Are we capable of such sincere praise?

June 5, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
(1 Samuel 2:2 (NIV))

I wish that we would learn to stand firm in this truth!

Today, we look at the Lord much differently than Hannah did when she spoke these words. Hannah had been fervently praying for a son. After being barren for a long time, the Lord granted her prayer and she gave birth to Samuel. When she presented Samuel to the Lord, she was overjoyed. She gave thanks and praise exactly where it was due!

This brings to mind two distinct questions.

1. Do we fervently pray for what is burdening our hearts?

Most of the time we utter a few words, but do we seriously pray as if our very heart, our very soul, would explode if what we seek is not granted? Do we feel the anguish that comes with what truly burdens our hearts, or do we only think that it is important? Do we quickly move on when what we pray for is not answered in a few days?

2. Do we truly praise the Lord when our prayers are answered?

Do we give thanks and praise for the outcome, or do we quickly forget our requests to the Lord? Do we look at the outcome as if it just happened without intervention from the Lord? Do we turn away from the Lord or do we turn to the Lord and lift up His name in praise?

Has the Lord lifted you up from a very serious situation? Has the Lord provided relief from your burden? Did you praise the Lord for all that He had done? The worse the situations that we find ourselves in, the greater the opportunity to praise the Lord. Perhaps that is why that history supports the notion that the church experiences more growth when it is being persecuted. People have a tendency to draw close to God when they are facing persecution and burdens. With this in mind, have we, the Body of Christ, become too soft and too comfortable in our lives that we fail to feel the need to pray or praise with all of our being?

Are we capable of such sincere praise?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Can you say that you are listening?

July 11, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Yes, your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NLT))

Are you able to say to the Lord, “Yes, your servant is listening?”

We all want to think that we would recognize, listen and respond to the Lord’s voice, but are we truly that in tune to what the Lord is saying? Have we honed our spiritual ears and our hearts to be able to discern when we are being called by the Lord? Have we spent sufficient time in God’s Word and in prayer to truly recognize the voice that we all say we long to hear?

Think about that last question in more detail.

When you have free time, what do you do? Do you turn on the computer, television or music, or do you open up God’s Word? Do you fill you eyes, mind and heart with things of this world or do you fill them with things that are of God? Do you sit quietly and talk to God and earnestly await His side of the conversation or do you simply rattle off a list of demands that you want God to fix? What would happen to your earthly relationships if you treated those relationships like you treat your relationship with God? In other words, how would your relationship be if you had a one-sided rant where you unloaded all of the things that you wanted fixed and then stopped talking? I honestly believe that you wouldn’t have that relationship very long.

Sadly, all too many of us treat God in this very manner!

Think about Samuel. His approach to the Lord was not a rant. It was a show of respect and a desire to be intimate with God. Samuel was willing to listen!

Are we willing to truly listen to what God has to say to us?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your spiritual age?

July 29, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
(2 Kings 22:1-2 (NIV))

Do you believe that youth means not walking with God?

How many times have you seen a group of young people and you automatically assume that they are up to no good?

Age is not a defining benchmark for spirituality and a right path in God’s Word. Far too many times I have seen older people who profess to be followers of Jesus do things that would make their children grimace.

Josiah was only eight years old and he did what was right in the eyes of God. David was just a boy when he listened to God’s call and defeated Goliath. Samuel was only a boy when God called him.

The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, `Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NIV))

Jesus was in the Temple when He was only a boy.

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
(Luke 2:49 (NIV))

Youth does not mean an ignorance of faith just as adulthood does not mean the presence of a strong faith. Be open to the Spirit and allow Him to work were HE will. Be open to whatever and whomever God places in your life that listens to His Word.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Like learning to ride a bicycle

March 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Yes, Lord, your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Yes, your servant is listening.”
(1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NLT))

Samuel had something that most people do not have. Can you figure out what that something was?

Samuel had someone who was experienced at hearing God!

Eli gave Samuel the benefit of his experience and helped Samuel realize that God was calling. How many of us are called by God only to miss the calling. We do not realize that it was the Lord who called? Perhaps this is why we need to establish a relationship with a mentor; someone who is more mature in the ways of the Lord. This mentor will guide us and provide a confirmation to what God is speaking.

Have you ever heard that if it is truly God, then He will provide confirmation. Sometimes it will come from complete strangers, but He will provide it. The confirmation is not the problem, for once we learn to hear God, then it is easier to accept His commands. What is difficult is learning to hear and recognize Him to begin with. Perhaps this requires someone with experience to assist us to recognize Him. Perhaps it takes adherence to Psalms 46:10 (Be still, and know that I am God.). Perhaps it takes more commitment than we can initially do on our own.

Let’s face facts. When you first learned to ride a bicycle, you needed help. You needed support. Once you discovered the secrets to riding, you started to solo. You eventually became proficient at riding. You no longer need that support.

I would venture to say that learning to hear God also requires some initial support.

Do you have your support? Do you have an Eli, or perhaps you have learned to “solo?”

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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