I’ll Wait As Long As God Says

The first four words I read today jumped out at me! They gave me direction and a focus.

2 Samuel 18:1, “David organized his forces….a third under Joab, a third under Abishai…and a third under Ittai the Gittite.” The Message

We need to organize and make a plan. But, sometimes, it’s better to let others fight for us and defend us. We are the most helpful when we stand back and let God work.

2 Samuel 18:3, “…It will be better for us if you stay in the city and help from there.” The Message

* * * * * * *

“…a sweet, elderly woman…answered a young man who asked, ‘How do I obtain the Lord’s help for my needs?’…she said with great insistence, ‘You just have to believe it is done!’ ” from Days of Heaven upon Earth, “Streams in the Desert” February 22

* * * * * * *

Psalms 62:1, “God, the One and only – I’ll wait as long as He says. Everything I need comes from Him, so why not?” The Message

I am going to act as if the tangle was completely resolved.

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God Determined

The truth always comes out, no matter how we try to rewrite it! Circumstances may take us somewhere we don’t want to go. Absalom tricked Ahithophel into being a part of his revolt, (2 Samuel 15:12).

Ahithophel’s advice was still “as if God himself had spoken.” And David knew it, (2 Samuel 16:23). That is why David prayed God would turn his counsel to foolishness, (2 Samuel 15:31). He sent Hushai to confuse Ahithophel’s directions, (2 Samuel 15:34). Hushai spoke long and hard to turn Absalom from Ahithophel’s plan, (2 Samuel 17:7-13).

2 Samuel 17:14, “Absalom and all his company agreed that the counsel of Hushai the Arkite was better than the counsel of Ahithophel. (God determined to discredit the counsel of Ahithophel so as to bring ruin on Absalom.)” The Message

God’s purpose was to ruin Absalom’s revolt, not permanently discredit Ahithophel. Had Ahithophel gone home and waited, he would have been proven correct. David would have learned Absalom tricked him. Ahithophel would have continued as the advisor.

But waiting is hard. Even harder? Waiting patiently.

“Have you prayed and prayed, and waited and waited, and still you see no evidence of an answer?…Are you to the point of giving up? Then perhaps you have not waited in the right way, which removes you from the right place – the place where the Lord can meet you.

‘Wait for it patiently.’ (Romans 8:25). Patience eliminates worry…weeping…self-works…want…weakness…wobbling…. Patience yields worship.” C.H.P.

“Streams in the Desert” February 21

Waiting is temporary. Patiently waiting is worshiping as if the tangled mess were already untangled.

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From a Full Heart

Before I opened my Bible, I listened to a song on Worship Central Radio. I closed my eyes and pictured Jesus. He was standing on a hill offering me a hug.

I wrapped my arms around Him and He pulled me close. After a minute, I leaned back and asked Him what my job was. (I heard we all have a job in heaven.)

He shook His head and said, “Let me hold you a little longer.” I did. When the song ended, I opened my eyes and read today’s chapters.

Psalms 9:1, “I’m thanking You, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on Your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing Your song, High God.” The Message

Today is even gloomier than yesterday! We had ice storm warnings in the night and flash flood warnings all day.

The tangled mess is still tangled. It’s rushing down a river headed to Niagara Falls and I can’t stop it.

My friends will be here in a few hours. Only half of the bedding is clean. I haven’t cleaned the house. There are two loads of laundry to fold. I didn’t thaw anything out for dinner.

Yet, I have peace.

The circumstances didn’t change. I changed. I’ve been with Jesus. He has everything under control.

  • It is possible for believers…to trust…the Lord for their safekeeping and victory….
  • It is possible to daily “cast all your anxiety on him,” (1 Peter 5:7) and experience deep peace in the process.
  • It is possible to have our thoughts and the desires or our hearts purified in the deepest sense of the word.
  • It is possible to see God’s will in every circumstance and to accept it with singing instead of complaining.
  • It is possible to become strong…by taking refuge in the power of God and by realizing that our greatest weakness and the things that upset our determination to be patient, pure, or humble provide an opportunity to make sin powerless over us.”

from “Walking with God” by H.C.G. Moule

“Streams in the Desert” February 20

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Waiting, Hoping, Knowing God is Working

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I’m looking at a tangled knot. Each action and reaction made another knot. Every day that passes another gets trapped in the tangle. It’s a sticky mess and I can’t fix it. All I can do is pray and wait.

Psalms 38:14, 15, “I don’t hear a word they say, don’t speak a word in response. What I do, God, is wait for you, wait for my Lord, my God – you will answer!” The Message

* * * * * * *

“Lift up your head and begin praising Him right now for the deliverance that is on its way to you.” from Life of Praise, “Streams in the Desert” February 17

Sunday, February 18, 2018

No resolution. There is an absence that cuts like a knife. Another knot tied. I’m still praying and waiting. I have to keep up my hope.

Romans 4:18, “Against all hope,…in hope believed.” 

“And while he was trusting, Grandma was working, and in due time faith became sight.” Streams in the Desert, 2-18

Amnon gives us an example of what happens when we don’t wait.

  1. Amnon loved Tamar. David could have given her to him as his wife but he couldn’t wait. His love quickly turned to lust and then hate, 2 Samuel 13:9-19.
  2. His cousin, Jonadab, couldn’t wait for him to get out of his funk. He set the stage for Amnon to get what he wanted without a covenant, 2 Samuel 13:1-5.
  3. Amnon refused to wait and took what he wanted ruining Tamar. Then he refused to make an honest woman of her, 2 Samuel 13:9-19.
  4. Tamar went to her brother instead of her father. Absalom took on her offense, 2 Samuel 13:20.
  5. Absalom decided to “keep it quiet” instead of reporting it to his father, King David, 2 Samuel 13:20.
  6. The proper authority, King David, heard about it from another source, 2 Samuel 13:21.
  7. King David did nothing! He did not discipline Amnon for his treachery, 2 Samuel 13:21.
  8. Absalom gave Amnon the silent treatment, 2 Samuel 13:22.
  9. The hatred in Absalom festered for two years, 2 Samuel 13:23.
  10. Absalom invited all the king’s household to the banquet to cover his plan, 2 Samuel 13:26, 27.
  11. Absalom’s murder of Amnon was premeditated, 2 Samuel 13:28.
  12. Absalom waited until Amnon was drunk to have his servants kill him, 2 Samuel 13:28.
  13. Jonadab, the cousin who made it possible for Amnon to rape Tamar, stayed behind. He knew Absalom was going to kill Amnon, 2 Samuel 13:32, 33.
  14. David failed to discipline Amnon and it cost him both of his sons, 2 Samuel 13:37-39.

Nothing good comes from taking matters into my own hands.

Monday, February 19, 2018

It’s a gloomy, rainy day. We had our appointment to file our income taxes. It is just not a fun day. When it comes to taxes, it is what it is. Tangles are the same. I have to trust that God is working in the background.

2 Samuel 14:14, “We all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can’t be gathered up again. But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back.” The Message

Absalom wanted to see his father again. By the end of chapter 15, he wanted his father’s throne.  He forced others to help him.

  1. Absalom destroyed a harvest to get his way, 2 Samuel 14:28-31.
  2. Absalom usurped his father’s authority, 2 Samuel 14:3-6.
  3. Absalom didn’t know how King David would respond in a case. He made people feel like the king wouldn’t even listen, 2 Samuel 14:3-6.
  4. Absalom used false humility and flattery to get people to trust him, 2 Samuel 15:3-6.
  5. Absalom covered his treachery with religion, 2 Samuel 15:7, 8.
  6. Absalom used underhanded methods to gain the kingdom, 2 Samuel 15:12.
  7. Absalom used innocent people for his own gain, 2 Samuel 15:11.
  8. Absalom tricked Ahithophel, making it look like he was part of the conspiracy, 2 Samuel 15:12.
  9. David assumed the worst, 2 Samuel 15:14.

“The gardener leaves it alone, because its fruitfulness is gone and further effort now would yield no profit. In the same way, freedom from suffering leads to uselessness.” Homera Homer-Dixon “Streams in the Desert” 2-19

* * * * * * *

“So when you’re tempted to throw up your hands in despair and say, ‘Who knows?’ remind yourself, ‘God knows!’ and today remind yourself that He’s working things out for your good and His glory.” The Word for You Today

* * * * * * *

“Be brave and do not pray for the hard thing to go away, but pray for a bravery that’s bigger than the hard thing.”

“The Broken Way” Ann Voskamp

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February 15, 2018

Heartsick. I can’t write. A shooting at a school in Parkland, Fl. I will always remember Aaron Feis – the coach who laid down his life for his students.

“Love isn’t about how much money someone’s willing to lay down for you, but about how much life they’re willing to lay down for you.”

“The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp

February 16, 2018

Psalms 32:3, “When I kept it all inside; my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans.” The Message

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com All Rights Reserved.

Be Sappy, Not Spendy

“Pam, I brought you a doughnut.”

David set the coffee, (made my way), on the bookshelf next to the bed. He picked up the remote and turned it to the new Hallmark Drama Channel.

“It’s not my birthday,” I thought groggily, “Or our anniversary. Why is he giving me breakfast in bed – on a Wednesday? Wait, it’s Valentine’s Day!”

He has learned I don’t want expensive gifts but I melt at sappy things. God works the same way.

We ask for a million dollars and He doesn’t answer that prayer. He gives us a home and peace. You can’t buy that at any price.

2 Samuel 7:1, “Before long, the king made himself at home and God gave him peace from all his enemies.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 131:3, “Wait,…for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!” The Message

* * * * * * *

2 Samuel 7:21, “You’ve done all this not because of who I am but because of who You are – out of Your very heart – but You’ve let me in on it.” The Message

(I am frugalfish.org and I approved this message.)

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Keep Your Eyes Open for God

It wasn’t true north!

When they plotted our street, the builders wanted to squeeze in another house. They borrowed a few feet from each neighbor and shifted each one East. Our inside corner lot is narrow at the street with a wide backyard. We sit at the top of a hill.

My verse and devotions both spoke about hill country.

Psalms 105:11, “Namely, ‘I give you the land. Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Joshua 17:18, “The forested hill country…will be yours.” 

“Even if the tribes of Israel had realized what treasures awaited them in the hills above, they would never have dreamed it would be possible to actually harvest the thick forests.” Streams in the Desert, February 13

There are no trees to harvest on our land. Yet, God wants me to search for treasure and develop the land. (I plan, David develops.) 😉

Pulling up a topographical map of our city, I zoomed in on our street. I switched to the satellite view in google maps. That’s when I saw it.

What I thought was north is actually northwest. True north goes through the corner of our garage to the small tree out front. I was planning on planting a windbreak in the wrong place!

We should landscape my home for the view coming up the street. As I went about my work, I dreamed of a new plan.

Everyone has to work. But if we keep our eyes open, God will show us things throughout the day.

Psalms 104:23, “Meanwhile, men and women go out to work, busy at their jobs until evening.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 105:3, “…Live a happy life!” The Message

* * * * * * *

Psalms 105:4, “Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of His presence.” The Message

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I’m Doing It At Home, Where It Counts

Joshua 13:13, “As soon as the priest…set foot in the Jordan, its waters,…will be cut off.”

* * * * * * *

“We must learn to take God at His word and walk straight ahead in obedience, even when we see no way of going forward…..If we would only move straight ahead in faith, the path would be opened for us. But we stand still, waiting for the obstacle to be removed, when we ought to go forward as if there were no obstacles at all.” from Evening Thoughts, “Streams in the Desert” February 11

Pastor Monte’s sermon yesterday was, “A New Time, A New Place.” He reminded us that God can make water come out of a rock. He can make streams in the desert. Pastor encouraged us to lean toward God and keep going the direction He has pointed.

Where do we start? At home.

Psalms 101:2, “I’m finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.” The Message

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Bringing the Ark to Jerusalem

It was 5 am and I was concerned!

We read about the first attempt to bring the Chest of God to Jerusalem. I mean, God struck Uzzah dead! God is serious about his holy worship!

In 3 hours, I would leave for church. I would sit at the keyboard to play. We would set an atmosphere where people could feel God. I did not want to end up like Uzzah!

I went back to bed and dreamed I was late to church! I missed the first song! David woke me an hour later. By the time we left, I was prepared!

Why didn’t the first attempt to move the Chest of God work?

  1. God wants worshipers, not soldiers, 2 Samuel 6:1.
  2. We can’t make anything to move God, 2 Samuel 6:2.
  3. Singing at the top of our lungs do not impress God, 2 Samuel 6:5.
  4. Doing the right thing incorrectly is wrong, 1 Chronicles 13:4.
  5. Exuberant music is not always worship, 1 Chronicles 13:8.

What did I learn from the second time they moved the Chest of God?

  1. Celebrate extravagantly, 2 Samuel 6:15.
  2. Offer a sacrifice of praise, 2 Samuel 6:15.
  3. Shout for joy and blow the trumpets, 2 Samuel 6:15.
  4. Follow God’s order, 1 Chronicles 15:2.
  5. Consecrate yourself, 1 Chronicles 15:12.
  6. Make proper preparations, 1 Chronicles 15:13.
  7. Follow instructions, 1 Chronicles 15:15.
  8. Handle holy things carefully, 1 Chronicles 15:15.
  9. Fill the air with joyful sound, 1 Chronicles 15:16.
  10. Guard the holy things, 1 Chronicles 15:17-19.
  11. Be ready, 1 Chronicles 15:25.
  12. Shout and cheer, 1 Chronicles 15:28.

Joe Short puts it best. “The worship team is like a pizza delivery guy. It’s not about the guy. It’s all about the pizza.”

May we never forget it’s a holy pizza!

1 Chronicles 15:28, “On they came, all Israel in parade bringing up the Chest of the Covenant of God, shouting and cheering, playing every kind of brass and percussion and string instrument.” The Message

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I Confess; I Ate Derek’s Oatmeal

I woke to the sound of a spoon stirring in a metal travel mug. (Oh no, Derek is drinking my coffee!)

“You already had your coffee, right Mom?”

“No, but I can make more.”

After eating 2 packages of his “Peaches and Cream” instant oatmeal, I opened my devotional.

“Do not take revenge, my friends.” Romans 12:19

* * * * * * * *

“There are times when doing nothing demands much greater strength than taking action. Maintaining composure is often the best evidence of power. Even to the vilest and deadliest of charges, Jesus responded with deep, unbroken silence.”

“Streams in the Desert” February 10

Now I have to repent.

At 3:00 a.m., I finished the book, “Writing to Inspire.” I left it on the kitchen table for David to return. (I finished it with one “grace day” to spare.)

Before going back to bed, I put the 11 pages of notes in my office. When David left for work I threw the covers over my head.

A chapter in “The Broken Way” should help because Ann Voskamp gets me.

“I roll over, bury my head under the pillow. Anxiety can come out of nowhere. Get busy, get distracted, and you can forget God. Forget God, and you lose your mind and your peace. Anxiety can give you God-Alzheimers. Forget the face of God, and you forget your own name is Beloved….Find your feet. Find His face…”

“The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp

I’m sleep deprived, not fighting anxiety. But I need to “find God’s face.”

I read today’s chapters from the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide. In 1 Chronicles 12, David was having a party!

1 Chronicles 12:40, “Neighbors ranging from as far north as Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali arrived with donkeys, camels, mules, and oxen loaded down with food for the party: flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, oil, cattle, and sheep – joy in Israel!” The Message

The tribes that were at war in 1 Samuel 2-5 united to crown David king! They threw a huge banquet!

Psalms 133:1, “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!” The Message

Maybe I should work on Bethany’s birthday dinner.

My daughter-in-law is lucky to have a February birthday. I decorated the house with hearts and flowers for Valentine’s Day. (My birthday is at the end of October – the decorations are much different!)

Wednesday afternoon I ironed three red tablecloths including a new one. I strung red and white lights along the top of the bookshelf and buffet. My black, marble, lazy-Susan is in the center of the table. It holds a crystal chocolate kiss, lovebirds on a birdbath, and a heart-shaped candle.

The beef roast is in the freezer underneath the baked rolls. I picked up the pretzels for the crust on her favorite strawberry salad Wednesday night.

I could bake peanut butter cookies and freeze them – or take a nap. The dinner is two weeks away. I have plenty of time. I really need sleep!

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