July 16, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 16 July 2019
Now Ben-hadad king of Aram gathered all his army, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and besieged Samaria and fought against it. Then he sent messengers to the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad, ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your most beautiful wives and children are also mine.’” The king of Israel replied, “It is according to your word, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have” (1 Kgs 20:1-4).
In the days of King Ahab of Israel, Ben-hadad invaded the country with a huge army and besieged Samaria. Ben-hadad demanded absolute surrender from Ahab and the king was prepared to give what was asked of him. Ahab’s words of absolute surrender – “I am yours, and all that I have” – ought to be the response of every child of God to “our Father who is in heaven.” The condition of God’s blessing is one of absolute surrender to his will as revealed in his Word, the Holy Bible. If believers are willing to live with such yielding, there is no end to what God is able to accomplish in their lives, in addition to the blessing the Lord would bestow.
A lifetime of absolute surrender never begins for many Christians, or if it does originate, such devotion will be momentary if that person is vain in his/her appraisal of their own self. Being vain in this regard means perceiving oneself more highly than he/she ought to think (cf. Rom 12:3) and thus more independent from God than is reality. Solomon was the wisest man ever to live. Although he became distracted from serving God, Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes subsequent to his apostasy, when both his recent turmoil and repentance were remembered clearly. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon’s wisdom increased as he made an intense quest for life’s meaning. He declared that wisdom is a life of reverential trust in God, and being empowered by the Lord is the consequent result.
Do not hesitate or seek to negotiate with God when the Holy Spirit leads you to a certain endeavor. Wisdom is immediately taking action. Vanity is thinking you know better than the Lord knows. Cowardice or foolishness defines the mind of the Christian who intentionally disobeys the Lord, and such behavior in either action or thought is not virtuous, nor is there any biblical inference that God’s blessing will ensue. God instructed Joshua to “be strong and courageous” (Josh 6:6) and repeated for emphasis, “Only be strong and courageous” (v. 7). Finally, the Lord asked and commissioned, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (v. 9).
The prophet Jeremiah initially tried to avoid God’s calling (Jer 1:6; cf. Exod 4:10-13), yet the Lord urged him as follows: “Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them” (Jer 1:17). God will even bless those who serve “in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” yet who are dependent upon the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:3). God determines our appointed times and the boundaries of our habitation (Acts 17:26), which means all life to this very moment is preparation for our current times and place. The remainder of your life is determined by decisions made now!
When the Israelites were defeated in battle at Ai, “then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord” (Josh 7:6). God said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face. . . ? Rise up! Consecrate the people” (vv. 10, 13). God’s people are responsible for how they live their lives, which is to say that the Lord has given a stewardship to every believer, and He also gives his provision for their accomplishment. Now, “whatever your hand finds to do, do itwith all your might” (Eccl 9:10) by discerning God’s care and provision even when it is different than expected (Isa 55:9).
Your Missionary to Our Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.