Strength for the battle

Pr. 24:5:  “A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.”

We spent some more time in WV last week–this time on the river.  I spent some time sitting by a small waterfall near the house.  Really, it’s just a rapid in the water, but its strong and powerful, nonetheless.  I went down that rapid without a kayak once and had the month-long bruise to show for it.

As my kids played near me, we found ourselves having to yell at one another in order to hear each other over the noise of the water.  It reminded me of Ps. 93:4 that says, “The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea.”

This rapid was only about 5 ft. across and maybe 5 ft. down…tiny in comparison to a waterfall you would hike out miles to see or certainly to something like Niagara Falls; nevertheless, the noise it produced was loud enough to deafen our voices.  The Word says that the Lord is mightier than the sound of many waters.

In the word, we find many examples of this might.  One of my favorite stories is that of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chr. 20.  After hearing that several armies were coming against him, he set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.  All the cities came to seek the Lord.  Jehoshaphat then stood in the assembly and proclaimed the might and power of God, declaring that they had no power against these enemies and that their eyes were now on God.

God then reminded them that indeed the battle was not theirs, but His.  After the multitudes praised and worshiped him, they went out in the morning, singing and praising the beauty of holiness.  Then, God turned the armies on themselves and they wiped each other out.  No one escaped.  The spoils of the armies were so much that it took 3 days to gather them all.

Now, if God can fight a war for Jehoshaphat without him ever picking up a sword or spear, how much more can He do for us?  Jehoshaphat’s job was to praise God, to worship, and to lift up the Lord’s name.  He reminded God that he himself had no power and God showed Jehoshaphat that in his weakness, truly God’s strength is made perfect!

When we realize the might and power of our God, surely we understand that humbling ourselves before Him makes His strength perfect in our lives.  Knowing Him, and knowing what He can do gives us all we need to face the battles in our lives.  We have no need to fear when this kind of God is on our side!

Strengthen yourself with His Word today and build up your faith in the One who has delivered others before you.  He can do the same for you.  When you feel the waters try to overtake you, you can remember than not only is God more powerful than the waters, but more powerful even than their noise.  Begin to praise Him now.  You will NOT be overtaken!

In awe of His might,

jamie

Which way to heaven?

Pr. 2:13:  “From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;”

We just spent the weekend deep in the mountains of West Virginia.  My family is blessed to have some land where we can reunite and unwind.  A few years ago some of my cousins made a new trail in the woods up on the mountain behind our house to mark the property line.  The trail they cut out is wide enough for a 4-wheeler or my cousin Mark’s off-road vehicle called ‘the mule.’

All the kids love to ride on Mark’s mule, and they made several trips on that trail over the weekend.  My dad was taking the kids for one of the rides and I joined them.  This was my first time on the trail and I saw there were some smaller paths leading off to the side.  I noted that my dad always took the path to the right and he confirmed that the main trail went to the right.  He said the smaller paths were dead ends that were made for other purposes.

This verse reminds me of that trail and those other paths.  If you got on that main trail for the first time and didn’t know which way to head, you could easily wind up on the wrong path.  Instead of an hour long walk down a path that’s been laid out, you could wind up hitting every dead-end there is, and spend several hours just trying to find where the trail lets out.  (View of trail’s exit below)

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Almost Heaven, West Virginia

The Lord has a path clearly laid out for us all, and you can find the directions in the Word.  Without knowing or heeding the Word, we often try to take those paths off the main trail, but they are dead ends that only lead to darkness, sin, pain, and ultimately death.  We don’t have to create new paths or take the paths towards darkness.  Keeping the word in our hearts, we can stay on the path of uprightness, which leads to eternal life.

Stay on the path today and do not let yourself be lured by the paths of darkness.  Those smaller paths will ensnare you, trap you, and will not let out in heaven.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  If you need to know the way, His name is Jesus.  He was in the beginning with God:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  If you know the Word, you know Jesus, and you will get to the Father through Him.”  (John 1:1)  Continue to the right.  Heaven awaits!

Trusting in Jesus,

jamie

 

Is the Bible your roap map?

Pr. 5:23:  “He shall die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”

When we were in high school, my friend and I went on a hike in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest in the Appalachian Mountains.  (in other words…the middle of nowhere)  We took no food or water, and no other supplies.  We followed a trail to the top of a mountain and were enjoying the view of the land on the other side.  We were having such a nice time, just walking and enjoying God’s creation.  After a while; however, we knew it was time to head back home.

The problem?  I had not told my parents exactly where we were going, and without their wise input, even if we turned around, I wasn’t sure where to find the same trail to get us back down that mountain.  We spent the next few hours, with no food or water, on pretty perilous paths, making our way back to my now-panicking parents.

My friend and I were young and naive.  Without the instruction we needed, we certainly went astray.  That is why it is so important for Christians to read the word of God.  We all go astray without instruction.  Try getting in your car and heading to a destination with no GPS, no map, but just an idea about which direction to head.  You will inevitably go astray.

Same with the Christian walk.  There are so many paths we are able to take in this life.  Without the word of the Lord guiding us, we will inevitably take a perilous path.  Psalm 37 talks about how the wicked prosper and live lives that can cause us to envy them.  We can easily follow the paths of this world.  When things look good, fun, prosperous, entertaining, fulfilling, etc., it is easy for us to turn in that direction.

Without instruction how would you know that evildoers shall be cut off?  If you don’t read the word, how will you know that those who wait on the Lord shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace?

I know a song that says, “I’m using my Bible for a road map.”  How fitting.  We need the Bible to guide us in our walk.  Thinking about taking that road towards transgression?  Your ‘road map’ will remind you that transgressors shall be destroyed together and the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

Hoping to head towards that place of prosperity  Well, check the map.  The Bible will remind you that when you delight yourself in the Lord, He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Your desires will be in line with His will and not the selfish ambitions of those who do not follow His paths.

Check out Psalm 37 today.  See how the steps of a good man are ordered.  Find out what happens if you fall.  Do you know what happens when you commit your way to the Lord or have a time of trouble?  Get out your map and find out for yourself.  If you read it today, you’ll be ready to take the right path even before you get there.

Have fun planning your journey,

jamie