Thursday, June 11, 2009

2009 – Day 161.June 11 – Discipline When Tragedy Strikes

2009 – Day 161.June 11 – Discipline When Tragedy Strikes

Passage of the Day: 1st Kings 17: 17 – 19 …
17 Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed.

My Journal for Today: As Chuck Swindoll points out in today’s devotional entry, this passage brings out several very telling things about Elijah, his faith, and his discipline. And first Swindoll points to Elijah’s “gentleness” in the face of the widow’s misdirected anger. Gentleness (i.e., meekness) is one of those Christlike qualities, a fruit of God’s Spirit, which is present in all Spirit-filled believers. But it is not always present to the degree of Christlikeness which allows one like Elijah to take the woman’s anger without reacting back in anger. That kind of meekness takes time to develop in most believers. Elijah had learned, likely through his time in Cherith before coming into the widow’s life, that a crisis requires leaning on God rather than reacting with human emotions. And that’s exactly what Elijah did. He gently asked that the woman give her lifeless child over to Elijah’s arms and in faith let Elijah go to God.

And as we see, the woman, though she had taken all her emotions out on Elijah, in response to the Prophet’s request, she seemed to know that she must submit to Elijah’s request and thereby submit her child to Elijah’s God. But then we see something we need to learn and incorporate into our lives. Elijah took the child to a place of solitude to “do business” with God. He carried the child to an “upper room.”

And Chuck Swindoll asks a telling question of his readers. He writes, “Do you have a room like that – a place where you meet with God, … where you and the Lord do regular business together?” And he recommends, and I second the charge, that you find or develop such a “quiet place,” … a place where you get alone with God – DAILY – and delve into God’s word together with God’s Spirit, … a place where you can “get on your knees” and bring your life to God, … a place where you can seek the mind of God.

I have such a place; and I’m right there now. As I type this, I’ve gone to my personal quiet place; and I’ve been delving, with Chuck Swindoll’s help, for God’s wisdom; and I firmly believe that my words here today come from one (yours truly) who is getting insight from God’s Spirit which is way beyond my own ability to reason or think. Hence, as I do so often during my morning devotional times, I am receiving the results of my prayer for wisdom, as spoken of in James 1: 5-6 [linked her for you]. Before I dig for God’s truth (see Job 28 - also linked), I pray that God will reveal Himself and His mind to me; and when I write like I am this morning, I sense that God is pouring His grace of enlightenment into and through me.

Dear one, I’m not smart enough to write what I’m typing here. That’s God’s Spirit giving me these thoughts. That’s not pride or haughtiness. That is simply confidence in what God promises and the results of faith in what God has taught me over many years of devotional discipline. I’ve been getting alone with God every morning now since 1988; and that’s why I get up each morning expecting that God is going to be there in my quiet place to give me His grace and truth when I seek it from my Lord. And my God shows up <u>every morning to do just that! And wouldn't you want to go to a place where you know that God was going to be there for you every day? I think so!

Like Swindoll, I hope you have an “upper room” where you can go to be with God and let Him do business with your soul; and not just in crisis times as we read about Elijah, but EVERY DAY so that God can shape you into a seeker after His wisdom and a warrior who can do business for God as we read Elijah doing with the boy in today’s scenario. God will be there when you diligently seek Him. Get a place where you can meet with Him everyday; and you’ll find what I have found. He’ll be there for you and with you.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, thank You for being here with me today. Amen

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