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July 2008 Archives

July 29, 2008

God, help me with my plans

2 Chronicles 25:5-10 (NKJV)
Amaziah gathered Judah together and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, according to their fathers’ houses, throughout all Judah and Benjamin; and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them to be three hundred thousand choice men, able to go to war, who could handle spear and shield. 6 He also hired one hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him, saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim. 8 But if you go, be gone! Be strong in battle! Even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy; for God has power to help and to overthrow.”
9 Then Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the troops of Israel?”
And the man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” 10 So Amaziah discharged the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, to go back home.

Here's another example of men who have a good idea, but not God's idea. Amaziah numbered the warriors of Judah in preparation for a war with Moab. He also recruited another 100,000 mercenaries from thier "brothers" in Israel. This seemed like a good idea at the time. Instead, not only was it a waste of money, but it had graver consequences as Israel later initates war with Judah and defeats them.

The word from this unknown man of God is the focus of my thoughts, especiall the end of v.8. I am guilty of asking God to help me with my plans, when His plans are bigger. I want His help to win some little battle and His plans are to overthrow the enemy. More specifically, I want God to help me with some little project and He wants to completely take it to another level. But I've already made arrangements for my plans (like hiring 100,000 mercenaries). I've spent resources to insure my plan will work. Although I might win the battle, ultimately, I end up losing the war. Bigger problems arise down the road all because I'm doing what seems to be right without asking God first. He sees things I can't. He knows things I don't. And most of all, I just don't need his help, I need to know his will.

July 31, 2008

Taking out the trash

2 Chronicles 29:15-16 (NKJV)
And they gathered their brethren, sanctified themselves, and went according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. 16 Then the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD to cleanse it, and brought out all the debris that they found in the temple of the LORD to the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron.

This passage is a little too close to home. About 3 months ago, we had to do this at New Life. Nothing had been "defiled," but long term neglect to putting stuff away (either organized or trashed) resulted in things piling up. On Monday of this week I had to take some time to reorganize my garage. A summer's worth of activity resulted in things not being put back into place. It just took some time to clean up. I followed that up with cleaning out my closet, getting rid of some old clothes; stuff that was worn or just didn't fit anymore. Actually, I need to do the same in my office now too.

There's a tension that I live in: when things are busy, my life gets cluttered. Things don't get put away, and if left too long it gets dirty. On the other hand, when I have too much time on my hands I get distracted. I'll procrastinate and leave things undone. That's why these "spring cleaning" times are a regular part of my life, not only in the natural, but the spiritual as well. Right now I'm in the "search me, try me, lead me" season (Psalm 139:23-24). It feels like everything is cluttered and I need to get in there and ask the Lord what needs to go. There are some things that need to be put back in place (my daily disciplines for one) I want to be clutter free...and sanctified for His service.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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