"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

reading the Bible through...

I'm still reading the Bible chronologically.

Here's a little I've read.

April 1- once again The Angel of the Lord has come to rescue Israel from their wicked ways. . . reminding them once again of their historical past. He charges Gideon with defeating the enemy. Gideon balks even after being approached by The Angel of the Lord. Yahweh Shalom---The Lord is Peace. Gideon's name is changed to Jerubbaal...meaning Let Baal defend himself.
2. After testing God-Jerubbaal went to defeat Midian. God shaved the army down to 300 men. Gideon made an ornament out of the plunder and his relatives began to worship it.
3. Abimelech killed all of Gideon's sons and became ruler. Abimelech warred against the people slaying thousands. As he confronted a tower where the remnant was hiding a woman tossed a millstone-which hit him on the head. He had one of his warriors kill him because he didn't want to go down in history as a king who was killed by a woman.
4. "Be careful of the vows you make to God!" Samson is born. What a spoiled brat.
5. Samson meets Delilah.
6. Israel has no king. The city of Benjamin had become full of sin. The other 11 tribes fought against them and after 3 days won.
7. Ruth 2:12 "May the Lord, The God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done."
8. Boaz took Ruth home & made her his wife. 1 Samuel ...Hannah is mourning about not having children.
9. Samuel stays with the priest, Eli...whose sons were very wicked...thumbing their noses at God's rules. Thus Eli's branch of the Levites would be cut off for future generations. Messages from God were rare and visions were quite uncommon.
10. Israel is defeated by the Philistines when Eli heard the news he fell backwards, broke his neck and died. The Ark had been captured. God allowed Eli and his descendants to die because of the sons' sons. Philistines had a few problems w/ the Ark of the Covenant. "Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God" The Ark stayed with Eleazar for twenty years.Israel mourned because it seemed God had abandoned them. Samuel told them to get rid of their idols and they did. But they feared when the philistines mounted an attack, but God spoke like thunder and confused the enemy. After all this time, Israel starts asking for a king...again.
11. Saul and Samuel meet. Saul was so humble as a young man.
12. Saul was 50 when he became King and he reigned for 42 years. He had 4 sons. Then Saul takes matters into his own hands instead of waiting on Samuel. Saul makes a foolish oath of fasting...the whole army fasting while in the heat of battle. Jonathan didn't hear it and ate anyway and was refreshed.
13. Saul was told by God to destroy their enemies down to all the livestock...but he did not. He kept the King and the livestock . Samuel cried out to the Lord all night long and now Saul tells Samuel that the Lord is Samuel's God. What is more pleasing? Burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience to His voice? Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as bad as worshipping idols. David becomes Saul's favorite armor bearer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Diamonds on the floor

Accountability. Ew. Sometimes I just don't want to hear it! My prayer/accountability partner, Gail Mashburn nails me with conviction a lot. Our prayer time Monday night was very revealing...sweet, convicting and today...welcoming.

I've had a lingering major prayer request that I cannot even utter. Only two people in the whole world know about this request. Gail who is my current prayer partner and my beloved friend, Denise Prudhomme. It has weighed heavy on me for almost two years. Last night while praying with Gail, (and emailing, calling and texting my friend Denise) I realized I needed to let go of the burden, quit praying that God would work it out my way and just give it to Him.

And Gail said, "That what I have been praying for you for over a year now."

Okay...so I'm slow.

I just wanted to fix things by praying and letting God know the way I thought it should be fixed. Last night in tears and true agony, I gave it up...and my prayer/accountability partner was right beside me crying too. I quote a line from a song... "she started crying...I didn't know what to do...so I sat there and I cried too"--teardrops as diamonds on the floor. That's my sweet friends. Their teardrops with/for me are like precious diamonds.

Just one more stepping stone of faith. Giving up my wants and needs and asking God for His.

It has been some kind of struggle. A faith builder. Now that I've let go... God can work.

Just got this devotional today...which seems confirmation of what I have released. I love it when God reassures us that we are walking the way He wants us to walk.
From Our Father's Heart

Guard your heart!
There is an onslaught of deception
that has been loosed in this world,
and you need to be able to discern truth.
Your ability to overcome the deception that is prevalent,
and that which is to come,
will be directly related to how much you devote yourself to Me
and how much My Word reigns in your heart.
You will have little power to see
if I am not allowed to see for you.
You will be deceived by what is spoken
if My Word and My Holy Spirit do not filter truth from error for you.
Beginning now, you must find all the areas in your life
that do not belong to Me,
those areas that have not been put under My Lordship.
These are areas that you have been functioning in
with your own wisdom, strength, and power.
They are the most vulnerable to the enemy.
These areas are susceptible to deception, confusion, and folly.
Great harm will soon come to you
through these breaches in your spiritual hedge
if they have not been given to Me.
Find where you are functioning in your own gifts and abilities.
Find where you are so comfortable that you do not need Me.
Surrender your most minute sins,
your smallest indiscretions, your bits of judgment,
your wandering thoughts.
Repent of them.
Give them to Me.
Let My Holy Spirit show you what they are
and submit them to My Word so that you will be safe.
Holding on to them is not wise.
In fact, if you choose to harbor them in your heart,
they will soon take you places
that are not safe for you to be.
I am not in those places.
You really do not want to go there.

Isaiah 30:21-22 NIV Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
22) Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"
Mark 4:24 AMP And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you - and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.
If we disobey any of the physical laws, we naturally pay the consequences. If you stick your hand into a fire, you will get burned. If you jump off a building, gravity will do its job. You will land hard, possibly hard enough to kill you.
There are consequences to us if we violate the laws of society. If we break them, we pay the penalty.
Why is it that we pay so little attention to the directions that have been provided for us in God's Word? Following the Lord would seem to be the wisest course of action we could ever take. In fact, throughout the Word it says that if we do not follow Him, our lives will be out of order. Almost on a regular basis, we deviate from those cautions, hedge on our commitment, discard His warnings; and then wonder why our lives are out of order. It really makes little sense.
When I remember how out-of-line my life was when I didn't follow the Word and its directions, even after I came to the Lord, I realize how much more difficult it will be to do so as times get more deceptive. I won't have a chance unless I determine in my heart to take His cautions very seriously and then follow through to the point of complete submission to Him in every area of my life.

Needing His power to even start,
Jim Corbett