Devotions - Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Refining Fire

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Devotions - Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Postby Blipadouzi » Thu May 04, 2006 6:09 am

Reading: 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 54, Psalm 63; Luke 22:47-71

Good morning Church,

It is a very curious way in which the LORD God treats his worshippers and followers. It is a very curious way in which the LORD God protects and develops his worshippers and followers. We have this idea that God protects by making the difficult things go away or by making the difficult things easier. He doesn't.

As we read about David's struggle with Saul we discover that God neither made it go away nor become easier. David continued to live in caves, hiding in the desert, just so that he could do all things well by honouring the king. He honoured the king by not engaging him in battle or killing him. But that made it difficult for David.

Yesterday we read something along this line concerning Peter. Jesus said:

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32)

The Lord did not ask that Peter would avoid this or that it would pass by but instead that Peter would be strengthened so that he would not be overcome by it. Wow! It was foreseen and used by the Father. It was used to help Peter find a deeper faith, trust and love for the Lord. As he came through this very personal struggle Peter was better equipped to turn to help the others who were also struggling. The struggle was allowed. The denials were allowed. The guilt was allowed. The grief and anguish was used by God to cause Peter to seek for answers, to seek for me.

How wrong we are to pray that God would remove our "Goliaths" from us. We need to change our prayers so that we match more as Jesus had prayed, "Lord, strength our faith and trust that we would not be overcome by these things. Lord give me a heart of a warrior that I will discover victory through you." When warriors avoid the battle they grow fat and lazy. They no longer possess the desire for the battle. They want to find the easiest path possible.

Lord, we do not long for trouble or for battles but we do long for you. Strengthen our weak faith so that we will keep our eyes on you, so that we will trust in you, so that we will find our strength in you. Renew our hearts so that we will not fear the battle but instead so that we may stand our ground. We know you are using these things to test our faith to show us whether it is genuine or not. We know that you are using these things to refine us as your people. Help us to faint not. Be our captain Lord Jesus. Lead us on into battle and into victory. We will not run! We will not grow weary! VICTORY! Amen.
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