Chronological Bible: June 1, Work as unto the Lord?…

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Read:

  • 2 Kings 13:1-25
  • 2 Kings 14:1-22
  • 2 Chronicles 22:10-23:21

The highlighted account in 2 Kings 13:14-19 reminds me, yet again, of something I seem to so easily forget. I pray for a mighty movement of God, or deliverance, or guidance. And He hears me. However, sometimes I forget that I am supposed to also be working through the situation. I pray. I wait. I pray again. I wait again. At some point frustration creeps in, leading to underlying questions of whether my prayers are working or if there is something standing in the way.

There is something standing in the way. That something is me. Praying hard and working hard are not mutually exclusive concepts. One does not negate the need for the other, nor does one overshadow the other. To be clear, if God tells you to wait, wait. However, so many times there is work to be done. And though the direction may not come in crystal clear stereo, if He hasn’t said to not work, then maybe we need to be working on that thing too.

Ask Him now where you might need to be working rather than waiting.

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Chronological Bible: May 15, Building momentum…

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Read:

  • Ecclesiastes 9:1-12:14

“…that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…” Ecclesiastes 9:9b-10a, ESV

I get lazy. Sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, sometimes spiritually…and usually when one area lags, the others speed along with it. Speedy laziness, quite the paradox. Inertia powers so much of our existence. We continue to do whatever we do. So whether in laziness or intentionality,  the momentum we create today will impact our experience tomorrow.

What momentum are you creating today? How do your plans for tomorrow set you up for success or failure? “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”

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Chronological Bible: March 9, For the taking…

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Read:

  • Joshua 17:1-19:51

The children of Joseph questioned Joshua’s accounting of giving them only one lot of land. They were many, they were great, and they felt they could not fit in the one measly lot provided. Joshua did not correct them; he even seemed to agree with them. But, judging by their reaction, his response to them was a bit unexpected.

“So Joshua answered them, ‘If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you.'” –Joshua 17:15, NKJV

Wait, what? They got what they asked for: more land. But, wait. They have to clear it themselves? This can’t be right, can it? So they question Joshua again, citing the strong army of the Canaanites that need to be driven out of that additional land. Surely, there was something easier. Joshua acknowledged their concern, and responded yet again:

“You are a great people and have great power; you shall not haveonly one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it iswooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.” –Joshua 17:17-18, NKJV

Yes, the land is wooded, but you can clear it. Yes, the enemy is strong, but so are you.

Like Joseph’s children, I ask and ask of God. Like Joseph’s children, I am not wrong in my asking. But like Joseph’s children, I tend to want the land cleared of obstacles and enemies. He is God, after all. He can do that with a blink. But He asks of me too–if I want the greater land, there is work to be done. If I want to spread out, there is an enemy to conquer.

So the question is this: am I willing to do the work required to get the result for which I ask? Let me be clear, there is no work required to receive the grace of God. We need not work to please Him for He is already pleased. But if we want bigger, sometimes we have to swing an axe or two. If we want that land over there, we may have to draw the sword and engage the enemy.

But fear not. Like Joshua, if God has availed the land to you and has called you strong enough to conquer the enemy, He means it. It is yours for the taking; you just have to do the taking.

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Chronological Bible: February 5, Celebrating sabbath…

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Read:

  • Leviticus 23:1-24:23

As I read this passage, I reflect on how we celebrate God. A sabbath rest is commanded by God, true. It also celebrates everything He has done. Taking a sabbath rest shows that our trust is in One greater than ourselves. Rest recognizes that we cannot do it on our own, even during the other six days of the week. Rest evidences the trust one has in the One Who carries us through it all.

I have taken a personal challenge in the last month to honor the sabbath. I plan my week so that for one day I may rest. And when I struggle to actually rest, I ask God to show me Him, that my trust might be bolstered and my rest might be sure.

Do you celebrate God with a sabbath rest? Is He calling you to do that now?

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Image by Annika Banfield

Psalm 127: Rest, dear one…

 

“…He gives His beloved sleep.” –verse 2

God builds the house. He watches the city. And He gives His people sleep. He provides that we may rest in His provision. He guides that we might focus on His hand rather than the obstacles around us. He works in yoked tandem that we may know both work and rest.

You are His beloved. And He gives His beloved sleep.

Lay down your over-working hands. Lean against the strong wall He guards and take a breather. He modeled sabbath rest that we might believe Him when He says He provides rest.

The world will not fall apart because you neglected a watch that was not yours to hold. Let Him do what He does. Embrace the rest He provides that you may be energized when the time for work comes.

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