Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover


UPDATED: I responded to your comments in Coment Section.
George MacDonald writes that to hold a doctrine or an opinion with the intellect alone is not to believe it. “A man’s real belief is that which he lives by.” So, what does my life really look like to the LORD? Everything may be going fine for you but are you relying on God or on things going well. This has not be an easy week for me to understand what God is saying to me. The pain is overwhelming at times for all of us. But am I after relief or release of His life in me? “We try to understand where it is impossible to understand except by obeying. To ‘do’ his works is to enter into a vital relationship with Jesus.
To obey Him is the only way to be one with Him.” Welcome to Cover to Cover. What rules our heart this week? One theme lingers with me this week:
RELY ON THE LORD YOUR GOD.

Asa was fully committed to the LORD all his life. 2Chron. 15:17. But something happened to Asa just like it does to me and you. A prophet came to Asa in 2Chron. 16:7 and warned Asa that he was relying on a plan to win his war and not on his LORD. Remember, Asa, when you fought a mighty army with 300 chariots. You relied on your God then, why not now, Asa? Now Asa relied on what he could see and touch. And the next verse, a beautiful word for us all…For the eyes of our Lord range and roam throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him 2 Chron 16:9. Asa’s heart was fully committed but his life didn’t cause his God’s eyes to stop. Will our lives today cause our God’s eyes to even pause at our address? Asa wanted something more than the love and will of his Christ. He wanted proof he could win---wanted it in his hands. What is our “ruling passion” as some call it. Success? Significance? Security? Even in his old age, 2Chron 16:12 says Asa was afflicted with a severe disease but he did not seek help from the LORD, only from physicians. What do we long for this day?

Those who DID NOT follow God in the chapters we read---some kings trivialized their sins I Kings 16:31. Like Jeroboam who “thrust God behind his back.” And the story of “the man of God” who was led to believe one thing by a prophet and this man went on the whim of opinion of the interpretation rather than God’s word. Let’s look at five people who made a different choice in their life.

GOD FELL ON Jehoshaphat's KINGDOM
Jehoshaphat taught the Book of the Law of the Lord in 2Chron 17:10 and the fear of God fell on his kingdom.

JUDAH RAISED A BATTLE CRY AND RELIED ON GOD
Judah saw he was being attacked at both the front and rear. The men of Judah raised a battle cry in 2Chron 13:14-20. God routed their enemies because they relied on their Lord.

REHOBOAM SAID "TOO MUCH TO SEEK GOD" YET HUMBLED HIMSELF
Rehoboam abandoned the Word and strengthened his own family, his own stuff. Uh, oh. We can do a lot on our own to make our lives stronger. God says: 2Chron 12:1-12 "if you abandon me, I will abandon you. Rehoboam’s response: he humbled himself, obeyed the Word, and relied on his God. This was the same king who said in I Kings 12:28 that it was “too much” to seek the Lord and demanded it be easier.

GOD HELPED THE POWERLESS AGAINST THE MIGHTY
Asa did what was right in the sight of God. 2Chron 14:2-11. He called on his Lord in a HUGE battle saying “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord, for we rely on you."

ASA, THE LORD IS WITH YOU WHEN YOU ARE WITH HIM
Azariah said to Asa in 2Chron 15:1-17: “The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you. In their distress, they turned to the Lord. Asa took courage. He removed the idols. He even deposed his grandmother, the queen!

ELIJAH FOUND HIS GOD IN A GENTLE WHISPER
Elijah said: ENOUGH God, take my life, after he ran away in fear of Jezebel.. This Elijah was the same person who had relied on God over and over and over to give life back to the dead boy on whom he layed, for whom he prayed. God said “Stand up Elijah.” Alone in the wilderness, Elijah stood up in His presence and got right with his God. And God revealed Himself not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire---but it was a gentle whisper to Elijah…here I AM.

May we all take courage in what God is saying and doing in our lives to move into our world to seek our God with all our hearts, love our neighbor, and advance His Kingdom. Psalm 73:24 says: Guide me with your counsel, LORD. Let me embrace my suffering, and repent of what I’m doing that doesn't rely on my God.

34 comments:

Michelle V 6/16/2008  

Bev,

What you said really spoke to me about living with our hearts fully committed to God, and.... will our lives cause Him to even pause at our address? Wow! That's proked some serious prayerful thought on my end!

Blessings!
Michelle

helenw13 6/16/2008  

Great post Bev...it really is all about relying on God...even when we can't see or understand anything...even though at times I feel like I am performing Bible gymnastics with all the flipping back and forth...reading it chronologically has really helped not get confused...

I also wrote about keeping our hearts turned towards the Lord and also how it can take only one misstep to lead us down the wrong path you can read it here: A Work of Heart!

Have a blessed week...praying for you Bev.
I am glad to be back from my hiatus...I have missed posting...

Helen

Karen 6/16/2008  

Oh Bev, I want the LORD's eyes to roam the earth and settle on me because He's found my heart committed to Him. That was one of my favorite passages this week (although it's not the one I chose to write about.)

I pray that this week is a little easier for you.
blessings,
karen

Shelley 6/16/2008  

I love how you love the Word!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a tender comment. You are a treasure. Blessings!

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Thank you Michelle. I am always so struck by the way you deal with your sin. You're a beautiful girl!

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Helen, we have missed you so! I am one decision away from making some horrible ones if I'm really honest. You are so right. Every day we have a choice what we will do in our hearts. I've heard rely on God a thousand times. But hearing it today falls on ears that feel like I am hearing it for the first time.

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Karen, thank you and may we all live this week to cause His eyes to stop and I wonder what that really means for me?? Thank you for your compassion!

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

I love you Shelley and your beautiful heart for God and His work! And for your dad!

Mary Lou 6/16/2008  

Oh, Bev how I want God to strengthen my heart. How I pray that I will rely on Him in each circumstance in my life, but I know that I don't. Your post truly blessed my heart. I pray that this week will be better for you and that you will hear from Him exactly what you are seeking and what you need. By my God I can leap over a wall, I am claiming tha for both of us. I am having to choose to not be offended, the flesh is so weak and I want to stay oh, so mad and nuture my hurt, but that is NOT what God wants and I truly want what He wants. I am striving to not take up someone else's offense..I emailed you. It is so hard to do, but by His grace and with His help I will do what He wants and NOT what I want. Praying for you as I go..Blessings...Mary Lou

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Mary Lou, thank you for your comments straight from a beautiful heart. I'm touched by your humility. May His grace cover our sins. Grace upon Grace to you! I have a wall to leap over this week and I want to do it relying on Him! Thanks so much for your prayers!

annie's eyes 6/16/2008  

I need that reminder that we really are one decision away from making bad choices or good ones, and those can have generational effects, as we saw this week. My crazily formatted post is finally up today if anyone would like to stop by. You all continue to bless me.

annie's eyes 6/16/2008  

Bev, you continually pour your deepest heart out and many are not only touched but changed by it.He loves you so. Love you, Annette

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Oh Annette, thank you so! Your words touch me in deep places. C.S. Lewis writes about what saves a man is to take another step, the right step. He talks in Mere Christianity about how one choice can change the direction of our lives. How true! We're either moving toward redemption or toward a hellish way. Thank you again from my heart for all your kindness to me and tender love. Deeply appreciate you!

Laura 6/16/2008  

Wow, Bev, some heavy stuff to post on today, huh? I always feel so filled up when I leave your blog. You bless me with your constant fascination with the Word. These are beautiful observations...ones that made me go read the scripture for myself!

Nise' 6/16/2008  

I so love how God's timing is PERFECT! I was up and off early this morning, quickly posted and stopped by to see if you had posted. God knew that I would need to read the posts tonight after returning home wiped out emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have been talking to Him all day, asking what should I do? what can I do? what am I doing wrong?/right? should I do anything? etc...and with your words "Rely On The Lord Your God" I had my answer! He is so wonderful, (I can't write through the tears)!! WHEW..is all I can say when my socks have been knocked off.

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Thank you Laura!
It's a lot of text and this week's reading seemed particularly challenging in following things like "the story of the man of God." The prophet lied to him to see if the man would fully follow God's word and the man caved in. Cost him dearly but what happened to the prophet? It's what we do with the Word of God as we hear it in our lives. Do we connect with the Author? You so pour out your Author's beauty as you have found Him through suffering. Deeply appreciate your wisdom.

Bev Brandon 6/16/2008  

Nise, and you speak right back to me for it's also where I ended my day with no answers. A difficult situation over here and wonder what it will look like for me to rely on Him even in this? Amazing that what you bring up then so stirs me again. No answers. No relief. Just a waiting expectant God with arms open wide! Your enthusiasm for Him falls on ears that seem to me at times to be hearing things I've heard SO MANY TIME...but hearing like it's the first time!

JnL4God 6/17/2008  

Bev
Good post. I'm just starting this and getting into it so it was nice to see your recap. I like your challenge or encouragement at the end, I do ask God to lead me, guide me, direct me and correct me and instruct me in the ways I should go. Some days it's okay and some days it's a challenge to love your neighbor. :) But I just keep working at it. Glad to be doing this. Thanks.
Lynn

littlerad 6/17/2008  

Bev,
I am glad I stopped by here today, what a gift you are to us that you share your heart and love of the Bible to us each week..
There has many times in my life I was at a point that I felt God had push me a side to ruin my life, but in those times he stayed at my address and helped me through those times... Thank you again, you are in my prayers each and every day...
Connie
GBU

Holly 6/17/2008  

I am behind this week. But will catch up soon...

Praying for you friend, faithfully.
Love you!
holly
PS Congratuations on winning Vicki Courtney's give-away!! Yay!

Ang baylis 6/17/2008  

Hi, Bev!
I want to be fully committed to the LORD all of my life but find I get off track too often. This week was a tough one for me, too but I have been convicted by a song this morning (as well as reading all of your insights)! I am so grateful to be reading my Bible with you all. I am praying you and I both... "RELY ON THE LORD OUR GOD"! If you want to read what lingers for me you can find it here.
You are in my prayers. Have a good week!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Bev Brandon 6/17/2008  

Lynn, You are so very welcome to join us in reading through the Bible chronologically. I have loved this so much that I think I may do the same thing again next year so if you started this summer, you would be finished by next summer---just a thought. I have learned so much from my blogger friends but more than that God has so showed up in our readings and we are all so grateful for it is changing us all! So glad to have you. I just sent you an e-mail with the details. Anyone is most welcome to join us at any time. And if you want to post a comment on Mondays, we'd love to hear from you. It can be one sentence or way way longer as I have been known for leaving way too long comments everywhere---so you know I love it! So nice to meet you!

Shonda 6/17/2008  

Bev,
Your words are so encouraging. I'm behind on the reading, but reading two days at a time to catch up. As read what you posted on, the theme "Rely on the Lord" stands out to me too. I've tried in my own strength and I'm exhausted. Literally wiped out & stressed out. I can't do it. HE is my strength. Thanks so much! Much love to you.
Blessings in Christ-

Bev Brandon 6/17/2008  

Thank you Connie, I have noticed your touching comments all over blogville where I travel. Appreciate your stopping by.

Bev Brandon 6/17/2008  

Humble Happy Holly
You take all the time you need to get together some awesome thoughts cause we always love reading humble happy holly's hallelujahs!
I love you Holly and deeply appreciate your prayers more than words could say! Look forward to your post!

Bev Brandon 6/17/2008  

Ang, you are fully committed to your LORD and like all of us, we are all moment by moment holding FAST to HIM who holds us all together learning daily how to rely on HIM and not on ourselves, our plans. You're one humble girl Ang who has been touched by God deeply and you will never recover from it! Mark my words, you are fully committed!

Bev Brandon 6/17/2008  

Shonda, oh you speak so loudly. Feel the same over here...it really is moment by moment and what a beautiful word He has given to you for you to hold on to. You have places in your heart that so deeply do Romans 8:23 growan inwardly and wait eagerly for Him. Sure do love you!

Anonymous 6/17/2008  

Bev,

Sorry to be posting here, but couldn't find an email address. I just wanted to let you know that you were last week's winner of Vicki Courtney's giveaway. Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to me at shawna@virtuousreality.com and I'll get your prize mailed out to you right away! Thanks.

Shawna Peterson
Virtuous Reality Ministries

Julie 6/17/2008  

Bev, Thanks for stopping by my blog and your sweet comments. I am happy to hear about your new job.
I just finished a great read...and saw you had read her first book. The book was by Paula Rinehart...Better Than My Dreams.. Finding What I've Always Wanted Where I Might Not Think To Look. I loved it.

Have you read any good ones lately?

Hugs,
Julie

JnL4God 6/17/2008  

Bev,
Thank you so much for your comments here and on my Blog and email. This is so great. I got here from a Bible Study that lead to another and from there to Michelle V. and she was posting about this so I checked it out.
I read and/or listened to all the chapters listed for last week. When I get into the groove a little more I'll post some comments on my blog and do a link. The picture on my Blog is Wallowa Lake in Northeastern Oregon near the town of Joseph. I was raised in Southern OR and moved to Northern when I was 15 but hadn't explored Eastern Or very much. So last year was my husband and my 10th aniversary and a mini reunion for my Grandma's 90th Anniversay so we did that and Hells Canyon.
I'm glad to have the insight from all of you (y'all)it makes the Bible even more exciting. It's also very nice to be meeting and gaining Sisters all over the world.
Looking forward to more.
Thanks so much,
Lynn

Fran 6/17/2008  

Oh my sweet Bev....
Let me say that when we FULLY rely on God...our hearts are at peace. Do I FULLY rely on Him. No. My prayer for us both....

"Lord Jesus, may we come to you with a heart of gratitude and love and complete joy for simply Who you are. Lord, please fill up our belief tank and let it overflow as we delicately walk this road of life. We need you now. We know you never leave us. Help us Lord to FULLY rely on you even we don't think we have any more."

I love you dearly Bev. God's timing is coming. It is coming.
Hugs,
Fran

Bev Brandon 6/18/2008  

Julie,
Paula has helped me see what has come in place of what I lost.
"The many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects but the way in which God molds and prepares us for His return."

Bev Brandon 6/18/2008  

Lynn, So delighted to have you join us in reading chronologically. My husband is from the northwest---need I say more?

Bev Brandon 6/18/2008  

Fran, all I can do is keep humbling myself before Him when my sin surprises me which happens way too much---that distant look, the mild disgust, the inner disdain...and all I can do is deal with my own stuff and repent. Have spent way too much time focusing on correcting my behaviors rather than on forgiveness and redemption. You are so precious Fran and there are such beautiful places in your heart full of His compassion. I know. I know. And you are fully committed to Him. Wonder how He will show up this morning for us all? He is so good and He is waiting. Deeply appreciate your prayers.

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.

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