Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.”
Judges 4: 24
King James Version
“The Peace In Commitment"
“The peace of God means being grateful for His past mercies, conscious of His present mercies, and certain of His future mercies.”
What does the word commitment mean to me?
How does my spiritual life intersect with the “commitments” I have made in my own life?
“Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our striving cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
“The resolved mind hath no cares.”
Many years ago, when I was floundering, wondering what I should do with my life, I received two job offers at the same time. I can still remember the confusion I felt not having any idea what I should do. I had gone over the pros and cons of each job with my husband and anybody else who would listen. Finally one day, totally frustrated by my wavering back and forth, my husband, Jim, made this very astute observation. “You know Dorothy, at this point in time, I’m not certain there’s a bad decision. But I do know that no decision is the worst decision of all.”
When I finally decided on what I would do, I can’t tell you the sense of peace I had. It wasn’t that I knew for certain the job I chose was just perfect, it was the fact that I had committed myself to something. I had taken the step to put my energy and effort into the position I had chosen.
In Revelation 3: 15, (K.J.V.) the disciple John, in letters to seven churches, writing to the members of the Laodicean church, shared God’s heavenly assessment of the members. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.” It is apparent in these words from heaven that what was lacking in the lives of these members was commitment. There wasn’t a fire in their souls and God told them He wished they would either contain fire or ice rather than be a puddle of melted lukewarm water.
This past weekend, I had one of my favorites, a cup of hot chocolate. However, the phone rang just as I poured the steaming drink into my snowman cup. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to my drink, it was lukewarm and tasted lousy!
If you’re wondering what lukewarm liquid and a lukewarm church have to do with our study in Judges about Deborah, Barak, and Jael, I’d like to refer you back to Judges 4: 1 which tells us that the children of Israel “Again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.”
From Judges 1 to Judges 4, we find over and over again that when there was a Godly leader at the helm of Israel, the people followed God. But the minute the Godly leader died, the people began to wander, and lose interest in their own spiritual welfare. By the time Deborah, Barak, and Jael came on the scene of action, the pattern of non-committal behavior was engrained very deeply into a generation of Israelites. What a sad commentary on these people whom God had done so much for.
But before we start decrying the behavior of these children of God, we need to take a heavenly mirror and look into it ourselves.
Not long ago someone was telling me about the pastor of their church. They were complaining about his preaching, saying it was “fluffy” and “shallow.” Then they made an interesting comment, “I don’t get anything out of what he says.” So I asked them this question. “Do you study for yourself all week at home?” They looked at me as though I had lost my mind and replied, “No, that’s the preacher’s job – they are supposed to feed me each week!”
Well, I couldn’t disagree with this sentiment more. It is wonderful to have a pastor or spiritual leader who helps us on our journey. I say, “Praise God for them!” But every day, if we want to feed the roots of our souls, we must take time to study too. This is what I love about Transformation Garden. We take time every day, to get into the word of God and let it speak to each of us personally. As we study, it is as though we are adding kindling to the fire in our hearts. And when the fire burns brighter and brighter, our commitment to God will consume all that hinders us from fulfilling His purpose. Like God’s children in Judges 4: 24, may it be said of you and me, that through God’s power, our hands “prospered and prevailed” against King Jabin, Sisera and 900 chariots!
“Stayed upon Jehovah
Hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.”
Frances Ridley Havergal
“O love triumphant over guilt and sin,
My soul is soiled, but Thou shalt enter in:
My feet must stumble if I walk alone.
Lonely my heart, till beating by Thine own,
My will is weakness till it rest in Thine,
Cut off, I wither, thirsting for the Vine,
My deeds are dry leaves on a sapless tree,
My life is lifeless till it live in Thee!”
Frederic Lawrence Knowles
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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