“…They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And when they prevailed over them [literally, “they were helped against them,”], the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.” 1 Chronicles 5:19-20
What I find both encouraging and convicting here is that God responds to His people when they are willing to put all of their hope in Him, not holding back or playing it safe. These people don’t have a backup plan. They aren’t hedging their bets. They cry out to God in desperation because they know He is truly their only hope.
God answers when we go “all in”.
The question then, is simply this. In the areas of my life where I need God the most, do I believe God can and will surround me with His help, and am I willing to trust Him completely?
Ever feel like you’re just fighting to hang on, like each day is a battle?
“The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war.
They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And when they prevailed over them [literally, “they were helped against them,”], the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.” 1 Chronicles 5:18-20
I love how in this account, the people of God cry out to God “in the battle”.
This is Love – not that we chose God, but that He chose us, not because of our accomplishments or our virtue, not because of how hard we tried or how good we looked in our efforts, not because of our worthiness or suitability, but because of His grace.
This is Love – that He chose us in the midst of our failure; that He chose me in the middle of my sin, in the depths of my helplessness, in the darkest hour of my falling and failing, and chose that as what and who He wanted to redeem.
This is Love – that no matter how I sin, fail, cause pain to myself and others, and no matter how I succeed, triumph, or live rightly to try and make God proud of or pleased with me, His love remains the same.
Now here is the question… Do I really believe this? Do I really believe that God’s love for me remains the same, even when I trample it?
From time to time I get the privilege to play music with some good friends who are also awesome musicians, and one of those times is this Saturday night!
It’s happening from 7pm-9pm on 12/11/10 at Nita’s Sweet Bean Cafe in Fort Myers. We’ll be playing fun cover songs, plenty of originals, and maybe even a little magic.
There’s no charge to get in, but we will make available the opportunity to donate to a great cause, an organization called “Feed My Starving Children”. They provide meals and care for hungry kids all around the world and were just identified by Charity Navigator as the fastest growing charity in the United States.
In doing a study on “The Kingdom of God”, I wanted to show visually the comparison between each of the Gospels, in terms of how often they talked about “The Kingdom”. This PDF is the result. I’ve left in verse references, but stripped out section headings or other things not directly related to the text. I’ve also removed verses that mention the word “kingdom”, but that are not related to “The Kingdom of God/Heaven”. The numbers next to each book name are the number of times that Gospel mentions “The Kingdom”. Enjoy!
Could it be that it is God Himself who brings about the “winter of our discontent”, the collapse of our joy in the work of our hands?
Is it possible that sometimes He must do this, so as to wrench us away from our myopic concentration on our own perceived ability to please Him? Perhaps it is God, trying actively to change us, as if He were behind the curtain of our life-stage, working to throw off our lines and upset our performance. Perhaps He must do this because He knows that as long as our happiness remains rooted in our own accomplishments, instead of in a single-focused acceptance of His acceptance of us as poor servants, we will never truly be free to find and know either our greatest joy, or our fullest service.