Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pitcher Perfect

Genesis 24:14

“And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac…”

In this passage Abraham's servant was on a mission to find a bride for his master's son.  He prayed a very specific prayer so that he would know the exact woman that God had chosen.  In reading this it seems to me that his request for a woman to offer him and his camels water from a well would not be out of the ordinary. But let's look a bit closer.

The servant probably had about 10 camels and they were most likely Arabian camels, also called dromedary camels, also called ships of the desert.  These camels can drink as much as 30 gallons of water in one "fill up".  That is about 300 gallons of water that needed to be drawn.  I am sure Rebekah did not weigh more that 120 pounds but she must have had great biceps to even offer this task!

I once heard a speaker say that in Bible times it was customary for a traveler to receive water in a town he was visiting but it was NOT customary for the camels to watered by anyone but the owner.  So we can see that this not so ordinary request was in fact incredibly specific and way out of the ordinary.

What a wonderful encouragement for us to be specific in our requests to the Lord.  The scriptures say we can come boldly before the throne because of what Jesus accomplished at the cross.  To be bold is to be, among many things, specific. 

What are you praying for today?  I would encourage you to write your prayer requests in a journal with specific detail, and when detail escapes you and you are not sure how to pray, pray for His will to be done.

“Father as we bring our petitions to you help us to be specific knowing that You already know the desires of our heart.  Increase our faith and help us to trust in You as we wait and look for Your answers. Amen."

This picture is a vase my daughter purchased recently and I felt it fit the devotion on this passage of scripture

Monday, September 14, 2015


Genesis 22:5"...I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you." 

In Verse 2 of this same chapter God told Abraham to take his only son and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. In old testament times animal sacrifices were very normal for the Jewish people , but not human sacrifice. And in addition, God was telling Abraham to sacrifice the child that He had promised to him and Sarah, the child that was to be foundation for the Jewish people to be numbered as the sands of the sea. 

This would be the conversation had it been me in Abraham's place.  "I'm sorry, what???  You want me to take my child and kill him on the altar?  I'm sorry God, but one of us has lost their mind."  At which point I would have packed up and moved as far from Israel as possible.  Oh my friends, I'm afraid I could have never handled this like Abraham did.  

Lets observe Abraham and his actions after being told to do this.  First, he got up early the next morning!  (What? Early to go kill your child??)  He saddled up the donkey, grabbed a couple of men, got his son, loaded up a pile of wood and rope and they all took off for a 3 day journey.

When they came to the place God had told them to go, Abraham readied himself and told the spare men to wait while he and Isaac went and worshiped and then he said, they, let me repeat, THEY would return to them. 

I believe that Abraham fully intended to sacrifice his son in the manor in which he was told.  But, I believe he expected God to raise his son back up, because his son was a promise and Abraham knew God did not break His promises.  This makes me cry as I write this and see the power in Abraham's faith.  God never breaks His promises.  He will do what He says he will do,  He will keep what He says He will keep.  No matter how far removed He seems, no matter how dark and scary the times, God is faithful.  The altar here didn't represent death and the end of God's promise.  It was a place of hope and returning.

We all know that Abraham bound Isaac, laid him on the altar and was about to plunge the knife into his son when an angel stopped him.  And there, caught in the bushes was a ram for the sacrifice.  I am sure on the trip down the mountain Abraham's load was lighter, having burned the wood and the rope. But I can imagine his heart was much fuller having his son at his side and having seen God keeping His promise.

"Father, Your promises are faithful and true. As You lead me to lay things at the altar, help me remember that what I give totally to You, is safe with You.  As in this story, help me remember that what gets burned at the altar needs to stay at the alter and when the time comes to walk away from the altar, my load will be lighter and my heart will be fuller. Amen."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Timing Is Everything

Genesis 21:2

"For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him."

The phrase ‘the set time’ really caught my attention in this passage. Sarah waited 25 years for her promised baby. And during that time she tried to take matters into her own hands by having her maid servant bare Abraham's child.  And we all know how poorly that turned out.

I am afraid that I, at year 10, or earlier, would have convinced myself I did not really hear from God, or that He had changed His mind.  I am confident I would be like Sarah and try to force God's promise in my own time. (After all, I clearly know whats best!) But at almost 100 years old Sarah had a baby! God not forgotten His promise to her and her husband. 

God’s promises and plans do have a set time. He has a plan for your life and for the lives of those you are praying for. Letting go and letting God is a saying that has been around for a long time, and honestly I have thought it was a bit cheesy.  However, there is much truth in it.  It not easy to do, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  I can think of many things I wish I would have not "helped" God with during my life.  Hindsight is truly better than foresight. 

If you are facing times where you feel God has forgotten you, remember His timing is always perfect.  A dear friend of mine, Francis, has said to me many times, "God is never early, He's never late, He's always right on time." 

“Father help me to be aware of Your timing, not mine. For my family and friends that don’t know You, draw them to You in Your set time. Help me to walk closer with You and be a light to all in my life. Amen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lingering Loved Ones

Genesis 19:16 " And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city."

My children’s salvation is something I am passionate about. I love this verse because while they, even Lot, lingered, while they hesitated to leave Sodom, the angel laid hold on their hands and brought them from the city. 

In Strong's Concordance the phrase "laid hold" means to seize tight hold of.  In HELPS Word-studies it says to "take hold of exactly, with decisive initiative".

Stop and think with me on this.  None of this would have happened without Abraham interceding for his family. What a powerful encouragement for those of us praying for our unsaved loved ones.  If it seems the children or family member you are praying for are lingering in their own path, ask the Lord, that He, being merciful, would seize them, would take hold of them. That He would rescue them from where they think they want to be.  I am sure Lot's wife and family were looking around at the destruction that had started and they were still seeing what they wanted to see, unaware of the price that was about to be paid in those two cities.  They needed a firm hand to lead them away. They needed someone praying on their behalf.

I can't help but think maybe some heels were dug in the ground in the process.  BUT If Abraham hadn't interceded, if WE don't intercede , who will? 

Follow along on one more thought.  Consider that us praying for our children is to 'take hold of exactly, with decisive initiative', the spiritual realm in their lives.  I believe in praying specifically.  I ask the Lord to open the eyes of my children that they can see the emptiness of the path they are walking without Him. I ask so often that He will stir a deep, deep hunger in their spirit that can only be filled with Jesus.  I ask Him to give them wisdom, to help them see all the things to be thankful for, to see their need of Him in their lives.  Call out their names before the Father each and everyday, don't lose hope, persist in prayer and watch for the hand of the Lord in their lives.

"Father, draw our children to You. Stir up their spirit man and where they are lingering,  take hold of their hands and bring them forth from the ‘city’. Open their eyes to see the emptiness of life without You. Amen."

Monday, July 6, 2015

Repeated Prayers

Genesis 18:23
23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

This verse, followed by many more, is Abraham pleading with the Father to not destroy Sodom & Gomorrah. I love how God was so patient and loving with Abraham toward his requests.
In verse 32, after Abraham had asked God to go from 50 righteous to 10, God was not angry with him or annoyed. God was willing to spare the cities for 10 and I believe if Abraham had asked for only 1, He would have spared them for only 1.  
This passage is such a beautiful example of Abraham interceding for his family. Abraham knew Lot and his wife and children were living in Sodom & Gomorrah and perhaps he suspected partaking in some of the lifestyles there. 
As a parent and a grandparent I believe we carry an awesome responsibility to intercede daily on behalf of our family members, especially those who are not serving the Lord. 
I remember a conversation I had with my late Father in law.  He said to me, "Daughter in Law (he often called me that) I pray for each of you, by name, every day."  I didn't realize it then, but that knowledge was so comforting.  When he passed away. my first thought was, "Whose going to pray for us everyday now?"
As a Mom who has children not walking with the Lord, I deeply desire the prayers of my parents for their grandchildren.  I often stop and think, who is praying for my children along with me?  Whose children am I praying for besides mine?  It is a comfort to know when others share your burden, and we must do the same.
“Father, we lift before your throne our loved ones who are not walking with You. Stir up the spirit man in our children and grandchildren. Stir the gifts and purposes You have placed in their lives and awaken a spiritual hunger in them that can only be filled with You. Amen”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Greener Pastures

Genesis 13:11

11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

We have all heard the expression; the grass is always greener on the other side. In this passage, Lot chose the best looking land but he was not aware that Sodom and Gomorrah could and did provide temptations strong enough to destroy his family.

I remember the day I read this. I was sitting on my patio swing in the early morning sun, enjoying the birds and all my flowers and the Lord began to deal with me about what Sodom and Gomorrah’s I had allowed in my life and in the lives of my children, and in our home. Things like really good movies, with questionable content. How about music with a great beat that sings about cheating on your spouse. Consider a poor or defensive attitude, that when raised, gives room for justification for actions we know were not right. 

My children are all grown now, and I have a handsome grandson, but if  I could turn back the pages of time, I would choose much more carefully what I allowed in our home and in our lives. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that is more important than the ground we lay for our children.  It is ground worth fighting for and standing up for.  Ground worth the time and effort of sowing and watering and weeding, ground that requires constant prayer and seeking the Lord's direction for.

“Father, show us where we have allowed Sodom’s and Gomorrah’s in our lives, our homes, our marriages and our families. Quicken our hearts when we may be taking a step to the wrong ‘pasture’. Draw us closer to You every day and help us to be a light to our families and to a lost world. Amen.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Clouds, Floods & Rainbows

Genesis 7:21

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man

It struck me when I read this that the earth was basically returned to creation status as far as the human population goes. It would take hundreds of years for the earth to be as populated as pre-flood times. This was a new beginning, a new Godly foundation with Noah and his family to start. 

Sometimes floods come into our lives and wipe out everything we know, and some floods have the ability to wipe us out spiritually. It is in these times that we need to be Noah’s and climb into God’s boat, ride the waves, and see where the flood takes us. The time will come when the rainbow will show and we can get safely off the boat and build an altar of thanksgiving for what the Lord has brought us through. Then, we get to start building again. Applying what we knew before the flood, what we learned during, and what the Lord will teach us now.

“Father, some of us may be in a flood right now, some may just be stepping out of the boat, and some may be seeing the first rain drops of the storm. Give us peace, knowing we can trust You to be faithful and guide us during the storm and in every step we take when it is over. Let us build our foundations on the rock, Jesus Christ and be a light to a lost world. Amen.”