VIDEO Worship and Warfare

Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:22

Sometimes we find ourselves out of money, out of strength, out of ideas, or out of opportunities. But the Christian is never out of everything, for we always have God. And with God, we have everything. That fact alone is enough to motivate us to worship Him and wait for His answers.

That’s what King Jehoshaphat of Judah did when his nation was surrounded by three neighboring nations’ armies. Judah was far outnumbered. Jehoshaphat prayed a lengthy prayer of praise, concluding with these words: “Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). All they had was God, so a prophet directed the king to set out for battle, praising and worshiping the Lord as they went. And God routed the enemy armies and delivered Judah. God was all they had, and in the middle of worshiping Him, they were delivered.

If you are at the end of your resources today, if you don’t know what to do, put your eyes on God in praise and worship and wait for His deliverance.

Prayer is not merely prattle; it is warfare. Alan Redpath


King Jehoshaphat | What we learn from King Jehoshaphat | Bible stories for kids

Living Water

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. John 7:37

The cut flowers came from Ecuador. By the time they arrived at my house, they were droopy and road-weary. Instructions said revive them with a cool drink of refreshing water. Before that, however, the flower stems had to be trimmed so they could drink the water more easily. But would they survive?

The next morning, I discovered my answer. The Ecuadorian bouquet was a glorious sight, featuring flowers I’d never seen before. Fresh water made all the difference—a reminder of what Jesus said about water and what it means to believers.

When Jesus asked a Samaritan woman for a drink of water—implying He’d drink from what she fetched from the well—He changed her life. She was surprised by His request. Jews looked down on Samaritans. But Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Later, in the temple, He cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (7:37). Among those who believed in Him, “rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive” (vv. 38–39).

God’s refreshing Spirit revives us today when we’re life-weary. He’s the Living Water, dwelling in our souls with holy refreshment. May we drink deeply today.

By:  Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

What areas of your life feel parched and dry? What may be preventing you from asking Jesus to give you this living water?

Loving God, when life leaves me road-weary and thirsty, thank You for the gift of Your Spirit, the living water, who dwells in every believer.

Equipped to Fulfill God’s Calling

The Lord is all we need for the challenges before us

Exodus 3:1-14

When Moses learned he was to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egyptian bondage, his initial reaction was, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11). But God assured him, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12 NLT). The Lord’s divine presence was a key part of Moses’ equipping as a leader. And God’s response to believers today is the same. We can confidently accept the responsibility He gives us—no matter the role—because He has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). 

But Moses wondered whether the Hebrew people would listen to him. He had been away from Egypt for a long time, and his last interaction with the Israelites had been a negative one (Exodus 2:11-14). What kind of influence could he have? God responded that the only credential Moses needed to give them was that he was sent by God—the I AM (Ex. 3:14). In addition, the Lord gave Moses a helper: his brother Aaron.

When the Lord gives us a task, He will bestow the spiritual authority we need to carry it out, and He will provide us with people to help. God has promised to equip us for His work. What is your response when asked to serve?

Things to Be Aware

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)

There are three Greek words translated “beware,” all of which stress watchfulness and potential danger. In a world under the control of Satan, there are many of his devices that can deceive and undermine the faith and life of the unwary Christian.

Our text cautions against false prophets who appear to be true prophets (or teachers, or pastors) but whose apparent spiritual teachings are subversive of biblical truth. John warns that “many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1), and Jesus said they “shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Jesus also warned that His followers should “beware of…the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees” (Matthew 16:12). These sects have their respective modern counterparts in the hypocrisy of legalists and the skepticism of liberals, both of which are destructive of true biblical faith and life.

Very relevant to today’s humanistic intellectualism is the warning of Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” This is the Bible’s only reference to philosophy, here evidently equated with “vain deceit.”

Finally, the apostle Peter says, “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17). In context, Peter is referring to those Christian brethren who have distorted the Scriptures in order to seek an accommodation with the naturalistic worldview of establishment intellectuals (2 Peter 3:3-6, 16). Thus, Peter, John, and Christ Himself would urge constant wariness on our part. HMM

Confront with Kindness

Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.2 Timothy 4:2

It is quite natural, and even spiritual, to feel sorrow and heaviness when we see the professed followers of Christ walking in the ways of the world. And our first impulse may easily be to go straight to them and upbraid them indignantly.

But such methods are seldom successful. The heat in our spirit may not be from the Holy Spirit, and if it is not then it can very well do more harm than good….

In this as in everything else Christ is our perfect example. A prayerful, face-down meditation on the life of Christ will show us how to oppose with kindness and reprove with charity. And the power of the Holy Spirit within us will enable us to follow His blessed example. OGM110-111

The baptism of the Holy Spirit will always bring a spirit of love…and…sweetness and charity toward all men. HS377

The Helmet of Salvation

I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ.2 Corinthians 11:3

The second piece of armor that is not tied or fixed to the body but that a Christian soldier has to take up and put on is “the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17). The helmet worn by a Roman soldier was usually made of bronze or iron with an inside lining of felt or sponge. In some cases a hinged visor added frontal protection. When a Roman soldier saw an enemy coming, he would take hold of his shield, put on his helmet, take his sword in hand, and stand alert and ready to do battle.

The figure of a helmet immediately suggests to us that this is something designed to protect the mind, the intelligence, the ability to think and reason. Just as the breastplate of righteousness protects us from emotional distress, the helmet of salvation protects us from mental distress. This helmet can help us keep our thinking straight and preserve us from mental confusion.

Has there ever been a time in history when we needed something to keep our thinking straight more than we do now? Politicians vacillate and oscillate between despairing pessimism and unrealistic optimism. Just think of the staggering complexities of the issues we face in our current generation—AIDS, violence, nuclear missiles, international tensions, economic instability, inner-city slums, and so on. The intelligentsia of our day confess to being utterly baffled in dealing with the problems with which human society is confronted. Where can we turn to ease the pressure on our minds? The only answer is God—in the helmet of salvation that He provides.

Prayer

O Father, I am so grateful that You have provided freedom from that most terrifying of human problems—mental distress. Teach me all I need to know in applying Your truth to the important area of my mind. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Eph 4:1-17; Rm 8:7; Col 1:21

How were the Ephesians not to live?

Prepare Your Mind

Therefore, get your minds ready for action, being self-disciplined, and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:13

Your mind is a wonderful thing! You can memorize life-changing passages of Scripture that can undergird you in your daily life; you can meditate upon God’s Word, discovering His magnificent truths; you can discern between truth and falsehood; you can recall God’s past blessings.

Some of God’s most effective servants were those who disciplined their minds for His service. Moses, educated in the best schools of Egypt, assembled the books of the Law for the Israelites. Isaiah used his scholarly mind to write an exalted prophetic book in Scripture. Paul learned under Gamaliel, the outstanding teacher of his day, and it was through Paul that God presented much of the theology found in the New Testament.

Sadly, many Christians today do not exercise their minds to be of service to God. They allow others to do their spiritual thinking for them. If they can find their theology from a book, they will not bother to study God’s Word themselves. If a speaker makes an authoritative statement, they readily accept it without verifying whether it is biblical.