Again in Daniel 10, we read about one of God’s chosen spokespersons being touched on the mouth (v. 16) to strengthen him to serve the Lord.
(Sunday) Read Psalm 104:31-34 and be reminded that our loving and awesome Creator God takes pleasure in the fact that he made YOU.
(Monday) In Jeremiah 1:8-10, the prophet described how the Lord touched his mouth to empower him to speak on his behalf. Just, wow.
Has it ever occurred to you that YOU might be the tool that God uses to minister to someone else? Be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
If you think God doesn’t speak to you, or you don’t know how to hear him, start by spending time in the Bible, pray often, & go to church.
If 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that scripture is inspired by God, then why do we often pick & choose which parts to pay attention to (or ignore)?
Sometimes I feel like a broken record, except that my kids don’t really have a frame of reference for scratched vinyl albums, so the cliché is lost on them. The point, as many parents will agree, is that I feel like my words go in one ear and out the other. I don’t talk just to hear myself speak, for cryin’ out loud!
Sometimes I wonder if God feels the same way about us. He communicates with us through his word, the Bible. He also communicates through messengers, like the sermon on Sunday morning, a worship song on the radio, or a godly friend’s counsel. He communicates through prayer and the nudges of the Holy Spirit on our hearts. Case in point: Have you ever heard a particularly poignant sermon that echoed something that had been on your heart for a while, and then a song came on the radio that was spot-on about what you were dealing with? Lo and behold, you open your Bible later and seemingly coincidentally stumble upon a passage that reiterates everything God has been trying to tell you?
God is so patient with us; isn’t he? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul explains that scripture comes from God’s inspiration, and it is not only useful to teach us, but also to redirect us, point out our mistakes, and build character. All of these things, in turn, work together to equip us to do the work that God calls us to do. Think back to when you started your current job: you might have attended an orientation, gone through training, perhaps even had a mentor. You probably weren’t an expert on Day One; it took time to learn the ropes.
Our spiritual journey is not much different. We have ample training opportunities through church and studying the Bible. You can build mentorship connections through Life groups. You can gain on-the-job training by serving in a ministry. Even people who have walked with the Lord for decades will admit that they have much to learn, but each day should find us growing closer and closer to the Lord. Check out Philippians 1:6 – God is in the business of finishing projects, and how wonderful for us that he never throws in the towel!
Isaiah 55:11 reminds us that God’s word will not return empty-handed; he speaks to be heard, and he communicates with us in order to bring us into a deeper relationship with himself. Are you listening?
When’s the last time you heard/felt God prompting you to do something? Spend some time in prayer today seeking that nudge from the Spirit.
I found a roly poly on the sidewalk as I left my office today. You might call them doodle bugs, pill bugs, or – if you’re a real brainiac – Armadillidiidae (thanks, Google). Roly polies are as much a reminder of my childhood as Saturday morning cartoons and drinking from the water hose. My brother and I used to play with them, build habitats in the backyard for them, and beg our parents to let us keep them inside as pets.
I was afraid that the roly poly would get stepped on, so I picked it up and started to move it into the grass on the other side of the walkway, where it was heading. Of course, it immediately rolled up into a ball and refused to open while it was in my hand. I’m glad there didn’t happen to be any students or colleagues in earshot, because without thinking about where I was, I tried to coax the little bug with kind words, “Don’t worry, little buddy, I’m just trying to help you.” I set it in the grass and told it bye as I continued walking to my car.
As I walked, I thought about how silly it was for the bug to be afraid of me; I wasn’t going to hurt it. Like God is so prone to doing, I felt an impression on my heart whispering, “You are the exact same way, aren’t you?” Touché, Lord. Yes, there have been so many times in my life when I felt like I was being picked up against my will and redirected elsewhere, spiritually speaking. Like the roly poly, it felt traumatic, and I wanted to curl up in a ball and protect myself. Yet, God was trying to speak gently to me the whole time, “Fear not, dear child, I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m doing this for your own good.”
Sometimes we’re just walking along the sidewalk of life when it feels like a cosmic hand comes swooping down and carries us off to a strange place. We aren’t expecting grass, because we were just walking on concrete! What’s going on?? It can feel scary when we are so focused on our own footsteps that we don’t notice that God is trying to redirect us for our own good, which is his will (not ours).
Did you know that depending on the English translation, there are about 350-500 references to the word “fear” in the Bible? About a third of those references are in the negative (“fear not,” etc.). The Lord told Isaiah (41:10) not to fear for Israel. Boaz told Ruth (3:11) not to fear, because he would care for her. An angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:20). Can you imagine how these individuals might have wanted to curl up under the covers and hide from the reality of a new day? And yet, God is so faithful to us. He compels us not to fear, instead, to trust him.