Posts Tagged With: power

Only God

2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23 & Daniel 1:1-21

OK, today I especially loved the “coincidence” that we went from reading about the exile from Jerusalem to Babylon and then followed Daniel into the Babylonian king’s court. How cool was that? That doesn’t happen often when we’re reading alphabetically. Anyway, I feel I need to pull more on Daniel’s story today than on Josiah and Jehoahaz.

Daniel had just been sitting around in Jerusalem, minding his own business, doing his own thing when out of the blue he finds himself exiled to Babylon. Once in Babylon he is told that he has been chosen to “stand in the king’s palace” where he will learn “the literature and language of the Chaldeans”. Intimidating, but exciting none the less. Hey, it’s not slave work right? But then there’s something else. Mealtime rolls around and Daniel sits down to the table, his stomach rumbling and his mouth is watering from the smells that are coming from the palace kitchen. He was probably thinking, “This hasn’t been nearly as bad of a day as I had expected.” I can only imagine how crestfallen he felt when they brought in the trays filled with food that he couldn’t eat. Like a sweet-toothed diabetic in a candy factory, he couldn’t eat a thing. Then he probably thought, “I’m going to starve. I’ll be the smartest dead guy around.” The pressure to eat that steaming food before him had to have been incredible. Yet he stood firm in his faith and refused to eat it.

Sometimes in life God plants us into situations where we are forced to make a choice, his ways or the world’s, God’s food or the Babylonian king’s. We’re placed at a fork in the road where whichever path we choose will change life dramatically and neither really looks to be that fun. But we can’t stand at the fork forever; we have to choose one or the other. The pressure to take the World’s way is incredible, yet the eternal resentment of not taking God’s way is equally unbearable. But there is hope. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 tells us,

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Do you remember in yesterday’s reading when the king of Assyria (Sennacherib) had been attacking Judah and “sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem?'” (2 Chronicles 32:9-10) The Enemy of Judah was attacking the cities of Judah and putting intense pressure on the people. Yet they were enduring it and that infuriated Sennacherib causing him to turn his cause of frustration into a taunt. “On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege?” I talked about it yesterday and how there is always SOMETHING we are trusting in to save us, whether it’s money, medicine, doctors, or God. But of all these options, and the many more that I didn’t take the time to list, which of them is able to help you endure the siege? Which of them is able to help you withstand the pressure of the World to eat the king’s food? Which of them is able to help you locate the trap door hidden within every single temptation of life?

Only God.

Only God can be our source of salvation from the siege. Jesus is our shield and refuge, our shelter in times of trouble and in times of glee. Only the power of His Holy Spirit can hold us up in our human weakness.

Only God.

Hallelujah!

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Daniel, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Spinach

2 Chronicles 10:1-15:19

“And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the LORD, and the priests blew the trumpets. Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” 2 Chronicles 14:14-15

Have you ever been there? I’m sure you have. You know, that place where you look up and the battle isn’t just in front of you, it’s behind you too. You’re surrounded, and trapped and helpless. There is a choice to make in that moment, keep fighting or surrender. And it is in that moment where it is key to know your opponent! Who is it exactly that you’re fighting?

Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We aren’t fighting other people. We’re not in a battle with the attorneys, or against the bank, or against our spouse. We are batting with the spiritual forces behind the attorneys, the bank, our spouse. These people are the hostages held up between us and the true Enemy. And the longer you battle the flesh and blood problem and not the spirit behind it, the longer that Spirit will continue pushing you further back.

Right now, if you’re having trouble with your finances, and it seems like money is running through your fingers faster than sand, you’re not struggling with money. You’re struggling with Greed. Fight Greed not money and you’ll win every time.

If you’re struggling with your weight and it just doesn’t seem to want to come off. You’re not fighting the battle of the bulge; you’re fighting the spirit of Indulgence.

In both instances the world will tell you to tell yourself, “No, I don’t need that new pair of shoes. These work just fine.” Or, “No, a second cupcake is too much.” But you’re not fighting you! The battle isn’t against flesh and blood; it’s against the spirit that has been influencing your flesh and blood. Yes, you still need to say “no” to those things. But you’re not telling you “no”, you’re telling the Spirit-monkey on your back “no”!

Let’s say it, just for fun. Say, “NO!” as loud as you can! In James 4 verses 7 & 8 God reveals to us the secret of victory. “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” There’s a formula here that I want you to see:

  1. Submit yourself to God: Submit yourself to His leadership in the battle, to His authority over you (AND the spirits you battle) and to His amazingly abundant love for YOU. He wants to see you saved from this light and momentary trouble even more than you do! Submit to Him and He will be your shelter. Not just a storm shelter, your home shelter. Your place of refuge, comfort and REST from the battle that rages outside that door.

  2. Resist the Devil: He is doing everything he can to cause you to trip and fall and screw things up. Ignore his temptations! God has made the POWER of His Holy Spirit available to all who believe in the name of Jesus and call on Him for salvation (“Jesus save me”) and power to defeat this Enemy (“Holy Spirit of Jesus, I welcome you into my heart. Please guide me into all truth and away from this father of lies! In Jesus Name! Amen!”)*

  3. He will flee from you: This is an ongoing battle. We push the Enemy back, he retaliates. It’s a cycle, but it’s a diminishing cycle! The more ground we win the less ground he has to stand on. The more we resist his temptations the more ground we gain and the less ground he has. Every temptation we cave to is allowing Satan to gain our territory. So every time you stab your fork into a spinach salad instead of cake you can picture yourself piercing the heart of the spirit of Indulgence and gaining lost territory. The longer you do it, the better you will get until it’s not even a battle anymore. He just turns into a pesky fly that you smack and kill.

  4. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you: I have been harping on this a lot this week and I’m going to keep doing it (a) because the Holy Spirit is leading me to and (b) because I know it’s important. You’ve got to read a portion of your Bible daily! God has blessed me with a reading plan that is simple and quick. 30 minutes a day is NOT a lot! There are 1,440 minutes in your day, spending 30 reading your Bible leaves you with 1,410. See, it hardly leaves a dent! But the impact that those 30 concentrated minutes with God can have on your life is immeasurable!

    The words that you read in those 30 minutes will stick with you all day long. God will use them to give you the strength and hope to keep going when all you want to do is quit! Those 2 ½ pages of reading are like spinach to Popeye, they will make you strong to the finish, because you ate your spinach!

    And it will make it possible for you to say, “O Satan, do not fight against the LORD, MY GOD, for you can not succeed!” (adapted from 2 Chronicles 14:12)

    * If you prayed this prayer please email me (tamarknochel at gmail dot com) and let me know so my team and I can pray for you by NAME! We love you and want to do everything we can to support you!

Categories: 2 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In This Name

Word of the Day: Acts 4:1-6:15
“In this name” Acts 5:28

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I admit that much of today’s reading felt like a haze. But through that haze a pattern began to emerge. A name.

The Sadducees were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” Acts 4:2

“let it be known to all of you and all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead by him this man is standing before you well.” Acts 4:10

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” Acts 4:11

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“But in order that it may spread no farther among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” Acts 4:17

I could go on and on, but just by this short passage it is evident that there is tremendous power in the name of Jesus of Nazareth! Power that filled the Sadducees with jealous fear and the disciples with power and boldness through His Holy Spirit. There is power in the name of Jesus because it speaks of the person of Jesus, in whom all power resides. When we have Jesus, we have everything we need. He is the cornerstone the builders rejected. Will you reject him today? Will I? I almost did. But “if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, nothing will be able to overthrow it.” Acts 5:38-39
As unfaithful as I have already fully proven myself to be, God still won’t let me fail. You know why? Because of you. Because He cares about you. And it’s my job to remind (myself and) you every day how much He loves you. He loves you enough to send you power and strength through a simple name – JESUS! A name that saves to the fullest and most extreme extent. A name above all names. A name that means everything to me because He gave everything for me while I was yet a sinner. Although I sinned and fell oh so short of the glory of God, He justified me by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propitiation for my sins and yours! (Romans 3:23-25)
Hallelujah! We are justified through Grace!

Thank you Jesus!

Categories: 365 Life, Acts, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Given a Spirit

1 Kings 15:25 – 18:19

Word of the Day:

“As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand,” 1 Kings 18:15

I can be such a pushover sometimes, I always have been. Honestly, Im amazed that I made it all the way through high school and college without ever being offered drugs, alcohol or a cigarette. My mom must have prayed a lot about that. As an adult, the pressures arent the same, but they’re still there. Now weve got commercials filled with Weight Watchers telling us to “diet”, hair color telling us to “dye it”, fast food restaurants telling us to “eat here”. Its enough to make a girl go absolutely insane trying to figure out the best balance for life! Everything that surrounds us day in and day out pulls at us from every possible side in a constant tug of war where were the rope! We are making decisions from moment to moment and those decisions can affect the course of the rest of our lives! So how can we know what the best decision is in each moment, for ourselves as well as our families?

We trust God. In several of my Bible Study readings this week the Word has spoken of God leading His people. He “teach[es] them the good way in which they should walk” (1 Kings 8:36). “May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways…” (1 Kings 8:57-58) “For it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that He might fulfill His word,” (1 Kings 12:15)

God has directed me to 2 Timothy 1:7 NASB for my memory scripture this week. “For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity [or fear], but of power and love and discipline.” I am going to be holding this one close to the heart, as a shield! Those who are in Christ, those who have chosen Him as their Savior have been made new. They have been born again and given the Holy Spirit of Jesus to live within them. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. His Spirit leads us and is always there to consult for any decision large or small. He is a personal God that cares about the things you care about… because you care about them. And if you feel God’s Spirit leading you to do something and it’s against the social norms or peer pressures around you; know that you have not been given a timid Spirit that is afraid to do what God leads you to do. You have been given a Spirit that will supply you with the power to stand tall and do what you’re called to do, a love for what you are doing and for whom you are doing it and the discipline to get the job done.

Hallelujah!

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Give a book bible button

I wanted to make you aware of some ministry updates. I am very excited to announce that I have a Mother’s Day speaking engagement scheduled for May 11th. I would LOVE to have books on hand for the women to buy, and even some to give away as gifts. However, the current funds in the ministry account are running drastically low. If you are able, I would love for you to prayerfully consider giving a book or Bible to someone who can’t afford one. If you are able, please click here!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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