Word of the Day

Inquire of the Lord

Joshua 9: 14

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

Israel was a strong nation and feared by others because of their prowess in battle. The leaders of Gibeon devised a plan to trick the Israelites into making a treaty with them. Joshua and the other leaders of Israel looked at the evidence presented by the Gibeonites but they did ask the Lord for His wisdom and guidance.

I hate to see Joshua make this mistake because I like Joshua but in truth this is the same mistake I make frequently. There is no limit to the number of questions we can ask the Lord. There is no limit to the wisdom and instruction He will give us. So why don’t we ask God’s advice about everything we do? Is it that we are so self-reliant or do we just not think of it? Maybe we should tie a string around our finger.

God’s will is to level and pave the road before us. He makes our paths straight and level but when we do not inquire of the Lord we end up on the wrong road. Of course that road is rocky and hilly. Not only that but you will also find that God has placed plenty of provision along the road He has paved for you. There are rest areas and fuel stations, there is food and drink. Everything you need has already been staged on the path God has made for you.  

We need to train ourselves to ask for God’s input on every single thing we do. Believe me, He even cares about the smallest details of our lives. In truth, there are no big things to God so He doesn’t see any of our issues or questions as small matters. He is just as happy to advise you on which shoes you should wear today as which job to choose. And I think we need to get ourselves in the habit of asking Him about the small things so that when a larger matter comes up we have already developed a habit of going to Him with it.

There is no charge for every question over three that you ask God so you may as well talk with Him constantly and you don’t want to end up making a pact with the wrong crew just because you did not get heavenly advice first. So, make it your habit to inquire of the Lord in everything. I think you will find much smoother travels when you do.

 

Hear What God is Speaking

Psalm 85: 8

I will hear what God the Lord will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; but let them not turn back to folly.

God is speaking to His people. He is speaking peace and love. He is constantly conveying His thoughts and plans to you. He is a God of revelation and glory so those are necessarily some of the things that He is speaking to your heart. If we will stop and listen for that still, quiet voice within us we will find that He is speaking life and unfailing devotion to our hearts.

When I read this passage yesterday, I was particularly arrested by the phrase, “I will hear what God the Lord will say.” God is speaking but just as important is that we are hearing. This is a strong and declarative statement from the writers of this Psalm that they had predetermined in their own hearts that they would hear what the voice of the Lord was saying. We too should have this same bold confidence. God is not talking to Himself. All of His declarations are for our benefit so we must tune our hearts and ears to listening to Him and we must make up our minds that we will hear His voice speaking to us.

Set your mind today to hearing the voice of the Lord. Take some quiet time to be alone with the Lord and allow Him to speak His wonders and mysteries to you. God has sent a spirit of revelation into the world. For all who will listen this is a time when you can receive the unfolding mystery of God. He has stored up knowledge and wisdom for today. Let your heart receive this blessing of revealed knowledge.

The Facts Don’t Count

Romans 4: 19 – 20

And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.

Of course these verses are speaking of Abraham who is known as the father of faith. God made Abraham a huge promise. He told him that he would be the father of a multitude and that all the families of the earth would be blessed in him. Of course, this was a bit funny to Abraham and Sarah who were childless.

Abraham didn’t start out as the father of faith. He, like the rest of us, had to learn it. He had a promise from God but that promise was in the realm of impossibility. Sarah was barren from youth and now she and Abraham were old. They had a decision to make. Were they going to believe the facts, the evidence of the physical world or were they going to believe God, were they going to invest their belief in the realm of the spirit? This is the same dilemma with which we are all faced. The first verse lets us know that Abraham was well aware of their physical limitations. He was aware of the facts. But, what was he going to let influence him?

Even without the rest of the verse we know that he chose to believe God instead of “reality” because Isaac was born. Had Abraham and Sarah let the physical evidence be the last word then you wouldn’t even know their names today. Abraham would have never become the father of faith and Isaac would not have been born. You see, even though Abraham knew the facts regarding their bodies he did not let them persuade his thinking. Have we not learned yet that there is nothing real about reality? If “reality television” has taught us anything it is that reality is fungible. Someone once said that our perceptions mold our reality. If that is true, then change your perception. That is exactly what Abraham and Sarah did. They began to focus on the promise rather than the problem. Their eyes were glued to the vision of parenting a multitude. They began to disregard the physical limitations and meditate on the fulfilled promise. Then they opened up their mouths and spoke what they believed in their spirits rather than what they saw in the physical. If you back up two verses you see that Abraham learned from God to call those things into being which do not yet exist in the physical (v.17).  Abraham lined up his thoughts, his meditations and his words with the promise of God.

Somewhere along the journey we must each make a decision about what we are going to believe, what we are going to allow our hearts to meditate upon and what we allow our mouths speak. There will always be worldly evidence which contradicts the promise that God has given you. If you believe it then that is what will continuously manifest in your life. If, instead, you choose to determinedly set your focus on the promise of God then you will receive the miracles you need and the blessings of God’s promises will overflow in your life. I wouldn’t suggest that staying steadfast on God’s Word is necessarily the easiest thing to do. If so then you would see many more Christians living in the fulfillment of the promise. We have not all been brought up learning how to let faith be our guide but if we can learn to set our will in accordance with God’s Word and waver not at the promise, then we too will walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. And when we reach that stage, nothing shall by any means be impossible to us.

Water in the Desert

Isaiah 58: 11

And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones.

God has promised that He will guide you and when you follow Him you are necessarily satisfied and strengthened. Those things are in Christ, they are just part of the fulfillment of walking with him and in him. In these days God is calling out to His people as well as answering the cries of their hearts. He wants to be in close fellowship with you, daily fellowship.

I think that sometimes we carry around a deep, unsatisfied thirst. It seems, at times, unquenchable and the reason why is because there is only one thing that will satisfy that burning thirst and that is the Holy Spirit of God. God, however, has promised to fill us. In the New Covenant He has come and made His abode our hearts. Jesus is even now satisfying that deep thirst with his living waters and he promised us we would never thirst again.

Have you had a deep, unquenchable thirst or an unsatisfied hunger? Have you ever felt that there was something missing or that you have just not received enough yet? Maybe you have the sense that there is something more for your life. Then today is your day for today is the day of filling. Jesus is in your presence right now with his hand outstretched. He is calling out your name. Hearken to the word of the Lord and be filled to overflowing. Receive your anointing in the Holy Spirit. Allow yourself to be completely immersed in the waters of the Holy Spirit. You will find that you are quite comfortable and you will find healing for aches you didn’t even know you had. Your Father desperately wants to give you all of Himself. Open your heart and receive His abundance in the name of Jesus.

The Glory of the Lord

Isaiah 58: 10

And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday.

When I read this verse I also hear Isaiah 61 which is Jesus’ commission. Do you recall in Luke 4 that Jesus entered the temple and stood up to read and the book of Isaiah was handed to him? He read Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives…” and so on. This is the mission of Jesus in the earth. When you read today’s verse in the light of Isaiah 61 and Luke 4 you see the prophetic utterance that was on Isaiah when he wrote what we know today as chapter 58.

Jesus has in fact given himself to feeding the hungry. Just think of the times he fed the great multitudes as well as how he is the bread of life to us all today. He came that he might fill the desire of the afflicted bringing them the good news of the gospel. This light, then, that Isaiah spoke of which will rise in the darkness is the glory of God which is in Christ Jesus and all his work. When the work, the commission of Jesus is performed his glory shines so that the darkness must give way. Jesus’ glory shines as brightly as the noontime sun. There is no gloom in the glory of God.

In addition, you must understand that today’s verse is also a personal word to you today. We all operate under the commission of Christ. I was flabbergasted the first time God gave me Isaiah 61 as a personal message because I didn’t understand that each of us is called under Christ’s commission. Think of the military for a moment. We have been commissioned as officers in Jesus’ great army but the commission is not authorized in our name but rather in Jesus’. We are under his great commission and authority. Therefore, Isaiah 61 refers to you just as it does to Jesus. So, God is revealing to us today that when we give ourselves to the performance of Jesus’ commission the glory of the Lord will be revealed and will light up the dark places. In other words, we can affect the glory of the Lord. Isn’t that exciting? When we operate under our commission and give ourselves to feeding the hungry, helping the afflicted, preaching good news, etc. then we cause God’s glory to radiate. When you hear this, though, do not only think of the poor in your community. God has a much broader concept in mind. You can shine God’s light in the lives of your employees, boss, family, the person at the grocery store; literally every person you meet. Don’t forget the poor but don’t ignore the person in the cubicle next to you either.

Notice one thing more. Today’s verse teaches that we are to “give ourselves” to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted. It does not say that we are to give bread to the hungry. It says that we give ourselves. This then is not a passing smile or a casual nod. Our commission requires that we give of ourselves. This means our inner self or our real self. We must strip away the mask that we carry through our work day and allow the love of God to shine through. We must open the treasure trove of our hearts for that is where God and Jesus live. The only way we are going to satisfy the desire of the afflicted is to give them the heartfelt love of the Christ. When we give ourselves to the needs of others the glory of the Lord Jesus shines. When the glory of the Lord shines, the love of God is revealed. Every ray of sonshine illuminates and reveals the Father.

Would you like to see the glory of the Lord? Watch as you give yourself over to the needs of humanity. Christ will be revealed and his glory will drive away all darkness.

His Answer To Your Call

Isaiah 58: 9

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

What is the cry of your heart? Is there something deep in your heart that perhaps you have not articulated to God? Let it out. Cry unto the Lord with all your heart. Call His name and expect Him to answer you.

This verse should encourage you that God’s eyes are upon you. He is hearkening to the voice of your call. He is listening. There may even be a secret meditation that you have scarcely allowed yourself to consider. God is moving upon the church and upon His children to answer those heart cries. Perhaps there is something that you have held in your heart but have never had faith to actually believe God for. Secretly you have desired this thing with a deep longing. Maybe you have spoken to God about it but have yet to see it manifest and have harbored doubt and resentment because of its lack of fulfillment. God is speaking to you today. Open up your mouth and converse with Him. Tell Him of the desires of your heart. Reach down into the depths of your heart, to that place even you rarely visit and search out what is there. This is the place where you keep what is most important to you but also those dreams which are so big that you do not even have the faith to give voice to them. You hide them away so that you will not be disappointed when they are not realized but you, none the less, have bitter feelings toward God because they have not materialized. 

Be of good heart. God is listening for the call of His people. He is tuned in to your frequency. Have faith that He is a God of love and truth and that having given you this verse today He will not be silent when you call out. If you believe that He is a God of truth who cannot and will not lie then receive that His answer to you is “Here I am.” He is not a God who is far off but one who is as close as your next breath. He longs to share with you the meditation of your heart and the deep cries of longing. Call out to Him and receive His answer.

The Other Son

Luke 15: 31

And he said to him, “My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.”

Jesus told the story of the prodigal son and most of us are familiar with the story of the lost son who returns.  It is a great depiction of the love of the Father and His saving grace.  Take a moment, though, and look at the other son.  He was angry that when the wayward son returned that their father celebrated with great rejoicing while he, the older brother, had faithfully served his father for years without out misstep or complaint.  He saw all of the attention lauded on the found lost sheep and was jealous.  When he complained to his father he was also met with compassion and understanding.  The father told him that he owned belonged to this faithful son.

The parallel in this story is that you are not the lost but rather the faithful.  Sure, at one time perhaps you strayed but then you were found.  Or maybe you never wandered far from the Father’s house.  In either case you must see yourself now as the elder brother, not the lost prodigal.  When the prodigal son returned to the house of the father, the father ordered a robe to be put on him and sandals and a ring.  Then the father ordered the fatted calf to be slaughtered for a great banquet in honor of the returning brother. 

It is intriguing that there was a fatted calf.  The father did not wait for the son to appear and then order a calf to be set aside for a feast.  No, there was already a calf ready for a festival.  The older son could have thrown a party any day.  The father told him, “All that I have is yours.”  He did not need to wait for the father to throw a party for him.  He had already been given the keys to the kingdom.

In like manner, everything that Father God has is yours.  You do not have to wait.  He has already given you all right to everything He has.  Already the kingdom is yours.  You are a ruler over this kingdom along with your father.  All of His power is yours.  You can even throw a feast and serve the fatted calf.  You have all of the rights and privileges pertaining to the kingdom of your father.  He has even given you the use of His name.  You are entitled to your robe now, your ring now and you do not have to go around barefooted.  All of the assets of the kingdom are available to you.  So exercise your freedom as the child of the king.  Don’t wait around for God to throw you a party.  He has already given you everything the kingdom owns.  There is nothing left for Him to give you, He is holding nothing back.  Just go throw a party and invite all your friends.  You are a joint heir with Jesus so begin to exercise your rights.