Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday's Devo - Keep Your Eyes Open

Read 1 Chron. 19
Nahash the Ammonite king dies and David wants to do something nice for his son, Hanun because Nahash had been nice to the Israelites. Nahash means "a snake" and his kindness was that when he came us to attack Jabeshgilead he didn't kill them. The people of Jabeshgilead asked him to make a covenant with him that they would serve him if they promised to spare their lives. Nahash said OK if you have to let me thrust out all of your right eyes. Thank God, Saul heard about what was going on and mustered up Israel to fight and they didn't have to lose an eye. Later on God reproved them for even asking Nahash to be their king. That does not seem to be a kindness that needs to be repaid, but apparently David thought so.
David sent his servants to comfort Hanun and his men told him they thought David was using this excuse to spy out the land so he could come back and attack. So he ordered David's men to be shaved and their garments cut off in the middle of their buttocks. (What a visual!) This was a total humiliation to them so David let them live in Jericho till their beards grew back. David was pretty ticked and Hanum knew it so Hanum hired out some chariots and horsemen from Syria and they met David's men on the battlefield. Half of David's men fought the Ammonites and the other half fought the Syrians. The Ammonites fled and Syrians lost so bad they promised to become their servants and never to help the Ammonites any more.
Satan, the snake is a pretty good deceiver. He convinced Eve to eat the apple and he convinced David to think Nahash was a friend to be honored when he was really a snake in the grass. The enemy is tricky and will hurt you and make you think he is doing you a favor. He loves to make bargains: an eye for your life. That would be like telling you not to go any deeper with God because it is causing problems in your marriage. Let's just cut out part of your ability to see into the spirit, but you can live in peace at home. How about this instead: you going deeper with God and be quiet about it. Your meekness and change of attitude will be attractive instead of intimidating and you will draw your husband in by your quiet and gentle spirit. (1 Pet. 3:4)
Lord, open both our eyes: our spiritual and our natural and help us to see the devil for what he is and serve only you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday's Devo. - Treading the Grapes

Read 1 Chron. 18
Now that David's kingdom is established he goes after his enemies. The first one he goes after is the Philistines. He takes Gath which means "the treaders of the grapes". Once we realize we are in the kingdom we need to realize that God gave us the authority and power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19) The enemy will tread our fruit as long as we let him. When we tread on the grapes it produces great gladness and joy. When the enemy is doing the treading he steals our fruit and our joy. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith. If those are being stolen from you, then the Philistines are in your land.
Notice with each enemy David slew he took something from them: gifts, chariots, horsemen, footmen, shields of gold, brass, gold, and silver. So David not only defeated his enemies but he demanded a payment of some kind. We can and should do that to the enemy. We can demand he pay us back more than he stole. In Duet. 28 God gives the blessings of obedience. He wanted them to look so blessed that the people would know that there was something really good about their god. He wanted us them to be blessed so much that they had more than enough and could lend and never have to borrow. We are so afraid to have abundance but it really gives glory to God. It is the mark of obedience. The curse comes when we don't listen to God's voice and do it. The blessings are to overtake us even in a down economy....especially in a down economy because God's kingdom is not subject to this world. It is "other".
David demanded people: the footmen and horsemen. We can demand this too. I look at some of the talented people today that started out in the church and have found fame and fortune in the world so they have joined in their worship. We can demand that the devil give them back and more. He even put shoes on the horses. That is giving the Word to the feet of those that carry the good news.
Anyway, it is time we make the devil our servants instead of serving him. You cannot have 2 masters...you cannot serve God and wealth. (Matt. 6:24)
Lord, teach us to tread on the land you have given us and take possession of it. Show us the things that have been stolen from us and our family and in your name give it back to us with interest. Give us holy boldness and tenacity to live in the kingdom.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday's Devo - Choose Peace

Last night I had a dream. I have been praying to see the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven and I have been praying about seeing things in the spirit. I have also been praying for dreams since I have not remembered my dreams for a while. Well, God made up for that last night.
I dreamed I was going to be staying with an old friend, Annie. I had a son with me. She took me to the bedroom we would be staying in with her sons. My dad helped me put together my bedframe and my son's. When we got mine put together the frame was too close to the ground so I asked him if he could put some blocks of wood to lift it up. He said, yes. The furniture in the room kept changing but it was old, brown, simple and not attractive, but functional. I and my son layed down and started to go to sleep. I realized it was about suppertime and we would miss supper if we slept but I was tired. My son said something to me that sort of woke me up. I remembered that Annie had an upstairs so I got up to ask her about it. She said they didn't use it and started to take me there. There was a transition place we had to walk down to get to the stairs. Up the stairs there was a huge kitchen and living area. It was modern and very spacious and super nice. I have never seen anything like it here on earth. Her servant was cooking supper down stairs and handed us a strawberry through this open window. The strawberry she gave me was as big as an apple and sliced. It was delicious. I walked with her into the bathroom. I had on a white blouse with lace because I had gotten strawberry juice on it. It turned it iridescent pink. There were twin boys in the bathroom getting ready to leave. She took me into the master bedroom and the whole back wall was a window. I could see a body of water and as we watched the water turned into an ocean with waves. The waves got higher and higher and turned into a turbulent swell. We were taken out on the point to watch. Tractors were in the water and torn and bent by the waves. Other material had been drawn into the water. I saw a boat with a person I knew in it coming right toward us with force and speed. It landed right beside us but nothing touched us. We didn't even feel the wind or get sprayed by the water. Next thing I knew the water was completely calm without a ripple.
I think this dream was the result of me asking just like I asked my dad to raise my bed, I asked God for a dream. He took me to heaven. The transition place in the dream was my transition from earth to heaven. On earth I was going to sleep on a borrowed bed in a house that wasn't my own. I remembered that there was more in heaven (upstairs) so I asked for it. I was taken there. I have been asking for revelation so I got to see through the window of revelation into what is fixing to happen. A storm is coming that will effect all areas of life except those whose feet are firmly planted on the foundation of the Word (the point). Ps 91 says that a thousand will fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, which is your refuge, even the most High, your habitation, there shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under feet....with long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation. God is in control of the storm and you. There is peace in the face of storms if you stand with God.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's Devo - Establish Your House

Read 1 Chron. 17
David is comparing his palace to the tent that houses the ark and thinks he should build God a house. He wants to get this ark that is hid in curtains into a house made of cedars so all can see its importance. God tells Nathan to tell David not to build it. Then he goes on to tell David his ways. God's manifested presence has not dwelt in a house since the day he made Israel a nation because it has gone from tent to tent, and from tabernacle to tabernacle.
David's reign is what we are living in now. It is not time to build God a house for his presence. His spirit has not dwelt in one place or one person, or one church but has gone from person to person, church to church. We are the tent that the spirit lives in. One day he will have a temple in heaven that we will worship at.
Then God goes on to say he has taken David from the sheep stable to the kingdom and has cut off his enemies. He has given him a name that is great in the earth. God took Jesus from the manger and tending disciples to the kingdom of heaven. He has given him a name above all other names and by that name all will bow.
Verse 9 is for us: God has ordained a place for us in Him that we shall not be moved or wasted by the devil. He has given us authority over our enemies and he will build us a house. When we die he will raise up our children to establish his kingdom. Our children will build his house and establish his throne for ever. Of course, he was talking about Solomon and his reign but I think that is prophetic of what God is doing right now. He is planting in us things that will be established in and through our children. Yesterday I talked about the cymbalist, the musician and his duty to bring the body to unity and repentence. How prophetic that yesterday one of the world's greatest musicians died, Michael Jackson. One of the magazines had his picture and in large letters DEAD. Michael Jackson was a musician of extraordinary talents, he just used them for the wrong side. I see a new generation of musicians using their talents for the right side. Across their picture God will write ALIVE.
Lord, we pray like David did, "let your house be established that your name may be magnified for ever and ever.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thur.'s Devo - The Cymbalist

Read 1 Chron 16
David brings the ark and sets it in the middle of the tent he has made for it. It will stay here until Solomon builds a temple for it. David is making the ark more accessable to the people. That is what God did on Pentecost. He made his Holy Presence accessable to his people. What caught my attention was the people he put in charge of this ark: Asaph, in particular. I decided to single him out and see what I could learn about him and what he represents to us. He is a descendant of Gershom, Moses' son. He is a Levite and a chief of his people. David appointed him to minister before the ark, record what happened, and lead the people in thanking and praising the Lord. In verse 5 it says that the Levites praised God with psalteries and harps, but Asaph made a sound with cymbals. In 1 Chron 25:1 it says they prophesied on these instruments. So, I wondered what a cymbal might mean to us. The meaning of cymbal is "to rattle together as ears reddening with shame or teeth chattering with fear". They were made of brass which speaks of "filthiness". There's the answer- when the people heard the cymbal, it brought repentence and change. It would be like a good sermon on sin. He alone was given this part, I guess because he lived a blameless life that would not compromise his message of repentence. Later in scripture it says that he was a "keeper of the forest". Forests are full of trees which stand for people. He was like a sheperd or a pastor to the people.
He is also a recorder who records history and a seer who prophesies the future.
Asaph means "gatherer". Asaph was in charge of unity. He was to bring the people together as one. God is going to use people in our generation to be children of Asaph. They will live holy lives and God will use them to bring a word of remembrance of what God his done and call the people to repentence. It will be like a cymbal going straight to the heart and causing a change.
He wrote 11 Psalms: 73-83. They all have to do with the penalties of sin. He spoke to the people of judgment. He encouraged them to do what was right because the benefits are life. He stood right beside the man who played the harp that draws us into the beautiful presence of God. We need them both: the harp and the cymbals.
David placed in his hand parts of three Psalms (105, 96, and 106) that he was to deliver to the people. Notice that he uses the words: remember, judgments, save us, gather us, deliver us, trees of the forests...all meanings of his name.
Lord, may we remember all you have done on this earth and be always humbled by your majesty and always thankful of you hand. We adore your ways and trust in them. Cause us to hear the cymbals in our lives and be quick to repen

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wed.'s Devo - A New Wave is Coming

Read 1 Chron 15
There is no substitute for God's way. God had a way to transport his glory and it was through his priests, the Levites. There were 120 of them. There were 120 in the upper room when the Holy Spirit got out of the box and fell on the individual people. They sanctified themselves to bring the ark in to the city. All the musicians got in place to worship and praise God. So with much shouting, loud music, trumpets, cymbals, harps, dancing and sacrificing they ushered in the ark. What a picture of what it will look like when Jesus brings his presence to the world. Have you noticed the new music coming out? Group One Crew, Skillet, Toby Mac, Reliant K, to name a few. It is alive and inviting to the world. Once in we can give them some Lincoln Brewster, MercyMe, and Aaron Shuttes maybe, and maybe not. It doesn't matter what the beat is, it is the spirit that is drawing them. If we look out from our stained-glass church windows and judge this new move of God we will be like Michal who looked out her window and despised David because he unashamedly worshipped God. Can we lay down our religion for a new baptism of God's spirit? I pray we can.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tues.'s Devo - The Ways of the Kingdom

Read 1 Chron 14
I love it when revelation jumps out at you from verses you've read over and over before which is what happened when I read today's first few verses. David feels secure in his kingdom so much so that he is ready to make his home there and take the time to build a house. He perceives it is time to do this because the people have lifted his kingdom up. Jesus is going to come back and build his home in us when we have lifted up his kingdom. Hiram meaning "whiteness"and king of Tyre meaning "a rock" is a type of the Holy Spirit of God. God supplied David with cedars, masons, and carpenters to build this house. The Holy Spirit is sending his people who are equipped to build this house for God.
David takes more wives. This is a hard one for us because we live in a democracy not a kingdom, but in a kingdom the king is allowed and expected to have many wives. Jesus has many wives which will make up the bride of Christ. Everything in our lives is to prepare us to be his bride. All history is about God preparing the church to be a bride. Remember in Esther how she had to go through a year of beauty treatments. We have to go through the same, only our treatment lasts a lifetime. We have to bathe in the oil of the spirit and obey the words of the one God sends to teach and train us. We have to follow protocol of the kingdom to get come before a holy God. These brides produce children that will be heirs just as the mature in Christ produce baby Christians so that God's Kingdom will cover the earth.
Of course the enemy is not going to sit by and watch this happen. The Philistines came to attack David just as the devil will viciously attack the church and its people. They spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. Interpretation: the enemy came in like a flood. When David asked if he should fight them God said, Yes. They won that battle but the Philistines came at them again. David asked God again if he should fight them and if he would win. God told him to go over to the mulberry tree and when he heard the sound of marching it will be his sign to fight.
Mulberry trees have locust in them that feed off the mulberry leaves. When they do this it sounds like marching. This was to be their sign to march. Notice how God sent them a confirmation on the 2nd battle and not the first. I think it is because we understand better the first attack from the devil but when he comes back we start questioning if it is the devil or ourselves. We are also weary from the first fight. God gave them a sign to encourage them in their battle. He does that for us too. Don't be weary in doing good for you will reap a harvest if you don't faint. God always wins round 2!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday's Devo - Threshing the Wheat

Read 1 Chron 13
David is wanting to bring back the presence of God, the Ark, to the people. The ark was never used during the days of Saul and now the people are in one accord about bringing it back. I see this happening now. People are getting interested in the Holy Spirit and what he has to give us and the church is getting hungry for him. Timing is everything to God and he is very patient. The ark has been in Kirjathjearim which means "a city of forests". Forests are full of trees which stand for people. The Holy Spirit has been welcome in certain churches and groups of people but mostly he has been tucked away and hidden. He is coming out and being accepted by groups that have ignored him before. This time he is coming in a new cart. It's drivers are Uzza and Ahio which are strength and love. Praise and worship ushered the ark in. Let's pray that we don't do what they did. Uzza (strength) saw the animals stumble at the threshing floor and he put his hand forth to hold the ark. God did not like that at all and God killed Uzza right there. This scared David so much he stopped the whole thing and put the ark in the house of Obededom. So what does that mean to us?
I think it means that when the Holy Spirit is free to move he will convict people of sin (the threshing floor) and it might seem a little out of control. Our nature will be to gain back control when really that is the wrong step. We need to let God settle the storm and gain control if He wants it. Either way we are going to have to trust God.
This reminds me of a story I heard about a man who came to a Christian university and preached repentence. Conviction was so strong that one of the leaders in the student body stood up and confessed that he was homosexual and had struggled with that for years. He wanted to be set free. Then others started flooding to the platform to confess their sins. The Holy Spirit was doing an awesome job of threshing the wheat. But the leaders of the university got nervous about what the students were saying and shut it down. The Holy Spirit left. When the Holy Spirit comes he messes things up. Whoever said he was the perfect gentleman was dead wrong. Yes, he is sensitive and can be gentle but he can also be a mighty wind that destroys everything not of God.
The ark was brought into the family of Obededom who was a Philistine. He and his household was blessed for 3 months. Does this mean that those who are enemies to the church will receive the Holy Spirit and be blessed by it? That's what it looks like to me. You can throw the Holy Spirit out of the church but he WILL go somewhere and bless someone. Why not us?
Holy Spirit, we give you permission to blow through our lives and thresh us.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday's Devo - Revival of Love

John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another."
Another thing Bob Jones prophesied was that this revival will be a revival of love. I think of Clean Slate, ministries to the homeless, ministries to 3rd world countries, and ministries to disasters like Katrina. When the world gets needy, it is the perfect time to spread love. That is man's greatest need: to love and be loved. I love to see a teen-ager at the mall that is dressed gothic with piercings beyond number and look in their eyes and smile at them. It is amazing their response. They dress like that to dare anyone to approach them so I try to break through their fences with love. Try it sometime.
He also said that the over 50's would be the mentors of this youth explosion and be paramount in keeping it from just being a fad. These new converts of all ages will need teaching and leadership. We who have walked with God will need to be there for them. We don't want to be the prodigal's son's brother who was jealous. We have always had the Father and if we realize our place we will have as much fun as they do who have never known the love of a father.
This revival that is coming is not only going to be a youth revival but will transcend across the board. It will touch the young and old, rich and poor, educated and ignorant. Our job right now is to draw closer to our Saviour, grow in his word, love everyone that passes our paths, and pray that His Kingdom come to earth as it is in Heaven.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday's Devo - Take Courage

Deut. 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that goes with you, he will not fail you, or forsake you."
I was listening to a prophecy by a modern-day prophet, Bob Jones the other day. He was talking about this new revival that is coming to the world. He said that a million youth would be taken from the streets of sin and brought into the kingdom. They will not look like the church because they don't know what it is suppose to look like. (Thank God!) They will be totally sold out to Jesus and on fire. They will bring new music, rap, hip-hop, etc that will change people's lives. The church will be on the streets. Artists will create art that transcends language barriors and brings life because it will be straight from heaven. God will place his people in strategic places to rule education, politics, religion, arts, entertainment, business, and transportation. We are suppose to be ruling these platforms because the King of Kings is our daddy. One thing God told Joshua when he was going to enter the Promise Land was to be strong and of good courage. Courage is what we need to make this next step. Fear is our greatest enemy. "Good courage" in the Hebrew means to be alert physically and mentally; to establish, fortify, increase, prevail, strengthen one's self, and make strong.
I started going down town on Friday's to feed the homeless which was scarry at first. How do you communicate with people you have nothing in common with? I was always asking them the wrong questions like: where do you live? to which they would look at me like I was stupid and answer; "north". Or I once asked a guy where he worked to which he answered, "nowhere, I'm a bum. Don't I look like one?" I laughed and said, "No, not at all." But, I have kept going and today I accidentally got there an hour early. I didn't realize I was there that early so I sat in my car wondering what to do. One of the guys started walking up to my car. I decided not to be afraid and get out and meet him. I did and he was so welcoming. I sat and talked with one of the guys I had made friends with the last time I was there. The more I go the less uncomfortable I feel. I try to ask better questions like, "how has your week gone?" and they seem more comfortable around me also. I thought today that next time I'm going to ask them if I can pray with them about anything. Wow! I think that is what taking courage means.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's Devo - The Endtime Army

Read I Chron. 12
This is a great picture of what it will look like before Jesus is crowned king. The whole body will come together. First we see men who were armed with bows who could use both right hand and left hand in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow. These are those that know the Word backward and forward who are skilled naturally and spiritually and the Word that comes out of their mouths hits the mark like with Samuel. It was said of Samuel that God did not let any of his words fall to the ground. Their chief was Ahiezer which means "helper" another name for the Holy Spirit.
Next we have the Gadites that were fit for battle, could handle shield and buckler, who had the face of a lion and could run like a deer on the mountains. These are those who have authority over the devil and are trained in spiritual warfare. They know no fear and can run with the spirit. The first man mentioned is Ezer which also means "help".
Next the children of Benjamin come to David. They have been the prodigals; the outcast. David goes out to meet them and hear their heart. He will accept them if their heart is turned toward him. The spirit fell on Amasai, their captain, and he pledged allegiance to David. "Amasai" means "burdensome". They will be the ones with heavy burdens, from deep sins that will come into the kingdom in the end.
Next Manasseh came which means "causing to forget". God will cause them to forget their sins and past and will welcome them in. They came by the thousands.
Then came children from Judah, Simeon, Levi, Ephraim, Issachar, Zebulun, Naptali, Dan, Asher, Reuben, Gad, and the other half of Manasseh. They came in unison with a perfect heart towards God. David prepared a banquet for them and they feasted for 3 days. (Does that ring a bell? We will all meet at the banquet table and feast with Jesus).
But for now,I pray that we would be like the children of Issachar, which were men that understood the times they were living in and what they should do. We were brought into the kingdom for such a time as this.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thurs. Devo - Mighty Warriors 6-18-09

Read I Chron. 11: 10-47
This is the account of David's top warriors. They were famous because they did great exploits. They stand for the things God wanted to do in David's kindship. First he lists the top 3. The first one was Jashobeam. His name means "the people will return". The people had been scattered and divided and God was calling them back to him. Jashobeam had killed 300 with his sword at one battle. That took courage,strengnth, stamina, and perseverance.
The second was Eleazar which means "stregnth, might, protector". His father's name was Dodo which means "loving". God wanted to be Israel's loving helper and protector. Eleazar had fought with David in a barley field when all their men had fled. They stayed and fought off the Philistines and God gave them victory.
The third and chief was Joab (even though he is not mentioned here). His name means "god fathered". David was the first person that God said he would be a father to. (2 Sam. 7:14) They didn't know God as their father, only as an all-powerful God to be feared. David loved God as his father and God loved David as his son. David's devotion to God showed the people the love of a father and how God loved them in this way.
These 3 mighty men brought water to David when he was in battle and their was no water. They went into the enemies stronghold, risking their lives to bring David a drink of water. David honored their sacrifice by sacrificing their offering on the ground. He refused to drink it and poured it out. That is hard for us to understand but in their culture it was the deepest "thank you" they could have received. Their devotion to David passed death.
After the 3 were a company of 30 mighty warriors. Joab's brother, Abishai was their chief. He once killed 300 in a single battle, but he wasn't one of the 3. His name means "father of a gift". David was a type of Jesus who is the gift of the Lord to us just as Abishai was a gift to David.
Benaiah was one of the 30 that was singled out as very noteworthy. His name means "god has built". That is what God was doing in David's realm. He was establishing his place with his people. Benaiah did some extraordinary things for God.
God then lists all the men in the company of 30. God is looking for warriors for his army today. We have a choice to be in the multitude, the 30 or the 3. It is our choice. The one thing they all had in common was that they loved not their life unto death.
Lord, we lay down our lives as a sacrifice, pour us out as David poured out that blood-water on the battle field.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wed.'s Devo - Promise Fulfilled.............finally!

Read 1 Chron. 11:1-9
Finally David becomes king. He had been prophesied the king, anointed the king, and had many confirmations but all the circumstances proved just the opposite. King Saul had gone from loving him as a son to hating him as an enemy. David went from commander of the Israelite army and all the fame to a leader of a few renegades running from the law. He finally had to join the Philistine army which was Israel's #1 foe. He was wanted for all kinds of lies and conspiracies and is now being honored as the king. All the prophecies are making sense now. They always do when you look back but not always when you are in the midst of it. I wonder if David ever wanted to just give it all up and quit. I know he did because he wrote many songs about it.
Ps. 38:17 "I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. They repay me evil for good. and oppose me for pursuing good. Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me. O Lord my Saviour. Chapter 39 is his stance while he is waiting for God and Chapter 40 is his answer: "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord."
Even though David is king he still has enemies in his land. The first are the Jebusites who occupy Jerusalem. David wanted to redeem Jerusalem for God but the Jebusites ordered him to leave. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion which was on a mountain around Jerusalem. He renamed it the city of David. Then David gave his men a challenge. Whoever took the Jebusites first would be his chief and captain. So Joab when first into battle and smote the Jebusites. He got his reward.
I pray that this will be an encouragement to all of us especially the Larsen family. May God open doors for you that cannot be shut and close doors that cannot be opened. Help us to know when to patiently wait for your deliverance and when to boldly go out to fight.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday's Devo - Sin is Costly 6-16-09

Read 1 Chron. 10
Finally, we get a story instead of the genealogies! And what a story! Right in the middle of all the lists we have the conclusion of Saul's life. Chronicles remind me of my journals: right in the middle of my notes on the Bible I have a dream written out or a grocery list. So let's look at this insert.
The Philistines were God's tool to accomplish His purposes in the lives of the Israelites. God was pouring out his judgment and promise on the house of Saul. (I Sam 13:13-14) The Israelites died at mount Gilboa which means "fountain of pouring forth". Saul's sons were killed which is ashamed because Jonathan was such a godly man, but he was the son of Saul so he had to die. David was God's choice for the next king, not a descendant of Saul's.
It was a popular thing to kill yourself in battle back then which is what Saul and his armour bearer did. (Armour bearers seem to be extensions of their masters sort of like a conscience.) Suicide is the devil's plan for your life. Jesus came that we might have abundant life. The devil comes that he might steal life and make it unfruitful. Once Saul and his sons were dead there was no one to stand with the people for their land so they lost that too. The devil is not merciful, he will kick you when you are down. When the Philistines found the body of Saul on the battlefield they took his head and his armour back home to place in their idol temple. That is all the devil cares about your head - your God; and your armor - the Word of God in you. That is what he wants to steal.
Look at the reason God had to take Saul's life for: he didn't keep the word of the Lord, he asked counsel of a witch instead of asking God. Saul was judged harshly because as the leader he led the people in the same sins he committed. As the king goes, so the country goes. With much power comes much responsibility and Saul abused both. I wonder how many times we fall into the same sins Saul did: not keeping or believing what God has told us and seeking the world's counsel.
Lord, write your word on the tablets of our hearts that we won't sin against you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday's Devo - Be the Keeper of Our Gates

Read 1 Chron. 9:22-44
I just had to go back and talk about the gatekeepers. The tabernacle and the temple were shadows of heavenly things (Heb. 8:5) so everything about them tell us something about the system in heaven. They were to be reliable men so David and Samuel appointed their own ancestors because they knew they could trust them. David was a worshipper first then a king. Samuel was a prophet. These are the ones who watch over what and who comes into the temple. The chief gatekeepers were Levites who were priests. They were in charge of all the detailed things in the temple: making the incense, and bread for the Sabbath and all the furninshings. They were to check out the various articlets used in worship to make sure none of them are lost. They made sure the gates were shut at night and opened in the morning.
1 Co. 6:19 says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is our gatekeeper. He stands at the gates of our body to guard what comes in and what goes out. If we allow him to have control he will keep us from losing anything of value. He will annoint us with the incense of his presence and will feed us with the shewbread of his Word. He will minister to us in song when we are weary or sad and will crown us with everlasting peace. He will speak to us of things to come and give us wisdom for the moment. Eph. 1:13-14 says that the Holy Spirit in us is how God identifies us as his own. The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. Rev. 21 says that in heaven there are 12 gates into the city. They are made of pearl and will never shut because there is no night in heaven. We will always have access to God. Vs. 14 says,"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Lord may the Holy Spirit have full reign to watch over the gates of our bodies and prepare us to one day enter the gates in heaven.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Devo - People of Splendor

Here's a little trivia about the Chronicles: Samuel and the Kings deal with both kingdoms (Israel and Judah) where the Chronicles deal almost exclusively with Judah. The Chronicles were originally only one book now divided into two. The first book is the history from the Creation to the death of David, 1015 B.C. The second Chronicles from the death of David to the Captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, 588 B.C.
Read 1 Chron. 9
Judah and Israel had been captives in Babylon and are returning to their land. The first ones to get back and possess their rightful property were the priests, Levites, temple servants and a few other Israelites. This might as well read: The church had been in bondage to religion, competition, self-righteousness, and pride so God had let them go their own way. They started returning back to their first love and the first ones to turn were the seekers, the humble, the hungry and the meek.
In verse 3 it talks about Judah. They came back to Jerusalem. The three tribes that came back were the very ones that stand for the church and the bride: Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh. We don't have enough time to seek out everyones names but lets look at the 4th verse. Uthai means to "speak in season" and he was the son of Ammihud which means "people of splendor".
Omri means "to gather grain and bind in sheaves". Imri means "wordy". Bani means "to build; obtain children" and Pharez means "a breaking forth".
So in one verse we get a description of these exiles that have come back to their inheritance. They are people of splendor who speak what God is saying for the here and now. They gather the Word of God and bind it to their hearts. They also through much words and persuasion draw other people to themselves and the truth. Through their ministry revival breaks out in the people.
Lord, may we be people of splendor that give a word in due season that will transform lives.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thurs.'s Devo - What's in a Name?

Read 1 Chron 8
This whole chapter is Benjamin's line. Last chapter told about his line and now we are getting the detailed version. Why spend a whole chapter again on Benjamin? If he is a picture of the bride then his offspring must have characteristics of this bride. So lets look at the meaning of some of the names. Benjamin means "son of my right hand" or blessed. A Jewish father puts his right hand on the head of his son when he passes down the blessing to him. Rachel was the wife Jacob loved, who died in childbirth. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son because he was Rachel's offspring. When Benjamin came along he took Joseph's place in Jacob's heart because Joseph was no longer at home. Joseph was a type of Jesus, God's beloved son. When Jesus (Joseph) left the earth the church became his beloved son (Benjamin). Rachel's name means a "ewe" which is a lamb. A lamb had to die to bring forth the church just as Rachel died to bring forth Benjamin.
Let's look at the numbered sons and what their names meant. Benjamin's first born was Bela which means "a gulp; devouring, that which he hath swallowed up". When Jesus died, death was swallowed up in victory (1 Co. 15:54). His second-born, Ashbel means "a man in God". That is a good description of a born-again believer. Another book says "flowing" which is a great picture of moving in the spirit. This third son, Aharah means "brother of breathing; remaining brother". Our brother is Jesus but he has gone to the father; we are the remaining, still-breathing brother. We are to be Jesus to the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. The next brother is Nohab and his means "quietude; resting place". He is the forth son and the number 4 means "to rule" so the bride will be ruling and reigning from the position of rest. The last and fifth son is Rapha which means "he healed: the giant: the feeble one. I don't think of giants as being feeble but I wonder if it doesn't mean that the bride will bring healing to the great and small. (Sometimes giants are feeble inside. We cover our insecurities with a lot of outward fluff.)
As I saw the meaning of some of the other men in the geneology they were great descriptions of the bride of Christ. Notice that Saul, the first king came from this line. May the meaning of our names be written in your book and bring you much glory and pleasure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wed.'s Devo - From Manasseh to Ephraim

Read 1 Chron 7
The sons of Issacar were valiant in war. They were wealthy, virtuous, full of valor and strength. They walked in favor with God. If you are a son of Issacar you will have a servant's heart and the heart of a warrior. You will have favor wherever you go. His stone is the amethyst on the priest's ephod which stands for royalty.
Next we have Benjamin. Benjamin stands for the bride. He was the only son not alive during Joseph's captivity and trials. Joseph went ahead of his family to prepare a place for them and when they came he provided for them. He gave Benjamin 5 times the blessings he gave his other brothers. He was related to Benjamin by blood. The bride knows God because of the blood. Joseph was a type of Jesus going to heaven to prepare a place for us. If you are from the tribe of Benjamin you will be white and pure. You will understand revelation. His stone is jasper and his color is white for purity.
Those from the tribe of Naphtali are the redeemed; those brought back from the land of sin and addiction and now shine like diamonds. Their stone is the diamond and their color is silver.
Those from the tribe of Asher are the faithful, child-like in faith. Asher dipped his feet in oil (his walk was in the spirit). Asherites are fun-loving and innocent. Their stone is the agate which is pink and is the most calming color in our spectrum.
The sons of Manasseh and Ephraim are interesting to me so I did a study on them. This is my conclusion: Gen 41:51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, (worry, miserable pain, sorrow, sin) and all my father's house.
Gen 46:20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.
Ephraim and Manasseh were Joseph's sons who Jacob spiritually adopted. So instead of there being a tribe of Joseph there were the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. When Jacob came to bless Joseph's sons, Joseph stratgically placed Manasseh in front of Jacob's right hand and Epraim in front of his left. Jacob prophetically crossed his arms (making the symbol of the cross) and blessed Ephraim as the first born spiritually, even though he was the second-born naturally.
Both these sons were born in Egypt (bondage). Before Joseph died he made his sons promise that they would take his bones into the promise land. They did. When they got to the Promise Land 2 and 1/2 of the tribes decided to stay on this side of the Jordan River: Gad, Rueben and 1/2 of Manasseh. The Jordan stands for the Holy Spirit and those who cross that river will enter into the promises of God. There are enemies in their land that need to be driven out but they can have whatever they ask if they contend for it.
I think that we as the body of Christ are moving from the point where God is causing us to forget the pain of our past (Manasseh) and moving into double fruitfulness (Ephraim) In Rev. 7:8 when it mentions the sealed tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim are sealed under one name: Joseph (which is another name for Jesus)
Interestingly the priest's stone for Joseph was the onyx which was black. Black speaks of repentence and a new begining.
Lord, we were born in sin but through your son we are free of our past and are moving into the land of fruitfulness and abundance. Thank you for your merciful kindness that endures forever. Great is your faithfulness.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tues.'s Devo - What Tribe are You?

Read 1 Chron 6
Today we read the list of the priestly line. Not very interesting unless your name is in there. So why do we have these lists of people that lived forever ago? These are the chronicles of the kings. These were lists that the kings kept and would refer back to when needed. It was very important to keep the levitical line pure so this record was for accountablility. If a man came forward and said he was a levite they could take this list out and see if his family was in the list. I have heard that there is something different in the dna of a levite and they will use this science to find levites when they regain the temple mount in Jerusalem. Our names are written in a book in heaven called the Book of Life. I believe that this is the book we hold - the Bible. Jewish scholars have been searching for a hidden code in the Bible since before Isaac Newton's age. They could never find it until now. Through the technology of computers they have found the key to the code and have found past and future history in it. I believe that our names are coded in this Bible since God knew us before the foundation of the earth.
Ever notice how music runs in families? That is how God set it up; different clans had different offices according to God's gifting. The Levites were worshippers and musicians. They carried the presence of God and prepared a place for God's glory to inhabit for the benefit of the people. Read that last sentence again because that is what we are suppose to be. We are called to be prophets, priests, and kings. We will do this from the time of the tabernacle of David to the time when Solomon builds God's temple (vs. 31-32). In other words we are living in the days of the tabernacle of David. David ministered to God from his heart of passion in a day when there was much spiritual warfare. Solomon's reign will be a heavenly millenial reign where we have rest from all our enemies and there is peace. When that day comes the priestly tribe will be separated out and once again serve according to their order. In Revelation it says that in heaven we will still come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Tablernacles and every man will enter the gate of their tribe. We all belong to a tribe of Israel. If you want to know what tribe you are from ask God.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday's Devo - The Blessing and the Birthright

Read 1 Chron. 5
Ever wonder why in so many stories in the Old Testament the second-born got the birthright and the blessing? Abel's offering was accepted by God and Cain, the firtstborn's was not. Jacob cheated Esau out of the birthright and the blessing because it was God's plan. God chose Isaac over Ishmael to establish His covenant. Ephraim was blessed as the firstborn above his brother Manasseh and in today's reading Joseph is given the birthright instead of Reuben. God uses real life to teach spiritual principles. We are born first of our parents and are by nature sinful. That is the first birth. If we accept Jesus as our Saviour we are born again. We receive the birthright and the blessing that goes along with being a child of God. Jesus said, "You must be born again." The second child stands for the one 'born again.' I understand why Rueben lost his position of "first born" when he went into his father's concubines; what I don't understand is why Joseph, the 11th-born got the birthright. I guess he, like David had a destiny. I often wonder if the other brothers of David and Joseph could have gotten the privaleges that they did if they had pressed into God to do it. I do know this: God has destinies that will be fulfilled if it takes generations to fulfill them in. What we don't finish ourselves will be passed to the next generation to finish which is both challenging and relieving.
Verse 2 says that Judah rose above all his brethren to become the leader, but the birthright was Joseph's. It is true that Jesus came from the tribe of Judah and because of this, the tribe of Judah is held in high esteem. But, Joseph stood spiritually for Jesus. His life was a shadow of the Lord Jesus is every way. So where Judah bore Jesus in the natural, Joseph bore Jesus in the spiritual.
Our chapter ends on a sad note. Israel became fat and happy and started sinning. They took up the gods of the people of the land -the ones they were suppose to destroy. So instead of destroying their enemies, their enemies started destroying them. Give them time and they will call out to God and God will deliver them. It is not until we realize we are actually in bondage that we cry out. Wouldn't it be great to not fall for the trap of the enemy in the first place? I pray that God would open our eyes and give us discernment not to fall into Satan's booby traps and that we second-born children will appropriate the both the rights and blessings of our salvation.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday's Devo - The Sins of the Fathers

I am back from Louisiana and my mom's surgery went really well. We were at the hospitol for 11 hours and once home she was feeling well only a little weak. By the next day she was up doing everything she normally did. Thank you for your prayers. At the hospitol I got to sit for 2 and a half hours with my older brother. He was the rebellious/70's hippie/ prodigal son that never came home. I listened as he unloaded all his life's woes on me. He is bitter and put all the blame for his life on my parents. It was like we were raised in completely different homes by different parents. He was very convincing and I found myself rethinking some of my conclusions after he had gone. I realized that when you are affended and you don't allow God to heal you and set you free of it, you become blinded to the truth. He never once took responsibility for any of his actions. He has never remarried and has no children so he has no idea the suffering and pain he put my parents through. I was there and I did. My parents made some mistakes but they were navigating through uncharted paths. They grew up in a generation where the parents ruled and the children obeyed or got punished for it. The depression made everyone sober and responsible for their own livelihood. There was little "extra" and little time for doing your own thing. The 70's were marked by fathers who were trying to make a living for their families so they would never have to go through that again. The problem was that these fathers left there families for work and spent little time being fathers. They tried to buy their children's hearts with money and material things. The sons and daughters became rebellious kids who just wanted the attention of a father. They turned to drugs, rock music and doing their own thing. These very children who just wanted a father grew up to be the yuppies of today. They continue the cycle of working and providing for their families only it became a contest to have the most, the biggest, and the best. To do this the mothers go to work too. Now the children have lost the family structure all together. They get the left-overs from their parent's energy and time. The tendency of parents today is to worship the image of children: what can their children achieve that will make them proud.
On the other hand I see parents who love God and are trying to raise their children in a godly atmosphere in a world gone wrong. They love their children for the right reasons. They realize they are God's children who have been sent to earth for a purpose and an assignment. And these children will rock the world for Jesus. Thank God for these parents and these children. May there testimony ring loud in this generation!
I pray that my brother and others like him will become humble and forgiving and will open their heart to the love of a loving father. I pray that You would pour your love out on the fathers of this generation and cause them to arise and take their righteous places in the family.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tues. Devo - The Prayer of Jabez

I am going to be out of town the rest of the week because my mom is having surgery. I am takig this opportunity to take my computer to Geek Rescue to fix what I have done to my machine. I will be back Monday. I would appreciate your prayers for my mom. Thank you and may God send you great blessings.
Read 1 Chron. 4
Still in the begets... did you catch vs. 9 & 10? It's the famous prayer of Jabez. I wonder if he knew that in the 20th century a man would write a whole book about him and it would become a best seller. These 2 verses look like someone just stuck them in the middle of the geneologies to spice them up. Jabez is not recorded in the geneology so there is no reason for him to be mentioned except "he was an honorable man...more honorable than his brethren." Apparently there was nothing noteworthy about the rest of these people but there was something so outstanding about Jabez that he got his name and an excert of his life in the listing.
The name Jabez means "to grieve; sorrowful" because his mother was grieved when she had him. Why was she grieving and sorrowful? Had her husband just died or left her? It doesn't tell us but Jabez does pray that he would not be grieved with sin. So, I'm thinking that his mother must have lived through some really evil thing that caused her to grieve and that Jabez didn't want to have that happen to him. Let's look at the beginning of his prayer:
"'Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed" means "to kneel and bless God as an act of adoration". He is really blessing God and worshipping God. It is a very humble request.
"and enlarge my coast" means "to increase in abundance my boundary." That is something I pray for the Body of Christ - that me would stretch beyond our comfort zone and dare to go places we would never go in the natural and in the spirit. I also pray that God would put abundance of money, talent, gifts into people's hands to be used for the Kingdom of God here on earth.
He then asks God to keep him from bad, evil, adversity, affliction, calamity, etc. Not a bad prayer. I pray that for all of us.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday's Devo - Hidden in the Name

Read 1 Chron. 3
Notice once again the ones that get counted: David's sons and Josiah's sons. The rest are just listed. David is a picture of Jesus's kingdom on earth and that yet to come. Josiah's is a picture of the Kingdom of God yet to come. David had 6 sons in Hebron. Hebron is a high place on earth where people worshipped God. It was a type of this earthly rule. None of these sons became heir to the throne. He stayed in Hebron 7 1/2 years and moved to Jerusalem.
David's reign in Jerusalem describes his heavenly rule. God's faithful followers will only be on this earth 6,000 years then we will be taken up in shifts. (If you believe in the rapture and the different watches in the night.) (Matt. 24) Millenium will begin during the 7,000th year. When it mentions his sons born in Jerusalem, only Solomon is numbered. He was the 4th. Jesus came in the 4th millenium. Solomon was the son of peace which will also describes the millenial reign. He also was the one who reigned as king. He built God's Temple and a house for himself and he had peace throughout his reign.
Josiah's sons represent what will happen when that time comes. His first son is Johanan which means "to show favor on the faithful". His 2nd means "Jehovah will raise". The 3rd means "the right of Jehovah". And the 4th means "recompense, reward". All these describe what it will be like for the faithful. God will stand up and show favor to the righteous. They will stand before God and get their reward. As I looked up the rest of the descendents names I found things like "God will establish a Jewish king", "kindness will return", "Jehovah has saved", "Jehovah has delivered". All I can say is Halleluiah. What we are waiting for is going to happen and we will be a part of the glory!