Tuesday, February 25, 2014
When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” 1 Kings 19:1-2
I am currently reading the story of the prophet Elijah and the miracle of him praying for the rains to come upon the land. He continued to pray and send his servant seven times to see if a rain cloud was approaching for he had enough faith in the God of heaven to know that when we asked in faith, God would move. We all know that the clouds did indeed come and showered the land with rain. What most of us don't do is continue reading the story.
You see, we love reading and hearing about prayers being answered, but we rarely ever hear much about what takes place after the answer has come. In our minds we tend to believe "they lived happily ever after" when in reality the answer to prayer may have brought only new challenges to face!
We find King Ahab is so excited about what he has witnessed God do through Elijah that he tells Jezebel. Well, we all know she was an evil queen and did not love God. This power created fear in her heart and so she vows to kill Elijah! Here stands Elijah who has prayed to God for the people, watched God bless the land with rains, and now he is facing his own demise. This does not sound right. Due to this threat, Elijah is forced to run for his life.
I cannot imagine that he thought one time that when this amazing blessing arrived there would be someone who wasn't happy about it, but we find that is all too true even in our lives today. Maybe God will bless you with a spouse, a job, pay off your debts, a house, a car, or even better restores your health for you to only find those who are jealous and even like Jezebel, afraid by what God has done in your life. Today, I caution you to be ready for when blessings come, a new level of responsibility comes with it.
Now don't be discouraged, for God will always help you. If you continue to read Elijah's story angels actually took care of him and fed him along his journey. God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. When the challenges come that we didn't anticipate, remember, they were NEVER surprises for our Creator!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
My Daly Outreach Ministries Blog: The Devil Didn't Win: Mark 1:8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!” On Sunday, February 9, 2014, my husband Bri...
I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
On Sunday, February 9, 2014, my husband Brian and I were baptized by Pastor Falwell at Thomas Road Baptist Church in our new home town of Lynchburg, Virginia. Even though Brian was saved at age 8 and myself at age 11, neither of us had taken this public display of faith as believers.
The beautiful and Holy Spirit filled moment you see in the picture was the very opposite of how our morning had gone up until that time. From the start, the devil began his work in hopes of stopping this precious moment in our lives. Brian woke not feeling well but determined. I was worried about him and then of course, we were rushing and running behind, which puts everyone in an ill mood. Upon arriving at church, we find not one handicapped space for Brian so I forced him to get out at the door, which he hates, and Taylor and I left him to park the car. Unfortunately, as we ladies do from time to time, I had chosen a beautiful yet extremely painful set of heels to wear and by the time I reached the lobby of church my feel were throbbing.
We attended the first service but I continued to worry about how Brian was feeling and if he was overdoing it. When service was over I had to go back across campus to pick up Taylor so that she could watch us be baptized. When I arrived her girl's small group was missing. They arrived 15 minutes later and then we realized Taylor had misplaced her security sticker which had to match my sticker in order for her to leave with me! Thankfully, her small group leader vouched for me and we were off. With feet numb now from the pain we raced back to the sanctuary.
I found Brian standing with our friend Pastor Matt Wilkins. He turned to me and simply said, "Hey, Jessica, how are you?" I instantly burst out crying! I hated it so bad but all my emotion from the morning burst out. Without saying another word, Matt took our family together and began to pray peace over us. I could feel the peace of God coming over me and my weeping began to stop. We walked up to the baptistery and from there the rest is history.
I tell you today that anytime you are walking in the will of God the enemy will be present and will stop at nothing to interfere and cause you to give up. Don't give up! God will give you the strength when you are weak! Just look at the picture again. I made it to the pool and the devil didn't win!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Matthew 4:1 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
How often do we find that when we follow the direction of the Holy Spirit we find ourselves alone? I do quite often. The Holy Spirit speaks things to me that others were not meant to understand or accept. I am given messages and instructions of what I am to do for the Lord. Many times as we walk in obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, those closest to us become confused and at times frustrated with what they believe are our decisions when in reality they are not.
When Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness it was to be tempted by the devil himself. I am sure this did not make sense to those closest to Jesus. Why would He go there? This was a dangerous place and He would be all alone. I am sure those who loved Jesus feared for Him as He walked away from them that day, yet Jesus was obedient to the Holy Spirit. It also shows us that when we are obedient it doesn't mean it will be an easy journey. There may be challenges alone the way that we could never have anticipated, yet just like Jesus we must keep our eyes on Jesus and use the Word of God as our weapon of defense!
We may also find ourselves feeling alone when we are walking in obedience. Jesus went into the wilderness alone for what He had to do for God was for Him alone. If the Holy Spirit directs you to do something alone it may be that you are the one called by God to do it and no one else. Instead of being afraid, take it as a compliment, and embrace the opportunity to be a part of something amazing!
In reality we are NEVER alone when we are walking in obedience to God and following the directions of the Holy Spirit. Don't be afraid to walk into the wilderness.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8
How much of our time do we spend thinking about the circumstances in our lives and all that is wrong? I would guess quite a lot. The struggles of our lives overwhelm us and begin to consume our thoughts if we allow it. Instead our focus must remain on our God and His promises to us.
God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He promises to bless us and make our lives prosperous. He promises to love us unconditionally and to save us from our sins. The only thing we must do is love Him, accept Him as Savior, and live by His Word. That sounds easy enough but we all know it isn't easy and that it takes daily dedication but when we do, all these promises begin to be revealed in the physical within our lives.
When the enemy comes to us and begins to speak words of discouragement and lies to us we must run to the Word of God. As we read the Word of God aloud, the devil must flee. It is also imperative that we come into a place of communion with God through prayer. We must pray and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, too. During these times, the troubles of our lives may not disappear but they do fade in our mind's eye. They are no longer our primary focus.
Today, I beg you to spend your time thinking about the Lord instead of the problems!