In EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication…

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Not long ago, I was reading through 2 Samuel- Old Testament, good stuff. Anywho, I got to chapter 5 and came across an interesting scenario that was played out. You see, King David at this time reigns over all Israel and there is peace among the twelve tribes… but they have enemies- the Philistines. David led an army out to battle them and we read in 2 Samuel 5:18-19…

Now the Philistines came and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim.  Then David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.”

David goes directly as the Lord directed and achieved a great victory. Not long after, King David again is confronted by the Philistines at Rephaim… same enemy, same location. David could have easily said “I’ve seen this before. I know the threat and the terrain. God blessed the last battle. I’ll just go ahead with this fight… I don’t need to bother God with this.” But he didn’t do that, instead, we read in 2 Samuel 5:22-23…

Now the Philistines came up once again and spread themselves out in the valley of Rephaim. When David inquired of the LORD, He said, “You shall not go directly up; circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees.

God wanted David to have the victory… but in a different manner- by attacking from behind them. It got me to thinking…

So often, life gets busy…work, children, grandchildren, church, community events, etc., and some situation will come up in our lives and we approach it without prayer… because we’ve been down that road before.

I know that King David was a busy man… uniting the land, ruling the people, raising a family, leading armies.  He was probably very comfortable with the battle scenario that was laid out before him. But, he made time to pray and seek God’s guidance. I’m sure that the battle would have turned out differently had he not sought the LORD’s blessing and direction in this fight.

The Lord tells us Christians, through the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6…

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  

I take that to mean… God is interested in every aspect of our lives, and that He wants us to have victorious lives… in our careers, families, ministries, etc., and that we should never become so busy that we don’t take everything in our lives to Him in prayer! God wants to bless us, and in that blessing we are to bring glory and honor to Him… just like God got the glory when David was victorious!

Bargaining with God

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Recently, as I was reading through the book of Judges, I came to the interesting story of Jephthah. He was called upon to defend Israel against the Amorites. This man-made a vow to the LORD and we read of it in Judges 11:30-31…

Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.”

The Lord grants Jephthah a great victory over the Amorites and he returns to his home and we read in Judges 11: 34…

When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter.

This cost him more than he had bargained for. It cost him his only daughter… I have only one daughter- I can imagine the terrible pain this must have caused Jephthah.

And at some point, most Christians (and a lot non Christians) have tried to bargain with God…. you know, like… God, if you’ll just give me this job, I’ll serve you forever or God, I would give anything to have a spouse. Things like that.

Don’t bargain with God. You and I can not afford to. Receive His mercy and grace, praise His holy name and do what He has called you to do.

Because Jesus has already paid the price. We are told on Romans 5:8…

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe… as the old hymnal goes. Walk by faith dear sister, dear brother!