15 June 2013

War and Peace, Courage and Care

Today's post is yesterday's reading and today's combined . . . and I learned so much from so many passages that I've kept this post in the same format as my scripture study journal: passages & applications/thoughts, with occasional prayers. All scriptures quoted from the NLT.

1 Kings 16:10-11: Zimri walked in and struck him (Basha) down and killed him. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa’s reign in Judah. Then Zimri became the next king. Zimri immediately killed the entire royal family of Baasha, leaving him not even a single male child. He even destroyed distant relatives and friends.

The enemy doesn't play nice.  He's out for complete & utter destruction of those who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Chr 13:11-12: “We are following the instructions of the Lord our God, but you have abandoned him.  So you see, God is with us. He is our leader. His priests blow their trumpets and lead us into battle against you. O people of Israel, do not fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, for you will not succeed!”

When I keep the Lord's commandments--whether logos or rhema--the Lord will be with me.  God is faithful . . . and when I do what He has commanded, He is bound to bless me.  If He didn't bless those that keep His commandments, He wouldn't be faithful . . . and I know God is faithful.

2 Chr 14:6: During those peaceful years, he was able to build up the fortified towns throughout Judah. No one tried to make war against him at this time, for the Lord was giving him rest from his enemies.

I feel like the Lord will give me rest at some point.  That the Lord will be with me and my family.  That we will have a period of rest from intense spiritual warfare. I'm not expecting a complete absence of conflict & difficulty . . . I'm sure Asa still had plenty of domestic disputes and squabbles . . . but his kingdom was secure, and he was free to serve the Lord in it, and teach Judah to do the same.

2 Chr 14:9-15: Once an Ethiopian  named Zerah attacked Judah with an army of 1,000,000 men  and 300 chariots. They advanced to the town of Mareshah,  so Asa deployed his armies for battle in the valley north of Mareshah.    Then Asa cried out to the L ord  his God, “O L ord , no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O L ord  our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O L ord , you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!” So the L ord  defeated the Ethiopians  in the presence of Asa and the army of Judah, and the enemy fled.  Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar, and so many Ethiopians fell that they were unable to rally. They were destroyed by the L ord  and his army, and the army of Judah carried off a vast amount of plunder. While they were at Gerar, they attacked all the towns in that area, and terror from the L ord  came upon the people there. As a result, a vast amount of plunder was taken from these towns, too.  They also attacked the camps of herdsmen and captured many sheep, goats, and camels before finally returning to Jerusalem.

And, even if attacks come during that time of peace, the Lord will fight my battles for me; and while I'll need to diligently do what He instructs, I'll come out blessed more than ever before in the end.  Israel came home with "many" animals on their way back from letting the Lord defeat the Ethiopians . . . animals meant meat, milk, medicine & nurturing foods, fertilizer, leather, wool, sinew, horn & bone--and probably more sustaining & useful things than I'm aware of.  After this, Judah sacrificed 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats.  And I doubt that was a huge percentage of the plunder.  (When the Word says "many", it means many. lol)

The Lord will bless me with what I need, in abundance, when I trust in Him and follow Him with firmness and rejoicing.

Philippians 4:4-9: Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!  Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

And here's how I go about that. The way to find peace and strength and bring the God of peace into my home and my life.  Yes! :o)

Philippians 4:18-20: At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.  And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen.

The Lord truly will take care of those who help Him take care of His own.

2 Chronicles 15:7: But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.

I will be strong and courageous.

2 Chronicles 16:9: "The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

'Nough said.

Colossians 1:22-23: This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Duly noted, and firmly decided.  I will never forget the darkness of the years without Christ . . . and will not drift away from the assurance I now hold. Even though I never desired or intended evil, actions have moral value and definite consequences--and they reaped evil upon me and my family.  It's simply beyond beautiful that I can now see the healing of Jesus Christ flowing through what was once barren and parched, and the tilled fields of my home & family flooded with His grace, and the ground simply bringing forth in abundance.

Colossians 1:27: " . . . And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory."

Hallelujah, and Praise Him!!! :o)

Colossians 16:9-14: So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.  Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.  For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,  who purchased our freedom  and forgave our sins.

This prayer is truly powerful to me.

Father, I very much want to know, clearly and completely, Your will for me, and to have spiritual wisdom and understanding, so the way I live can always honor and please the You and Jesus, and my life will produce every kind of good fruit, and I'll grow as I come to know You and Your Son better and better.  Lord, please strengthen me with Your glorious power so I will have all the patience I need, and be filled with this joy.  I long to walk in thanksgiving and rejoicing before You, always.  In Jesus' name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!