I’ll Have A Double Portion

daily-reminder

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

There is a quest for “more” that God approves of – especially when it is spent on others for His glory.

Scripture of the Day:

2 Kings 2:9

“When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha answered, ‘May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.'”

When I was twelve, a quarter was very important. It was the difference between doing laundry or not. For my mom and I, every penny counted during that time. I confess I felt remorse and guilt at spending two quarters on a video game at a Pic Quik store across the street that made my mom cry.

In those lean times, we learned to economize and be grateful for what we had. My mom met someone special and one of his favorite things to do was to go out to eat, and one of my favorites was when he said, “Let’s go to Baskin Robbins”. This was amazing to me.

A visit to an expensive ice cream place (sorry to bust on Baskin Robbins), was amazing to me. When it came my turn to order, it all looked so good. I just could not decide, so I asked for a double scoop. Hmmm . . . the good ol’ days when I could get a double scoop. Not so much now, my metabolism has caught up with me.

Wait a minute . . . I interrupt myself to say that there might be a connection between yesterday’s blog and today’s, both having food as a source of delight – hmmm – could I be dieting again? But I digress . . .

Being greedy or gluttonous in the area of food might add to the Gluteus Maximus if you know what I mean. But there is a quest for more that God approves – especially when it is spent on others for His glory.

Elisha desperately did not want his mentor – his brother and discipler – Elijah to leave. Who would? When asked what Elijah could do for him, Elisha asked for a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energized Elijah.

Elisha was not asking for His glory, power or fame. He wanted the relationship with God that Elijah had. He knew He would need God’s grace to continue in the work God gave him to do. With all that Elijah did, who could fathom what a double portion would be? And what prompted such a desire?

In Old Testament times, the firstborn son was the inheritor of the “double portion”. Elijah was like a father to Elisha and Elisha wanted the spiritual inheritance from his father. What a great request – smart – kind of like Solomon asking for wisdom instead of riches.

Elisha saw His need of God to accomplish the ministry before Him, and he spent that double portion lavishly on God and His people, not for himself. Though there was this incident with mocking youngsters who kind of got mauled by a bear for calling him, “baldie” . . . so Elisha wasn’t perfect . . . but He hungered after God.

We aren’t so perfect, either. All the more reason to ask God to grant us a double portion spiritually that we might have energy, strength, wisdom and grace to serve God and His people with all our heart, mind, body and soul.

Oh God, may You grant a double portion to those who read this blog post today and to me, as well. Enable us to impart faithfully what You have given. Each talent, every gift You have so generously given – poured out and spent all for You.

Day 27: The Formation of Hope

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Our hope is formed as we delight in God as our life.

Scripture of the Day:

Lamentations 3:24

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Hope is often formed in an interesting place. It begins possibly with devastating circumstances that rip away the former hope we had and leave us in a stupor. In this vacuum, there is a holy wrestling that causes us to examine what hope we ever really had.

As the foundation for Reinvented Hope is being laid, we are forming the prospects of this new hope we have found. We no longer have security in anything else but God.

Our God of hope causes us to overflow with His hope, joy and peace as we trust in Him. Our hope is formed as we delight in God as our life.

At first it can be a little shaky testing out this new hope as it is being formed. We might take a step and look at circumstances and doubt whether the hope can truly hold us up when life’s challenges overcome us. This is where we learn to trust God. Moment by moment, looking to Him instead of our former way of looking to solutions within ourselves or other people.

Much like a potter removes that which distracts from the beauty and capability of the object he is forming, God will remove what we have been formerly trusting in and replace it with Himself. When we have nothing else to hope in, we find our hopes formed and fulfilled in Christ alone.

Lord, You are our hope! Mold us to be like You and make our dreams into Yours.

The Instigator’s Demise

1 Samuel 23:19

“Then the Ziphites went up to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t David hiding among us in the strongholds at Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, south of Jeshimon?”

1 Samuel 24:1

“When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, they told him, “Look, David is in the desert of En Gedi.””

1 Samuel 26:1

“The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah and said, “Isn’t David hiding on the hill of Hakilah near Jeshimon?””

1 Samuel 26:19

“So let my lord the king now listen to the words of his servant. If the LORD has incited you against me, may he take delight in an offering. But if men have instigated this, may they be cursed before the LORD! For they have driven me away this day from being united with the LORD’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go on, serve other gods!'”

Sometimes there are people in your life who just want to goad you, but one of the most terrifying things on earth is being pursued relentlessly by someone who seeks to harm you.  Feelings of desperation and helplessness overwhelm you as you wonder if it will ever end.  Driven by jealousy and selfishness and fueled by instigators and false counsel, the pursuer relentlessly seeks his way.

The Philistines’ betrayal made sense.  They were the enemies of Israel – but it is odd that Saul would listen to his enemy. Their motives were surely for their own glory.  You wonder who you can trust as people surround your pursuer with counsel to come after you.  The Ziphites, Judeans like David, betrayed him twice.  Betrayed by his own people.  It does not get much worse than that.

People surrounding Saul knew what Saul wanted.  Despite numerous times when Saul saw his folly, he quickly returned to pursuing David when those around him incited him.  He received counsel from people who ultimately sought his own destruction, as well.  The irony is that Saul reaped the opposite of what he sought and those who informed Saul sought his favor, but ultimately his demise, too.

I was comforted when I read of David’s hiding out in caves for 15 years – not at all by the duration of time, but by the fact that a man of God, chosen to lead, first had to endure severe testing and God was His portion.  Why should it be different with us?

I share personal testimony here because I think somewhere out there someone else might be barely hanging on with a similar suffering and I earnestly desire to serve someone through the pain I endured.  Dragged to court for five years by people who used to be family was one of the most excruciating moments in my life.  False testimony and accusations left scars that only God could heal, but the immense pressure of the pursuit harmed my health and hurt my family deeply.

At the same time, another family member would not accept me and lied about me, spreading rumors about me.  Add to that job loss for my husband and you have an incubator for change.

If I had not had God as my portion, I would have perished.  I sought Him more deeply than I ever had and now see that season as a treasure in my walk with God.  This blog would not have been birthed had I not walked through dark valleys and seen God’s hand in the midst.

David trusted in God and walked righteously.  Despite the attacks, he had a righteous response and saw God deliver him. So it is with us.  When people speak ill of us or are jealous, we have a refuge to run to.  The instigator does not hold sway or power over us – our God is bigger.  We might have to endure false perceptions caused by those who despise us, but it will not last forever and if we keep walking uprightly with God, he will cause our enemies to cease or give us strength to bear it.

Saul apologized several times but David knew he could not be trusted.  There was still the capability for the same sin to rise up in Saul and David had to walk in wisdom and protect himself from Saul’s potential attack.  Sometimes in our own lives we need to protect ourselves from people who have harmed us in the past.  David forgave Saul but he was not going to place himself in possible danger willingly.

More than deliverance, however, and the character earned along the way, is the beautiful surrender of our spirits to God. Our temporary suffering is not about us, after all.  What the instigator and pursuer sought results in blessings when we hide ourselves in Jesus.  If God allowed it in, there is a divine purpose that we might not understand, but God can always be trusted.

Lord, thank You for Your protection and healing.  Help us to trust in You completely even when it seems like we are forgotten.  Your ways are not our ways and You are good all the time.