1 Samuel 13:8-9 Taking Things Into Your Own Hands

Impatient man

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. 

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Mark 13:33 Be Alert

Deer On Alert.png

Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. Mark 13:33

Jesus had just told the disciples of things yet to come, times of disaster and change. After all these things happen is when Jesus would return. No one knows when He will return, but only that it will happen. He now warns them to stay alert for His return.

Waiting for something to happen can be very frustrating for a lot of people. They know that something is going to happen, but they just do not know when it will happen.

Some of these things can be good things. Such as knowing when a certain check will come in the mail. Or when a baby will be born. Or when a person will ask the question of proposal for marriage. People look forward to these things with a lot of anticipation and excitement.

Other things can be coming that people do not look forward to happening. Things such as a death of a loved one. Or the bill that will come in the mail. Or a bad storm that is coming through, that could cause a lot of damage.

Things that people look forward to, keep their eyes open and they stay alert for the event to happen. The greater the event, the more alert they will remain, because they do not want to miss it. How many people will camp out at a store waiting for some hot new item to go on sale the next morning?

Those who don’t know Jesus will not look forward to His return at all.

The greatest event to happen is the return of Jesus. Those who have chosen to follow Him, have nothing greater to look forward too. It will be the greatest event in all of their life.

As a believer, you must be looking forward to His return. You must be ready for His return. This means that you are living for Him and following Him with all of your life right now.

Do not allow yourself to go to sleep and stop watching and living for Him. Do not allow yourself to go back into this world and live like the world, not caring about Jesus. If you do, you may miss out on the greatest event in all of your life for all eternity.

Remain alert, living for Jesus and waiting for Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be watching for His return; that you will be living for Jesus with your whole life; and that you will tell others of Jesus. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 Plans To Prosper

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

This is a set of verses that people love to quote. They love to hear the idea that God wants to prosper them and give them a great future. The problem that is common, is that many people do not look at the context in which these verses are written.

At the time God made this statement, the Israelites were going into exile in Babylon. They were prisoners of war. Their homes and towns were destroyed. They were cast out of their homeland. All their belongings were taken away.

As a person reads this, one may wonder how God is planning to prosper them. Why would He be placing them in exile if He wanted to prosper them?

While the Israelites were in captivity, they would show the love of God, by praying for them. They would work hard and serve the Babylonians as though they were serving God. The challenge was that they would have to do this for seventy years before they would receive the prosperity of their homeland again.

God has plans to prosper you, but those plans may be in the long run, not immediate. It may take time to get to that point. On this earth you may never prosper financially as the world sees prosperity, but you may prosper in peace, joy, contentment, and love. You will know that you have a future that will never come to an end. You will know that someday you will have a mansion with many rooms in heaven on a street of gold.

In order to get all of that, however, you must seek God with all of your heart. You must put His desires first in your life. It is not about you and your prosperity or wealth, but what God wants.

Find Jesus and you will have a hope that is above anything the world can offer or has. You may not see it completely this side of heaven, but it is coming, just like the Israelites had to wait for it.

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for your life; that you will trust God’s timing in your life; that you will know the prosperity God has in store for you; and that you will seek God with all of your heart.

Jeremiah 27:22 Waiting In Babylon

‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ Jeremiah 27:22

God had chosen to move all the people of Judah to the nation of Babylon. They were moved as prisoners, because of their sin against God. As God moved them there, He told them that they were to live and serve the king of Babylon. This would not be a permanent move, but only for a time. They had to serve there for a set amount of time, before God would come to them and move them back to Judah. There would be a time of waiting.

Since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He still works in the same way with His people. There are times that God moves some of His people into an area that does not seem to be blessed by Him. It is not always the promised land.

This move is often just like with the Israelites, it is a move that is made because of disobedience or wrong choices. God has to get the attention placed back on Him, rather than on self.

During this time it can be very frustrating and fearful for a believer. Many feel that God has totally abandoned them and that He will never use them again. This is not true. God is there to build a person up and use them to for His kingdom. God is not out to destroy and kill.

You may be in this position right now. At some point you may have made some poor decisions and strayed off the path God has for you. God then moved you to another place. During this time you may feel abandoned. Jesus said that He would never leave you.

Focus your eyes and life on God. Find out what He wants you to do in the place you are in. While you are waiting in your Babylon, you can do the work of God. You can be a witness of who Jesus is and work at building His kingdom.

If God called you to do a work, that call is still there. He may have detoured you for a time, but He will move you into that call.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will obey God in everything He says; that you will trust God in your Babylon; and that you will be a witness wherever you are.

Isaiah 9:6 A Promise As Though Now

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

As Israel is walking away from God and is being punished, Isaiah makes a prophecy of great proportions. It is about a child that is born that will be in control of the government and will be God while being a man. Looking back, now several thousand years later, one can see that he was talking about Jesus.

At the time Isaiah spoke these words, Jesus was not walking on the earth. He was not born yet as a human being. Still Isaiah speaks as though it has already happened. The actual birth of Jesus would not occur for several hundred more years.

From God’s perspective, time does not really mean anything. He is outside of time. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all the same to Him. When God makes a statement it is as though it has already happened.

As you think about this you may wonder how this can help you today. God has made many promises. A lot of promises are made to every believer, while God may make some directly to you and your situation in your life.

Often you may hear of a promise of God and wonder if you really heard it, because nothing seemed to change. God promised to meet your needs, yet the bills keep piling up and the car breaking down. You may have heard a prophecy over your life about something and yet nothing seems to come to pass.

You have to claim that promise and believe in God to fulfill it in His time and in His way. Just as Isaiah prophesied about the birth of Jesus and had to wait for it to occur, so you may have to wait for God’s prophecy to you.

Believe the prophecy as though it has occurred and move forward with it. God’s word is alive and active. God will never break a promise to you, only you can break or stop that promise by rejecting it.

Just as Jesus did finally come to this earth, so God will fulfill every promise to you.

I pray today that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will trust God’s word to you; that you will wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled; and that you will not lose hope in Jesus.