Bible, God's Will, Hearing, Listening, Looking, Obedience, Scripture

GOD’S MESSENGERS

HABAKKUK 1:6

“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that grim and impetuous people who march throughout the earth, to take possession of dwelling places that are not theirs.”

Sometimes we get our lessons from the strangest people or situations. I have been taught great truths from someone I met in an airport or maybe on the street. Hearing of their journey with Christ has given me new insight into mine. Hearing of their struggles with faith has taught me to trust more.

God is now telling Habakkuk what is going to happen (yesterday’s blog set this up, in case you missed it). God is going to use the Chaldeans to judge Israel. What!!! Why would God use such a “grim and impetuous people”? God’s instruments of judgment are not what we would choose, most His choice is always the perfect one.

APPLICATION

Who are what is God using right now in your life to teach you something? It doesn’t have to be a “Chaldean” like Habakkuk had to face. No, it could be the kind, elderly neighbor who just wants to talk. Your patience runs thin sometimes when you see them coming across the street. You know you are in for at least a thirty-minute conversation.

May I suggest that you take the time to listen. They may have something to say to you that you need to hear. God can use others around us to speak a message to us. Recently, a colleague of mine had that exact experience. Someone gave them a message they needed to hear which resulted in this person taking action, an action they had been pondering for some time.

I am thankful that we don’t get all our “sermons” on Sunday mornings. Many of them are spoken to us every day if we will just take the time to listen. So, are you listening? In your conversations, texts or emails today, look for that message you need to hear.

Father, I praise You for using others around me to speak to me. I want to hear Your voice no matter who it comes through.

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Advice, Affliction, Answers, Bible, Despair, Evil, Looking, Scripture

I CAN’T STAND IT!!!

HABAKKUK 1:3

“Why do You make me see disaster, and make me look at destitution? Yes, devastation and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises.”

Too much of anything is well…too much. Whether that be good or bad! When I was going through my chemotherapy, there were days when all I could see was the misery. On the outside I put on a fairly, brave face. Most people would not have known I was struggling. But on the inside, I was throwing in the towel. I was done. All I felt was bad, with no end in sight.

Habakkuk’s eyes are full of disaster, destitution, devastation, violence, strife and contention. That would depress anyone. He is finding it hard to comprehend this. God had promised blessings to Israel, not curses. God was about to tell him why these things are here. But right now, at this moment, Habakkuk is simply continuing to cry out to God.

Do these words describe your life right now – disaster, destitution, devastation, violence, strife and contention? If so, may I be so bold as to say to you that your eyes are on the wrong thing. When we look and look at all the evil around us, we are mesmerized by it. We can’t stop looking away.

APPLICATION

It’s kind of like if you are in your car and come across an accident. You slow down and look. You don’t want to stop looking. You know it’s not good, but you can’t help it. Sin can captivate us. And suddenly, we are stuck in this pit of disaster, destitution, devastation, violence, strife and contention. We too are screaming at God that we can’t stand it.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want those things in my life. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:8-9a, “8 But now you also, rid yourselves of all of them: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices,…” If we stop looking at these things, we will soon discover that God has been there all the time, just waiting for us to look His way.

I want to focus my eyes on You, Lord, and not on the things of this world.  

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Accountability, Advice, Appeasement, Bible, Calling, Choices, Discipline, Faithfulness, God's Will, Looking, Modeling, Scripture

ALL FOR NOTHING 

MICAH 6:15 

“‘You will sow but you will not harvest. You will tread the olive press but will not anoint yourself with oil; and tread out sweet wine, but you will not drink any wine.’” 

I have been trying to learn some more Swahili and, for the first time, some French. The app I am using has some timed lessons. If you do not finish the lesson in the time given, you have to start again. All that concentration and all that work for nothing. It can be a little frustrating. 

God told the people that all their work (sowing and treading) will be for naught. They will harvest nothing. They will not get enough oil for anointing or wine to drink. Somehow, they had to learn that all they had came from Him. Those blessings required obedience, which they had not shown. 

APPLICATION 

Are you spinning your wheels for God and getting nothing back? Well, maybe you are spinning the wrong wheels. We make the mistake all the time of “doing” for God. We think if we just stay busy He will bless us. I hate to disappoint you, but that is not how it works. What He initiates He anoints, not what you initiate. 

Now James tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). God does want us to serve Him and to accomplish His plans. That requires “doing.” One person has said we have to put feet to our prayers. Just be careful to make sure you clear it with the Lord first. 

I was taught by my dad to show initiative. That is a good trait to have unless your initiative is self-driven and not God-driven. The joy of knowing that you are doing what the Lord has called you to do is so delightful. Do not spin your wheels trying to “do” for God. Stop, pray and let Him show you what it is He would have you do. 

Lord, slow me down and help me see Your grand plan for me. I want to serve where You want me to serve. 

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Accountability, Affection, Bible, Compassion, Gentleness, Inspirational, Looking, Scripture

MY FATHER’S EYES

AMOS 9:4

“And though they go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword and it will kill them, and I will set My eyes against them for harm and not for good.”

When my children were growing up, they were very different. My son, the eldest, was typically more compliant. He was the one at whom you could just give a look (you know what I mean) and he would straighten up. He didn’t want to that look. My daughter, on the other hand, didn’t respond too well to that look. She didn’t ignore it, but she didn’t quite respond as quickly as our son.

The Israelites ignored the fact that God’s eyes see all. When you read that phrase “I will set my eyes against them for harm and not for good” you may get the impression that God is some kind of cosmic zapper, just waiting for you to mess up. No! God’s eyes are on us all. He just won’t tolerate the wicked, especially those who pretend to be His. He will deal with them.

APPLICATION

Amy Grant had a song in 1979 that really launched her Christian music career. It was her first number one song. It was called “My Father’s Eyes.” That was 43 years ago. Wow! I was still a teenager. Check it out at Amy Grant – Father’s Eyes (Lyric Video) – YouTube (pardon the YouTube commercial).

Part of the lyrics say:

        Eyes full of compassion

        Seeing every pain

        Knowing what you’re going through

        And feeling it the same.

The Father will not leave you hopeless. His eyes are upon you. If you are truly seeking Him, He is there. His eyes are indeed full of compassion, and He does see all your pain. Look fully into the eyes of Jesus today and allow His gaze to wash over you.

Lord, I thank You that Your eyes are always looking at me. You see all.

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