He Found the Book

The Book of the Law. Moses’ book. God’s words.

God tells us an encouraging story about King Josiah in the second book of Chronicles.  King Josiah knew it was time to repair the temple of the Lord.  So he made it happen.

While they were cleaning and fixing the temple, they discovered “the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses.” 2 Chronicles 34:14.  The book was read to the king who immediately tore his robes and asked the prophetess Huldah to tell him what God wanted to say to him.  Her message from God could be boiled down to three words, ‘disaster is coming’.

The king reacted immediately by having the Book read to all of the people and then leading them in renewing their covenant with God.   The king cleared out all of the idols from the temple and destroyed all of the places for idol worship and altars. He also had to get rid of the priests who were leading the people in their worship of idols.  He did away with all the mediums and spiritists along with all other ‘detestable’ things.

When everything was done, they celebrated the Passover which had not been celebrated properly for hundreds of years.  Great job, King Josiah!

So what about me?  What about you?  Is it true that some of us need to ‘find’ the book of the Lord?

Are there ‘things’ in our lives that we put a higher priority on than our relationship with God?  These are our idols.

Do we look at sources other than God for our guidance and direction?   How often to we check with Google on important things rather than checking with God?   These other sources are our mediums and spiritists.

Is our Bible sitting on the shelf more than its been sitting open on our lap?  We need to read it and know it.

And let God transform our lives through it.

I cannot think of a time in my lifetime that it was more important for me – and you – to know the Word of God for ourselves. Almost daily I hear stories of pastors and religious leaders who are not teaching the whole truth found in the Bible. We must know the Word ourselves so we can compare what we are being taught to what we know is the truth.

King Josiah’s cleansing of the land of Judah was a high point in their history.  He heard God’s word, he listened and he obeyed.

King Josiah found the Book.  The book led him to God.  God led him to renewal and celebration.

Is it time for some renewal and celebration in your life?

Maybe its time to REALLY find the Book.

Thank you for revealing your truth to us in your Word, Abba Father.

It’s Not Working

I’m an achiever. I like to get things done. I’m also a planner and organizer so I can get them done.

There have been situations in my life in the past where I have struggled and worked and persevered to make something happen only to discover that it wasn’t the right thing. It didn’t work out.

So dissappointing.

As my faith in God has grown, I have realized that I want God’s plans for my life to become reality, not my own plans. The truth is he knows everything, he has the power to do anything and his plans are perfect.

Mine aren’t.

So now I talk to God about what he wants, watch to see where he is moving and then join him in what he is doing. Does it surprise you that great things happen when I do this?

I’m not surprised.

Does it surprise you that sometimes I forget to do this?

I’m not surprised.

As I’m reading King Jeroboam’s story in 1 Kings, I am reminded of some of the disappointments I had when I was trying to do things my own way. Jeroboam was setting up his own kingdom in Israel without asking God what he wanted and Jeroboam was making a lot of bad decisions. But he persevered and made everything happen just like he wanted it.

Then, one day, the king stretched out his hand to command to his men to seize the prophet of God (another bad decision) and his hand shriveled up.

Wow! That got Jeroboam’s attention!

Jeroboam knew exactly who shriveled up his hand so he said to the prophet of God , ” Intercede with the LORD our God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” 1 Kings 13: 6. This was a good decision – God instantly restored the king’s hand.

God doesn’t usually make hands shrivel up today but he is constantly trying to guide us down the right paths so we make good decisions. Since I’m a planner and organizer and doer, I have to be careful to listen to God and not just use my own skills to make stuff happen. When the road I’m on gets tough and things just aren’t working, I’ve learned to stop and look to God – is he trying to stop me? – before I just push through to make it happen. Years ago I decided before I put the big effort into climbing a wall, I’m going to make sure it’s the right wall.

When I am keeping my eyes on God, studying his Word and spending time with him, he shows me when I’m getting off track. I ask him to open doors or close doors – somehow show me if I’m going down the right path or not.

And he does. There are times when he opens my eyes to a different next step than I was planning. In other situations, he encourages me and I know I’m supposed to keep moving forward.

By focusing on what God wants – not what I want, God doesn’t have to try hard to get my attention. It’s a great way to avoid climbing the wrong wall and experiencing nasty consequences.

No shriveled hands here.

Thank you for your truth and guidance, Abba Father.

Foolish

What was this person thinking?

I can’t believe this person wrote that!

There are times when I feel surrounded by crowds of people who are not thinking, not using logic, and not caring about the facts. These people seem to be reacting purely out of emotion – to everything.

And sometimes its hard not to respond back in the same way. It would feel good – for a minute – but then I would regret that I was acting just like they were. Emotionally. Without thinking. That’s not good.

God generously gives you and I some wisdom in this situation in Proverbs 26:4, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly; or you yourself will be just like him.”

Yep, when I answer a foolish statement with my own emotional, foolish statement, I am on the wrong track. The right track is to look to God for wisdom and discernment.

God tells me in Proverbs 9: 7-9 to forget about correcting a fool. Their response will be to insult me, abuse me and hate me. But a wise person learns from correction and grows wiser.

That’s the kind of person I want to be – a wise person who is learning and being transformed by the truth of God.

Proverbs is full of God’s wisdom regarding all kinds of situations we find ourselves in.

Thank you for your precious Word to us, Abba Father.

Psalm 139, 2021

You know me well, LORD.

You know where I am and what I’m thinking about.  You know where I go and when I stay – you know all of my habits.   Before any words come out of my mouth, you know what I’m going to say.  You walk close beside me, with your hand guiding me.

I will never totally understand you – you are too awesome!

I know I am never alone – you are always with me.  Where ever I go – you are already there.  My life is in your hands.  You are constantly guiding me, protecting me and loving me.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, I feel alone and everything seems very dark.  But you are there –

you are always there.

Darkness is not dark to you.  Your light shines through.

I know you created me, dear Father.  You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you for how unbelievably wonderful you are!

You create masterpieces!  I know – because I am one of them.  You knew me before anyone else.  You saw me.  You formed me.  And you made plans for my life before I was even born.

Your plans are precious to me, God.  Please show me the path you have designed just for me.

I want to spend all my days with you, Abba Father.

(This picture is my grandson- Jackson.  We got to meet him last year on August 1st.)

Psalm 121, 2021

When I need help, the only place I need to look is to my God, the Creator of Everything.  He does not let me stumble.   God watches over me all day and all night – he never sleeps.

How great is the LORD who stands by me all day and all night!

I know that God takes care of me – day and night –

as I come and go –

both now and forever!

Thank you, Abba Father!