Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm afraid of doing what God tells me.

There have been times in my life I did not go to God for the truth of a matter. My dependence was on friends and people I trusted. The problem is you will always have some people who are ready to support and agree with you. And make no mistake, there will always be others who will disagree with you. God, however, is on the side of Truth. Only when you are willing to listen to Him with your heart are you sure of which way you should turn.

I have a habit of telling people to listen to their heart, or the small voice inside of them. I know that voice will always tell them which way to go. Unfortunately when I say this some people think I mean to listen to their own voices. This is not what I mean. I know more than others how we can let ourselves down, confuse ourselves, or simply lie to ourselves. I do not trust myself more than I can throw me. The only one I do trust is the Holy Spirit. He lives deep in my soul, heart, and being. His voice is a soft gentle voice directing me and showing me the way to go.

Do I always want to do what He tells me? No. Currently He is pushing me to give a Truth Wrap to a family in need of love and support. Yes, I know I give them away monthly, but then they are asked for... requested. This feels so different. My heart panics. My voice says, “What if they don’t want it!? They’ll think I’m stupid. It’s not enough. It’s a weak attempt at best. If I understood them better I would know this is NOT the way to reach out to them.” And God says again, “Go.” So then my voice switches tactics. “You are only doing this to bolster yourself. You’re looking for acclaim and attention. Just leave them alone. You’re going to do nothing but point to yourself.” And still the Holy Spirit says, “Listen to me. Just make it. Just give it. I will take care of the rest.” My voice does not stop at this point. I push through as I hear, “This is such a small thing. Why do you even have trouble with it? What is your deal anyway?”

And so having to be very brave my goal is to finish it quickly and give it to them once it is completed. Sometimes God isn’t telling me to sit back and be still. Sometimes He’s telling me to do hard things, like lay there and die. At least it feels like it. You see, my Africa is the people around me. It’s my scary place where I work hard to get on the flights to reach them. But God is calling me, and so I am trying my best to listen. Without asking anyone’s advice around me. And goodness... it is hard.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The fear of listening to the truth.

2 Kings 1:15
The angel of the Lord said to Elijah,
“Go down with him, do not be afraid of him.”
So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
There are many verses in the Bible which are looked over in different commentaries and handbooks. This verse is such a one. Only Matthew Henry seemed to say much, and even then it was in a roundabout way. The background on this verse is that the king sent messengers to the god of Ekron to find out if an injury would lead to death. Elijah met them on the way and sent them back with a message from God.

Apparently the message from Elijah was not of his liking. Elijah let the king know he would die in the bed which he laid. Would he have been more entertaining to a message from the false god? Had he hoped for a better report? I have to wonder if maybe this was not the first time the king had sent for a message, and the god had always favored him in the past. Who would choose to go to someone for the truth rather than lies which flatter? An honest person.

Elijah was an honest person. He served a great and mighty God and would not let this king belittle and disrespect God any more than he already had. Two captains had died, along with their men, because they had dared to command Elijah. Now the third speaks, on bended knee, requesting Elijah’s respect on his life and the life of his men.

I do not know why the angel told Elijah to not be afraid. He apparently had no need to be since the fire would come out of the sky at his request. But this is how the angel tells him to go with the captain to see the king. What can we learn, with the little that we know?

Question 1: Have you ever understood something in your heart to be true but didn’t want to face it as truth? Was your response one of anger and fear? Are you dealing with such a burden currently? Facing the truth of a situation will only bring peace even if the outcome isn’t desired.

Question 2: Do you give respect to the Lord Almighty? Sometimes in this day we have a tendency to treat Him as a friend or buddy. I think of the phrase, “I’m your parent not your friend.” There is a difference in our Heavenly Father and we should be careful to show respect. How can you do that in your every day life?

I come to you on bended knee
My heart longs to understand
My life is in your hands
Please show me what I am hiding from
And forgive me for the cavalier heart I often have

Monday, August 6, 2012

Elijah's Fear?

Elijah is the Prophet of Fire. He brought fire down on the sacrifice at Mount Carmel in 1 Kings 18, and here in 2 Kings 1 he brought fire down on the first two Commanders and regiments King Ahaziah sent. The third speaks to Elijah differently, making a request rather than a command.

Elijah looked at this man who bowed before him. He was different than the two that preceded him, obviously, but was the difference enough. Elijah would not be ordered like a common peasant. It was not that he was of great status, but the One whom he served was. Elijah would not allow disrespect to be shown to his God. If the King wanted to see Elijah he could ask for Elijah as he would another King’s servant. With respect. This man showed respect, but did it come from the king?

The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, "Go down with him, do not be afraid of him.”

Elijah was grateful for the direction. It was not his responsibility to check this man’s heart, nor the heart of the king. His job was only to relay the messages from God. If the king refused to believe the message through his own messengers, it was apparently time to give him God’s message directly to his face.

So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.

2 Kings 1:15

The angel of the Lord siad to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king. (NIV)  
The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he arose and went down with him to the king. (NAS)  
The angel of the Lord sia dot ELijah, Go down with him; do not be afraid of him. So he arose and went with him to the king. (Amplified)

Matthew Henry:
Elijah, being so commanded by the angel, goes down with him to the king. Thus he shows he before refused to come, not because he feared the king or court, but because he would not be imperiously complelled, which would lessen the honor of his master; he magnifies his office.