May 07, 2019
The story of Hannah and her husband Elkanah, told in 1 Samuel, Chapter 1, is gut-wrenching and real. Hannah was barren and it broke her heart. Other things complicated this, robbing her of joy.
But there is one verse that changed everything.
Hannah's grief was real and palpable. God doesn't want us to "fake it," vainly acting like we're not troubled. He knows what’s going on in us. Our hurts, fears, disappointments and questions. He wants us to be honest with Him.
Hannah was hurting, but the difference-maker was that she took her hurt to the right Source.
Hannah looked up. Her response was not merely inward in grief or self-pity, or horizontal to try to look to others or figure her problem out herself. Hannah's response was vertical and her prayer brought God into the equation.
God heard her prayer (as He always does) and, in this situation, provided her with a son. And not just any son. His name became Samuel and he proved to be one of the most powerful, godly leaders in Israel's history.
Has your distress lingered and you are finding no relief? If you are in trouble, have you done the one thing that makes all the difference? Have you really, continually "prayed to the Lord?"
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020