Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Happen

Fire and water

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4 

Doing something great will often have some great challenges to make happen. Beyond just the challenges of knowing how to do something great is the opposition that can occur.

Men and woman who are striving to do something great are often told that they are crazy and should not try to do it. The reason they are told that they are crazy and shouldn’t do it is for several reasons. Sometimes it is so different that others think it cannot really be done, and one should not waste it time trying. Other times it is out of fear of it actually working and getting done.

The Israelites had been put into captivity in Persia, yet, were given direct permission from the king of Persia to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple to God. As they had begun to do the work, the people around them worked hard to stop them. They tried to discourage them from finishing the work that they had started to do.

Fear of Christians accomplishing something is still around to this day. The world is an enemy to Jesus and does not want Him or His followers to ever accomplish anything. The thing that believers do is following and obeying God. They are working to build God’s kingdom here on this earth.

Any time a believer is doing God’s will, Satan and this world will rise up in opposition. He does not want the believer to be successful, because it means it will be his downfall. The world does not want it, because they can feel God’s judgement upon their lives in seeing the lives of believers.

God has or will call you to do something for His kingdom. It may be building a new temple or it may just be a simple thing of telling someone about Jesus. Either way it is doing something for Him.

As soon as you begin to do what God has asked of you, the world will begin to attempt to discourage you and stop you. They may say it is a waste of time and that it won’t work with just words. Or they may be physically violent against you.

Do not be surprised. There was opposition to the Israelites and against Jesus. You will receive opposition. Stay true to God and do what He has given you to do. Don’t be discouraged, God is with you.

I pray today that you will know the mission God has for you; that you will not be discouraged; that you will stay true to God; that God will give you strength to do His work; and that you be His witness.

2 Chronicles 30:9 Return And Be Accepted

Sheep returning home

If you return to the LORD, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him. 2 Chronicles 30:9

Walking away from something good is an easy thing to do. There are times when something looks better and so people choose to change directions and follow the new thing.

In the process of choosing the new direction, sometimes people make a mistake. Afterwards they realize that they chose the wrong direction and in the process hurt someone else. With people this can often be detrimental. When a person is hurt badly, they often write off the person and do not want the person back.

Fear keeps many people from returning. They feel if they return they will be rejected or punished harshly and not accepted.

As Hezekiah was leading the nation back to God, he chose to reinstate the Passover celebration. He told all the people to return to God, because He was gracious and compassionate. God would not reject them, but would accept them back, regardless of what they had done.

Many people have followed God at one point in their life. They then made some mistakes and fell into some sin. At that point they walk away from God, feeling as though they can no longer serve Him. They choose to not go back out of pride and fear of God.

They realize what they did was wrong and feel as though God cannot forgive them and will not accept them back. They do not want to be rejected, so they stay away.

However God is a loving and compassionate God. He is waiting for every person to turn to Him, even if it is again for the tenth time or more. He is willing to forgive and move on.

You may have made some mistakes in your life and walked away or drifted away from God. Drop the pride and return to God. He is waiting for your return with wide open arms of love and forgiveness.

There is nothing you can do or have done to stop God from loving you. He will always run to you when you run towards Him. Unlike the world, He will quickly forgive and restore you.

If you have walked away, quickly return today and be accepted.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn your heart to God; that you will know God’s great love for you; that you will experience His grace and compassion; and that you will live your life for God.

Judges 6:10 Results Of Not Listening

Half Dome

“I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” Judges 6:10 

There are times that people go through tough situations in their lives. Sometimes these tough situations are because God is allowing the enemy to test them, to determine where their heart really is. Other times the tough situation is a result of bad choices made, refusing to listen to God’s Holy Spirit guiding and directing them.

The nation of Israel had times that they would be overrun by the enemy. They would cry out to God for some help. At one point God had sent a prophet to them to tell them that He had given them a command not to worship the false gods, yet they chose to worship the false gods. They had chosen to not listen to God and the result of an enemy take over had occurred.

God does not want the enemy to take over His people, in reality He wants the enemy defeated. However, when His people are not listening to Him and doing what He says, He allows the enemy to take over.

The purpose of the enemy taking over is to get the attention of His people back on Him.

God is not out to destroy people, but to build them up and give them life. Yet, if they choose not to listen to Him and follow Him, He will do what it takes to get their attention.

As people go through tough times, most people will call out to God for help. This is one of God’s ways to get their attention and focus back on Him. Every believer needs to stay focused on God and listen to Him as they follow Him.

God is not against you, but is for you. He does not want to destroy you, but He needs to you listen to Him and obey Him. He loves you enough that He will do whatever it takes to keep you focused on Him. This may mean going through some tough times.

If you are going through a tough time, turn your entire focus onto God and not the tough time. Allow God to guide you through the situation.

Even when following God, times may be tough, but He will always give you strength to make it through. Don’t turn away from God, but listen to Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s directions; that you will listen to God; that you will obey God; that you will keep your focus on God; and that you will see God’s work in your life. 

 

Judges 2:19 Following In Action, Not In Heart

People walking

But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Judges 2:19 

It is very common for people to follow the rules when the boss or some authority is around. They feel the eyes of the authority on them and choose to follow all of the rules. This is often done, because they do not want to be punished for doing wrong.

Others will also jump on the band wagon of following the rules of the leader when everyone else is doing it. It is the thing to do, not necessarily what they really want to do.

However, most of those same people will change their ways as soon as the authority is out of sight. They will go back to the old ways of wrong ways of doing things.

God had began to raise up judges or leaders to lead the people. While the judge was living and things were going good, they would follow and obey God. As soon as the judge died, the people went back to their corrupt ways, even worse than before, worshipping and following false gods. Following God was not really the center of their heart.

People have not changed. Children in Christian homes often follow God while at home, but often fall away when they leave home. They follow God when under the eyes of their parents, but God is not a part of their heart.

Adults do the same. On Sunday many people follow God and serve Him, when under the eyes of other believers or the pastor. On Monday, they return to their old ways of sin, because the pastor cannot see them anymore. God is not really a part of their heart.

As a believer, God has to be a part of your heart’s desire. He needs to be the One you want more than anything, at any time, and for any cost.

When God is this much a part of your heart, you will not purposefully return to sinful ways. You will be seeking His Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you to live for Him. You will make mistakes, but you will quickly return because of His great love and mercy.

Ask yourself today who or what is really your heart’s desire.

Is it God?

Or the things of this world?

I pray today that you will personally know God; that you will desire God with all of your heart; that you will follow God with all of your heart; and that God will strengthen and guide you in His ways.

Judges 1:1 Seeking God’s Directions

Split path

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” Judges 1:1 

Every day billions of decisions are made by people all over the world. Some of the decisions are very major ones that can decide the outcome of the individual or even of nations, while the majority are minor ones, affecting only a few people.

With every decision there are at least two different choices to make, to do or not do something. After that, the possibility of choices is endless. The results of a choice can also be a simple effect or a major affect.

How people make the choice is different for each person? Some will actually toss a coin to make the decision. Others will seek advice from other people, read books or articles on it, or just wild guess the decision to be made.

Moses had been the one who started making choices for the Israelites, then it was Joshua. Now that both were gone, the Israelites had to make the choice themselves. The very first thing that they did was to ask God about the choices. The chose to let God make the choice Himself and then follow through with His decision.

Just as everyone else in the world has to make decisions, so does every believer. Individual all the way up to corporate level choices need to be made on a daily basis.

Unlike the world, however, the believer has One who can hep make the perfect choice every time. Every believer can be filled with God’s Holy Spirit to guide them and every believer can ask God for direction. There is no decision or choice to be made that is too big or too small to ask God about.

You may have some choices to be made in the near days to come. Think about how you make your choice. Is it on your own or in the ways of the world? Or are you seeking God to guide your choice?

God knows what is the best choice to be made. Take the time to stop and seek His answer. It may be a choice that the world would also make, or it could be something very different. God sees and knows the big picture, so He also knows the best way to do things.

Take time today to ask God for direction. He is generous and will give it.

I pray today that you will seek God’s directions; that you will trust God’s directions for your life; that you will follow God’s directions in your life; and that God will reveal His great grace and favor in your life.