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Journeying To Spiritual Fitness - Lessons From The Word (1)
Very recently I started a very simple exercise program to gain some modicum of fitness. I'm just doing a few sets of push-ups everyday to hopefully give my metabolism a jolt in the morning. The plan is to provoke by body to burn more calories and give me more energy during the day. It seems to be working so far and I'm only at day number five. This started me thinking though about my spiritual fitness and I don't think I'm really as fit as I should be. I get weary in doing God's work too easily and sometimes things just seem too difficult. I need to eat from His Word and drink from His Spirit. That's why I'm starting this journey of spiritual fitness to get my spirit man in shape and I'm using the hubs to chronicle my efforts.
Reading: 1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18-19
These chapters were in my reading today.
The backdrop is brewing war between the combined kingdoms of Judah and Isarel and Aram. The king of Israel at this time is Ahab, one of, if not the most, evil king to have rule over Israel. Jehoshaphat however had reign in Judah and, according to scripture, he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and save for a few issues, his heart was devoted to God.
Jehoshaphat heeded Ahab's call to join with him in battle against the encroaching armies of Aram headed by the king, Ramoth Gilead and, Jehoshaphat, knowing the importance of having God's direction in any battle he entered requested that the seek counsel of the Lord through the prophets.
From reading the scripture I've come across a few points that I want to note.
- If my heart is for God I will know when He speaks - There were 400 prophets that came before the kings and all of them were saying the same thing, yet Jehoshaphat still asked for additional counsel. Why wasn't he convinced with the report given by all of these prophets? I believe it is because Jehoshaphat recognized something was amiss with the word delivered by these prophets
- The Word of God is always good for me if I trust is in God - When Ahab mentions his dislike for the true prophet of God, Micaiah, Jehoshphat rebukes him. Good or bad, I should welcome a Word from God. The "Good" Word is given to encourage and strengthen me when I'm discouraged. The "Bad" Word is my warning or sometimes a chastisement but more often than not it is a prelude to a judgement that God can mete out to me for disobedience, however He is willing to forgive my trespasses if I call out to Him in repentance. So the Word is encouragement on one hand to continue my journey and on the other it's a call to repentance to get me back on track.
- I must please God and not the masses - Micaiah the prophet was warned by the king of Isarel's messenger to agree with the other prophets however he couldn't because God's Word and took precedence over everything else. Micaiah simply stated the Word of God even under the threat of, and his eventual imprisonment. He was even slapped by the other prophets. People won't necessarily like me for being obedient to God.
- The sovereignty of God - To me this was the most poignant part of these scripture verses, that God requested a deceiving spirit to go out and entice Ahab to go to a battle where he would die. It shows how much God is in control and orchestrating the events that affect us. This can be a hard pill to swallow, especially in rough times. I think this is where faith really becomes important. Without it we won't understand how God is working everything on our behalf so it would be a benefit to us. I consider Job, who, even though he was righteous before God, still was allowed to suffer.
God help me to know Your voice and understand when You speak to me. Enable me to perform Your commands unreservedly despite opposition that I face so You will be pleased with my efforts. Help me to put my trust in You completely and fully and help my unbelief.