His Servants Ye Are To Whom Ye Obey Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness? – Romans 6:13-16
Servants to God For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Romans 6:20-23
Give Me Now Wisdom and Knowledge In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead. Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great? – 2 Chronicles 1:7-10
Wisdom and Knowledge is Granted Unto Thee And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like. – 2 Chronicles 1:11-12
I Will Bless the LORD, Who Hath Given Me Counsel I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. – Psalm 16:7
Counsel – Purpose; advice given especially as a result of consultation
Purpose – Something set up as an object or end to be attaineD
The Counsel of the LORD Shall Stand There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. – Proverbs 19:21
Many plans are in a man’s mind, But it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand (be carried out). – Proverbs 19:21 AMP
Two Prophets, One Word, One Lie, and a Lesson Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father. And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah. And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass: and he rode thereon, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: for it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. – 1 Kings 13:11-24
God was not pleased that king Jeroboam led Israel into idolatry. He sent a prophet to curse the altar Jeroboam built. The king heard the curse, pointed at the prophet, and demanded that he be seized. The king’s hand froze, and the altar split. The king had the prophet pray, and God restored the king’s hand. The king then invited the prophet to dine at the palace, promising a reward.
But the prophet refused and said, “Even If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: for so was it charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way thou camest.”
Another prophet heard of this and set out to find this prophet who cursed the altar. When the old prophet located him, he invited this traveling prophet to come back, rest, and eat at his home. The traveling prophet said he couldn’t and told him what the Lord had instructed.
The old prophet replied, “I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.”
Then that Bible verse (1 Kings 13:18) ends with these words – But he lied unto him.
The traveling prophet fell for it and went back, ate, and drank. He disobeyed three direct instructions given to him by the Lord. That decision cost him his life as a lion killed him once he left the old prophet’s home.
There is a valuable lesson in this passage.
The traveling prophet had almost completed the assignment given to him by the Lord. He had obeyed precisely what he heard from God. Then an old prophet came along, claiming God-given instructions that contradicted what God had said directly to him. Those instructions were a lie, and he ended up disobeying God by heeding them. Had the traveling prophet obeyed what God had told him and not what someone else claimed God had said, the story would have ended differently.
The same is true for our own lives. Counsel and community are essential, and they can offer direction, clarity, and confirmation. But the words and thoughts of others cannot replace intimacy with and direct instruction from God. When we have heard from God, we are to take those words and obey them. If someone contradicts His instructions by saying, “God told me to tell you . . . ” even if it seems well-meaning, we still must abide by God’s original Word to us. Otherwise, we may find ourselves face-to-face with a lion, as this prophet did.
While God does use people to speak into our lives, God wants you to know His will for you more than He wants others to know it. He wants a personal and intimate relationship with you, with you abiding in Him. And He wants you to have confidence in that relationship, so you have confidence in His Word. He wants YOU to have confidence in HIM!!!
Then Had the Churches Rest And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. – Acts 9:26-31
The Lord Hath Chosen Zion For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish. – Psalm 132:13-18
The Crown of Old Men Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. – Proverbs 17:6
One Year Bible Passages :Exodus 37-38; Matthew 28; Psalm 34:11-22; Proverbs 9:9-10
He Will Teach Me the Fear of the Lord Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. – Psalms 34:11
The Beginning of Wisdom The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10
Obedience to God’s Commands And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses. – Exodus 38:22
Be Not Afraid And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. – Matthew 28:9-10
But Some Doubted Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17
Go Ye Therefore And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20
Oh, Father, I come before You tonight with Your Words on my heart. You are a good, good Father, and I praise You and worship You; I love You! I love Your Son, Jesus. Father, I thank You for sending Your Holy Ghost that teaches me to fear You. I know the Holy Fear of You will bring wisdom and knowledge and understanding. I ask for wisdom so teach me wisdom by bringing great revelation of Holy Fear into my life. Lord, Help me to be obedient to everything that You command me to do in the coming days. Help me to Go Therefore wherever You say to go. Help me to teach all nations all that You have commanded. Help me to remember that You are with me always, even when others can’t be or won’t be. Lord help me not to be afraid. Help me not to doubt You and Your Words. Help me to be open to the new things that You have prepared especially for me in this new and different season. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen! Amen!
“And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly. And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.” – Mark 7:35-36
It’s a mystery to me that sometimes Jesus told those whom he healed to go and tell others, and sometimes he told them to keep silent. The reasons for this are not always obvious from scripture, and I’ve read several commentaries that try to give various explanations. But all attempts at explanation aside, there’s one thing that I cannot get past- that disobedience to Christ, no matter how well-intentioned, is still disobedience.
I don’t want to read too much into this passage here. The man who was deaf and dumb was indeed healed by Christ, but the fact remains that Jesus kept ordering him not to tell anyone what he had done, but he just kept doing it.
Hendriksen takes a pretty strong view of the man when he says, “…it takes more than admiration and enthusiasm to be a true follower of Christ. Many Christ-admirers are lost. The true mark of discipleship is revealed in John 15:14, ‘You are my friends if you do what I bid you.’ The people were doing just the opposite.”
This takes me to a place of self-examination. Am I a Christ-follower or simply a Christ-admirer?
“But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” – Matthew 10:43-45
This seems to defy human thinking. Just take a look at children, what do they do? They fight for the front seat in the car, they want the first piece and biggest piece of cake, they want to be the leader of the pack, etc. Our natural tendencies are not to sit in the back seat, but to drive the car.
Probably the most famous missionary quotes of the twentieth-century was made by Jim Elliot when he said “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Men and women who spend their lives in the pursuits of power and fame lose everything in the end. Those who seek first the kingdom of God and walk as Christ walked, serving others, gain everything in the end.
Lord, I pray that you help me to keep this in the forefront of my very human mind.
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. ~ Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Blessing – a special favor, mercy, or benefit; a gift bestowed by God; to bestow good of any kind upon; protect or guard from evil
Curse – to wish or invoke evil, calamity, injury, or destruction upon a person or group; to afflict with great evil
God set before His people the choice of receiving a blessing or a curse. If they obeyed God’s Word and remained separated from the sin of the surrounding nations, then God’s blessing would come upon them wherever they were. However, if they adopted the ways of the world, God’s curse would come upon them and rob them of life and blessings. Unfortunately, Israel did not take God’s warning seriously and too often they went the way of the unbelievers and fell under God’s curse.
In the book of Joshua, a similar command is given regarding obeying the Word:
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. ~ Joshua 1:7-8
In order to possess the promised land, Joshua and the Israelites had to commit themselves to obeying God’s written Word. It was to be their primary authority. They could not depend on human ideas, traditions, or religions. God commanded Joshua to be faithful to the written word by talking about it, meditating on it, and obeying it fully.
Four requirements for success according to Joshua 1:7-8
To be strong and courageous
To make God’s Word your guiding authority for all believes and actions
To study and meditate daily on God’s Word
To recognize and respond to God’s presence in every area of your life
Meditate – to read quietly or to talk to yourself as you think about something. It implies studying and carefully thinking about God’s Word to know and understand its principles and meaning.
After meditation should come application. After we get understanding, we must apply the Word to every area of our lives. Those who know and obey God’s Word will be prosperous and successful because they will possess the wisdom to do what is right and to achieve God’s goal for their lives. God’s goals and His will equal success. Keep in mind though, that often this doesn’t look like a worldly success.
But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. ~ Joshua 22:5
God gives the same choice to each of us today. If we hate sin, follow Christ and seek to serve him, then his blessing and power will be ours. If we depart from God, we will lose God’s presence, help and covenant protection.
Father, gives us the strength and wisdom to make the right choices today. Help us to stay in Your Word, to hate sin and follow and serve Jesus alone. Help us to do so with a right heart of love. In Jesus Name. Amen!
My friend and I were in the midst of a great tent revival/camp meeting. It looked to be much like the tent revivals of old but it was a modern tent with the old chairs. We stayed there for several nights and days. We had our belongings with us with in bags but we had unpacked them and kind of set up a little place around one of the poles that supported the tent to eat, and sleep and worship. It seemed a great time of worship and the Word and we were feeling very one with the Body and with the Lord.
Then in a flash my friend and I looked at each other and said what the Lord had spoken to each of us and that was, “It is time to leave…GOD said GO AND GO NOW!!!!” Instead of leaving immediately though we started to pack up our things. These weren’t all things of great value to the world but they were things we didn’t want to leave there. They were things like our Bibles, notebooks, pens, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, blankets, etc.
As we were packing a group of Umpah Loompahs (you know of the Willie Wonka movie) came in the tent and stood directly in front of each person that was still there and started singing and doing a dance that seemed to entice those in the crowd to join them. They weren’t doing anything but dancing a rather simple dance and singing a simple song but as each person looked on them they started joining in with them and as they joined you could feel “approval” (I use that as the only word I can think of to describe what it looked to be) was entering their lives.
My friend and I started throwing our things into our bags even faster and then a very clean cut good looking young man came into the tent and sat next to us with his own bags and he began looking around and watching what was going on. We finished our packing and turned for a minute to make sure we hadn’t let anything and the young man took what was in his bags and dumped it into our bags covering our belongings completely. His bags only contained dirt and sand.
I find myself in an interesting place. God asked me to do something. I wasn’t His first choice. I know that and others know that. His first choice said “NO!” for very good reasons they answered that way. I know I was second maybe third choice here. I may have originally been no choice at all. Originally I was perhaps just someone that wanted to participate in a ministry. Only God knows that but no matter what and even still, He asked me. I know His voice. So I said “yes!” One of my friends told me up front to stay out of it because they also sensed God’s first choice. Doublebind for a moment but if you have a choice between God’s voice and a friend’s opinion, even though they are wise counsel…what are you supposed to do? How can you say “no” to God?
I have lost friends over this. Since the day I said yes to God and I am baffled. Should I be? Is this normal I wonder. Why does anyone really care what I am doing for God? When I clean toilets they could care less. Is it their own conviction? Maybe so, maybe they were actually second choice….hmmmm. If a job needs to be done and you know someone else is called does that mean you let it go undone? I don’t think so. God uses the willing. He calls us all. Many don’t answer but the work remains the same. I don’t know. Maybe I am speaking from hurt. But I lost a friend and with her I have obviously lost a couple of others that were connected through her. They don’t even have to tell me…I can see and feel what has happened. It is a loss to me and I find myself in grief. But if someone chooses to distance themselves from you and suddenly seems to want little to do with you when they were such a close part of your life, what can you do? My circle gets smaller and smaller.
I get what some of the mothers of our faith have told me about paying the price just a little bit better now.