King of the World

I realized very soon how silly it was to set up a writing challenge for myself just a week before I was going on a 10 day vacation…especially when I wasn’t planning on bringing my laptop along. I’d like to say that I kept up with my reading, but in all honesty, I did not. I still struggle to go deep into God’s Word each and every day. Thankfully, His mercies are made new each and every morning; and so I brush myself off and try once again.

I did read 1 Samuel 8-10 before we left on vacation. It tells of how the Israelites wanted a king because that is what they saw in all of the neighboring nations. God sent Samuel to them to tell them of all the things a king would do to rule over them, things that no one really wants. He warned them, and yet they still insisted that an earthly king is what they wanted. One to judge them and seek justice on their behalf. One to go before them and fight their battles. After Samuel relates this all to God, God tells him to do as the people want. To find a king and set him to rule over them.

We can read this and ask how blind the Israelites were. We can ask why they didn’t see that God Himself was their King, so why would they want a fallible man ruling over them instead. Did they not see and remember how God had judged them and sought justice on their behalf? Did they not remember how He went before them into battle and secured their victory?

Surely it’s not hard for us the think these things of the Israelites. But how often do we look at out own lives and think similar things of ourselves?

Have we sought after something more than we’ve sought after God, thinking “This is the way the world does it, so this is the way I want it too”? Are we surprised when we get our way and then realize it wasn’t what we wanted at all? How about when God doesn’t give us what we want and then we see the mess it could have been if He had; has that ever happened to you?

After reading these chapters I heard this song on the radio. It seemed to sum up what I had been thinking so completely that I knew I had to share it. I hope you take a few moments to listen.

 

Wherever you are, I pray you have faith to trust the King of the World with all you hold dear. Decisions you must make, the ones you love dearly, your very life. Never forget that He is holding you in His hands.

 

Love & Blessings,

KJ

 

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An Omnipotent God

I’ve read through 1 Samuel 4 a couple of times and the one thing that I keep coming back to is the fact that the Hebrews thought bringing the Ark of the Covenant into battle would give them the victory. Instead, though, they were met with devastating ruin and that which was most treasured by them, the Ark, was taken as a spoil.

Now, I know that God is not surprised by anything. Nothing catches Him off guard and there’s nothing He cannot handle. If God had wanted the Israelites to win the battle, they would have won, no question.

 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? ~ Jerimiah 32:27

I do wonder the reason for them losing. These are my two thoughts on the matter:

  1. God foretold that Eli’s sons would both die on the same day. In the loss of the battle, both of them were killed, thus bringing about what God foretold. That is a pretty easy conclusion to come to, the second is more of my pondering.
  2. What did God think that they just brought the Ark with them? There is no mention of them petitioning God Himself before the battle, but still they thought the presence of it would save them.

That second thought has just made me wonder how often I do that. How often do I think God will get me through something without actually reaching out to Him? Granted, He knows what’s going on, and yes, He can help us without our asking. Ultimately, as I said before, His will will be done, but I think I tend to take such things for granted, thinking that His will always matches with what I would like to happen. Sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t and who am I to say that’s wrong?

So, where’s the good news? Even when things seem darkest, God knows what is going on. He is not looking in the other direction. He is not taken by surprise. Perhaps He is using the darkness so that when the light comes you cannot help but be drawn to it.  That you will have no doubt of its existence. The flame of a candle burning in a lit room may be hard to see. A flame in the darkness cannot be mistaken.

If you are experiencing darkness, keep your eyes upon the flame. I pray it becomes evident to you and that it grows so that the darkness flees.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

 

A Mighty God

In reading 1 Samuel 2 tonight (you can read it here) one thought rose above all the rest; our God is mighty. Hannah goes to the temple with Samuel to give him into the Lord’s service (he’s about 3 or so years old) and she prays a heartfelt prayer. Overarching the whole prayer is the fact that God is in control.

The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and on them he has set the world. ~1 Samuel 2:6-8

I don’t know about you, but I find much comfort in this fact and was glad to be reminded of it once again. I can never be reminded of this too much, as I am all too quick to forget this in times of stress, anxiety, worry, and fear. BUT, knowing God’s got this, as well as everything else on the earth, brings me peace. This bit just adds to the comfort that this knowledge brings:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28

Through the whole part of Eli’s sons being awful and not following the rules God set for them I wanted to have a “REALLY?” moment; like “God has instructed you as to how you are supposed to deal with the offerings from His people so that they also provide your food and you are so unsatisfied with that that you take what rightfully belongs to God? REALLY?” But then I realized that I do similar things each and every day. I take time that rightfully belongs to God and squander it on things that don’t matter. I take potential gifts and talents that God has given me to use for His kingdom, and I ignore them because I don’t want to put in the effort. How grateful I am that Jesus came to be my redeemer so that I will never come to the same end that Eli’s sons did.

It was not only the sons’ actions that were in the wrong though; there was also the fact that Eli heard about it, told them to stop, but did not seem to go any further when they did not listen. A man of God comes to him to tell him that he has put his sons above God and there will a drastic price to pay; the death of his sons. And again I’m reminded of how I easily put things in my life above God. Some of them are even good things, but as God is the best thing, nothing should come close to comparing to who He is and all He’s done for me.

There’s a lot for me to still think about here; reminders of God’s great promises and also conviction of things that need to change in my life. I am grateful to have God’s Word; that through it the Holy Spirit can open my eyes to these things, help me to change, and draw me closer to my God. I pray you’re aware of His work in your life, too.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

God Only Knows

How many times have you heard those words, “God only knows”? How many times, when you heard them, did you associate them with something positive? Until recently, I must admit, I always heard and said those words with a negative connotation. In my thinking, I heard them as sarcastic and maybe a little frustrated; similar to the response “Who the heck knows?”.

My thinking changed, though, in a late night conversation with a dear Sister of mine. We spent an evening together; preparing dinner & taking it to her hubby at work, playing with the munchkin, catching up on old episodes of “Once Upon a Time”. The last episode ended and we started chatting. At least a week prior I had felt the need to talk with her and explain some things that had happened in the past few months. I thought she might already have an idea, but needed to fully verbalize it all; not just for her, but also for myself.

And so the conversation started. It was about a lot of what I write about here – being single, thoughts on dating, the desire for a family. And then I asked the question that I can never find an answer to. The very same question many girls and women, alike, ask themselves when faced with heartache when a relationship has ended or there is a lack of one altogether. “Is there something wrong with me?”

“No,” she answered emphatically. “You are amazing. God only knows why you are not married yet. I have been praying for you because I know it is something you desire, and it’s something I want for you, too. You are my Sister and I love you. I know He has something awesome planned and I’m excited to see what it is.”

Praying for me, really? I was struck at God’s providence in this as one of the main reasons I had for this conversation was to ask her if she would be praying for me. To find out that she already was…well, I was more more encouraged and felt more love than I can express, even now. We continued our conversation with smatterings of tears and laughter, sometimes both at the same time. I left (much later) that night feeling as if a weight had been removed.

As I drove home, those 3 words were stuck in my head. God only knows. And it clicked.

“I am the Alpha and Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” -Revelation 1:8

If He is the first & the last, the beginning and the end of it all (which He is) then He is sovereign over all. If He is sovereign over all (which He is) then He knows all. If He knows all (which He most certainly does) He, well, knows all.

If He decides to reveal any of His knowledge to us, bonus. If He doesn’t (which seems more often than not when you’re in the middle of something), that is where faith comes in.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

If God, only, knows who He has waiting for me to marry (and again, yes, He knows), I should have no complaints. He, the Almighty, knows what He has in store for my future. Am I glad He’s the One running the show? The One Who has had it all in His sight before the foundation of the earth? Most definitely, yes, and indeed! I know if it was all up to me, it would be a waaay bigger mess than I could deal with.

I can take comfort in that which God only knows, because if only one could know what the future holds, wouldn’t you want it to be Him?

Love & Blessings,

KJ