God Thrwarts

Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 16-18

2 Samuel 17
14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring calamity on Absalom.

I am intrigued by God’s interminable involvement in our lives. If God had not thwarted the counsel of Ahithophel, David would have perished.

God never sleeps. He is constantly at work, intervening on our behalf. I can’t imagine how many times God has thwarted many things on our behalf that would have brought harm or impeded us from our life purpose.

 


The Wicked Strut

Reading Plan: Psalms 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55

Psalm 12:8
“The wicked strut about on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.”

The horror & reality of this verse is prevalent in today’s day & age.
Vileness is exalted and people are worshipping it. Our world exalts gossip, lies, sexual immorality, hedonism, etc. In the name of tolerance, this world is intolerant of all that is holy.

The wicked strut around and believe they have won. Thankfully, their perception is erroneous. God will reign victorious! The wicked are destined to lose. As we battle in the name of Jesus, we must cling to The Lord & remain on our knees!


Wise Woman Of Tekoa

Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 13-15

2 Samuel 14
14 ♫ “For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.

God does not take away life, sin does. Sin is what brings death. Jesus came and conquered death. In Him, we have the victory.

God plans ways for us to come to Him.

The Hebrew word for “plan” is God interweaves. This is the same word found in Jeremiah 29:11. God plans (interweaves) what He desires to enact in our lives for good and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope.

God has plans to interweave His will into our lives so that we will remain close to Him and not be cast out.

The wise woman of Tekoa knew this and hopefully we do also.


Following God’s Leading

Reading Plan: Psalms 32, 51, 86, 122

Psalm 32
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
6 Therefore[+], let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, Otherwise they will not come near to you.

I cherish this psalm. I read it often. I sit and pray it before The Lord. It restores my soul.

What an immense blessing that our sins are forgiven. Confession opens the door to freedom. When we are open and honest with God, we find cleansing and a release from guilt. God not only forgives us, He releases us; releases us from the guilt of what we have done. David knew this very well.

God desires to shield us from pain and hurt. He longs to rescue us from the pit & shelter us beneath the shadow of His wings.

From deliverance comes the pinnacle of blessings, the mountain top of joy. God instructs us and teaches us in the way we should go. His guidance is unique to every individual. He is our teacher. He shows us our path. He leads us to the abundant life. He reveals our purpose and what we are meant for.

Enveloped in God’s love, we are privileged to live the life He has designed us to live. What a blessing!


The Path To Sin

Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chron. 20

2 Samuel 11
1 Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged[+] Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.
2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.
3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.

David’s flesh enabled him to sin. Our temptations can be deadly. Sin separates us from God. What caused David to sin? How can we position ourselves to evade temptation?

1) Do not place yourself in an environment where you will be tempted. David should have gone to war. For some reason he did not. Eve should not have been by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We need to flee from ALL temptation.

2) Fix your eyes on the Lord. David gazed intently and fixated on Bathsheba. Eve gazed at the fruit of the tree. Wisdom declares that we do not become captivated by anything that dishonors God.

3) Do not inquire of sin. David asked about Bathsheba. Eve reasoned the fruit was delightful. When our minds dwell on sin we commit the sin within our heart. Soon it will take root deep within our soul.

We all have the capacity to fall. The answer lies in fleeing from any avenue that would lead to sin. I urge you to flee & fixate in Jesus!

 


Creation Implies A Creator

Reading Plan: Psalms 65-67, 69-70

Psalm 65:8 (NASB)
8  They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

When I look at God’s creation, I stand in awe of His power. Looking at the ocean and into the skies, I see how vast it is. The other day I saw a hummingbird flying just a foot off the ground. I see the wonders of who God is in the little things He created; all with such detail. The colors are astounding.

Psalm 65 reveals that all who dwell on earth are witnesses of the creation of God. In Romans, Paul writes how creation declares God’s existence therefore no one has an excuse for not believing in Him. Creation implies a Creator.

Romans 1:20 (NASB)
20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 


May He Grant Your Heart’s Desire!

Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 10; 1 Chron. 19, Psalms 20

Psalm 20:4 (NASB)
4  May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your counsel!

I love this prayer of the Psalmist. God desires for us to delight in Him. It is when we delight in God that He grants us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).

What are the desires of your heart? What is it that you want to occur in your life? As you and I delight in the Lord, our heart’s desires align with what the Lord wants. At some point, God will actually be the one to bring your desires to fruition.

The second part of the Psalmist’s prayer is that God will fulfill your counsel. The word “counsel” can be translated to mean plans or purpose. What we are meant for and have sought out in an intentional way, God will bring to pass. Ask yourself, “what is it that I am aiming for in an intentional way?” As we pray and plan, we need to seek God’s involvement in our plans.

A great tool to aid you in this process might be to take some time and write out what your heart’s desires are and what your current life plan is. Then pray, delight in the Lord, and get ready for God to reveal His divine purpose.

 


Why We Give To God?

Reading Plan: Psalms 50, 53, 60, 75

Psalm 50:10-15 (NASB)
10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.
11 “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
12 “If I were hungry I would not tell you, For the world is Mine, and all it contains.
13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls Or drink the blood of male goats?
14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”

Why do we give to God?

He owns all; in the end all is His. He does not want us to give to Him because He needs it. If He had a need, He could meet it better than we could. He owns all, has all, and needs nothing. So why give to the One who has everything?

The answer is because it is how we display our thankfulness to Him. It is a way of expressing our love to Him. Noe Barragan, one of our Pastors, said it very well, “We give to God not to get His hand of blessing but to get His heart.” It is all about love. Love is the motivation. Love is the reason.

 

 

 


The Lord’s Help

Reading Plan: 2 Samuel 8-9; 1 Chron. 18

1 Chronicles 18:6 (NASB)
6 … And the LORD helped David wherever he went.

13 … And the Lord helped David wherever he went.

Twice, it is mentioned the Lord helped David. God helped David wherever he went.

David had acquired a variety of enemies and endured many obstacles. Yet through every challenge, he would reign victorious. God allowed him to enter the battlefield, but God was always at his side. The same is true for us. If we have a heart after God, we too will face obstacles and challenges. That is God’s will for each of us. We become strengthened through every trial & are made more like Christ. While we may face trials, with God at our side, we can overcome anything!

 


The Lord, Our Teacher

Reading Plan: Psalms 25, 29, 33, 36, 39

Psalm 25:4-5 (NASB)
4  Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.
5  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25 is an admirable prayer; it is a genuine plea for the guidance of the Lord. God cares and desires to lead us. He will light our path and direct our every step.

Psalm 25:8-10 (NASB)
8  Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
9  He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.
10  All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

By His Grace, God will even instruct sinners in the way they should go. This should bring comfort because we are all sinners. When we do sin, God wants us to run to Him and not from Him. As we humble ourselves, God does not cast us aside but rather teaches us. Regardless of our iniquities, His instruction is still ours.

Psalm 25:12 (NASB)
12  Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

Take time to meditate on this verse. The Lord will instruct us in the way we should choose. This is why we should seek God’s council regarding every decision we need to make (e.g.where to live, what job to take, if we should move, who we should marry, etc.) I believe we should ask God whether we turn to the right or to the left. As I have done this, I have found God to be faithful. The Lord does instruct us in the way we should choose.

 


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