
He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots,
with spelt as their border.
26 His God teaches him order;
he instructs him.
27 Certainly black cumin is not threshed
with a threshing board,
and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin.
But black cumin is beaten out with a stick,
and cumin with a rod.
28 Bread grain is crushed,
but is not threshed endlessly.
Though the wheel of the farmer’s cart rumbles,
his horses do not crush it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of Armies.
He gives wondrous advice;
he gives great wisdom.
God does not keep us in a state of perpetual punishment. Seeds must be planted, then tenderly cared for–along with reasonable water and sunshine (which God provides, not us)–to grow and produce a useful crop. Even then a crop standing in the field is useless until it is harvested (work put in) and grain threshed, ground, etc. to be made usable to humans for nutrition.
Everything useful and valuable to humans on earth takes work–the only thing that doesn’t is Jesus’s gift of salvation (is salvation earthly?)–generally, how much work something requires determines its monetary value. Except in agriculture now, government influencing prices and production through subsidies et al has skewed the markets–and peoples’ concept of value.
WOW! The USA’s production, commodities markets all the way to the end consumer are biblical!
“The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had … The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God’s word!
Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 31.
7 Did the Lord strike Israel
as he struck the one who struck Israel?
Was Israel killed like those killed by the Lord?
8 You disputed with Israel
by banishing and driving her away.
He removed her with his severe storm
on the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore Jacob’s iniquity will be atoned for in this way,
and the result of the removal of his sin will be this:
when he makes all the altar stones
like crushed bits of chalk,
no Asherah poles or incense altars will remain standing.
What brought my attention to is was “no Asherah poles or incense altars will remain standing,” but before that, “…When He makes all the altar stones like crushed bits of chalk. If no altars, no ritual sacrifice; no Asherah poles and incense, no evil or blind religion in the world?
Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The share in Christian work is to rejoice in successful serve, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you … He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it…and by the reaction of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfill God’s purpose…It is the work God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 30.
I have a tendency to do this. I’m a pragmatic person–more concerned with usefulness than aesthetics. This carries as a ribbon through ever aspect of my life, including my own self worth sometimes. I need reminders like this day in this devotional to remind me to stop striving, just rest in the Lord, place my trust and confidence in Him, not in how clean I keep the house, how well-mannered the children are, or even if the whole family liked dinner.
14 “This God, our God forever and ever—
he will always lead us.”
Where I ended yesterday, but look, God used it to speak to me this morning!He is so very gracious and merciful to me! He always leas me, always guides me. Thank you, Lord!
“Jesus gives believers an unshakable Foundation for life: Rm 9:33; 1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:4-7. People of both Isaiah’s time and Jesus’s time tended to use religious words empty of true spiritual commitment (see Is 29:14; Mk 7:6-7). Too often people tend to give lip service to the Lord while trusting other things or people to make like work.” (Guthrie, Dr. George H, Day-by_day Chronological Bible, Christian Standard Bible, Holman Bibles, 2017, p. 916).
Notice the change from past tense to present tense in the last two sentences. Dr. Guthrie is more tactful than I. Before i got t the last line, I was thinking, “In Isaiah and Mark? They do that now! Heck, *I* sometimes do that!” And there it is. Sometimes I’m just lip service; sometimes I’me just not feeling the Holy Spirit moving me. Sometimes I have selfish wants and desires, and sometimes I find myself saying things I wish I wouldn’t have said…Gee, Randi, nothing like making yourself seem so much better than everyone else!”
The advantage of spiritual maturity–one advantage I’ve found to be improving on, slow learner–is being able to recognize when I’m giving lip service, especially to the Lord. I recognize but can’t seem to stop until I realize it and ask the Lord for help! What I can’d do, He can and does.
Right now we are trying to sell our property in Colorado and move to Missouri. Everything is set in Missouri, we just have to sell this house. Correction, God has to sell this house. I’ve determined there is nothing more for us to do; there is nothing I *can* do. It is fully up to God.
I will be sad and frustrated–probably–if He doesn’t move us. We’ve been looking at Missouri for 12 years but I had given up on it because nothing seemed to work out. I was so defeated, mad that I had spent so very many hours and nothing came of it.
Jeramie found a property and it took him about a month to convince me to even look at it on the computer–seriously, I was avoiding it like coronavirus! Jer was persistent, though, and showed me the pro forma numbers he’d worked out and I could see the potential…and i was back to putting hours in. I did get a rein on it and refused to do anything more than walk through open doors, and make Jeramie make the decisions.
The first property didn’t work out, but Jer amazingly found a second viable property, and armed with new knowledge about the loan requirements, I switched over some paperwork and we went for the second property.
To have two properties come available that were large enough acreage, and had a sizable house for our family of six, and to be in our price range was amazing. To have it happen: boom, boom. That’s a God thing.
The things that have fallen into place, the crazy, unexplainable…I really don’t see Him yanking this property away after all these things! The sellers are willing to rent the house to us–were–because we thought we’d be waiting on FSA (Farm Services Agency, government) for loan approval, but they approved in 30 days! That was super-fast!
I already found a church family, and even got to attend a Sunday Service when I went to check out the property in person. Which was another answered prayer:I asked God what to do and Jer comes in two minutes later and tells me to go to Missouri by myself, he would say home and hold down the fort. I wouldn’t have been able to go to Sunday Service if Jer had gone.
We had originally though to sell part of the cows and all of the equipment; replace it when we get to Missouri. Over time those plans didn’t work and so we looked at hauling all the cows out and the equipment we’d planned on replacing, plus the tractor. My cost estimate ended up being half of what a trucker ended up telling me the cost would be for just the flat bed! That was a lot of cash we din’t have and hadn’t planned on needing.
I started looking at other options and was going to call the rental shop in town to see what it would cost to rent their flatbed with dovetail (ramps on back to load and unload equipment). Jeramie had said he would need to haul something back to make it worth the trip. I didn’t think so and said, “I’m probably not find a backhaul.”
The afternoon I planned on calling, a woman I know from church came into my work. She said she’d been meaning to ask me if I could use any grass seed when I moved. She had some from Alaska. No, probably don’t need Alaskan grass seed in Missouri. She’d forgot where we were trying to move to.
She mentioned they had a cattle chute in Missouri that they needed hauled back to Colorado. Oh really?
I asked if they had a flatbed gooseneck trailer with dovetail. How ironic, they do. Thirty-one foot flatbed that they just swapped. Even funnier, it still has the Missouri tags on it! The swap was so recent they hadn’t switched over the tags.
So this was interesting. Would they be willing to let us use the trailer and haul back their chute? It was an idea, but where was the cute? Six hours across the state/ We looked it up, 120 miles due east of where the farm is, even on the same highway. Then she said they would help by paying “a few hundred” in fuel. Seriously.
She and I exchanged our husband’s phone numbers and by that evening the men had spoke on the phone and set it all up to happen at an unknown time because timing is dependent on the sale of this house.
Would God really put all these things in order simply to have us not be able to sell, not be able to move? Am I reading too much into it? Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Or am I not trusting enough?
I want God’s will. I say that, but we also all know I want what I want, and I want it now–and I’ve been wanting Missouri for a long time. It’s a balancing act, though. i want what I want, but I want God’s will more–which is still selfish, since i know He has better than I could ever dream.
So I trudge–try not to trudge, it’s not like I don’t have enough things to be doing, things that need done, regardless of whether or not we’re moving, namely: homeschool kids, get to teaching English online, and all the thingsfor Back Forty Blog that I’ve been putting off for four years, not to mentions Mo’s Real Life and the other businesses God has given me. Just recently He laid on me to write about resources and resource management.
It’s very similar to the idea of Mom’s Real Life, a time management system targeting busy mom’s, but a system usable by anyone who needs to keep track of multiple people. This time the resource management is more broad. Resources as in everything including time. I’m waiting for a solid answer as to whether the writing should be directed at Christians specifically, or it it be for everything and just have mention of God and my believes. Everything comes from Him, so there’s that.
Wow, didn’t even get around to reading the chapter in Isaiah! The flashback to the final verse of yesterday and the preface to the new section of reading was enough to have me go on and on!
Tomorrow: Isaiah 27.
Today, more prayer and begging for some certainty as to the plan. If that plan is to keep us here in Colorado, fine. I’d really like to know, though. But then, that’s where faith and trust of and in the Lord have to carry me, right? This is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. Lord, Your will be done.
“Every time you venture out in the life of faith, you will find something in your common-sense circumstances that flatly contradicts you faith. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stance in relation of the natural and the spiritual. Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? … Les me say I believe God will supply all my need, and then let me run dry, with no outlook, and see whether I will go through the trial of faith, or whether I will sink back to something lower…
What is your faith up against just now? The test will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it…Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 29.
9 God, within your temple,
we contemplate your faithful love.
14 “This God, our God forever and ever—
he will always lead us.”
2 Chronicles 31:14-19
14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings to God to distribute the contribution to the Lord and the consecrated things. 15 Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests were to distribute it faithfully under his authority to their brothers by divisions, whether large or small. 16 In addition, they distributed it to males registered by genealogy three years old and above; to all who would enter the Lord’s temple for their daily duty, for their service in their responsibilities according to their divisions. 17 They distributed also to those recorded by genealogy of the priests by their ancestral families and the Levites twenty years old and above, by their responsibilities in their divisions; 18 to those registered by genealogy—with all their dependents, wives, sons, and daughters—of the whole assembly (for they had faithfully consecrated themselves as holy); 19 and to the descendants of Aaron, the priests, in the common fields of their cities, in each and every city. There were men who were registered by name to distribute a portion to every male among the priests and to every Levite recorded by genealogy.
This was not some small task, with only a few priests and their families to feed. This was thousands of people. This was a large undertaking.
I wonder what these Levites had done in the time before this? When they weren’t serving at the temple. Had they taken on jobs, trades, careers? This would have been a major shift.
Soft of like what I think needs to happen in the USA right now. A major shift needs to occur where a parent doesn’t work, stays home with the kids, is more concerned with parenting than making money.
This is just my opinion, but I believe it would be a great start to getting America back on track. Letting daycare, school, et al. raise our children has only succeeded in indoctrinating our children with crazy liberal ideas–completely against America’s founding principles.
“The second you waive the question of sanctification or any other thing upon which God gave you light, you begin to get dry rot in your spiritual life. Continually bring the truth out into actuality; work it out in every domain, or the very light you have will prove a curse.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 27.
I can surely attest to this! Procrastination has bitten me, I got lazy. God gave me so much, I took it for granted, pushed off what He had laid on my heart–this website. I’m hoping to rectify the situation, but it will take years! And now I’m playing catch up!
2 Chronicles 30:6
6 So the couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the hand of the king and his officials, and according to the king’s command, saying, “Israelites, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel so that he may return to those of you who remain, who have escaped the grasp of the kings of Assyria.
See the post Blood, Guts, and the Lord’s Favor. “…Those of you who remain, who have escaped the grasp of the kings of Assyria.” That would be people who weren’t slaughtered, killed by various means from bare hands, sword, being plowed over, or some other bloody, torturous method. The remaining people would have witnessed this slaughter. How scarred were they emotionally and mentally?
2 Chronicles 20:7
7 Don’t be like your ancestors and your brothers who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors so that he made them an object of horror as you yourselves see.
They could see the consequences of not following the Lord. Yet, after Hezekiah made all these big changes, to turn back to the Lord, 2 Chronicles 30:10 says:
10 The couriers traveled from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but the inhabitants laughed at them and mocked them.
They still wouldn’t learn, wouldn’t do what was in their own best interest. Why?
How often do I do the same? Procrastination on this blog, as I already said. I know there are other areas of my life, too. I need to be more willing to be open to seeing those areas. I have to recognize something before I can change it.
2 Chronicles 30:20
20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
The people were celebrating Passover at the wrong time, breaking almost every rule in the book, but when Hezekiah made it about the hearts, not the ritual, the Lord healed the people!
Maybe Jesus wasn’t born on December 25, but I bet if we have our hearts in the right place, God will forgive the time of year and heal us!
2 Chronicles chapter 30 is an amazing chapter buried in 2 Chronicles! How good to us is our Lord?!
“There are times when our peace is based upon ignorance, but when we awaken to the facts of life, inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus … If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed of you have a false security. Are you looking unto Jesus now, in the immediate matter that is pressing and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious benediction of peace in and through you. But if you try to worry it out, you obliterate Him and deserve all you get. We get disturbed because we have not been considering Him.” -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 26.
2 Chronicles 29:25-26
25 Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the Lord’s temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres according to the command of David, Gad the king’s seer, and the prophet Nathan. For the command was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
Could an argument be made here for use of instruments in all churches? The Church of Christ (which i was raised in) doesn’t allow instruments, all singing is A Capella. I once asked, when I was older and no longer attended a Church of Christ, an older gentleman from that church why instruments weren’t allowed. His reply: “So they would have something to argue over.” The gentleman is very wise.
2 Chronicles 29:36
36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God had prepared the people, for it had come about suddenly.
Isn’t it amazing how there always seems to be the pieces to do the thing God wants us to be doing? He puts all the resources there but we must make the moves. The huge amounts of animals (verses 32 and 33): 670 bulls, 3,300 sheep and goats weren’t something that only took a few months to procure. Having this many animals–especially to slaughter (see yesterday’s post on resource management), it is awe-inspiring.
That is a massive number of animals, an amazing amount of resources provided by the Lord, long before the people even knew they were going to need the resource.
But they recognized that everything came from God, even when they didn’t know they would need or want that resource.