Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 10

The Things Of The Flesh and The Things Of The Spirit

July 10 – Today’s Readings – Isaiah 31-33 and Psalms 10

Isaiah 3:1 reads, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.”

Mankind tends to worship “mankind” and man-made things instead of God. We trust in what we can see, ignoring the unseen spiritual world – and yet the unseen spirit-world is indeed far more “real” than what we can see, taste or feel. The problem with only trusting what you can see – [trusting in Egypt, its horses and chariots] – is that God wants us to trust Him. He is the one who wants to be our provider, our protector, our salvation, our health, our strength, and our closest companion. We have such problems seeing beyond the natural but this is absolutely essential if we are to live as Children of the Eternal King.

Can you “see” the Lord in the things you do? Can you see Him in your job – your relationships – your investments – your everyday dealings? We need open spiritual eyes and ears so that the unseen world becomes alive to us – so that we spend more time “in the Spirit” and less time “in the flesh”.

2 Kings 6:8-12 reads, “Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, ‘I will set up my camp in such and such a place.’ The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: ‘Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, ‘Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?’ ‘None of us, my lord the king,’ said one of his officers, ‘but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

Here was a man who listened to the voice of the Spirit. The Spirit not only warned and protected him but also his entire nation. How did Elijah hear the voice of the Spirit? – The same way you and I do. He actively listened for God’s voice. – He “engaged” spiritually and had great spiritual adventures because of it. If all we ever do is see in the natural and hear in the natural and do in the natural, then we will never learn how to be spiritually minded people who are in relationship with Almighty God – seeing in the Spirit and hearing God’s voice. There are so many voices – so much noise – so much bombardment of our senses – we live in the midst of what seems to be a purely physical world. Only those who actively seek to walk in the Spirit will experience the pure joy of hearing His voice throughout the day.

“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5 KJV)

Questions:

1. What can you do to be more attuned to the Spirit of God?
2. Give another Scriptural example where someone was “hearing” God.

Do We Make Bargains With God?

January 10 – Today’s Readings – Genesis 28-30 and Psalms 10

When Jacob ran to uncle Laban, he was desperately in need of a real and living relationship with God – Jacob didn’t realize this of course but God certainly knew it. Here we find The Lord reaching out to Jacob by appearing to him in a dream and giving him the same promise he had made to Abraham his grandfather and Isaac his father. – “There above it stood the LORD, and he said: ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” [Genesis 28:13-15]

God didn’t put any conditions on His promise to Jacob. He simply told him what He was going to do for him. In the following verses however, Jacob turns all of this upside down and proclaims that IF the Lord provides for him and blesses him, THEN the Lord will be his God. Imagine the insolence of this man!

Here is a profound truth – God provides everything for us – salvation – blessing beyond measure – righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It’s all free and it’s ours without conditions. We have a “Jacob” tendency of making some weird religion out of it – making it seem as though we somehow have contracted with God for this unmerited favor in our lives. When we do this, we are just as pitiful as Jacob – thinking that God is just like any other man-made god of this world or that God is just like any other human – putting a $ value on every “deal” He makes.

God wanted nothing out of the deal except Jacob’s heart! He’s the same today – Jesus came and freely gave. Those of us who woke up one day and received this great blessing got way more than we could ever have bargained for.

Take one last look at Genesis to see what God promised Jacob compared to what Jacob bargained for. Ultimately God’s family is made up of people who “see” God as a Heavenly Father. We are adopted into His family just because – just because we were willing to take Him at His Word – just because when He asked us to follow Him, we were willing to exchange our “dung hill” for His glory.

Questions:

1. What part did you have in “getting saved” if everything was up to God?
2. What has God promised to do for you – just because you are His child?

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