But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22
A take-away from reading God’s Word as described in the post “Useful Faith” is that faith is not the only quality we need. The Israelites demonstrated that they had no advantage in religious ceremonial observances. What they needed was to internalize the qualities taught in God’s Word so that their heart and mind would be aligned for action.
Like in the song Confidence by Sanctus Real, let us seek to have faith like Daniel in the lion’s den, hope like Moses in the wilderness, and a heart like David so the Lord will be our defense to face the battles of life with confidence.
Reading today in 1 Samuel 4, the Word of God will be absorbed into our heart and set our mind ready so that goodness naturally flows outward much like water overflows from a waterfall. Our faith will be applied in activities that benefit our life at work, home, and in whatever we do as we collect knowledge from God’s Word.
Many have wisdom but fail to produce any fruit. Not only is there a need to learn but a need to set God’s Plan for Us into motion. There needs to be a way to apply God’s plan by having a take-away from our daily readings.
For example: A take-away from today’s reading is to question our past so we can learn and make adjustments for the future. The actions of the elders were commendable because they were asking questions about their set-backs on the battlefield. They decided to bring the ark of the Lord to them and gain faith that God was with them.
This worked to some extent as the people were inspired and the enemy was intimidated. When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook (v. 5). The Philistines learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the Israelite camp and they were afraid (v. 7).
But as the Israelites learned, ceremonial observances of religion are not what is needed in order to win our battles. We need more than superstition to bring victory. In the days ahead, the Israelites would be defeated by the Philistines and the ark of God was captured. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas died (v. 11).
Success on earth is never guaranteed but accepting Christ in our heart assures us of ultimate victory. We can then have composure to handle difficulties as we continually internalize the qualities of Christ in our heart. We then have a much better chance to fulfill our purpose here on earth because the spiritual and physical body is conditioned to carry out what God has inspired.
This day with You Lord, we feel the advantage building as we take on our battles. This advantage does not come from religion but by internalizing the qualities taught to us in Your Word that will be put into practice. Our heart and minds are aligned for action in doing amazing things for Your glory. Amen.
The Word of God is living and active. – Hebrews 4:12
Shared in the post “Grow to Know” was how Samuel listened to the Lord. In the same way, we can listen to the Lord by reading and reflecting on the Word. We can grow to know the instructions and be ready to apply them in our life.
Take inspiration from the song Word of God Speak by MercyMe. As the song points out, ask God to speak to you, stay and rest in His holiness, and hear His voice in the quietness.
This day with God, we will grow to know Him by learning from the past, being attentive to the present, and prepared for the future as we reflect on His Word. Reading in 1 Samuel 3, the chief priest at Shiloh was named Eli but he had been inconsistent in his service for the Lord by failing to restrain his sons who were taking more than their share of the meat sacrifice offerings made by the people. His sons were also sleeping with the women who served the sacrifices.
The Lord’s people began to talk so the sinful actions of Eli’s sons were known by many. Because of their sin, God brought judgment upon Eli and his family. Then, Samuel was chosen by the Lord to take over the priestly functions.
Samuel was trained over the years and then God reveals himself and his Word to Samuel by speaking to him. The people of Israel knew that the Lord was with Samuel because they recognized that Samuel would listen and pass on messages from God to the people. Samuel had become a prophet of God.
It’s important that we get good instructions from the Lord by reading, studying, listening, and reflecting on the Word. The Lord will reveal himself to us so we grow to understand what we need to do as we gain experience. By understanding the Word and applying what we know to each situation, we can be a leader of people toward God’s Way.
This day with You Lord, we want to know and grow in Your Way. We believe that You can use us to do amazing things! Instill in us the desire to know You and Your Word. The discipline to follow You and that our aim is true. Help us make it through with You by our side. We believe that we will accomplish great things for You and our dreams will come true because we continue to keep Your Word in view. Amen.
This day with God, we can make offerings by enthusiastically living with a purpose, meeting together with eagerness, and being interested in and caring for others. This poem was written to restore power and enthusiasm into each day.