Devotional Archive (Previous Week)

Sunday 

Matt 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"

The "things" referred to here are food, shelter and the material things of life. This promise speaks of importance of primacy: God first, everything else below that. When things are in order God can move as He said He would. When things are out of order, He is effectively limited in what He can do for us. When both the Tabernacle and the Temple constructions were complete and in order as God prescribed them to be, immediately God inhabited it.

But nothing is automatic in the kingdom. Unless we believe these things are so nothing will happen. God cannot move without faith. Faith is the currency of the heavenly realm. Faith "purchases" the promises of our covenant into our lives and into the earth.

Faith must be acted on. James said by works is faith made complete (2:22). Words are one of the most important components of the work that faith needs to manifest. We believe, therefore we speak (2 Cor 4:13). Words are the paper on which the currency of faith is printed. We all say what we believe. Even the unbelievers do this. The question is do want what you are saying, or just saying what you see and feel. The mouth is a barometer of where our heart is (Matt 12:34), and we have what we say (Mk 11:23). If you don't like what your mouth is saying, you'll probably have to change what you are depositing in your heart.

Monday 

Pr 18:22 "Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord"

The word "find" (4672, Vines) here can mean purposeful looking or finding passively, as a wife presents herself to the potential husband. It might be that an aggressive male may, by faith, have to stop looking and let the Lord bring his wife to him. And, a less aggressive male may, by faith, have to be more aggressive and purposefully look for a wife. One has to be led by the Spirit on that one.

The word "good" (2896; towb) is the same Hebrew word used in Genesis when God created all things, "and it was good". In other words, a wife is inherently good to a man. He may think, especially after time has passed, that the wife isn't such a good thing. But she completes him. Eve was taken out of the side of Adam to be formed. The parts taken are no longer in a man. Those sensibilities are now exclusively in women. Adam and Eve, together, are called "Adam" (Gen 5:2). The two are now one (1 Cor 6:15). If you find your present spousal relationship does not reflect this oneness, pray into it. It is a promise that's available.

Singleness is certainly an option, and marriage with Holy Spirit also completes us. Adam and Eve did not enjoy the new birth, before or after the Fall.

"Favor" (7522) means pleasure, delight and desire. Sexual desire is not a sin, but lust is. The one is otherly motivated, the latter inwardly focused. God wouldn't have given us a pleasure center in our brains if pleasure was an evil. Pleasure is good. God has given us all things richly to enjoy (1 Tim 6:17).

Tuesday 

Pr 2:7 "He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly"

We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). Some have a hard time with this because, in life, they don't act righteous. The Blood of Jesus makes righteousness available to us but it's up to us whether we receive it or not. Just as the new birth is available to any unbeliever, they don't receive it for various reasons. We are not to look at ourselves through the eyes of our own flesh nature (2 Cor 5:16) but through the eyes of love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8). When our heart begins to get a hold of this our behavior changes (Pr 23:7).

One of the many benefits He gave us beside salvation is wisdom. He has abounded to us in all wisdom (Eph 1:8). Like righteousness, we've already been given wisdom. Our job is to tap into it.

A shield (4043) is crocodile hide. The scales are so tight against one another that it keeps water out. As we walk in the spirit (Gal 5:25) He seals us from satan's attacks (Eph 1:13). Satan cannot access our spirits, only our soul and body.

The qualifier to this benefit is walking uprightly (8537). This means living completely in Him, walking in all that He's revealed to you. And if there's any area that's still lacking, He will show you the grace to shore up those deficiencies. He says, "Be holy as I am holy" (1 Pet 1:16). We can't do this on our own, obviously. All the promises of God are IN HIM yes, and IN HIM amen (2 Cor 1:20). There is a mysterious union we enjoy with Him by marriage that causes this to happen.

Wednesday

Isa 58:13,14 "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the Lord, and a will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Some Christians debate whether the sabbath is on a Sunday or Saturday. Neither of these options is true. It's actually everyday that is the sabbath day of rest. Jesus is our sabbath rest (Heb 4), and He's everyday (Heb 13:8). The sabbath really means being fully persuaded, and completely at rest, that He's God and you're not. It is doing everything by the leading of Holy Spirit, believing in the promises that cover every imaginable scenario in life (2 Pet 1:3). If you are like me, you have not yet arrived at this rest. It comes to us incrementally, from faith to faith.

The above verses describe what someone who has entered into this rest looks like. He does not seek his own pleasures. This does not mean he lives like a monk, like a slave. It speaks rather of priorities: what is more important, my pleasures or God's? When we seek God first, He sees to it that our pleasures are met (Ps 37:4). When we actually delight in doing life this way and see it as the most honoring way to live unto the Lord, we have entered into His rest. We becomes replanted into the Garden (Ps 1:3; Jer 17:8 Msg). Our ways become His ways (Ps 37:5; Pr 16:3) and our words become His words (John 3:34). God's rewards for this are the highest ones available. It positions us to take dominion over the earth, as was God's original and continuing intent for us.

Thursday

Ex 17:15,16 "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: For he said, Because the Lord has sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation"

Jehovah is one of the three main names of God, the other two being Elohim and Adonai. These three names are often compounded with each other or with some other descriptor. Jehovah-nissi is the Lord our banner. Banners were flags an army would fly to signify who they were. God is a man of war (Ex 15:3). Lord of Hosts - lord of armies - is a name used of God in scripture more times than any other.

God sees us as an army with banners. Song 6:4,10 say, "You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners"; "Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners?". We are His arm of battle on earth right now. He works through us to battle evil and take dominion over the earth. How? Not so much physically but spiritually. Praying words of power and authority through intercession is a form of spiritual warfare. When Jesus returns to earth to initiate the Millennium He will do it with the two-edged sword - the Word - that comes out of His mouth (Rev 19:15).

Song 2:4 "He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love"

Friday 

Eccl 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time"

If you were to see God face to face one of the adjectives you would describe Him would be beautiful. He is beautiful to behold. David craved this beauty (Ps 27:4). If you were to go to heaven, everything there is beautiful. God's creation is beautiful. There is nothing in heaven that you would say is plain or ugly.

If you were born with less than stellar features, or were born with a birth defect, in your new body you will be beautiful. This isn't figurative but literal.

Beauty is not just physical. God speaks of the beauty of holiness (1 Chr 16:29; 2 Chr 20:21; Ps 29:2; Ps 96:9). We are beautiful jewels in His crown (Zech 9:16,17).

Beauty is restorative. When someone dies it is difficult to say anything comforting to the bereaved. So, people often give flowers. Flowers are beautiful, they begin the healing process.

We would see Your beauty, Lord.

Saturday

Ps 8:2 "Out of the mouths of babes and unweaned infants You have established strength because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger"

Don't let attacks by the enemy distract you. Deal with them for what they are and go on. Jesus did not go looking for demonic principalities to pull down. Instead He just cast out and down demonic strongholds as they presented themselves in His way, and continued to be about the Father's business. We overcome evil with good (Rom 12:21).

The word "strength" (5797; TWOT) in the opening verse also means praise. It means both strength and praise. God has established praise in the First Commandment. Too often we've unconsciously replaced the Great Commandment with the Great Commission. This is out of order. We limit God when things are out of order. I am so encouraged in our day and time that praise has taken a front seat in our churches. I believe this is as it should be, because that's how it is in heaven. When things are in order God is allowed to inhabit us with His glory.

God silences the enemy and thwarts his desire and efforts to avenge our incursions into his kingdom when we praise God. Isa 30:32 says, "And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, which the Lord lays on him, it will be with tambourines and harps; and in battles of shaking He will fight with it".

Praise is spiritual warfare of the highest order.

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