Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 31-Nov 6

Monday: Joshua 15
Tuesday: 2 Chronicles 23
Wednesday: Psalm 16
Thursday: Isaiah 20
Friday: Amos 3
Saturday: John 4
Sunday: Galatians 6


Prairie Chick said...

Joshua 15

14 And Caleb drove from there the three sons of Anak--Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai--the descendants of Anak.

What cultural/worldly "giants" have I needed to drive out of my personal territory in order to live an empowered spirit led existence? It has been things like Mr. Busyness, who distracts me from finding time to learn and grow in and be rooted in the truths imparted by The Great Teacher. It has been things like dying to my own desires and devoting myself to meeting the needs of my husband, my kids, people around me in need. It has been things like embracing forgiveness and refusing to harbor any feelings of self pity, despair, bitterness or offense. All of these are giants I have driven away through victory in the spirit and a heart emboldened to lay claim to the territory He has promised me, a spiritual oasis overflowing with milk and honey. He is good!

After this weekend's conference the boldness of Achsah stood out to me. She knew what she wanted, arose and boldly went forward to bring it about. And she was rewarded. She wasn't sitting around fussing about her makeup or accessories, or the like. She was going for goal. I like that.

Lastly, 63But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out; so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.

What giants am I not succeeding in driving out of my life? What unwholesome riff raff am I allowing to remain and clutter my life and distract me from what really matters? I think for me it is the desire/need/hunger to "belong". To be one of the "crowd" and not to feel like a misfit. This is coming up in my women's bible study from the book of Daniel. We need to picture our culture like a spiritual Babylon, one of self fulfillment, self aggrandizement and over indulgence. Satan wants to draw us into that culture and away from What Really Matters. A life of peace and thankfulness and worship that is centered on living unto Christ to the fullest and not storing up pleasures or pet pursuits of our own.

Lois said...

Good thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

Prairie Chick said...

2 chronicles 23

7 The Levites must stay near the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. If anyone tries to enter the Temple, kill him. Stay close to the king when he goes in and when he goes out."

10 Then Jehoiada told the soldiers where to stand with weapon in hand. There were guards from the south side of the Temple to the north side. They stood by the altar and the Temple and around the king.

Still mulling over thoughts from last weekends conference, about being awake, alert, on guard, armed. There are people in my life who need protecting, who need me and many others to stand guard over them when they are vulnerable and exposed. I have people like that in my life right now. I pray that they will feel surrounded like the picture of Jehoiada in this chapter, that they will not fear when faced with danger, because they have such a great crowd of support and people hemming them in and lifting them up.

Chris said...

Goosebumps. I love this chapter in 2Chron. I can still see the vivid illustrations in my mind from this story in a favorite Bible storybook. To imagine the tension and nervous excitement as the new king was crowned on the sly would have been incredible. Also, to imagine the crowds breaking forth after Athaliah's death to smash altars and do away with the servants of Baal would have been like a modern-day riot!

I liked your ruminations of Joshua, Nichole... thinking about this one.

Prairie Chick said...

Psalm 16

Oh wow. I haven't had such an adrenaline pumping, heart pounding "moment" in the Word as this in a while! God is revealing a stronghold in my life, through my women's bible study, through "talking stuff out" with a few godly women, and hearing a timely word like this after a knock me off my feet sermon I read last night, the light is dawning and I am seeing the "idols" that I turn to in my own life. I am excited to know, I am excited to get clarity. I am excited to turn to Christ with ALL my heart and not get distracted by pursuing pleasure and fulfillment in idolatry.

4 Don't just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I'll never treat god-names
like brand-names.

5-6 My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I'm your choice!

I HIGHLY recommend the following sermon.

all I can say is wow. wow. wow. we all have idols. this sermon brings them to light. I am not ashamed to see the idols in my own life, I am thankful that the scales are falling and I am feeling empowered by the Spirit to GROW UP.

Joan said...

Ps. 16:10 - So glad God will not forget me when I die. This is our real security.

Chris said...

I love David's heart here. "You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.

Such a good reminder in vs 4 too-
"the sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods."

The assurance in the latter verses are awesome too - "always before me, at my right hand, not be shaken."

Mac an Rothaich said...

Psalm 16 v5 and 6, oooh made me think... to inherit often means you are chosen. This verse obviously talks about the writer choosing God as his only but it seems to point to God choosing him. Just reminded me of the beauty of relationship (a both way relationship) we can have in God and that relationship is what God wants and designed for us.

v10 was just reading the other day where, was it Peter... this verse was preached about Jesus 'nor will you allow your holy one to see corruption"

Lois said...

vs 8 "I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
My goal. How many times in my life do I feel shaken, when I wouldn't have to, if I would just keep my eyes on the Lord instead of the problems.

Prairie Chick said...

>>Just reminded me of the beauty of relationship (a both way relationship) we can have in God and that relationship is what God wants and designed for us.<<

Yes, Becky, good to see you here. This struck me yesterday as well, I am chosen, what a privilege. I will not neglect the one who has chosen to love me with an everlasting love, I will make Him my first and only!

Prairie Chick said...

>>How many times in my life do I feel shaken, when I wouldn't have to, if I would just keep my eyes on the Lord instead of the problems.<<

Amen. So true.

Prairie Chick said...

Isaiah 20. Seems to be such a "historical" and odd, difficult to digest on a personal level chapter if you read it that way (as history). Upon reflection I was able to take a personal and practical lesson from it though.

You have to wonder if Isaiah didn't try to shake the wax out of his ears when He got that message from the Lord. Seriously, Lord? Am I getting this right? But he didn't do a Jona escape act, he literally bared his buttocks and made himself more vulnerable to rejection and ridicule than any of us can probably imagine, he was literally a fool for God.

When you are walking close enough to God that He is communing with you on a soul to soul level, giving you the mind of Christ, you put yourself in a position to look like a lunatic in the eyes of the "down to earth" and when glimpses of your relationship with God are viewed by them you are open to attack and judgement and ridicule because they just. don't. get. it.

Obedience is where it's at. Even when it makes you look foolish in the eyes of the foolish. Not easy, but man, it drives you closer to the soul of your Redeemer when you start to understand a little bit of the earthly rejection He faced on a daily basis, and love Him all the more for how He faced it with such patience and grace and eternal goodness.

Sheila said...

Amos 3
I was struck by v 10 where he says ". . people have forgotten how to do right. . ." I just recently wondered out loud to some of my peers about young adults who have a great testimony & are baptized, & seem so sure of their place as God's children. Then, after they go out on their own sometimes they seem to "forget" all that & live without God. Here's my answer. My footnotes say, "The longer we wait to deal with sin, the greater the hold it has on us." I must remember to deal with sin immediately, so to be always reminded that I am His.

Chris said...

I'm glad for your thoughts on Isaiah 20, Nichole. It does seem ludicrous for God to ask Isaiah to do such a seemingly ridiculous thing to do. When I have such an intimate relationship with the Lord, anything He asks of me will be what I need to do, regardless of the nature of the request. As I come to know Him more, He will put more trust in me, allowing me to do greater things for Him. Reminds me of being responsible with small things, resulting in being trusted with larger things.

Prairie Chick said...

amos 3

v3 "Do two people walk hand in hand
if they aren't going to the same place?"

If I am not going where God is going/leading/inviting, I am not "hand in hand" with Him. I'm walkin' solo. Why in heaven's name would I ever choose to balk, turn or resist the joy of walking hand in hand with the Lover of my Soul and the Author of my Story? It makes no sense, and yet it is a daily struggle to give in, take hold, and follow joyfully and in anticipation where He is leading.

Chris said...

John4 - what a packed chapter! For starters- I didn't realize Jesus didn't do any of the baptizing! I wonder how Jesus felt sitting at the same well Jacob had been at... could he remember with clarity the emotions and events of the time? I love the tender way Jesus drew the Samaritan woman into conversation. He is the Master of segue, hey? I want that heavenly mindset- to point each conversation toward Jesus and his plan and love for each person. And I LOVE that He revealed Himself AS the Savior to this woman- that the Samaritans were some of the first people to actually get this concept, and accept Him as Lord.

Prairie Chick said...

John 4. For some reason this chapter brought back Cam's sermon on the cracked and empty cisterns and idolatry. The trying to be filled and always pouring out, never retaining peace, joy, fulfillment which can only be found through the living water, through Christ. My heart felt squeezed when I read "if only you knew the free gift of God...." how many don't know. How many don't grasp the love and goodness and wisdom of God. May I not waste time at cracked cisterns, may I come, drink and be filled with living, flowing, life changing water, and may that water flow from me to whet the appetite of those who do not know.

Mac an Rothaich said...

I love how Christ made it clear that it doesn't matter where and how you worship, but that worship shouldn't just be a religious act but a life sacrifice. He has always wanted our hearts.

Jesus reached out to these 'wrong side of the tracks kinda folk' and I just love that about him. He is so gracious to all. The Samaritans seemed so ready to embrace him. May I always be that open to believe in who Christ says he is and what he says he will do!

Mac an Rothaich said...

Galatians 6 is a favourite chapter of mine lately. Went through it in depth at a ladies study just a few weeks ago and gained so much from it.

v 4 and 5 brought me back to when I was first a mom and just gave up my career as well as most of my freedom. I lost my person beyond being a mom. God found me and I matured past that hard stage, but this verse made me sympathise with that girl again and inspired this post:

The beginning of the chapter brings so much wisdom to an important part of being part of the body; and that is how to deal with brothers and sisters who confess to you. We are called to confess our sins one to another so it is ESSENTIAL that Paul then teach how that all should work on the receiving end. After a week of intense pressure as two friends approached my husband and I with sins and struggles do with to those sins I was so ready for the clarity of this chapter.

Finally, I love the verse about not growing tired of doing good. It is just a blessing to my life as it pops in my head, reminding me we will see the crop of our endurance in Christ and his law of love. It reminds me that it is obvious to Paul, and the Spirit of our saviour living in us, that it isn't easy to do good and the encouragement factor of that verse spells out another aspect of Christ's relationship to me... he knows, he cares thus he hopes and encourages us to win the good fight in his Spirits power:)

Mac an Rothaich said...

I see now that I could have arranged that post better, I am jumping around a bit... guess it is because I stayed up till after twelve to get a chance to write this out... anyhow:) Night!

Berry Girl said...

John 4:
there is a great scene in The Silver Chair between Jill and Aslan that always makes me think of this passage. Such a powerful moment.

Chris said...

Which part, Jen?

Prairie Chick said...

it all made sense to me, Beck. Thanks for sharing :)

Berry Girl said...

The first time that Jill meets Aslan:

“If you are thirsty, you may drink.”

They were the first words she had heard since Scrubb had spoken to her on the edge of the cliff. For a second she stared here and there, wondering who had spoken. Then the voice said again, “If you are thirsty, come and drink,” and of course she remembered what Scrubb had said about animals talking in that other world, and realized that it was the lion speaking. Anyway, she had seen its lips move this time,and the voice was not like a man’s. It was deeper, wilder, and stronger; a sort of heavy, golden voice. It did not make her any less frightened than she had been before, but it made her frightened in rather a different way.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the lion.

“May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion – no one who had seen his stern face could do that – and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping up water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You didn’t need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once.

Chris said...

oooh! shivers!

Berry Girl said...

yeah, every time I read that passage in the book I think of the woman at the well and Jesus.