During my quiet time and prayer this morning I was impressed with the life of David and his close friend Jonathan. In 1 Samuel 23 David is on the run and facing constant danger and we begin to see him seeking God in prayer before taken some sort of action (1 Samuel 23:1-14). Immediately after this, we see his good friend Jonathan meeting him in the wilderness to encourage him in the Lord.
This chapter illustrates two great principles. 1. Men need to seek the Lord and His guidance. And 2. Men need brothers who will pray with them and encourage them in the Lord. I am so thankful for the men who routinely meet with me to pray and encourage me in the Lord.
When was the last time you met with a brother for prayer and encouragement in the Lord?
This morning I woke up thinking about the future. As a recent widower I am finding life alone is tough to handle on one side but my time with God is rich on the other side. I am forced to lean on Him more each day. The question that rang through my mind today was, "What kind of man do I want to be known for?"
I have made plenty of mistakes and failed many times. Do these mistakes and failures define me? Do yours define you? I hope not. In the end after meditating on the topic and praying over it, I felt God nudge me with this word, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things is no law. And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:22-24). And then Jesus words in John 15:8 "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."
I hope to prove my commitment to Christ by the life I now live, a life of faith and fruit.
Yesterday while waiting to start a meeting, I read Psalm 143 My Soul Thirsts for You. Verses 9 and 10 stood out, "Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Those of us who are continually waging spiritual warfare for the souls of men are in constant need of God's Spirit and level ground. This world is filled with dangers and a lot of men are failing in the battle of life. I think RA Torrey said it well, “The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came. Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.” —
Are You Waging Warfare On Your Knees?
Dealing with grief has been one of the toughest situations I have ever faced in life. Yet, it is also one of the most spiritual times in life. My need for God and sensing His power and presence grow more acute each day. I have found continued comfort in the life of King David. David learned to trust in the Lord during the dephs of depression and threats of danger. Is God your refuge no matter what the circumstance?
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.(Psalm 142:1-4 ESV)
This morning the Lord impressed upon me Psalm 50:23 "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God." As a result, I spent some time thanking God for my late wife, children, friends, church, good circumstances, difficulties, and whatever the future holds. All of us are in transition and in some cases the transition feels overwhelming. Feelings are often misleading but the word of God and the Spirit of God never mislead. We all have the tendency to thank and praise God when life goes well but He wants us to sacrifice honest thanksgiving no matter what the circumstances. What thanksgiving can you give as it relates to a difficult situation in your life?
When people come alongside my life today, what will they see, what will they hear? Will they see a man of faith or a work of doubt? Will they hear words of self-pity, or a song of trust? Will they hear a sigh of sorrow, or a psalm of praise?
Title: I Know I can Trust You
O great and mighty God praise and honor be to You. You are my God no matter what happens to me or the people I love. You are sovereign in the day and sovereign in the night. You are sovereign in the calms and sovereign in the storms. You are sovereign in good health and sovereign in sickness. You are sovereign in life and sovereign in death. You reign in righteousness and truth. I know I can trust You.
Thank You Almighty God for the life of my wife and the years of our marriage. I lift her up to You Lord of living and Lord of dead. Although she lost the battle of her life here on this temporary earth, she won the war in Your celestial eternity. Because You conquered death, she is able to have eternal life. No more cancer, no more pain. I know I can trust You.
You, O Lord have never withheld Your love and compassion for me, my wife, or my family. Your loving kindness and Your truth has and will continually surround us in life and in death. Help me to stay strong as a man of God. Help me to be the rock my family needs. Enable me to see those who need comfort and to comfort others with the comfort You are giving me. You are my help and my deliverer, my shield and my rampart. I know I can trust You.
Open my eyes that I may see You in the land of the living. There are things You reveal and there are things You have hidden that force me to walk by faith. Help me stay strong by never doubting in the darkness what You have revealed in the light. Continue to open my eyes that I my behold wondrous things from Your word and to be filled with Your inward abiding Holy Spirit. I know I can trust You.
Yesterday while riding in my Jeep, I listened to Chris Tomlin's song White Flags. Later last night I read Blackaby's classic Experiencing God. Both the music and written message drove home the theme of total surrender. Jesus said to them, "my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work." In order to do his work you need to surrender moment-by-moment and day-by-day. Are you surrendering?
To this I say. "YES!" Whenever the enemy can get us to doubt the goodness and love of our God, everything about us caves in. Spiritual discipline begins with accepting what God brings into our lives as coming from a God of infinite love, goodness, justice, and holiness. I know I can trust Him.
Billy Graham repeatedly stated, "I do not know what the future holds, but I do know Him who holds the future."
In The Seven Laws of the Harvest, author John W. Lawrence states, "A mature person is not mature because he knows a great number of facts. He is mature because he can relate the facts of Scripture to experience and so solve problems in daily living. By use of the Word, he is able to distinguish between that which is good and that which is intrinsically and basically wrong. I agree.
When our political leaders sow wrong, we who are believers, right along with others, will be involved in reaping the wrong. We cannot escape the consequences of what happens in our midst. Keep in mind that the corrupt society also has a corrupting influence upon the good as well as the bad. We do not need a reformed society, we need a redeemed people.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Galatians 6:7).