Know your truth and live it

One of the most confusing, weird, and controversial stories in the bible that I have encountered so far has been the story of the young and the old prophet from 1st Kings 13. To summarize the story, God sends a young prophet to deliver a word to the ruling king but not to stop or eat or drink or return the way he came. After he delivers the word he sets on his way but an old prophet chases after him and deceitfully persuades him to come home with him and eat. As soon as the young prophet finishes eating, the old prophet asks why he did not obey God and tells him he will die because of that and true to the word of the old prophet he is mauled by a lion on his way home.

For days, I have been meditating on that scripture asking what lessons can be learned from such a bizarre story and this morning a scripture crossed my mind,

By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. Dan 11:32 NASB

This scripture, even though contextually was a prophecy about the future state of the Israelites has allowed me to think through this story a little bit more. The young prophet received a word from God not to eat or drink after he had delivered the message to the king. The king tried to convince him to stay for a meal but he refused but when the old prophet came and deceitfully told him God had said he should come home and eat, he relented and went with him. What went wrong? Did he no longer believe God had initially spoken to him? Was he motivated to disobey God’s word because he was afraid to offend the old prophet? I don’t know the answer to these questions but what I know is that there was a disconnect between what he spoke as truth and how he lived that truth in different circumstances of his life.

The scripture from the book of Daniel assures us that those that know their God will display strength in the midst of deceit, confusion, fear, mixed messages or flattery and will resist such influences. They will not only speak their truth which comes from the word of God but they will live that truth. With all the uncertainty surrounding the covid virus and its implications on global health and wealth, there are so many theories out there and frankly, some are scary. And yet God assures us that his promises for us will not fail because He cannot lie. He offers himself to us as an anchor of hope when it feels like we are being battered by the storms of life and that should be the TRUTH we SPEAK and LIVE.

So when God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath. Thus by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be strongly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and steadfast. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6: 17- 20 BSB

Regardless of the circumstances, we need to hold on steadfastly to the truth of God’s word and not be influenced by anything especially fear. Know that the God who has promised is a faithful God, rest in His promises, be strong and courageous and walk in the strength of the Lord.  Jesus is praying and interceding for you.

Yours Truly.

The Pivot

Last week in our online church, the pastor shared a passionate sermon about pivoting by relating the concept in basketball with how we relate to God in the midst of adversity. For those that don’t know what pivoting in basketball is, this is what it looks like: when you are on the court and you have the ball you have three moves you can make; to pass, shoot or dribble. But once you are stationary on the court with the ball, the rules say you can move one foot around, as long as the other foot (the “pivot foot”) remains planted on the floor. This is called pivoting. As my pastor described it, a pivot is a point where movement stops and a decision must be made.

As I was reading my bible this week I came across the story of the call of Elisha in 1st Kings 19: 19-21. This is what happened:  God told Elijah that Elisha would succeed him as a prophet and so he went to look for Elisha. Elijah found Elisha in a field plowing with oxen, approached and threw his cloak on him and walked away. That was a pivot point for Elisha. All movement had stopped and Elisha had to decide what to do about that awkward rendezvous.

Here is what Elisha did: he took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. Elisha chose to lean into the calling and purpose of God for his life which was to become a prophet. He could have just shrugged the moment away and just gone back to plowing his field.

The current global pandemic has put an unexpected and sudden pause on many things in our lives: travels, celebrations such as weddings,  business plans etc. This serves as a pivot point in our lives. How will you respond in this pause when movement has stopped? Are you going to seek God’s plans and purposes for you during this time and walk in them? Or are you going to pivot away from God’s plans and walk your own path?

Jesus is calling you to draw near, step a little deeper into the water in faith.  Slaughter your oxen and burn the plowing equipment so you have no reason to look back when you choose God’s plans for you.  Remember His plans for you are to prosper you and bring you to an expected end.

Yours Truly