Today I started a study by Beth Moore entitled, "A Heart Like His". I cannot say I am very sturdy in my devotions and this is something I desire to change ~ or rather, let the Lord change in me.
I recall being in school and spending an hour or more each day in God's Word and prayer. I often wonder how I let that precious time with my Saviour slip away. How could I let satan get such a grasp on me to keep me away from God's Word? I guess it is pretty easy when you let the things of this world guide you, rather than God. It is so incredibly easy to fill our time with other things rather than to sit down and focus on God's Word and what He is teaching us through His Word.
As I went through this study today, I reconnected with my Saviour. Yes, I have read all of these passages before, but God can open your eyes and mind to a whole new meaning each time. It truly amazes me what you can pick up on if you open your heart, mind, and soul and let God teach you.
The lesson today was about Saul and Jonathan. A father very much unlike his son. Saul was chosen to be king over the Israelites for the wrong reasons. The people wanted a king so that they could be like the other nations and have someone rule over them and go to battle for them. However, Saul compromised the commands of God. He did not have patience to wait for God, to trust him, or follow his commands. Jonathan on the other hand, had faith in God. In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan leaves the camp with only his armor-bearer to go up against the Philistines. In vs. 6 Jonathan says, "Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few." Jonathan knew that the Lord could do anything. He knew that the Lord could save them, but Jonathan did not know if He would or not. Isn't that how we should be? Our faith should be so strong! Vs. 7 states "Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul." This is how we should trust! Trust the Lord with all your heart and soul! Jonathan's armor-bearer was not afraid to stand behind Jonathan in battle. Jonathan was leading him into battle and his armor-bearer was right behind him!
Ephesians 6: 10-13~ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
God commands us to put on the full armor of God. Why? So we can stand against the devil's schemes! Beth Moore describes in her study how we are the armor-bearers of God. However, we are not to just hold God's armor, we are to put on His entire armor. God leads us into everyone of our battles, be it small or big. He leads us with no armor on Himself, because He does not need the armor! We do! Which is why we are commanded in Ephesians to "...put on the full armor of God." Thank the Lord that He takes the blows during battle for us! This made me think of the death of Jesus on the Cross. After reading through these passages and thinking on putting on God's armor, isn't that what Jesus did for us? He went to the cross with no armor on. We were wearing His armor. Jesus took the full blow. He died, so that we could have eternal life. Why wouldn't we always want this armor on? Beth Moore states, "Our enemy will fall before our God. We are only deadly to the enemy when we go behind Him." Praise God!
The last part of this study was looking at Saul and how he put his army in danger. He did not allow anyone in his army to eat and they would be cursed if they did so. Jonathan had not heard his father's oath. When the army came upon some honey, Jonathan ate of it and was strengthened. The people were quick to clue Jonathan in on what Saul had said. However, Jonathan was quick to reply how stupid that was and to see how he had been strengthened. No wonder the army was faint! After fighting the Philistines, the men were exhausted! They started eating meat that had blood mixed in still, a sin against the Lord! When Saul heard this, he told the men to bring their ox and slaughter them there. He told them not to sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood. Then Saul made an altar to the Lord. Vs 38-39~ "Saul therefore said, "Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. As surely as the LORD who rescues Israel lives, even if it lies with my son Jonathan, he must die." But not one of the men said a word." It did lie with Jonathan, because he had eaten of the honey. Thankfully the people rescued Jonathan and he was not put to death (vs. 45), but what a foolish act on Saul's part!
Beth Moore states at the end of this study, "...we've seen evidence that God is for us in battle, not against us. He wants us fortified before our enemy with faith like Jonathan, obedience like the armor-bearer, and proper fuel like Saul's army should have received."
This study is a 10 week study. Please keep me in your prayers that it will be my desire to do this every day and to be in God's Word. Also that the Lord would work in me, mold me to be more like Him. I look forward to the next 10 weeks already and am very excited to be spending personal time with my Saviour on a daily basis again! Thanks and hope this was an encouragement to you as well!