Tuesday, June 9, 2009
In the military, men have always understood the value of morale. To boost morale, a general will let his men know that there is a plan and it's a good one. He will instill the confidence that they can prevail. He will get them focused on the prize: victory.
When morale is high, a general almost can't contain his soldiers. They want to go out and do battle now – not tomorrow.
So if you have an enemy, what would he try to do to you to get you to fear the battle? Simple. He will try to get you to take your eyes off of the prize and place them on the cost of failure. And when you mention God's promises, he'll say “Did God really say that?”
Because in a Christian walk, there is a cost of failure. The enemy knows that. He also knows that, if we're not full of the Word of God, he can convince us that we may have misunderstood God.
But what choice do we have? We can live for our big-screen TVs and a relaxed family life – until the economy takes a nose dive. Or we can live to fight the battle. But if we're going to fight the battle, we have to do it with our eyes both on the prize and on God's promises and the might that He has to fulfill them. And God doesn't fail.
Strength, energy and self-control come from confidence in our Commander and His calling on our lives. Find energy in His Word, because that's where our confidence comes from.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Instead of famine, "a nourisher"
Instead of a strange land she was now among her own people
Instead of mourning "a restorer of life"
She had lost sons now a daughter worth "seven sons"
She had no heir, now a grandson... an heir indeed
And no run of the mill heir at that; rather, none other than David would come from her new family and ultimately the greater than David, the Son of David, Jesus Christ.
Had the Lord brought calamity upon Naomi, well, yes He had. For a season she languished under the "dark Sovereignty of God as God worked behind the scene to get a Moabite woman into a particular field to meet a particular man at a particular time; in order that the ultimate plan of God could move ahead.
Naomi had an important role in the fulfillment of God Eternal plan of redemption for mankind. I do not think that she is in heaven now still upset at God for what He saw fit to put her through.
Lord give us eyes to see and appreciate the bigger picture and your sovereign work in our lives.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation. And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great." Job.8.5-7
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."
Monday, February 2, 2009
She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?” To say that she had hit a rough patch would be an understatement. Earlier in chapter 1 we read that she and her family had left the promised land because of famine, so they were strangers in a strange land, then her husband died, then both of her sons died, leaving her with no heir.
Now, I don't know what trials you are facing right now, I am guessing you are facing some... most of us are. The proximity and the severity of this season for Naomi is pretty spectacular by any estimation. She says dont call me Naomi (pleasant), call me Mara (bitter).
The magnitude of it all had swamped Naomi's boat, she had exhausted all her hope and strength and was at her wits end.
Here is the question I have for you; was Naomi right? Was she right to say, " the Almighty has brought calamity upon me."
Does the Lord Almighty bring calamity, would our God do such a thing? What counsel would you give Naomi? Would you say, "Buck up sister", or, "Don't speak of God like that", or, "Your faith needs to be shored up"? What comfort, what word of encouragement would you offer Naomi in her time of need, what counsel?
I am going to let you think about that one for a few days and we'll talk more.
Feel free to leave comments if you like.