Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
Romans 8: 37
“More than conqueror! Can it be?
Lord, is this possible for me?
A life triumphant here to know,
Amidst earth’s tumult, pain, and woe?
That over Satan, self, and sin,
I may, in every conflict, win?
My child, thou shalt have thy desire!
‘Twas I who did thy soul inspire
To seek a closer walk with Me
In undisturbed tranquility.
Be of good cheer, still trust in Me,
And more than conqueror thou shalt be.”
Today’s Study Text:
“After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, ‘Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.’ So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab.”
1 Kings 18: 1, 2
“When We Get A Word From The Lord”
“There is hardly ever a complete silence in our soul. God is whispering to us well nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear these whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not always hear because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.”
Frederick William Faber
In what ways do I listen to the voice of God in my own life?
If, like Elijah, God had come to me with a message about my future, how do I think I would have responded?
“The voice of God is a friendly voice. No one need fear to listen to it unless (she) has already made up (her) mind to resist it.”
A. W. Tozer
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Listening to Your Life
To the Apostle Paul, young Timothy was his son. With continual fatherly kindness and wise words of admonition, the books of 1 and 2 Timothy in the New Testament, leave a record of the interaction between these two committed workers for Christ.
It is in the beginning of the second letter to Timothy where Paul, in writing “to my dear son,” encourages Timothy, “not to be ashamed to testify about our Lord.” And then he goes on to say, “We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all His idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now” (II Timothy 1-8-10, The Message Bible).
With great love and gratitude, Paul shared with his son the fact that God not only calls each of us, but He also empowers us to meet the challenges we will face when accomplishing the work He has conceived for each of us, individually.
I have to say that this is such a “confidence building” passage in the Bible. For we find that God doesn’t just call our name and then hand us a “To Do” list as He orders us to go get busy.
No, instead, His word comes to us. He specifically calls out to us, having designed, as the prophet Jeremiah tells us, “plans for you”. In fact, this passage is such an important part of my life that I would like to share the entire verse as it appears in the Amplified Bible: “‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you’, says the Lord, ‘thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome’” (Jeremiah 29: 11).
It is with the background of the words of the Apostle Paul and the prophet, Jeremiah, that I want to take a look at our study text for today which reveals that the word of the Lord came to Elijah. In other words, God called out to Elijah. He called him for a specific task at a specific time. But what’s more, God even gave Elijah the details of exactly what he was to do, as well as what he was to say. In my mind, you can’t get more specific than that. The fact is that God was undertaking a great revival in the land of Israel. Apparently, from all I have read in the Bible, up to this moment in time, even God’s servant Elijah didn’t have a total visual picture of just how big this revival would be. But God had plans -- and Elijah’s life was central to these plans!
What Elijah did know, for he had learned these lessons at Cherith and Zarephath, was that God could do very big and very unexpected things -- and in very unique ways. Have birds bring you food -- God could do it. Make sure you never missed a meal -- God could do it. Raise your child from the dead -- God could do this, too. Oh and by the way, as in Elijah’s case, make it stop raining in answer to prayer -- God could do it. And so, when God came to Elijah with a word from heaven that said that rain was on the way and Ahab needed to be warned -- Elijah knew, without a doubt, that God was up to something, he just didn’t know exactly what nor how big.
This is something very wonderful for each of us to remember. First, we need to constantly keep our ears open for God’s calling because as the Apostle Paul reminded his son Timothy, every one of us has a “God-calling” placed on the doorstep of our lives. Then as Jeremiah underscores, God has plans for each of us -- plans that are carved-out to fit perfectly with our talents and abilities. And as He did with Elijah, when God calls us He will empower us with all we need to accomplish what He has given us to do. Just never under estimate your God. For in the words of one of my favorite authors, S. D. Gordon, “More is being planned for you by God than had been prayed for by us.” This was Elijah’s God -- and He is your God and mine, too!
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars…The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness…The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in His temple all say, ‘Glory!’”
Psalm 29: 3-5 and 7-9
N.R. S. V.
“Lord, be Thy word my rule,
In it may I rejoice;
Thy glory be my aim,
Thy holy will my choice.
Thy promises my hope;
Thy providence my guard;
Thine arm my strong support;
Thyself my great reward.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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