Withholding the Promise

1 Samuel 16

 

It is not of God’s nature to withold any promise, but we must wait on Him and not rush His plans that He has for us.

David Anointed King

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

 

  1. Sanctify Yourselves

God has to set you apart in order for Him to set you up. You may look on the outside thinking more about the delay but He is preparing you to do a mighty work for Him. Don’t focus on the issue focus on His calling.



When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

 

  1. Look at the Heart

We tend to look on the outside of a person and not the heart, we are so good at noticing the small things, their failures, their habits. But are we praying for them or just observing? Just imagine how useful we would be if we had the eyes of God instead the eyes that judge.

Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”

 

After the seven sons had passed by Samuel, there were none to anoint.

Just when you think God has forgotten about you. He see’s your heart and knows when to deliver what needs to be delivered at the right time! Don’t be sitting at the table waiting…get back to work being a labour of the harvest.

 

And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

The only son that is left is David, a short, handsome looking man that is raggidy and not presentable to be a king but God sees differently. Are we busy when God is looking for us? Does He have to call for you or are you at the table?

 

Relationship Application:

It’s so easy to rush God’s plan; so tempting just to find that girl on your own or choose the career that you’ve always dreamed of. But what about waiting on God to call you, so set you up, to deliver whatever desire you have on your heart. My prayer always is “God please never let me step out of your will.”

Discussions/Questions

The door that David opened was to be opened only to go into the house to meet Samuel. How many times have we opened doors on our own and found out that there was no table to dine with God?

Challenge:

Pray.

G

The Armour 6:17

the armour

 

Ephesians 17

 

To be a christian is to be a warrior. We cannot expect to find ease in this world because it is a battlefield. Paul explains in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

Our occupation is war and to think otherwise would be like a fool who goes out with no armor everyday. As we put on the pieces everyday, it prepares me for warfare. I hold on to the Truth, I am plated with righteousness, ready at any moment to give an account to those who ask of the faith as I walk in the salvation, knowing that I am loved, makes me want to do the very best for Him.

 

Ephesians 6:17 “and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:8 “ But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.”

 

The helmet of salvation protects us against discouragement, against the desire to give up, giving us hope.

 

“…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

 

To effectively use the sword of the Spirit, we can’t regard the Bible as a book of charms or tie one around your neck the way garlic is said to drive away vampires.

 

We must regard it as the Word of God, if we are not confident in the inspiration of scripture, that the sword really came from the spirit, then how could we use it effectively?

 

We also must take the sword of the Spirit in the sense of depending that He helps us to use it. Not only did the spirit give us the scriptures but also he makes them alive to us (or us alive to them) and He equips us with the right thrust of the sword at the right time.

 

We are not only to take a helmet to protect the head but also a sword. The Lord has not given us orders to be quiet and to take matters lightly, no; we are to pray always, and watch constantly.

 

///Relationship Application\\\

We cannot make it without God, so that means that we cannot make it without His Word.“It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

///Discussions/Questions\\\

Jesus was tempted in every way that man is tempted. But He did not sin, even though He was God, He was still tempted. But He defeated the enemy by not being passive minded but by speaking the Word of God which is sharper than any two edged sword!

///Challenge\\\

Distractions. Excuses. Tools of the enemy to have no time to read His Word. Lay aside the distractions and make it a point everyday to get into The Word.

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The Armour 6:16

the armour

 

Ephesians 6:16

 

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

 

For the LORD God is a sun and shield…” – Psalm 84:11

 

There were two kinds of shields used in ancient combat – one smaller, carried upon the arm, and could be used by the movement of the arm. The other large, planted in front of the soldier, fixed in the ground, and all but covering his whole body. This is the shield that Paul is talking about in his text. A large shield, big enough for us to crouch and to be protected.

 

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“…Wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

 

Archealogists have discovered javelins that were tipped with a combustible substance, not only to puncture but also to burn. The metaphor is that faith is mightier than any attack against the devil. If we stand our ground and don’t move, by planting our shield we shall not be moved!

 

God is our defence and when we start to allow His power to flow through us and works in us then I can laugh at the fiery darts because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

the most dangerous of our temptations are those that are sprung upon us unawares. These are the weapons that we have to fear most. But there are things in us all to which the fiery darts do especially appeal: desires, appetites, passions, our weakness. But we must as Paul says in scripture “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27 why? because Galatians 5:24 adds this “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” We no longer walk after the flesh but rather in the spirit.

 

It’s so important to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8

 

///Relationship Application\\\  

The enemy knows us very well, even though he can’t read our minds, he sees our actions. He knows what fiery darts to throw at us at any given time. We must be on guard, not missing one piece of the armor. The most important piece of the armor is the shield which is the faith.

///Discussions/Questions\\\

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Heb 11:1

Without faith no man can please God. Faith is the foundation of the Christian life. How well are you planted in the faith?

 

///Challenge\\\

To have radical faith.

G

 

Recall What God Remembers

 

“I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.” – Jeremiah 2

 

Am I as filled to overflowing with love for Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He ever find me pondering the time when I cared only for Him? Is that where I am now, or have I chosen man’s wisdom over true love for Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no thought for where He might lead me? Or am I watching to see how much respect I get as I measure how much service I should give Him?

Every day we have is a chance to grow closer to Him, what area is keeping you back from pursuing Jesus?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” – Hebrews 12:1

As I recall what God remembers about me, I may also begin to realize that He is not what He used to be to me. When this happens, I should allow the shame and humiliation it created in my life, because it will bring godly sorrow, and “godly sorrow produces repentance…”(2 Corinthians 7:10).

G

 

The Armour 6:15

the armour

 

Ephesians 15

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace…”

 

No matter what other piece of the armor you have on, if you have an injured foot you are easy prey. Paul is talking about preparing our feet. The sandals that the soldiers wore had thickly sharp nails that grabbed the terrain as they walked, because of this they were able to take longer marches at incredible speeds over rough terrain.

 

Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

 

The idea of preparation is being ready at a moment’s notice. We must be mobile, flexible and ready with the truth. It’s a good habit to live in constant readiness and flexibility.

 

How solid is the ground you are standing on?

 

I would like to dig a little deeper into what Paul is talking about here. The first book we are going to look into is Mark chapter 6. When Jesus sent out the 12, He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bag, no bread, no copper in their fanny packs- but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics.Why? so that they would only have what they needed.

 

In Acts 12:8 when the angel of the Lord appears to Peter in the prison cell saying. “Arise, quickly, gird yourself and tie on your sandals.”

 

When we are barefoot we have no sole to stand on, the ground beneath us becomes hard to walk on, and our feet would become blistered and bruised. But God sent His Son 2000 years ago to be the One who took our place, took our beating and today He is the only shoe that I put on everyday that empowers me and keeps me going.

 

///Relationship Application\\\

Any doctor would tell you to keep your feet in good shape, think about it, if we can’t stand then you can’t walk and if you can’t walk then we can’t run the race that is set before us. Stand today on the only Rock that will keep you safe and empowered by His Spirit for you to do His will!

 

///Discussions/Questions\\\

Do you ever feel spiritually tired?

Jesus told the 12 that He sent out to only carry on them what they absolutely needed. Sometimes I carry too many burdens, burdens that I can’t bear so we have got to do what Jesus tells us to do in Matthew 11:30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

///Challenge\\\

Pray, asking God to present to you a moment to witness to somebody this week, just as Isaiah had wrote, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…”

 

G

The Armour 6:14

the armour

Ephesians 6:14

 

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”

 

In the past verse, it ends with “to stand firm” without Truth we are unable to stand firm. If someone knows Truth, they will know who to trust when a situation rises. Their faith is in Truth. Truth is the foundation that we stand on.

 

Paul wrote this while being in custody of the Roman soldiers, Paul had seen with his spiritual eyes how God has equipped the believer.

 

The breastplate guards the softest part of the body. The heart. This is not our own earned righteous, or a feeling of righteousness but a righteousness received by faith in Jesus.

 

A soldier’s breastplate provides essential protection for the most vital organs. We can no sooner battle against spiritual enemies in our own righteousness than a soldier can effectively fight without his breastplate.

 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isaiah 64:6

 

Isaiah says it best, no matter how hard we try to do good works, it’s not enough for God, it’s not good enough for a perfectly, holy God. It’s by grace through faith that we are saved. When we are His, He sees His Son, His blood that is covering us. So just rest in His Grace!

 

“Salvation is not a result of works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:9

 

///Relationship Application\\\

We all know that we are not saved by good works, but have we ever caught ourselves by saying or thinking, ‘I hope I’m doing enough?’ STOP and rebuke that thought. Satan loves to feed us lies such as those to make us think we are not good enough.

 

///Discussions/Questions\\\

What a thought to think that whenever God looks at His children that He sees the blood, the ones that are covered in righteousness. We have a greater testimony than the angels, think about that!

 

///Challenge\\\

To walk in the righteousness of Christ and stand firm when a temptation or trial comes your way!

 

The Armour 6:11

the armour

Ephesians 6:11

 

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

 

We all know that Jesus has disarmed all principalities and powers (colossians 2:15)

But we must still put on the whole armor to stand against the devil.

 

In Luke 11:21,22 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.

 

Just like being a soldier of the US Army, they give you the outfit, the uniform to complete every kind of duty out on the battlefield. From the Kevlar helmet to the soles of their boots they are covered. But what if they were to forget a piece of the uniform during a fire-fight, let’s say the Kevlar chest piece? He would be taking a huge risk of getting injured. Or the helmet? Or any other piece that is just as important as the rest.

 

Let’s talk in the spiritual realm. We are in a cosmic battle everyday. Their is forces coming against those who are in Christ with one purpose: to distract us away from the Promises of God, from living the life that Jesus offers to the World. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” – John 10:10 but Jesus continues with this “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

 

To live a life of abundance we must do our part, stay alert!

 

If we are ignorant or ignore the fact that we are in a spiritual battle we probably aren’t winning the battle.

 

But God! He gives us a full set of armor through His Son Jesus Christ by trusting in Him we will be able to stand with valor, and as bold as a lion. “We are more than conquerors in Christ” – Romans 8:37

 

///Relationship Application\\\

What God has shown me is to take one day at a time, not to be anxious for tomorrow, not to worry about tomorrows battle. He gives us new mercies everyday and with His anointing I can conquer, defeat and to quench all the fiery darts of the devil with ALL the armor of God.

 

///Discussions/Questions\\\

Like a soldier, forgetting to wear one piece of your armor would be dangerous. Pray everyday that God would enable you to put on the belt of Truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and girding up your loins and the Sword!

 

///Challenge\\\

I challenge my reader’s to ask for strength when you need it, pray for His anointing and His help everyday and see the benefits that He has for you!

G

Desolate

desolate

 

Distressed, dazed and confused; Job was that man. With questions to God why such suffering is taking place in his life, so too you might be asking God the same questions.

We should thank God for our tribulations, do I sound crazy? The Bible tells us in Romans 5:3 ” We also glory in tribulations knowing that tribulations produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope.

Job 16:12 “I was at ease, and he broke me apart; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target;”

His ways are not our ways, we will never understand how God works at least here on earth. In my prayer time I lament over certain areas asking Him why am I going through so much pain with this! But then I remember this verse:

Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. – Isaiah 66:9

In other words ” In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord.

____________________________________________

 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed – 1 Peter 4:12,13

 

In order for God to bring you into a new season, He has to work on you, the old things, the habits, the weights. If we surrender to Him; yes the process will hurt, the temptations will get rough but He never permits the righteous to be moved! Stand your ground and praise Him through the trial.

 

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” – Job 23:10

 

 

G

 

 

 

To Drink or Not To Drink?

o-PINT-GLASS-BEER-facebook

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” —Proverb 20:1

This is a topic that easily becomes a debate, my intentions are to draw anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ to step back and realize why it’s wrong to be a sipping saint. Even though I have never had alcohol I strongly believe that anyone who claims to become a follower of Christ should not drink.

 

1. I can’t be sober-minded if I’m not sober.

2. Alcohol has an assignment: destruction.

3. Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses should be avoided at all costs.

4. I don’t want to make my brother or sister stumble in the name of exercising my “Christian liberties.” My choice to drink could lead to someone’s demise.

5. Alcohol skews my judgment.

6. Alcohol leaves me worse, not better.

7. What I do in moderation, my children will do in excess.

8. Even the unsaved know I shouldn’t drink. Bible in one hand, beer in the other—any lost person could point this out as a confusing contradiction.

9. Alcohol doesn’t bring others closer to the Lord when they see me drinking, but further away.

10. Alcohol doesn’t bring me closer to the Lord when I drink, but further away.

11. I want to be fully awake and ready for the return of Christ, not drowsy, sluggish and fuzzy.

12. Show me a family for whom alcohol has made a positive difference in their lives. You won’t be able to.

13. I have never heard anyone say, “Wow, that gin and tonic made me feel so Christlike!”

14. I want to avoid all appearances of evil.

15. Alcohol makes it much harder for me to practice the fruit of self-control.

16. Alcohol causes me to lose my filter.

17. Alcohol is a legal mind-altering drug.

18. Alcohol is addictive.

19. Alcohol is a numbing agent for pain and sorrow only Jesus can heal.

20. Many regrets are associated with alcohol. (I can give you a whole bunch!)

21. No one has ever said, “If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn’t have gotten out of control.”

22. Alcohol causes me to act in ways I normally wouldn’t.

23. Alcohol kills brain cells.

24. Alcohol is a counterfeit and provides a false peace.

25. The Bible says that no drunkards will enter the kingdom of God. Being drunk starts with one drink. I don’t want to see how far outside the lines I can color when eternity is at stake.

26. Alcohol is a waster—money, gifts and talents, destinies and so on.

27. Alcohol leads to really bad behavior. It is a factor in 50 percent of violent crimes.

28. Alcohol distracts and derails you from living the victorious life for which Christ died.

29. Wisdom is the principle thing that I need to pursue at all cost; alcohol makes me stupid.

30. Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.

31. The only influence I should be “under” is God’s.

32. The Bible tells me to be alert; alcohol delays my reaction time.

33. If I don’t start drinking, I’ll never have to stop.

34. Alcohol severely tarnishes my testimony.

35. Don’t want your teenagers to drink? Yep, same reasons apply to you.

36. God is holy; alcohol is not.

37. Alcohol and prayer don’t mix.

38. Alcohol and Bible study don’t mix.

39. Alcohol lowers my resolve to resist temptation.

40. Alcohol = Brokenness (broken lives, health, dreams and so on)

41. When the world sees us drinking, it sends the message that Jesus isn’t enough.

42. Moderate drinking? How about moderate pornography or moderate heroin use or moderate lying or moderate adultery?

43. Christians are called to live a life of total surrender and separation from the world.

44. Alcohol makes me forget. It can make me forget that I am married, that I am saved and so on.

45. “I don’t get drunk. I only have one or two drinks.” If they didn’t affect you, you would drink soda.

46. I should never look to the glass or bottle for joy, which can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

47. Alcohol fills my mind with impure thoughts.

48. If it could hinder my faith walk or love walk or dishonor the lordship of Jesus Christ, I need to forsake it.

49. Alcohol doesn’t help me run the race that Jesus has marked before me to finish with more accuracy. It does the polar opposite.

50. For any argument that tries to justify Christian drinking, there are at least 50 other reasons not to. The writing is on the wall. It’s not God’s best for Christians to drink.

 

exerted from “50 Reasons Why I Don’t Drink” charisamanews.com

 

“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” -Proverbs 23:29-35

 

 

Longing

I have a longing I cannot satisfy;
But only with your love I find.

The peace that surpasses all understanding;
and the joy I cannot hide.

You are the wind that sets my sail abroad,
into the deepest parts of your heart;
Where the hidden things are.

– Gary Farris

 

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”
Augustine of Hippo

It’s not only life changing but a sense of completeness; it’s what our hearts were designed for; to be with God. This World cannot satisfy the heart, only the love of God.

The Armour 6:10

the armour

 

Ephesians 6:10

 

Most Christians live a life of defeat, why? Many are unaware of all the resources that are theirs in Christ, and fail to appropriate those divine resources. One of the most challenging part of living a life for Christ is the walk, challenging but yet successful. But God has given you and I the tools to fight against the enemy. Are you putting on all the armor?

 

We have an enemy. His goal, one purpose: to wedge, destroy, pull, kill our relationship with God;. He will do anything to anyone. From placing people in your path that could be a stumbling block as a temptation. And to distract, detour your attention, your thoughts from God. It all starts in the mind.

 

But we have weapons to defeat this so called Devil who thinks he still has power over the Christian. Jesus defeated death, hell and the grave but we must do our part, live our life putting our faith in Him!

 

“Finally, my brethern, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

 

let’s break this verse down and understand the meaning of what Paul is telling us here.

 

To live a life of victory there is only one who we can run to, believe in and trust. Victory is won through Jesus Christ, not through self, not through programs. Paul is stating the first thing to do is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

 

We both have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. One is just important than the other. If you are strong in the Lord but not in the power of His might, you are an innefective person against the enemy. If you are not strong in the Lord, but in the power of His might, still, uneffective.

 

(might) is inherit power of force. A muscular man’s big muscles display his might, even if he doesn’t use them. It is the reserve of strength.

 

(power) is the exercise of might. When the muscular man uses his might to punch the Devil, he uses his power. It means that the reserve of strength is actually in operation.

 

His “might” works in me as I rely on it and step out to do the work.

 

My Struggle: For years I have been sitting passively, I was having trouble in an area of my life where I couldn’t get victory over. But one day the Holy Spirit spoke to me so clear “Stop being so passive.” I was letting the enemy planting the lies, embedding them into my mind! We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We are the gatekeeper of our mind, we allow what goes in and what comes out. We are responsible to keep it locked!

 

///Relationship Application\\\

A life of complete victory is possible but only with putting on the whole armor of God and the first thing to do is to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”

 

///Discussions/Questions\\\

It’s time as a believer to walk in the fullness of God and stop being passive. The enemy has been defeated and has no power over us!

 

///Challenge\\\

“Only if I knew then what I know now” sound familiar? It’s never too late to strengthen your relationship with Christ. He is able when you are ready. The time is now.

 

G