VIDEO The Dilemma of Obedience – The LORD Speaks

The Dilemma of Obedience

God never speaks to us in dramatic ways, but in ways that are easy to misunderstand. Then we say, “I wonder if that is God’s voice?” Isaiah said that the Lord spoke to him “with a strong hand,” that is, by the pressure of his circumstances (Isaiah 8:11). Without the sovereign hand of God Himself, nothing touches our lives. Do we discern His hand at work, or do we see things as mere occurrences?

Get into the habit of saying, “Speak, Lord,” and life will become a romance (1 Samuel 3:9). Every time circumstances press in on you, say, “Speak, Lord,” and make time to listen. Chastening is more than a means of discipline— it is meant to bring me to the point of saying, “Speak, Lord.” Think back to a time when God spoke to you. Do you remember what He said? Was it Luke 11:13, or was it 1 Thessalonians 5:23? As we listen, our ears become more sensitive, and like Jesus, we will hear God all the time.

Should I tell my “Eli” what God has shown to me? This is where the dilemma of obedience hits us. We disobey God by becoming amateur providences and thinking, “I must shield ‘Eli,’ ” who represents the best people we know. God did not tell Samuel to tell Eli— he had to decide that for himself. God’s message to you may hurt your “Eli,” but trying to prevent suffering in another’s life will prove to be an obstruction between your soul and God. It is at your own risk that you prevent someone’s right hand being cut off or right eye being plucked out (see Matthew 5:29-30).

Never ask another person’s advice about anything God makes you decide before Him. If you ask advice, you will almost always side with Satan. “…I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood…” (Galatians 1:16).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham.  The Highest Good, 548 L


1 Samuel 3 – The LORD Speaks

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Algae and Diatoms

Stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14

“What’s a diatom?” I asked my friend. I was leaning over her shoulder looking at pictures on her cell phone she had taken through a microscope. “Oh, it’s like algae, but it’s harder to see. Sometimes you need a drop of oil on the lens or they have to be dead to see them,” she explained. I sat amazed as she scrolled through the pictures. I couldn’t stop thinking about the intricate detail God put into life that we can only see with a microscope!

God’s creation and works are endless. In the book of Job, one of Job’s friends, Elihu, points this out to Job as he struggles through his loss. Elihu challenges his friend, “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?” (Job 37:14–16). We, as humans, can’t begin to understand the complexity of God and His creation.

Even the parts of creation we can’t see reflect God’s glory and power. His glory surrounds us. No matter what we’re going through, God is working, even when we can’t see it and don’t understand. Let’s praise Him today, for “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted” (Job 5:9).

By Julie Schwab

Today’s Reflection

Lord, thank You for the detail You put into creation and for being at work even when we can’t see it.

 

Godly Living in an Ungodly Age

Titus 1:1-16

Our Founding Fathers created a governing framework heavily influenced by biblical principles. Slowly, we have changed from “one nation under God” to a group of people who no longer want Him to be involved.

Our nation has become ungodly in several ways: Many are driven by materialism and power; immorality and rebellion are prevalent; empty philosophy and false doctrine are widely accepted. Underlying it all is the push to keep God out of the nation’s affairs.

Yet even in an unbelieving society, people can, follow Jesus as individuals. But the world will continually disseminate faulty teachings, so believers must be discerning. Otherwise, erroneous messages can lead Christians to compromise their convictions. Then affections and priorities may change. Don’t let the world’s clamor make the Spirit’s voice less audible. Without His guidance, our minds become vulnerable to lies.

The Word of God is a compass that keeps us headed in the right direction, even in the midst of confusing messages. We need to be consistently filled with truth by reading, believing, meditating upon, and applying Scripture. God’s Word also says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If our minds are focused upon Him, unholy beliefs will not be able to take root.

The Word is our guidebook. We will still face difficulty as we live in this imperfect world—it is a confusing, dark place that entices us but can never fulfills our true longings. Yet God’s truth will bring confidence and boldness, and His Spirit will direct and strengthen, enabling us to live victoriously.

Great Commission

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

The so-called “great commission” of the Lord to His disciples is found in somewhat different form in each of the four gospels and in still another form in the first chapter of Acts. To get the full message of the commission, all five must be analyzed and organized together.

The most familiar statement is in Mark 16:15 above. This was in the upper room and must have followed the words recorded by John: “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).

The commission was then further defined as recorded in Luke 24:47-48: “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

Still later, on a mountain in Galilee, He told the disciples (literally): “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Not only were they to preach the saving gospel, implemented by true repentance unto remission of sins, based on His death, burial, and resurrection (Luke 24:46), but then to “disciple” people, baptize them, and indoctrinate them in all His teachings.

Finally, just before His ascension, He summarized the commission once again: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Above all, we are to go and to witness to all people in all places, as God enables. HMM

Our Accountability to God

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

—Hebrews 9:27

It was the belief in the accountability of man to his maker that made America a great nation. Among those earlier leaders was Daniel Webster whose blazing eyes and fiery oratory often held the Senate spellbound. In those days the Congress was composed of strong, noble statesmen who carried the weight of the nation in their hearts and minds.

Someone asked: “Mr. Webster, what do you consider the most serious thought that has ever entered your mind?”

“The most solemn thought that has ever entered my mind is my accountability to my Maker,” he replied.

Men like that cannot be corrupted and bought. They do not have to worry if someone listens to their telephone calls. What they are in character and in deportment results from their belief that they will finally be accountable to God.   EFE130

Lord, help me to live my life today in such a way that, should You call me tonight to stand before You and give account, I would have nothing of which I would need to be ashamed. Amen.

 

I have seen the affliction of my people

And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows.—Exodus 3:7.

 

Thou knowest, Lord, the weariness and sorrow

Of the sad heart that comes to Thee for rest;

Cares of to day, and burdens for tomorrow,

Blessings implored, and sins to be confessed:

I come before Thee at Thy gracious word,

And lay them at Thy feet,—Thou knowest, Lord.

Jane Borthwick.

 

That sorrow which can be seen is the lightest form really, however apparently heavy; then there is that which is not seen, secret sorrows which yet can be put into words, and can be told to near friends as well as be poured out to God; but there are sorrows beyond these, such as are never told, and cannot be put into words, and may only be wordlessly laid before God: these are the deepest. Now comes the supply for each: “I have seen” that which is patent and external; “I have heard their cry,” which is the expression of this, and of as much of the external as is expressible; but this would not go deep enough, so God adds, “I know their sorrows,” down to very depths of all, those which no eye sees or ear ever heard.

F. R. Havergal.

 

Your Heavenly Escort

“And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest.” Gen. 28:15

Do we need journeying mercies? Here are choice ones — God’s presence and preservation. In all places we need both of these, and in all places we shall have them if we go at the call of duty, and not merely according to our own fancy. Why should we look upon removal to another country as a sorrowful necessity when it is laid upon us by the divine will? In all lands the believer is equally a pilgrim and a stranger; and yet in every region the Lord is His dwellingplace, even as He has been to His saints in all generations. We may miss the protection of an earthly monarch, but when God says, “I will keep thee, we are in no real danger. This is a blessed passport for a traveler, and a heavenly escort for an emigrant.

Jacob had never left his father’s room before: he had been a mother’s boy, and not an adventurer like his brother. Yet he went abroad, and God went with him. He had little luggage, and no attendants; yet no prince ever journeyed with a nobler bodyguard. Even while he slept in the open field, angels watched over him, and the Lord God spoke to him. If the Lord bids us go, let us say with our Lord Jesus, “Arise, let us go hence.”

 

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