When to Ask for Help (2 Chronicles 19-20)

“Our God, will you not judge [our enemies]?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) When Jehoshaphat found himself facing the imminent attack of a large number of armies, he assessed the situation and realized that his army did not stand a chance.  Then Jehoshaphat did ... [Continue Reading]

All That He Asks He Provides (1 Kings 17-19)

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:6) God will never ask you to do something without equipping you with what you need to do it.  In fact, whenever He asks something of you, He provides you with the strength, ability, and resources to follow through with it.  There is no clearer ... [Continue Reading]

Waiting on God (1 Kings 5-6)

But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.  I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’ (1 Kings 5:4-5) Sometimes in your relationship with God it feels ... [Continue Reading]

Careful What You Count (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22)

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done.  Now, O Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” (2 Samuel 24) There are some things that are very valuable to count.  For instance, I was leading a group of students on a trip to Chicago ... [Continue Reading]

Fighting to Be King (2 Samuel 13-15)

Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city.  If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.  But if he says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him.” (2 Samuel 15:25-26) David never fought to be king.  That was true when Saul was ... [Continue Reading]

The Manipulation Trap (1 Samuel 27-29)

So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.” (1 Samuel 28:8) When things don't go the way we want in life, it's tempting to try and manipulate our way into a different outcome.  Such was the case with Saul as he visited a witch in order to ... [Continue Reading]

Controlling God (1 Samuel 4-6)

When the [Israelite] soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines?  Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” (1 Samuel 4:3) There is a human tendency to believe that God can be managed.  Rather than seeking to do ... [Continue Reading]

Promises (Judges 10-11)

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” (Judges 11:30-31) In a world where we face broken promises from politicians, celebrities, and others, promises don't seem like that ... [Continue Reading]

Rethink Your List (Judges 5-6)

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:15) I've got a whole list of reasons for why God shouldn't use me.  I talk too much.  I'm a hypocrite.  I care too much about myself.  I don't exemplify a servant's heart.  I have too many opinions.  The list goes on an ... [Continue Reading]

What’s the Big Deal? (Joshua 7-8)

But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. (Joshua 7:1) I think some of the biggest obstacles to faith are the rules surrounding it.  Particularly, I think it's easy to misunderstand rules and think that ... [Continue Reading]