Silence and Centering
“But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)
Merciful God, we remember that Your Son was tempted in the desert as we are, and yet He won the victory over sin. And now, because of His victory, we have hope that we too can be victorious over the temptations we face in life. There are times when we feel weak, and we do things that we should not have done, and there are times when we leave undone many things we should have done.
We have failed to love You with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We try to make excuses for our actions, but there is no excuse for giving in to temptation. Lord, grant us the strength and courage we need to overcome our weaknesses so that one day we can stand before You and hear You say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” We ask these things in the Name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
“…If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
In chapters 17-19 of the book of 1 Kings, we see the people of God choosing to disobey God’s commandments as they worshiped false gods. As a result, God brought upon them a severe drought, lasting three years. Instead of repenting of their sin, and seeking the Lord for His mercy and healing (cf. 2 Chronicles 7:14), they chose to shift their focus on worshiping one specific false god—Baal. Baal was thought to be a weather god, and they were in desperate need of rain.
The people were attempting to worship both God and Baal to secure the maximum advantage of both. It was at this point when the prophet Elijah came asked the people, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word (1 Kings 18:21). Elijah was telling them; they needed to make a decision—Yahweh or Baal.
When we look back in hindsight we usually have a distinct advantage—we can see the mistakes and good decisions of those before us. If we are wise, we will glean from all of these decisions and plot our proper course. But this doesn’t always happen. There are many today who are making the same mistakes these worshipers of Baal were doing. It may not be Baal anymore, but it is the god of mammon (money & material possessions).
But Jesus warned His followers to guard themselves against the temptation to do this. We are not to place our priorities on gaining wealth, or even on obtaining the basic material possessions needed to survive—we are to be doing something much more valuable—seeking God’s kingdom, and His righteousness. The truth is, by seeking God and by being committed in doing what He has commanded us to do; we will be given our physical necessities as well (Matt. 6:25-33).
“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt. 6:31-33 (NKJV)
I think this can be hard for us to comprehend or to believe in at times, so we can find ourselves worrying needlessly—placing a greater emphasis on our daily bread and financial security than living for God and trusting in His provisions. In essence, we are faltering (hesitating) between two opinions. Let’s guard ourselves against this temptation.
I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today.
STUDY QUESTION: According to Matthew 6:31-33 what does Jesus tell us about prioritizing our daily needs versus seeking the Kingdom and His righteousness?
PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you faltering between trying to provide for your daily needs and seeking the kingdom of God, and doing His righteousness?
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord, His word, and then make it your priority to abide in it, and then trust Him for your needs.
MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your provisions for my life. I am sorry for the times I have faltered between serving mammon and You. Help me to see Your will for my life today. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…
2 Minutes of SILENT PRAYER & REFLECTION.
Devotional By Scott Wright