Focus on the Message and not the Messenger

There is a story in the Bible in the 5th chapter of 2 Kings about Naaman.  Naaman was a commander in the Syrian army who came down with leprosy.  He was told about a prophet, Elijah, whose God could heal him.  Naaman, along with a great entourage, goes to Elijah’s house but he is shocked when Elijah sent a messenger out to see him and did not come out to see him personally.  Naaman was insulted by this because he felt that a man of his position in society deserved more than this and secondly, he was appalled by what Elijah told him to do.  Elijah told him to go and dip seven times in the muddy Jordan River and then he would be clean.  Naaman had a serious problem with these instructions because it was not at all what he expected.  He had expected Elijah to come out and put his hands on him and then call upon his God for healing – but all he got was instructions to do something he thought was beneath him.

Never let pride get in your way of receiving what God has for you.  Naaman thought a lot of himself and assumed that others did as well.  This story teaches us that we are not to disregard a word from God because it did not come through a person we expected, nor should we pass up an opportunity to get a miracle because God tells us to do something that we do not want to do.  The Bible tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice and that is all God is looking for.  It wasn’t the muddy Jordan River that healed Naaman, it was obeying the word of God that healed Naaman.  Fortunately for Naaman, the people around him encouraged him to do what he was told, and finally he did so and he was cleansed.  It is not our job to judge what God says; it is our job to obey what God says.  God’s ways are not our ways and whatever God tells you to do, just do it.  It might not make sense to you but it is then that you realize that God has the power to do anything and everything, in His own way and in His own time.  God will exalt those who humble themselves and there is no place in His kingdom for pride or selfishness.

If you need a miracle today, learn from Naaman and position yourself to hear from God, and when you do, don’t doubt it, don’t try to figure out why – just submit and obey.

Sifted to Strengthen

We often forget that Satan is prowling around looking for anyone, and I do mean anyone, whom he can devour.  He does not want any child of God to live in victory so he makes sure that Believers are constantly tempted to sin and become powerless.  Satan is afraid of the powerful Believer who is living a godly life because the light that they shine dispels his darkness.

The 22nd chapter of Luke tells us how Satan desired to have Simon Peter but Jesus told Simon that he had prayed for him that his fail would not fail.  We know that in this life we will have trouble but we have our Lord and Savior sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us.  Could we ask for anything more?  Many of us spend our prayer time giving God our wish list but realize that Jesus is praying for our faith.  We all have been given a measure of faith, but in times of trouble, it is our faith that decides whether we win or lose.  If our faith is strong, it will pull us through our trials and tribulations.  As long as we are on this earth, we are in a battle – a spiritual battle and somethings we might become weak as Simon Peter did, but when we fail, we must get back up and strengthen our brothers.  We all need encouragement and we will learn valuable life lessons that need to be passed along to others so they will know how we overcame and our testimony will give them hope.

We are being sifted to strengthen; we are to move forward and help our fellowman as much as possible.  Your pain is not for you alone, but for all those who will come into your life that are also fighting battles of their own. God has a purpose and a plan for your life and His plans do not change because you have to go through hard times.  God has everything under control and you are to rest in that.  Jesus prayed that your faith would not fail because it is your faith that will propel you to push forward no matter what.  So don’t be surprised when trouble comes, just remember that that is the time that you seek the presence of God and rely on your faith to take you to the next level. As you have been strengthen, you are to strengthen others.


Do Not Fear Change

Not many people embrace  change.  They are so use to the way things are that they fail to realize that some changes are good and will only make their lives better.  Communication changes have been constant and will continue to change to take us into the future.  No longer do we have to go out of town to visit a loved one.  Now we can post a note to them on Facebook or see them via Skype, and who knows how we will communicate in the next decade, but it is certain that it will be different than it is right now.

Christians must also change and the word of God is there to direct you.  The Bible tells us that a wise man will see danger and avoid it (change) but a foolish man will not change and that man will suffer for it. (Proverbs 27:12). Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.  Do not fear change because change is the answer to taking you from one undesireable place to the place God has planned for you.  You should pray that God gives you the wisdom and courage to not only recognize that a change is needed, but the courage to make that change no matter what it is.

Sometimes changes are made because of brokenness.  God will not despise a broken heart or a contrite spirit.  He loves it when His children come to him and ask for His help, thus you will become totally dependent upon Him.  Change will also cause humility.  If you humble yourself before the Lord, He will exalt you.  Pride comes before a fall but God gives grace to the humble.  Change will come if you are honest with yourself to recognize that what you are doing is no longer working.  That might be hard but it will propel you to move forward.

While going through changes in your life, hold on to your faith.  Continue to hope; continue to trust Almighty God and believe that He is working everything out for your good.  Do not be afraid to let go of the past.  Some things are best left in the past so that you do not move into the future carrying old things that will weigh you down.  If you trust God, you will find yourself in a position to accept the decisions He makes regardless if you agree with those decisions or not.  Finally, be grateful for what you have.  God has promised never to leave you, and it is His grace that is keeping you.  You might not have everything that you have prayed for but you do have your life.  Do not take it for granted.  Daily thank the Lord for His goodness and kindness towards you.

Let this be your prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change: the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.



God Wants to Get Your Attention

There are so many ways to get someone’s attention.  Babies sometimes cry just to have someone pick them up.  Young people may chose to dress a little out of the ordinary just to get attention.  Single adults do a number of things to get the attention of the opposite sex.  We all have done something at one time or another to get the attention of someone but God also wants to get our attention.  God knows each of us better than any one else and He knows exactly what to do to make us stop and really see Him.  He knows how to shine a spot light on us.  God wants to stop us in our tracts so that He can speak to us; so that He can redirect us and most of all, so we can get to know Him in a more intimate way.

The Bible tells us about Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus.  God let a light shine from Heaven down upon him and Saul immediately knew that it was the Lord.  After God got Saul’s attention, Saul became the Apostle Paul and wrote most of the New Testament.  Saul became a changed man for the better.  Saul was once a persecutor of the church and then became one of the most profound leaders of the church.  No one can have an encounter with God and remain the same.  God changes the heart of a person and after that, we are able to fulfill God’s purpose for us.  We might think that we are doing ok for ourselves, but it’s possible that God has a different plan for us and the only way to turn us around is to get our attention first.  Doing the will of God makes all the difference in our lives.

Has God gotten your attention yet?  Are you fulfilling the will of God for your life in the way that God intended?  Maybe you are still searching for something to fill the void in your life.  If you are in the middle of challenging circumstances, consider the fact that God wants you to draw close to Him so that you can hear Him speak to you.  God’s ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts.  You might even be in a good place right now but be open to the fact that there could be more – much more and the only way you will reach the next level is to pay attention to that still small voice within you.  Focus on the light and let the light lead you to your promise land.