Tag Archives: Help

2 Chronicles 6:12-42; 1 John 5; Habakkuk 1; Luke 20

I love Solomon’s prayer when he dedicated the temple to God once it was completed.  Full of passion, his body  language denoted humility before an almighty God.  I find myself falling on my knees and raising my hands in prayer more often these days – probably an act of surrender acknowledging to God that more and more I need Him in my life.

Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court; and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven. – 2 Chronicles 6:13

Over the years, my “prayer batting average” is pretty low. I have prayed for the salvation of people who have not gotten saved. I have prayed for the restoration of sinning Christians, who have not repented and been restored. I have prayed for the reconciliation of many Christian marriages that have broken up.  I have prayed for physical healing for those in need and they have not been healed.  You would think that I might just give up.  I did once, when I was fourteen, and God showed up so tangibly that I will never lose my confidence that He is working everything out in His own time.

And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John 5:14

I am still learning today the same lessons I did then as I face different situations in my life.  I still cry, still tell Him what bothers me and I have given God exactly what He needs to do to solve the problem – oops – He still is ignoring my solutions.

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?  Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? – Habakkuk 1:1

I know there is a temptation for me to abuse prayer, to fake it and to tell everyone how pious I am in my prayer walk.  Pretty sure I have not fallen to the level of the scribes in Jesus’ time.

They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation. – Luke 20:47

Father, as I kneel before You with my outstretched arms, I do it knowing that as I come before You, it is to acknowledge that You reign in my life.  I yield my life before You and as Solomon consecrated the temple, I consecrate myself to You again this day.  As Jesus taught us to pray – I acknowledge You as my Father  –  I worship You today.  Be glorified in my life.  If that comes through answered prayer – that would be a blessing and encouragement to me – if it comes from Your hand another way, I am so thankful that You are still listening to me.  For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory for ever – Amen. 

evanlaar

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Filed under 1 John, 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Habakkuk, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Uncategorized

1 Chronicles 13, 14; James 1; Amos 8; Luke 3

But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you. But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown up and down by the wind. Such doubters are thinking two different things at the same time, and they cannot decide about anything they do. They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord. James 1:5-8 (NCV)

As I think about the word wisdom, I am struck that wisdom is so much more than simply being intelligent. I can be educated, well-studied, but that doesn’t mean that I am wise. I can have common sense, street-smarts as it were, but it doesn’t mean that I have wisdom.

Wisdom is defined as the ability to apply knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight in a situation. It is using the education I have received through schooling and through life experience in the context of the circumstances I am living through right now. But it shouldn’t start there; it should start with a conversation with the Lord; it should start with His Living Word.

This verse in James reminds me that if I need wisdom in any situation, all I need to do is ask God and believe that He will give it to me. I need to trust that He will give me the wisdom that I require in every circumstance. He is all-knowing, all-seeing and desires to help me through all of the events of my life. He has all of the answers and is just waiting for me to ask Him for help.

David asked God, “Should I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”

The Lord answered him, “Go, I will hand them over to you.” 1 Chronicles 14:10 (NCV)

Soon the Philistines attacked the people in the valley again. David prayed to God again, and God answered him, saying, “Don’t attack the Philistines from the front. Instead, go around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then attack. I, God, will have gone out before you to defeat the Philistine army.” David did as God commanded, and he and his men defeated the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. 1 Chronicles 14:13-16 (NCV)

Throughout David’s life, he consistently looked to God for wisdom and God gave it to him. He asked God for help. He asked God what he should do, what steps he should take. And, when he asked, God gave him instructions, detailed directives in everything, from how to slay Goliath when he was a youth to how to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem after he became king. Repeatedly, David asked for wisdom in how to defeat the Philistines in battle, and God never failed to share with him the way to gain victory over Israel’s enemy.

In Luke, as John the Baptizer began paving the way for Christ, he brought conviction to the hearts of the people. As John preached about changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins, the people began looking to him for answers. They asked him, “What should we do?” and because of His dedication to God, he was able to give them godly counsel to demonstrate their transformation.

The Lord God says: “The days are coming

when I will cause a time of hunger in the land.

The people will not be hungry for bread or thirsty for water,

but they will be hungry for words from the Lord. Amos 8:11 (NCV)

In Proverbs it shares that ONLY God gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. I can look to a book, to education, or to another person, but the One who IS Wisdom, is the only one who can impart strategic wisdom for my specific situation. And I can receive that wisdom by asking Him and then listening to and obeying His response.

As I remember to look to God first for wisdom in every aspect of my life, He will help me apply the earthly knowledge that I have by giving me better understanding of the state of affairs by giving me directions, by guiding me in each step I need to take.

Yesappa, Thank You for providing for ALL of my needs, especially my need for Your wisdom for the various circumstances of my life. Lord, I ask for wisdom in what steps to take in managing my home well. I ask for wisdom in my relationship with my husband, my marriage. I ask for wisdom in parenting my children. I ask for wisdom to help me survive and thrive each day, to not feel overwhelmed in the day to day of life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, Amos, James, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Deuteronomy 23; Psalms 112, 113; Isaiah 50; Revelation 20

The Lord God helps me learn,

and I have not turned against him

nor stopped following him…

The Lord God helps me,

so I will not be ashamed.

I will be determined,

and I know I will not be disgraced.

He shows that I am innocent, and he is close to me…

Isaiah 50:5, 7-8a (NCV)

It is said that one never stops learning until death. And, as I am not dead, I am in the midst of yet another learning cycle. I find it interesting though, that the learning I am doing right now has little to do with the reading, writing, and arithmetic I learned in school. It has little to do with the life experiences of learning right from wrong or learning how to iron a shirt or set a table properly or change a baby’s diaper.

The education I am receiving now is just one more onion peel layer of trusting God above all else; learning how to walk in stronger faith, that faith that will move mountains even though the circumstances are impossible from a human perspective.

The experience is not always enjoyable. It is hard to let go sometimes, to relinquish the idea of control over my surroundings, my fate. It is difficult not to know all the answers or understand all of the solutions.

But at the same time it is exciting. And, what most excites me in this learning process is coming to the understanding that no matter what is given to me to bear, God is always there to help me through it. I can call on him at all times for help and He will always meet me where I am.

He walks with me when I need a friend. He carries me in His arms when I can’t do it by myself. He loves me and protects me as my Perfect Father. He covers my failings, my iniquity. He is always close to me.

Yesappa, Thank You for ALWAYS being there for me. Thank You for teaching me. Thank You for removing my shame, safeguarding my virtue and restoring my innocence. Stay close to me every moment of every day and help me to always follow You, to never turn to the right or to the left. Help me to always keep my eyes on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Exodus 2; Luke 5; Job 19; 1 Corinthians 6

Now a man from the family of Levi married a woman who was also from the family of Levi. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw how wonderful the baby was, she hid him for three months. But after three months she was not able to hide the baby any longer, so she got a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall stalks of grass at the edge of the Nile River. The baby’s sister stood a short distance away to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:1-4 (NCV)

 

When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and put your nets in the water to catch some fish.”

Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.” When the fishermen did as Jesus told them, they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. They called to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they were almost sinking. Luke 5:4-7 (NCV)

Just then, some men were carrying on a mat a man who was paralyzed. They tried to bring him in and put him down before Jesus. But because there were so many people there, they could not find a way in. So they went up on the roof and lowered the man on his mat through the ceiling into the middle of the crowd right before Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Luke5:18-20 (NCV)

The first sermon I ever preached was about faith. It was a message about the need to stop trusting what we see around us, the fear, the uncertainty of the world, the discouragement of circumstances, and put all confidence on God. It was about putting a foot out into the unknown, into what is not seen or understood, and taking a leap of faith.

There was a time in my life not so long ago where I moved in that place of faith almost effortlessly. I took each moment by moment ready to do anything I felt Holy Spirit leading me to do, whether it made sense to me or not. Even though flickers of doubt or worry might flit across my mind, the strength of my faith in that time squashed those notions like mosquitos.

I took giant leaps of faith, some of which lead me to walk away from the life I had dreamed for myself, attend ministry school in a different state, and eventually move to the other side of the planet to reach out to the lost in India. It has been more than I could imagine.

But, I’ll be honest.

Recently, I have been struggling with faith; not with my faith in God, but in my faith that I will be able to rise above my frustrations, my situations in life. I’ve been struggling with the doubts that I have about who I really am in Christ and whether He really does have a good future planned for me (Jeremiah 29:11). http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=jer%2029:11&version=NCV

In my weakness, I have pondered all the things one thinks about went the enemy is trying to win on the battlefield. I’ll admit that I have listened to the lies whispered in my ear. I can say that I have felt very defeated, especially in the areas of joy, hope, and peace.

As much as I am able, amidst the demands of life with two small children, I read and study the Bible, I pray, and I worship the King. I realize that all I am able to do is hold on tight to what I believe to be the truth, whether I am feeling it or not. I grasp onto the knowledge that the conditions of my life are much better than many of the circumstances of the people of the Bible.

I know that my Defender lives,
and in the end he will stand upon the earth.
Even after my skin has been destroyed,
in my flesh I will see God.

I will see him myself;
I will see him with my very own eyes.
How my heart wants that to happen!
 Job 19:25-27(NCV)

It is very interesting to me that as I am writing, I am remembering promises that God spoke in the Bible and remembering that they will not come back to Him void. I am remembering that truths that He has whispered to me with His still, small voice. And, I keep hearing the words to the song “My Redeemer Lives.”

…you were washed clean. You were made holy, and you were made right with God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:11 (NCV)

I might not be in the same place as before. My leaps of faith may look more like hops. But, if nothing else, I can hold on to the truth that He will never leave me nor forsake me because I am His, washed in His blood that was shed at Calvary.

I know that I can’t do any of it by myself, but I can trust that He will help me when I ask.

Yesappa, Help me! Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament