Sunday, June 22, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

I am posting early for Monday morning cause I have a job this week overseeing a kid's Chess Camp. So, leave a comment and check back in a few days to hear a chess story that I believe can change your life. Really.

Okay, no one reads long posts, so you can stop here and come back on Wednesday. I cannot NOT post (double negative for emphasis!) for I have been so needy this week yet so measured and marked by God's word. Or maybe, pick ONE of the headings in all caps and read that one. And as always, thanks for stopping by.

For those who dropped by for Monday Morning Cover to Cover, leave a comment about one thing or more that lingers in your heart as you connected with your God this week. Reading chronologically has helped me so much to see the story unfold event by event. Even the psalms that were written in response to the wars fought---it so comes alive for me. I now know what prompted the chilling command of Psalm 46: "Be still and know that I am God." For those of you attempting to stay with this chronological reading journey, I say to you that your God is waiting for you and listening to the cries of your heart. Link us up to your blog if you posted about your readings this week through the lives of so many kings who resolved to follow God but wouldn't repent.

RESOLVE AND REPENTANCE BRINGS REST

Resolve alone does not bring rest---A life of Resolve and Repentance bring rest. "Watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live." (Deut. 4:9) But Israel did forget; all of her kings let TRUTH slip from their hearts. Do we let the truth slip from us as we awaken to this new day? What is the truth that rules our hearts? What are our ruling passions?

HE IS THE GOD OF OUR VALLEYS AND OUR MOUNTAINS - Ahab turned over his wife and his children to Ben-hadaad but he puts the skids on when Ben asks for his palace and gold - 1Kings 20:3---YIKES! You can tell what ruled Ahab's heart. His $$$. Was it not God’s Hand that just let Ahab kill and conquer 127,000? Deut 33:27 Was it not God’s Hand that has led you to the place you are this day? Your enemy can't win in your valley unless you sell out for better land or a better idea. The Arameans thought God was the God of the hills and not the God of the valleys. I Kings 20:28 They thought they could win the battle in the valley. But, whatever valley you walk through today, God is with you. Instead of relying on God, Ahab frees Ben, a man God determined to die I Kings 20:41. Ahab came up with another idea---build a vegetable garden next to his palace, but Naboth refused to sell the land. I Kings 21:4. What rules my heart when I sulk and don't eat and fight my own battles---when I don't get my way? I just did that at a lunch I didn’t like! Ahab had resolve but little repentance in his walk.

DON'T MAKE ALLIANCES WITH EVIL - Jehu warned Jehoshaphat: “Should you help the wicked and make alliances with those who hate the LORD? 2CHRON 19:2 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of idols and have set your heart on seeking God. Whoa. You mean there’s more to life than getting rid of idols and setting our hearts to seek God?? Yes, J turned himself and his people back to the LORD. "Act with courage." 2Chron 19:11

BE STILL BEFORE YOUR GOD, THE BATTLE IS HIS, NOT YOURS - Meanwhile, “A vast army is coming against J!! 2Chron 20:2. You've got my attention. What does someone who has turned back to God say?? "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat RESOLVED TO INQUIRE OF THE LORD and proclaimed a fast. If calamity comes upon us, we will stand in your presence and cry out to you. We’re POWERLESS. WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO BUT OUR EYES ARE ON YOU.” 20:12 And God replied through people: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S. 20:15 You will not have to fight this battle. Your God is with you.” 20:17 And I love it!! They all fell face down in worship. 20:19 “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld,” 20:20. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 20:24. And someone wrote a song called Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, BE STILL, and know that I am God. The LORD Almighty is with us. Yet J. turned right back to make another alliance with the wicked---a business deal to secure a fleet of ships. Resolve alone (2Chron 20:3) to inquire of God concerning facing a calamity or clinching a business deal like the fleet of ships….resolve alone does give us rest in the Shadow of the Almighty. Repentance brings rest. Isaiah 30:15 15 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Unwilling. Because you want your fleet of ships. What do I want today more than I want the rest God offers?

THE ANGELS ARE LIFTING ALL OF US UP IN THEIR HANDS EVEN IN OUR SIN
Then someone writes this beautiful song Psalm 91. He who dwells in the Shelter of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty. God is my refuge and I trust Him, not fleets of ships. Under His wings I find refuge. I do not fear the terror of night nor flying arrows of day. Jehoshaphat saw 1,000 fall at his side and 10,000 at his right hand but he would not “let go” of those ships. Meanwhile, God commands His angels concerning Jehoshaphat and concerning you “to guard you in all your ways” even bad business deals. The angels are lifting us all up in their hands in all our demanding deals. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him.” (90:14). You’ll call on Him and He will answer. I will be with you in your trouble. (90:14)

WHERE ARE YOU GOD??
WHERE NOW IS THE GOD OF ELIJAH AND DAVID AND JOHN?? 2 Kings 2 – Elisha wouldn’t leave Elijah’s side. Find someone that you don’t want to leave their side. Suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated Elijah and Elisha. 2:11. Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. I cannot fathom this! Elisha picks up Elijah’s cloak and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. And that scene just so grips me. Elisha found God through this man of God.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO WITH PEACE?
SPEAK THE WORDS GOD GIVES YOU - Take a cloak, a belt, a flask of oil. Go pour oil on Jehu and appoint him as king. 2 Kings 9:1 Jehu’s first task as a king. Destroy the house of Ahab your master…Jehu didn’t shrink back, in fact Jehu killed Joram, Ahaziah, the house of Ahab, 42 relatives of Ahaziah, all the ministers of Baal plus he had Jezebel splattered for her idolatry and asked for the 70 heads of the sons of Ahab and got it! WHEW! Did he go in peace? NO!!!!! “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 2Kings 9:18“How can there be peace?” Jehu replies, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of Joram's mother abounds?” 2Kings 10:16 - “See my zeal for the Lord.” Y’all, I am speechless when I read what Jehu did when oil was poured upon his head. Talk about zeal for his Lord! He was willing to die to disrupt the peace. Jehu didn't listen to the "favorable words" I Kings 22:13,14 Micaiah the prophet would speak only what God told him to say, unlike the other 400 prophets. Not for Jehu…he only did what God told him to do---go to war and destroy the house of Ahab. Do we overlook evil in our families, in our lives or do we STAND and deal with the plank in our own eyes and evil surrounding us? “Turn back to God…act with courage.” I would say Jehu did. Wonder how we can turn back to our God and ACT with courage this night? 2Chron 19:11 I know what mine is…and by His grace ONLY can I do it. Powerless! 2Chron 20:12. I’m sobbing as I write this. But, I’m standing and crying out to my God that verse: I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on God! Pray for me to take courage.

THERE ARE PLACES OF COURAGE IN ALL OUR HEARTS AND WHAT ELSE IS OUR GOD SAYING? Oh dear…Jehu has more courage in places in his heart than many kings, and the LORD says “you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and you have done to the house of Ahab all that was in my heart” 2Kings 10:30 YET God says:“You, Jehu, were not careful to walk in the law of the Lord with all your heart.” So what does that mean for me this night? My first thought is what do I need to do…but WAIT this isn’t about changing my behavior, it’s about repenting of directions that are not of God and only my God can reveal that. No guilt. No condemnation. No witch hunt for sin. May God pour oil on our heads. What rules my heart this night? What is our ruling passion?

27 comments:

Nise' 6/22/2008  

2 Chronciles 20:12 lingers as I don’t know what to do about the some of the circumstances in my life or the pain those close to me are suffering, but my eyes are on Him. And He sees me. He is Jehovah Roi. Also, as you said "What rules my heart?". I got to thinking what is still in my life (it may even be a good thing) that my heart is set on that does not bring glory to God? I love what you said about changing behavior vs repenting.
My post on this week's reading is here.

Bev Brandon 6/22/2008  

Nise, your post tonight grabs my heart that my God is mindful of me in my circumstances...and that it's never too late to turn to HIM. You take His word to heart and there are such deep places in you that groan and wait expectantly and I think He must just love that! My gratitude to you.

Ang baylis 6/22/2008  

Dear Bev and the girls,
I am convinced tonight that God wants me to hear 2 Chronicles 20:15 loud and clear... THE BATTLE IS NOT OURS, IT'S GOD'S! YAY! Thanks so much, Bev for your encouragement this evening. I loved the subject on your note to me that was written after I wrote my post. If anyone wants to read mine you can find it here.

Bev Brandon 6/22/2008  

I didn't see your post, I just heard my God say to write you a note that 2Chron 20:15 was for you! And since you heard Him, I guess it was!!! Just love your honest seeking humble heart! Keep on humbling yourself before Him! No better place to be. Thank you so much for doing this with us and holding fast. This week was so much to try to digest. Stay with what lingers.

Bev Brandon 6/22/2008  

oops - that last comment was for Ang

annie's eyes 6/22/2008  

Hello, my Monday morning mentors!
You all bless me more and more as we trek through this adventurous and wondrous walk, discovering more of Him each week. It was hard this week for me, too, so I concentrated on King Jehoshaphat's beautiful prayer here.
May we all keep our eyes fixed on Him. Love and prayers to each of you, Annette

annie's eyes 6/22/2008  

Bev, you show me more and more how a heart can go forth solely in His strength. Believe on Him, and walk in love. I was heartened by what you said about His continual work in our hearts to expose every area that is not turned toward Him. No condemnation but oil on our heads of gladness, as we move closer to Him. Love you, Annette

Bev Brandon 6/22/2008  

Annette, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am powerless. Perfect weakness for His Power to be made strong. I'm a mess but a glorious one! Yep, no condemnation just grace greater than all our sin. Loved what you said back to me! Your prayers for me have fallen in good places for me! This weekend was a hard glorious one! It was a weekend of remembering as you say in your post, what God has done in my heart! I'm not the person I was a few months ago, much less 2 years ago! So grateful to HIM for using friends LIKE YOU to pour out His Beauty on me!

helenw13 6/23/2008  

Hi Bev and the Monday gals,

It's late here...so I will come back and chew on what you wrote but I did read the first bit and I completely agree with you about reading chronologically related to the Psalms this week...wasn't that cool!
You can read my post here A Work of Heart!

Bless you all...you are rich blessing to me!

Helen

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Helen, just left a way-too-long comment on your blog and you are so right. I'm doing the No Other Gods b.s. at the same time. Kelly calls it living split lives to have even good idols in our lives. I call it parallel lives that co-exist. One of those tracks wants something more than my beautiful God and his Love. What do I want more than His LOVE? You make me think again and again!

JnL4God 6/23/2008  

Bev,
Wow you did a good job on the comments. I will try to post a little more detail on my blog later today or this evening, but I guess what hit me over all is the disobedience. Anyway more later, thanks for your comments and time.
Lynn

Karen 6/23/2008  

Oh, my heart has been weary these past few days. But I am clinging to Psalm 13:5-6 (which I know is not a part of our reading but God spoke and comforted.)

But I have trusted in thy mercy: my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.

blessings to you,
karen

Laura 6/23/2008  

Bev,
I always feel so nourished when I visit you. Your insights are always so touching and heartrending. I just got back from the shespeaks conference and am still reeling from the power of God that I felt while there. It was truly amazing and I can't wait to share...just need to rest a little first!

Mary Lou 6/23/2008  

Bev, as always your thoughts and insights spoke to my heart. I have been much in prayer for you and especially over the week end. 2Chron.20 is special to me and it resounded through my heart when I read it last week and so did Psalm 46:10. How He brings that to me over and over. Everyone who comments and everyone who posts on their blogs about our readings minister to my heart. I am standing with you Bev as you face the impossible foes, I have my own set too. He is with all of us and that is such a great thought. The difficulties do help/make us grow. I would like some down time from them, but that doesn't appear to be coming any time soon. It seems different ones keep cropping up besides the long standing ones. God is in control and not me and He has provided His rest and refuge If I will turn to Him and seek His face and boy am I seeking His face. Praying for you as I go. Can't wait to hear about Chess Camp. Blessings, sweet Bev. Keep looking up, He has you by His right hand. Love, Mary Lou

helenw13 6/23/2008  

Oh Bev,
Such a rich and insightful post...I came back to chew on a few nuggets and I did...I love how you put that resolve does not bring rest only repentance...I can't tell you how much that speaks into my life...I have been feeling like there are many times where I resolve to turn my back on something but in quick fashion, I am back in that trap once again and I wonder why I don't have rest in my life...really good...I think this will help me in getting rid of those idols I talked about in my post. Also I really liked how you said we can't have victory in the valley if we sell out for better land...AMEN...thank you so much Bev...
Have a blessed week at Chess Camp...can't wait to hear your story!

Helen

Momofsix 6/23/2008  

Ok I want to know what the secret is. You see scripture- and it seems to speak to you both.
When I read scripture- I try so hard not to be confused about what is being said- not to mention trying to pronounce the names, and places. I read what you read this week- even the prayer- and walked away from it confused, on how I could take that and find the lessons in it. Of course I saw the obvious. The sins, and the worshipping of Idols,etc- but then I struggle with- especially in the Old testament what it is I am to learn, and what I am to apply to my life.

Looking forward to hearing from you...

Your Sister in Christ-

Michelle V 6/23/2008  

Bev,

I am so blessed by you! Your insight always completely amazes me! I have to completely rethink everything after reading your post because I think....wow, I didn't get all that from what I read! You are amazing!

I do not have my Cover-to-Cover post up yet but I will get it on there soon. (After I re-read everything. teehee)

Blessings!
Michelle

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Lynn, thank you so much for joining us. We are just thrilled to have you. Look forward to hearing what lingered with you as you read through some challenging stories this week----oh my...this was a hard place to jump in and we appreciate your desire that speaks so loudly.

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Karen, those six words speak powerfully to me: "God has dealt bountifully with me." HE so has! And that makes my weary soul want to repent! Thank you for your encouragement!

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Laura, I really look forward to hearing about the weekend. Wish I could have been there but we didn't have the finances. You are so dear and so willing to always take a look at those deep places in your heart where God is stirring and moving and ... oh my! Love hearing your heart!

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Mary Lou, Isaiah 33:6 says He is the stability of your times....oh He so is! You offer me such substance and stability from deep places in your heart. We sure do share journeys that resonate! A privilege to walk with you side by side!

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Helen, I've been so touched this week as God gave me that thought that it is not resolve only but resolve and repentance brings rest. I have been a major overcomer in my life---I mean I can do a lot of things that don't even require me asking God for help. My mother said I wouldn't amount to much better than my brother---okay, I'll prove her wrong. My parents didn't go to high school neither did my brother---so what do I do? College and Master's Degree and paid for it myself. I overcame tons of sexual abuse and mental illness and the list goes on...but what is it in my life that can only be explained that Jesus Christ did it! Deeply disturbed about what's inside of me that only intimacy with my beautiful LORD can change and that unless HE redeems parts of my heart and my situation, I won't make a difference in anyone's life. Didn't mean to get off on a tangent! But since this is my post, I can leave long comments that probably no one will read! LOL! I love working out my salvation with people like you who think and don't face repentance with a shallow look---and I've never seen your face but I've seen your heart. Oh, and one more thing since I've made this SO LONG. I just laughed so hard cause I didn't even know that I said that we can't have victory in the valley if we sell out for better land. Did I say that? LOL. You are so precious. Thanks for letting me get out my 10,000 words out on you---I've been with little kids all day playing chess with very little words...smile!

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Angie S., momof6
I left a long comment on your post to answer your question, probably vaguely. No secrets over here, just a desperate and broken place before Him, learning better to depend on Him in midst of lots of struggle. We already see humility in your words and a faith God has grown. 2Tim 1:6 so reminded me of you as I thought about your comment...I would remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you. For God did not give Angie a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. It's in you. Look forward to hearing what lingers with you as you read the beautiful words of your Christ to you.

Bev Brandon 6/23/2008  

Michelle, the same thing happens to me. I read yours and the other women and am so touched by things you all say, so stirred. This is a lot of text to read every day so that's why it is best if we linger where God tugs on our heart. We can't understand all this. Not even try to apply it all---God will grace for our sin if we repent from whatever direction not of His ideas. You're a bright and beautiful writer with depth and such a longing heart for your God to show up. And He is for you! Deut 32:47, His Words are not idle words for you, they are your very life. I keep going back to Romans 8:23 for you---you groan inwardly and wait eagerly for the redemption of your soul and you long for that...thanks Michelle for your words!

Michelle V 6/24/2008  

Bev,

Thank you so much for your sweet words and your wisdom! You are such a wonderful woman of God and you show me a beautiful picture of what it looks like to overflow with the love of Christ in you! Thank you for those scriptures! They definitely spoke to me today!

Blessings
Michelle

Sharon Brumfield 6/25/2008  

Hey girl...just wanted to let you know that we enjoyed our time in you hometown.I came the other night to leave a comment but I don't think it went through.
Beth was great and the sessions were from God. We had a great time seeing her up and personal.
And we had a good time doing some shopping and eating. We became very familiar with the 114 and the 121---at least in our section of the woods.
Looking forward to meeting in San Antonio.

Lindsee 6/26/2008  

Thinking about you today! And so thankful for your words of wisdom/encouragement! :)

Can't wait to hug your neck, sweet Bev!

Lindsee

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

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I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
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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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