Battles, Bible, Drought, Encouragement, Trust

DRY 

NAHUM 1:4 

“He rebukes the sea and dries it up; He dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, the blossoms of Lebanon wither.” 

When it has not rained for some time, it gets dry. I have seen crops in the field reduced to nothing but dry, crackly branches. I remember walking through a corn field one time during one of those droughts and grabbing the leaves on the stalks. They crumbled in my hands. 

Nahum teaches us in today’s verse that God’s power is extreme. He can dry up seas and rivers. He can cause the fields and blossoms to wither. Bashan and Carmel represented beauty and richness. All that would be gone. God would wipe it all away and leave only dryness and dust. 

APPLICATION 

So many people complain about their dry, withered lives. They point their finger at God and say He is to blame. Nothing could be further from the truth. God promises to care for His children. He will not leave them destitute.  But when we reject our source of truth, we can expect dryness. 

If I go all day without drinking some kind of fluid, especially water, what will happen? My mouth gets dry. My lips start to stick together. I have trouble swallowing or even talking. Moisture is needed. God is that for our soul. He keeps us full of His life-giving water through the Word of God.  

Jesus told us if we drink from Him, we would never be thirsty again. So why do we blame God when we spiritually dry? It is not His fault. We are ones who have resisted. We are the ones who refuse the cup of water from the Giver of Life. Don’t blame Him for your parched tongue. Reach out and find Him. 

O Father, You are so good to me. All praise goes to You. Teach me to be more grateful for all you give. 

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Affliction, Battles, Bible, Comfort, Drought, God's Will, Rescue, Scripture

I’M GOING TO FAINT

AMOS 8:13

“On that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint from thirst.”

Have you ever felt like you were going to faint? When I went through my chemotherapy a couple of years ago (boy, it feels like yesterday), I had several episodes of fainting. One second I’m upright and talking. The next I’m on the ground. It’s really a strange feeling.

But I have never fainted due to thirst. The young virgins and the young men, who are the ones filled normally with the most hope, are at their end. They see nothing in their future when it should be full of hopes and aspirations. So they collapse as if fainting from thirst.

APPLICATION

Let me turn this a little. How thirsty are you for Jesus? Do you pant after Him? Do you crave His Word like you do a cool drink of water on a hot day? We should! We need to have our thirsts quenched by Him each day. We shouldn’t let ourselves get “spiritually dehydrated.”

Just picture yourself sitting before a flowing fountain. The water is crystal clear. A sign is there telling you to drink to your heart’s content. It also says the water will allow you to live forever. Would you turn that down? Of course, not. So, why aren’t we diving headfirst into the Word each day?

My thirst is quenched each and every day through the Word. Writing his blog fills my soul. I can’t imagine not hearing Him speak to me through His written Word. I pant, but I don’t pant out of desperation. I pant because I long for His Word and because I know how it refreshes my spirit. Will you join me?

O God, You are the source of all life. Quench my thirst with Your Word.

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Advice, Bible, Choices, Devil, Drought, Refreshing, Scripture

STAGGERING

AMOS 4:8

“‘So the people of two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, but would not be satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the LORD.”

I can relate to this verse a little. I remember working in the tobacco fields with my cousin when I was young. A tobacco field in South Georgia in July is deadly. I can recall a few times being so thirsty I literally staggered to the igloo for a drink. I was light-headed and weak. But how refreshing that water was.

The drought God put on Israel had the same effect. People had to travel to other places in an attempt to find water. But even there it wasn’t enough. You would think that would drive them to return to the Lord, but it didn’t. They didn’t seem to connect the dots.

APPLICATION

Listen up! When God allows trials in our lives, it is always to make us better. It is always to drive us closer to Him. He will allow hardships from time to time when He needs to refine us a little more. He has to knock off the rough edges. At least He does with me.

What does it take to get your attention? A sledge hammer? I hope not. That can get old. That can cause you to get bitter instead of better. Satan will whisper in your ear that God doesn’t care about you. Don’t believe it. God is just making you more like Him.

I have learned (once again, the hard way) to respond quicker. I need to repent quicker. I need to listen more. I need… You get the picture. I have to check myself every day. I can’t go one day without checking in with the Master to get my marching orders. If I don’t, I will go the wrong direction so fast. How about you?

I am thirsty, Lord. Will you send Your quenching rains to refresh my spirit?

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Abiding, Accountability, Bible, Blessing, Commands, Destruction, Direction, Drought, God's Will, Judgment, Obedience, Perseverance, Refreshing, Scripture

WET OR DRY

AMOS 4:7

“‘Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city, but on another city I would not send rain; one part would be rained on, while the part not rained on would dry up.’”

I can remember as a young boy one day when we had a strange rainstorm at my house. Our house set toward the back of a two acre lot. It was summer and so hot outside. A storm blew up, but then it happened. It rained like crazy in our front yard, but not a drop in the back yard. Really weird!

God is reminding Israel of His selective wet and dry choices. Withholding rain three months from harvest was devastating. The crops would not mature and there would be a crop failure. Drought was there in part of the country and not in others. God truly could control their very livelihoods with rain or no rain.

APPLICATION

Are you in a drought right now? Has your prayer life dried up? We can feel that way. Sometimes it feels like our prayers don’t get past the ceiling. Why is that? Usually, it’s because we have stopped spending time in His Word. We have stopped spending time in worship. We have lost our ability to communicate.

But all that’s an easy fix. Get in the Word. Get back in church. The internet will not meet your spiritual needs. You need other believers in your life. And then spend some concentrated, dedicated time with the Lord listening to what He wants to tell you.

My problem is I like to do a lot of talking during my prayer time. I need to listen more. I need to hear His voice. I can’t follow directions I never hear. I am committed to listening more. I want to hear those commands. His voice is always loving and draws me to His safe embrace. So, if you’re feeling dry, try getting wet.

Father, I praise You for sending Your rains in my life. Showers of blessing, showers of blessing I need.

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Battles, Bible, Blessing, Drought, Fruit, Harvest, Hope, Joy, Rejoicing

DON’T BE A SCAREDY CAT

JOEL 2:22

“Do not fear, animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has produced its fruit, the fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.”

Have you ever been around feral cats? You can’t get near them. They come out of the barns or bushes and look at you, but if you make one step toward them, they disappear. They hunt constantly for food and always look scrawny and underfed. It’s hard to see any animal like that – even a cat, lol.

Joel is spreading good news to even the animals. They have been suffering for so long with the drought and the locusts. They haven’t seen anything green to eat in quite a while. Now the Lord is turning the pastures green. He is bringing forth the fruit of the trees and the vines. The animals should be dancing with joy.

APPLICATION

What has the Lord restored in your life? Do you remember times when your needs were great, and the Lord came through and met just what you needed? The Lord always comes through – every time. He may be late, according to our timetable. But He’s not late according to His. Listen to this verse. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

Maybe you are going through a tough time right now and feel the Lord is not hearing your prayers. He is. I promise. Trust in His timetable. I am sure those people in Judah thought the Lord had forgotten them. But He showed up just when He planned. Our suffering is always to make us more like Him. Don’t complain about it. Embrace it and allow Him to bring you through.

I remember vividly the days after I came to Christ. The grass was greener, and the sky was bluer. I saw life for the first time in a long time. His promises are true. I learned I could trust Him. He brought me through some tough times to get me there. He has continued to bring me through. Each time I trust Him, He teaches me more.

O Mighty Father, I will wait on You. You have always come through and I know You always will.

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Bible, Blessing, Comfort, Direction, Disciplemaking, Drought, God's Will, Inspirational, Joy, Praise, Rejoicing

SHOUT FOR JOY

JOEL 2:21

“Do not fear, land; shout for joy and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things.”

I am a huge football fan, especially of the Georgia Bulldogs (Go DAWGS!). If it’s possible, I’m going to watch them play on. Saturdays. And when they are scoring and winning, I am shouting for joy. My wife thinks I’m crazy, but that’s okay. I love my DAWGS, and I’m going to support them every chance I get.

Joel isn’t talking about my DAWGS today, but he is talking about shouting for joy. In fact, he tells the land to not fear, but to shout for joy and rejoice. There’s been a period of mourning with the droughts and the locusts, but now the Lord is restoring the land. He says “for the Lord has done great things.” It is only because of the Lord. It is His workings.

APPLICATION

Do you feel like shouting? Can you rejoice in the great things the Lord has done in your life? You may not feel much like shouting for joy. Perhaps you have been in a period of mourning. But the Lord has still done great things. Look around you. I bet you can point out several things He has done for you lately. Rejoice in them.

It is often in our lowest moments that we can see His handiwork. The Lord comes down to us to lift us up. And He often teaches us very important life lessons when we are at our lowest. That may seem crazy, but it’s true. I know it’s been true in my life. So, take a moment and look around. Ask the Lord to reveal them to you.

When I was going through my first stem cell transplant in 2010, the Lord taught me to trust Him. My faith grew exponentially during those months. In 2020 during my second stem cell transplant, the Lord taught me the importance of being a godly example to others. He wanted to use me to show others how to trust. It wasn’t about me at all. For those lessons, I rejoice. Will you rejoice for yours?

I thank You, Lord, for all the lessons You have taught me in my life. I praise Your holy name.

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Abiding, Accountability, Advocate, Battles, Bible, Consequences, Destruction, Drought, Fire, Horror, Opponents

FIRES IN YOUR LIFE

JOEL 1:19

“To You, LORD, I cry out; for fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.

I’ve never been in a forest fire. I’ve only seen them on the tv. They look horrible, scary and extremely dangerous. The men and women who fight them are courageous. They risk their lives to protect someone else’s property and stop the advancing flames. It really doesn’t matter how they started. They will consume anything in their path.

Joel is crying out to God for relief from the fires that were devouring the pastures and trees. Drought had laid the perfect environment for such fires. Drought was brought on my little rain. Little rain was due to God’s judgment on the nation. Do you see the ripple effect?

APPLICATION

What kind of fires are raging in your life right now? You may not be facing actual flames, but the damage is still horrific. Relationship fires can consume trust and loyalty. Fires that erupt in families can lead to divorce and wayward children. How do you fight these kind of flames? What can extinguish them?

It’s lucky that we know someone. Jesus is the living water, so He can put out those flames. Jesus is the peacemaker, so he can douse the fire that is destroying you and those around you. But you have to allow Him access to you. He can’t extinguish flames that He can’t reach.

I don’t like putting out fires in my life. It takes so much energy and time. It is much easier to live without fire and smoke blinding me all the time. Will you let Jesus extinguish your fires? Fires can burn and maim you, if you let them. Put them out.

Put out the fires in my life, Lord. I want to walk free without the threat of flames.

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Accountability, Affliction, Battles, Bible, Comfort, Commitment, Confession, Drought, Fighting, Judgment

ALL DRIED UP

JOEL 1:17

“The seeds have dried up under their shovels; the storehouses have become desolate, the grain silos are ruined, because the grain has dried up.”

Drought can ruin things. Not only does it destroy the crops in the fields, it destroys hopes for future crops. When the seed doesn’t get the required moisture it goes into a stress that affects its ability to germinate. If it can’t germinate, it can’t produce new crops. Do you see where this is going? Crops are affected for months and years later.

The long term effect on Judah from their disobedience to Jehovah was the drying up of the people. Their rebellious hearts had literally dried up the faith of the nation, resulting in people seeking other gods. They disregarded God’s commands in favor of offering sacrifices to pagan gods. So, God dried them up.

APPLICATION

Are you dried up? Has your spiritual life hit rock bottom? Perhaps you are in a spiritual drought right now. Your spirit needs the waters of the Spirit to refresh it. There’s no other way to get it than going to the one who is the life giver. He knows exactly when and how to water your spirt.

Look at your life and determine who or what is holding you back. Then lay that at the foot of the cross. Ask the Lord to take those things away from you. Then let the healing rains come. Let His refreshing Word pour over you. We can avoid the seasons of drought in our lives if we submit to His leadership and direction.

I know how I feel when I start to get thirsty. I begin to see everything as a cool drink of water. My body craves it, and the longer I go without it, the harder and harder it gets to survive. My spirit is the same. I need the constant presence of Jesus in my life to make life bearable. He is the living water that can quench any thirst. Come and drink.

Lord, You are the living water. Pour over me.

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