WHAT DO YOU HAVE?
What do you have in your house? – 2 Kings 4:2 NIV
When you pray, God can answer in two ways:
(1) He can use somebody you know. Who do you know? Who knows what you don’t know? Jesus said, ‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.’ (Luke 6:38 NIV) Note: ‘given to you’. When God blesses you, He often gives His blessing through people. So who should you be listening to and walking with? ‘He who walks with wise men will be wise.’ (Proverbs 13:20 NKJV) Observe the word ‘walks’. Wisdom comes when you’re moving forward, not resting on your laurels. You must be teachable, discerning, relational, and responsive.
(2) He can use something you have. In 2 Kings 4 a minister’s wife was in trouble. Her husband had died, the bills were piling up and the creditors took her sons to work off the debt. When she turned to the prophet Elisha for help, he asked her, ‘What do you have in your house?’ She answered, ‘Just a little pot of oil.’ He told her to find every empty pot she could and to start pouring oil into them. He reassured her the oil would flow until she had enough to pay off her debts and live well. (2 Kings 4:3–7) With God you always have enough to create what you need! He can do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.’ (Ephesians 3:20 NIV) Where’s the power? Within you!Your resources are in your gifting, your tenacity, your relationships and your connection to God. So the word for you today is: What do you have?
THE TEACHER OF ALL THINGS IS IN YOU …
John 14:26 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…
If you are asking whom or where you can go to to get the help you need, ask no more. Just turn to God who has already promised you the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom He has sent in Jesus’ name to dwell in you.
The Holy Spirit will teach you all things. Yes, teach you all things! Do you really believe that? Or are you like some who believe that you seek God’s counsel only for spiritual things, but consult “professional” help for all other things in your life?
God does not want you to run to and rely on worldly wisdom. Now, there is nothing wrong with going to a doctor or engaging a financial consultant, but God wants you to come to Him first for counsel and direction. That is why He has sent the Holy Spirit, the Counselor (John 16:7, NIV), to teach you all things. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and He will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13)
The apostle John said, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things… the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things…” (1 John 2:20, 27)
So the way God teaches you is through the anointing within. It is a continuous anointing. In any particular situation, He is anointing you from within, teaching you by the presence or absence of His peace.
For example, a deal you are considering may sound very reasonable. But if you don’t have the peace in your spirit, don’t sign on the dotted line. Sign only when you have the peace. Be led by His peace and you will find that your heart will not be troubled, neither will it be afraid. (John 14:27)
When you follow that peace which only God can give to you as an inward witness, good things and even miracles will come forth!
SLEDDING AND PRAYING
Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. —Luke 6:12
When the snow flies in Michigan, I like to get my grandkids, grab our plastic sleds, and go slipping and sliding down our backyard. We zoom down the hill for about 10 seconds, and then climb back up for more.
When I travel to Alaska with a bunch of teenagers, we also go sledding. We are hauled by bus nearly to the top of a mountain. We jump on our sleds and, for the next 10 to 20 minutes (depending on levels of bravery), we slide at breakneck speeds down the mountain, holding on for dear life.
Ten seconds in my backyard or 10 minutes down an Alaskan mountain.
They’re both called sledding, but there is clearly a difference.
I’ve been thinking about this in regard to prayer. Sometimes we do the “10 seconds in the backyard” kind of praying—a quick, spur-of-the-moment prayer or a short thanks before eating. At other times, we’re drawn to “down the mountain” praying—extended, intense times that require concentration and passion in our relationship with Him. Both have their place and are vital to our lives.
Jesus prayed often, and sometimes for a long time (Luke6:12; Mark 14:32-42). Either way, let us bring the desires of our heart to the God of the backyards and the mountains of our lives.
Lord, please challenge us to pray constantly—both in short sessions and long. As we face the valleys, hills, and mountains of our lives, may we lift our hearts and minds to You in constant communication.
The heart of prayer is prayer from the heart.
DO YOU HAVE ROOM FOR GOD?
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. – Psalm 46:10, NIV
Being fruitful means being productive and excelling in everything you do. When you’re fruitful, life isn’t a drain, it doesn’t wear you out and you don’t have to force things to happen. When you confuse fruitfulness with busyness, you can head down a path that wears you out and robs God of His glory. You can be content when you’re being fruitful because you know you’re living a life that is pleasing to God. A fruitful life blesses others and receives God’s blessings in return. This is how God intended your life to be!
SETTLING OUR DOUBTS
John 1:46, “And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.”
Nathanael suffered from a skepticism that afflicts many people today.
However, it is to his credit that he came to the Lord and gave Him a chance to prove who He was.
We can only speculate what it was that Jesus saw Nathanael doing under that fig tree (v. 50), but it is very clear that it was something that proved beyond a doubt that Jesus was the Christ.
Jesus didn’t rebuke Nathanael for his doubts, instead he removed them. The Lord has an answer for every doubt that we have. We need to be without guile before the Lord as Nathanael was (v. 47) and come to Him when we are plagued with doubts instead of running from Him or avoiding Him.
Jesus knows our frame. He remembers that we are but dust (Ps. 103:14). It is not a sin to doubt, but it becomes sin if we harbor those doubts. We should do as Nathanael did and bring our doubts to the Lord. Let’s allow Him to deal with them.
GRACE TO DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST
The apostle Paul “worked harder than any of the other apostles.” But he attributed his success to the favor or grace of God in his life.
My friend, God’s grace will never provide you with reasons to just sit around and wait for a miracle to fall into your lap. No, it will give you faith to believe that God is working in and through you despite your limitations. It will give you a get-up-and-go-for-it spirit. It will make you say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)!
So in whatever role or position you find yourself right now, see the Lord’s favor empowering you to do what you need to with extraordinary diligence, creativity and effectiveness. The more you lean on His grace in all that you do, the more you allow Him to make you an excellent and extraordinary employee, manager, business person, parent or minister. That’s how you allow Him to work in and through you to bring you from one level of success to another!
FOCUS ON WHAT IS ‘ABOVE’ …
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2 NIV
Today we’re big on the concept of instant gratification and acquiring more stuff. But ‘earthly things’ lose their appeal once the bill arrives and the interest on your credit cards starts piling up. When that happens, blessings can turn into curses and rob you of the joy of living. ‘Materialism doesn’t satisfy because it’s tyrannical, and human beings were born to be free… We find we don’t own the house—the house owns us. We’re married to a mortgage. We become slaves to gadgets and garments. After they’re purchased, delivered and installed, we enjoy a fleeting sense of pleasure, but they still dominate, dictate and demand, “Press me, polish me, patch me, paint me, prune me, plaster me!” We spend our best years and the bulk of our money working for “things” until…we’ve no time left to pursue life’s really enjoyable vocations: visiting friends, having fun, and going to church…no time to do good deeds, see places, or visit the people who give us the greatest inner joy. Paul says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV) And to experience that contentment you need to count your blessings every day and thank the One who made them all possible.’ Jon Walker writes: ‘Assume there’s an imaginary line dividing what you can see from what you can’t see—the temporal from the eternal. Our objective in Jesus is to look upon the things “above”, so we can understand that what we see and feel is not a full and accurate measurement of God’s reality…people are eternal beings, and decisions that seem insignificant now, when seen in the fullness of reality, are of eternal significance.’
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