He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8-9
Most people do not like to wait for other people. When they want to get something done, they do it themselves. Often it is because they have been let down by others in the past. Friends or co-workers did not show up, so the job had to be done alone.
Having patience to wait for someone else is not something most people have. They want the help and they want it right away on their own timetable.
Saul had done this very thing. He was getting ready to fight against the Philistines. He and Samuel had agreed to a set date for Samuel to come and offering the sacrifices to God for His favor in the battle.
When Samuel did not show up at the appointed time, Saul immediately took things into his own hands. He proceeded immediately to offer the sacrifices to God, something he was not allowed to do. As soon as he had finished offering the sacrifices, Samuel showed up. It was at this point Samuel stated that God was already beginning to pull the kingdom away from Saul, because he did not obey.
It is common for people to call out to God for help, but do not wait for His answer. Or when they hear Him say He will provide the answer, they do not wait for His timing to answer the prayer.
This is often done out of fear. They do not believe God can or will actually accomplish what He said He would do. Instead of following God’s instructions, they take things into their own hands. This shows a lack of faith in God.
God’s word has said that He will provide for you. When you hear that God will do this, you must trust His words. At those times when God says to wait, you must wait. Do not jump ahead of God and take things into your own hands. Leave the events in His hands.
God is faithful and will not break His word. He will do what He needs to do at the perfect time, not your time. Wait on Him and trust Him.
I pray today that you will trust God’s timing; that you will trust God’s word in your life; that you will obey God’s commands to you; and that you will leave things in God’s hands.
“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.
So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32
Following the commands of someone is not always fun or easy to do. Often people do not fully understand the reason for the command. Rules are often ignored or seen as suggestions, rather than a requirement.
In the workplace, there are many who will cut the corners on following the procedures for a job to be done. At the moment it looks as though everything will be acceptable and work out fine, because the rule did not make sense. Yet, later, there is often complications and problems, because a rule was not followed through.
Following the directions on a GPS is required, in order to get to the desired destination. To turn to the right or left, will cause one to get off the path, and the GPS has to constantly change the directions, thus the best path has not been taken.
After the Israelites had been given all of the commands of God through Moses, they were warned to be careful to do everything God had commanded. They were not to turn away from any of the commands for any reason.
Even though believers today are no longer under the Law as Moses and the Israelites were, they still must obey God’s commands. Each believer must still obey the commands of loving both neighbor and enemies, showing grace, showing mercy, and being a witness. These commands are not an option.
Along with those commands, God guides people today by His Holy Spirit, in what direction to take in life. God has a path for every believer to follow, and the believer must turn to the right or left off of that path.
God has a path for every person to follow, this includes you. You have a path for your life, given by God. God has commanded you to walk on the path He has for you. As you are walking that path, you must not stray off the path to the right or left.
Trust God’s directions in your life. He will not command you to do what is not best for your life and the best for His kingdom.
Do not allow yourself to be persuaded to turn to the left or right from God’s path for you. Keep a careful watch on the path God is leading you and obey all God has said to do.
I pray today that you will know the commands God has for you; that you will know the path God has for you; that you will not turn from any command God has given you; and that you will do His work on this earth.
Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. Numbers 9:22
People are constantly making choices in life as to when to move forward with something or not. Opportunities arise for movement upward in position in jobs and careers and schooling. The majority look at the financial benefits and anything that looks good they grab and move quickly at every opportunity.
While in the waiting period, many people keep trying to knock on doors to move upward and forward. They do not like to sit still and wait. The thought is that life is moving quickly and they must keep moving or they will miss something in life. People are anxious to keep moving towards the goal quickly.
As the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness, God had times for them to set up camp and sit still, while other times they were to move on. The time of waiting could be a very short time, while other times it would be a long wait. They would wait until the cloud God set over them had moved.
In life there are many lessons to be taught and things to do as a believer goes down the path God has for him. When in one place, it may be there for a short time, and the lesson or job is quickly done, then God will move on to the next phase in life.
Other times, God has a person sitting in one spot for a long time. There may be a lot of work to be done there, or learning the lesson could take some time. Waiting on God to move is needed to be done.
You will see the different times of movement, as a believer, in your own life. You may feel as if God is moving too fast, or too slow. Trusting God’s timing is important and obeying His order is a requirement.
God knows when it is best to move on and when it is best to stay in one place.
God knows the lesson or work you must go through. Seek Him to know what it is and work on completing what He requires. At the perfect time, God will move on to the next phase in life.
How are you doing at obeying God’s commands to stay or move?
I pray today that you will know what God is requiring of you; that you will wait patiently on God’s timing to move; that you will complete the work God has for you to do where you are; and that you will learn all lessons God gives you.
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” Matthew 17:5
Jesus had brought Peter, James and John up onto a mountain. While up there Moses and Elijah appeared and began to speak with Jesus. At some point a cloud covered them and God spoke from the cloud. God tells them that Jesus is His Son and that they are to listen to Him.
Everywhere a person goes, there is someone talking. People can hear what is being said. While a person is sitting in a restaurant eating, a person will hear what other people around him are saying, though most likely he will not pay any real attention to what is being said. One cannot help but hear what others are saying, but they do not have to really comprehend what is being said.
In order for a person to comprehend what is being said, he must listen. He must really pay attention to what is being said. God had told the disciples to “listen” to Jesus. This is paying attention to what He is saying.
Often Jesus spoke in parables and they did not fully understand it. They were hearing with their ears, but not with their hearts or minds.
Listening to a person requires one to stop thinking about what he is going to say next and pay attention to the one talking. It also can require that the one doing the listening also obey the one talking.
In the life of a believer, Jesus is the ultimate authority. He is to be obeyed. When He speaks, the believer is to listen and obey.
Today you do not have Jesus physically standing next to you speaking, but He is still talking to you. He speaks through the words in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gives guidance on how to live and please God. He did not just tell some good stories to be enjoyed.
When you hear the words of Jesus or Him speaking to you in your spirit, you must listen and obey. Hear with your heart, not just with your ears. Apply what He says to your life.
God was pleased with what Jesus was saying and doing. If you want to please God, listen and do what Jesus said and did.
I pray today that you will listen to Jesus; that you will know how to apply what Jesus said to your life; that God will be pleased with you; and that you will live your life as Jesus lived His.
“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. Jeremiah 21:8-9
The king of Judah had sent someone to Jeremiah to ask God to stop the attacks on Jerusalem. God’s answered that He was going to destroy the city and there was nothing that could be done about it. He also stated that they had a choice to make. The two choices would be a matter of living or dying. If they stayed in the city, they would die. If they surrendered to the hated enemy, they would live. God left the choice up to the people.
God has not changed at all over the years. He still gives each person a choice and that choice involves life or death. Many try to say that God does not really give them a choice. They say that they are who they are, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Or that they are in the position they are in and cannot leave it.
Even today you have a choice to make. One option is to stay where you are at, in sin, in this world, not really living for God. Even as a believer, you have to keep growing and moving with God. If you stay where you are, you may end up not following God, you stagnate and begin to die.
The other option is to leave where you are at and follow God. Live your life fully for God, following and obeying Him in every area and you will live. God will make the way.
The leaving may not be a physical leaving, but it is one of leaving behind the past sins, and leaving a sinful life, and obeying God. This will open the way to eternal life.
God always makes a way for this to happen. Think of the Israelites when they were fleeing Egypt. God made a way through a sea that looked impassable. He can make a way for you to make that choice, if you want too.
Choose life today.
I pray today that you will know the path God has for you; that you will choose to live for God; that you will choose to obey God; and that you will know the life He has for you.