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Wisdom Hunters

  • Kind But Direct

    Posted on July 29, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Matthew 5:37, NKJV

    Love uses direct language laced in grace. There is no ambiguity with those who care about communicating clearly from a caring heart. Yes, they take the risk of hurting someone’s feelings when being forthcoming with the facts, but better to be aware and adjust now, than to remain ignorant and unmoved. Insightful questions from a compassionate heart are a respectful way to show someone the way. Indeed, kind but direct conversations grow deeper relationships.

    Yes, wise are we to receive what may feel like a rough response from a friend. Because they love us, they will not leave us to languish in unwise behavior. When we are blinded by our own ambition, greed or self righteousness, we need words from our spouse, boss or mentor that challenge our unhealthy thinking. Our ability by God’s grace to ingest another’s instruction into our mind and heart, moves us closer to Christ. Be grateful for good friends who don’t hold back.

    Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. Proverbs 12:25

    Therefore, pray and prepare your heart before you deliver a direct message to one who means so much to you and to your Master Jesus. See them like the Lord sees them: a sheep without a shepherd, a child in need of nurture and instruction, or a novice hiker in want of a guide. Take the time to tell a loved one the truth in love and one day they may thank you. Better for them to be a little offended now than to wander down a destructive path later. Love is kind, but talks direct.

    Moreover, make sure to cultivate a culture of prayer in your home and community of friends. Prayer is relational lubricant that opens the heart of those who need to hear. It gives grace and courage to those whose speech needs to be straight forward. Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord. Better to have a little talk with Jesus, before you have a big talk with a child or coworker. Your initiative to kindly instruct another in God’s ways is a gift.

    The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Proverbs 16:21

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to speak kindly to those who need a gracious but direct word.

    Related Readings: Proverbs 8:33, 9:9; Jeremiah 17:7; Acts 5:40; 1 Corinthians 1:5; Titus 2:8

    Post/Tweet today: Talk with the Lord before you talk with those who need the Lord.

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Disconnect to Reconnect

    Posted on July 28, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns” (Matthew 14:13).

    There are times when the crowds crowd in on me. I need relief—relief from the routine, relief from responsibilities, relief from relationships, or relief from the raw pain of losing a loved one. Jesus felt this intense emotion as John the Baptist, His friend and spiritual confidant, was brutally beheaded. The pain of severe loss led Him to be alone.

    Are you on the edge of complete exhaustion? Is your tolerance for any more trouble at the tipping point of chronic fatigue? If so, it is time to disconnect from distractions so you can reconnect to your relationship with the Lord. You preclude coming apart emotionally and physically when you come apart relationally with your Savior Jesus.

    Our private investment in solitude gives our public service sustainability. If we are always available to everyone, then we are not effective with anyone. A soul that is always exposed to the light of life is unable to discern the desperate state of hurting humanity. So we schedule time on the calendar with Christ in seclusion, and He empowers us.

    Your responsibilities will not rest while you rest, but trust the Lord to take care of any crisis that may arise. For you to disconnect from your duties means you prepare ahead of time to transition from your tasks while you are away. Do not be ensnared by your ego that always wants to be wanted. Let others learn what you know so you can go away and grow. We grow stale if we reject retreats, but we are energized when we engage them.

    When we disconnect, we trust God to get things done through others in spite of our absence. Your break from work and home is an opportunity for a colleague to step up and be blessed with a new opportunity to be stretched. Why keep all the challenging circumstances to yourself? Let go so others can gain invaluable experience. Once you have truly disconnected from your phone, enjoy your soul reconnecting with Christ!

    “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

    Prayer: What relationship or responsibility do I need to disconnect from for a season? When and where is the best place for me to reconnect with Christ?

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 15:4; Daniel 9:3; Acts 17:27; Hebrews 11:6

    Post/Tweet: Our private investment in solitude gives our public service sustainability. #solitude

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Matthew

  • Desert Experience

    Posted on July 27, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
    Mark 1:12-13

    Sometimes the Holy Spirit sends you into a desert experience. The purpose of this hard time is not punishment, but purity. God wants to purify your faith and grow your dependence on Him. Naturally, the enemy does not sit still when he senses someone has escaped eternity’s cover. He does, however, miss the principle that God uses all things for His good, even your enemies. Times of trial are full of temptation from Satan, for he appeals to your pride, your physical appetite, and your spiritual vulnerability. He wants to bring you down when you are at your weakest. He sees you alone and ready for the kill. Satan smells blood, but the blood he smells is not your demise, it is your salvation. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that covers you during this crisis time in your desert of life.
    Your desert experience may involve a child who is away from God and away from home. It may be that your health is failing quickly and you are on the fast track to heaven’s gates. Your desert experience may encompass loneliness and a Lord that does not seem to answer prayer. Heaven may be silent during this time of stress and distress. Your marriage may be in the ditch and even on the way to divorce court, so be careful not to make a dumb decision during your desert time. He will carry you through. His angels are not passive to your plight, but present to minister to your needs.

    Your heavenly Father is sending reinforcements for your faith, so stay immersed in the Word of God because His word is your anchor during this troubling time. The promises of God rain down like manna during desolate desert times. Feed your soul with Scripture, and you will have strength to make it through this time of turmoil. Look to the Lord, for He cares. He is willing to make you whole and to walk with you through this desert of distress. Do not attempt to gut it out without God and people.
    Lastly, you will be stronger as a result of this faith-stretching situation. What was meant to drive you away from God will draw you closer. The Holy Spirit knows better than you what you need to become more like Jesus in your faith and deeds. This desert experience will pass, so don’t waste this pain and discomfort, but use it to go deep with the Divine. Turn the tables with trust, for your faithfulness inspires others to remain faithful. The irrigation of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness will flood your desert with new life and will be beautiful to behold. Jesus creates a paradise of character where once existed a desert of temptation.
    The Bible says, “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6).

    Post/Tweet: Feed your soul with Scripture, and you will have strength to make it through times of turmoil. #Scripture

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Mark

  • Faith Living

    Posted on July 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

    Faith living is focused on God living. It is the road less traveled. Even for believers in Jesus Christ, faith living is not always predominant. Why settle for anything less? If we limit ourselves to our efforts, our logic and what we can see, then we only tip God with our faith. He is calling us beyond the honeymoon stage of our faith to mature faith. A faith that only thinks of the past is anemic and stunted. Faith alive is focused on God’s vision for the future. It is caught up in the possibilities of today with no fear of tomorrow.

    By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going (Hebrews 11:8).

    Faith living enjoys God’s ability to create. For example, He can create resourceful relational opportunities, as He is the connector par excellent. By faith He can be trusted to lead you to just the right people. People whom you can serve and people who can join you to accomplish God’s will. Determine ways to bring value to the other person. It is not about what you can get from them, it is all about how you can serve them.

    Moreover, faith living is not irresponsible living. This is not some blind excursion that ignores the needs of your spouse and children. It is wrought with prayer and godly advice. This implies that faith living is not lived in a vacuum. It is living in concert with those around you. Abraham went by faith to a new country and cared for his family.

    By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise” (Hebrews 11:9).

    Yes, it requires sacrifice and service, but not in the guise of unwise decision-making. Faith living trusts God’s timing. It does not rush into battle without weapons or a plan. You trust God to prepare you and provide  you the needed resources to carry out His will. You are no match for Satan without the weapons of spiritual warfare.

    Furthermore, trust the Lord with how He has gifted you. Your part is to become more self aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Allow God and others to leverage your strengths and shore up your weaknesses. Be who God created you to be and come alive in Christ. Pursue Him, live by faith and execute His will. Live by faith and not by sight. Faith living is the only way to live for God. You are not really alive until you live by faith in Jesus!

    Prayer: How can I better position my life to live by faith and not by sight?

    Related Readings: Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:20; 3:11; Hebrews 10:38

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 2 Corinthians, Faith

  • Friends Follow Up

    Posted on July 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing. Acts 15:36

    Friends need follow up. A growing relationship requires catching up and checking on how they are doing. Since life happens every day, a friend’s needs can change overnight. They may suffer from a sudden sickness,  experience a career change or a teenage child might require prayer. Wisdom in financial stewardship may trouble them so their walk with the Lord needs nurturing. A follow up visit carries compassionate care and concern.

    It is not enough for us to proclaim truth to people without providing ongoing discipleship tools and further teaching. Like a fruitful garden requires daily care and cultivation, so do those eager to grow in their relationship with Christ. Yes, wise are we to take hungry hearts by the hand and pray with them, read and study the Bible together, and experience the joy of sharing the gospel with others. Friends are loved and valued as we take time to follow up on their faith and family.

    Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 1 Thessalonians 1:5

    Furthermore, make it easy on your friends when you visit with them. Be careful not to take advantage of their hospitality by being demanding or expensive in your tastes. Be content with what they have, even if it requires your inconvenience or adjustment to their environment. You are called to serve, not to be served. Pay for your expenses when possible and offer to cover theirs. Be intentional when you travel overseas to adapt to their culture and not be a burden.

    Lastly, let the Lord lead you in your endeavors to encourage friends in the faith. Make sure people want you to come and see them before you announce your intentions to intrude on their lives. Life is short and you have a limited amount of time and energy, so invest wisely in those who genuinely want to grow in their daily walk with God. The Holy Spirit will show you the way to go and what to do, so pray earnestly. Follow God as you follow up with friends.

    During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:9-10

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, lead me to love  those who are hungry to learn Your word and grow in Your grace.

    Related Readings: Psalm 138:8; Proverbs 18:24; John 15:13; Philippians 1:5-6, 4:1

    Post/Tweet today: Like a fruitful garden requires daily care and cultivation, so do those eager to grow with God. #encouragefaith

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Acts

  • Fruit of Pain

    Posted on July 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones, so that their body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest meal... Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright... let their flesh be renewed like a child's.. Job 33:19-20, 23, 25.

    A variety of fruits can be produced out of pain. One is the clear understanding of what breaks the heart of God. Sin may surface through the sift of suffering that invites genuine contrition, confession and repentance. Pain can be a symptom of a wound, self inflicted or inflicted from an unfair situation or an insensitive person. So, whether sin has entered the heart from the inside or out, it requires attention or it will erode the soul. Distress that draws us to God purifies our heart.

    Another fruit of pain is instruction from the Lord. It is an opportunity for God to instruct His children in a better way. A human being on his back is much more teachable than an individual running to and fro in frantic activity. We look up to heaven when we lie down face up, leveled by the forces of physical and/or emotional upheaval. Yes, our loving Heavenly Father whispers intimate instruction to His loved ones who listen to His voice. Pain gives insight into God.

    Jesus said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Matthew 26:38

    Our Heavenly Father’s comfort is yet another outcome of suffering under the yoke of pain. As we cry out in desperate dependence on Him He assures us of His presence. It may be our Savior’s silent reassurance: His speaking through another sincere saint, His  calming us with a change in circumstance or soothing our soul with Scripture. The Lord is not limited in His long arm of care and comfort. Our pain is His opportunity to apply His healing balm of love.

    Above all, see pain as a pass through for the grace of God in your life. Your challenges become a conduit to care for other hurting hearts. Your energy is not consumed by your cares alone, but out of the depths of personal hurt you are able to bring the spirit of your sympathizing Savior Jesus to others. You consume the fruit of pain with your hungry heart and by faith your fruitful spirit feeds others who feel out of favor with God. Thus, out of your pain invite the Spirit to cleanse your heart, learn from the Lord’s instruction, enjoy Christ’s sweet comfort and comfort other hurting hearts.

    He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed. Genesis 5:29

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for meeting me in my pain with Your conviction, Your instruction and Your comfort. Use me to comfort others with Christ’s love.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 6:29; Job 6:10; Psalm 38:6-8, 69:29; Hebrews 12:11; 1 Peter 2:19

    Post/Tweet today: Invite the Spirit to cleanse your heart,  and comfort other hurting hearts. #freedup

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Genesis

  • Competing Attachments

    Posted on July 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2

    Competing attachments distract disciples of Christ from growing in intimacy with Him. Yes, followers of Jesus can voluntarily let go of attachments or they can be forced to release them by their Heavenly Father. What is an attachment? It is anything that competes with our affection with Christ. It can be a material fondness like a car, house or hobby. And, attachments disguise themselves in emotional bondage like anger, unforgiveness or regret. Thus, live disentangled.

    Moreover, too many commitments can compete with our commitment to Christ. Debt can be a snare that limits our choices. Unresolved conflict consumes our mind, so much that we have no mental margin for our Lord’s thoughts. Pride and anger dig in their heels and demand ongoing attention. Attachments keep us controlled by people, places and things, instead of God. Yes, what we nurture is who we become. So, lay aside all competing loyalties and focus on Christ alone. My biggest weakness is the latent desire to have my way; only true humility and grace free me up.

    You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. Mark 7:8

    Are you entangled by earthly allurements or are you devoted to the Lord and His divine agenda? Does your obedience to Christ’s commands trump all other sirens that constantly call for your time, energy and money? Like a scuba diver’s weight belt takes him to the bottom, so any worldly trappings strapped around your waist will bring you down. But, as you persevere in prayer the Holy Spirit with help you unhook unhealthy habits and relationships from your faith.

    Yes, make it a priority to obey God, especially when situations scream differently. Just because everyone else is doing it, or it has always been done that way, doesn’t require your response. In fact, blind allegiance attracts attachments. Examine your motives and make sure you are led by trust in the Lord and not fear of man. Detach yourself from any competing emotion, relationship or behavior that strives for your devotion to Christ. Run your spiritual race freed up by faith!

    My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit detach me from any competitors who vie for my devotion to You.

    Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 10:36; Philippians 2:8; Revelation 2:3-5

    Post/Tweet today: Detach yourself from any competing emotion or relationship that strives for your devotion to Christ. #freedup

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Hebrews

  • Spiritual Formation

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us, With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1:7-10

    Spiritual formation is the process of Christ conforming us into His image with the ultimate goal of perfect unity with Him. At conversion a new believer is an infant in the faith; totally needy and totally dependent. They grow from the milk of God’s word to ingesting and digesting the meat of Holy Scripture. Salvation to service is a common step in spiritual formation, but there is much more. Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him.

    So we grow past adding on the next volunteer opportunity and take the time to get quiet before our Heavenly Father. The spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation and contemplation become a regular part of our routine as we wrestle with God’s will. We learn to love the Lord, others and ourselves in an unselfish way. We grow to know Jesus as a friend and a lover. Humility and grace begin to govern our every thought and action as we become more like Christ. Maturity grows up.

    But when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    1 Corinthians 13:10-12

    Furthermore, there are days of darkness on our spiritual formation path leading to oneness with our groom, Jesus Christ. As in marriage, what is sometimes painful can be the most productive. What feels bad to the body and emotions can be good for the soul. Communication with Christ in prayer may seem suspended, but this season of silent suffering is meant to strip away all our attachments. Our lover Jesus is jealous for 100% of our affection. Spouses grow old together, looking increasingly like each other in appearance. Thus, by grace, we grow to look like Jesus.

    It is comfortable to cease growing spiritually and settle into a service mindset. However, your Father desires for you to do like Martha and to be like Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Progression in your spiritual formation requires both works and faith. It is a matter of emphasis and motivation. You are a branch in God’s garden who produces fruit because of the Gardner, the Vine and the Rain. The Father, the Son and the Spirit. You remain in Christ and the Trinity spiritually forms you into a fruit bearer. So, stay engaged in the growth process with God; you become better!

    Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use the process of spiritual formation to make me more like Jesus.

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 29:11-14; Matthew 5:6, 48, 7:13-14; Romans 7:15-16; Philippians 3:14

    Post/Tweet today: Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him. #beinginChrist

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Ephesians

  • The Great Adventure

    Posted on July 21, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

    God’s will is a series of discoveries. It is the transition between discoveries that tests the true nature of my faith. I can press forward by faith, or I can analyze the situation until I am paralyzed by uncertainty. Abraham continued toward the unknown because he was certain the Lord was leading him. Great adventure accompanies my obedience to God.

    Believers who are bound and determined to obey Christ are not bored. We are compelled by the love for our Lord to conquer the next challenging circumstance and pioneer the unfamiliar in prayer. We become soft and satisfied when we stop seeking the next kingdom opportunity. Our Savior Jesus is our Sherpa (guide) as we traverse in trust.

    “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalm 25:9).

    Are you inspired or intimidated by your faith adventure? Do you anticipate or dread doing the next right thing as you fulfill God’s calling on your life? Yes, Christ must come to you in clarity before you venture out for Him in obedience. But once you are sure of the Lord’s leading, do not let up until you have arrived at His destination. Go on your great adventure with God, and like a visit to a new country, enjoy the new sites and people.

    The Holy Spirit directs a life on the move, not one that is stuck—preoccupied with either pleasure or pain. “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 nkjv). So make prayerful plans, but all the while remain nimble to the nudge of God’s Spirit. If you fall in love with your plans, you may miss adjusting to the Almighty’s way.

    There is a reward to those who remain true to God’s call. It may only be the satisfaction of knowing you faithfully followed the Lord, but this is all that matters in the end. As a pilgrim passing through this life, launch your next eternal endeavor and experience the righteous ride with Him. Nothing risked may mean nothing lost, but every journey for Jesus is great gain. Discover what He wants today, and it will lead to what He wants tomorrow.

    “Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me” (Psalm 5:8).

    Prayer: What great adventure does God have for me? What can I do today to trust and obey?

    Related Readings: Proverbs 11:3; Isaiah 48:17; Luke 4:1–3; Galatians 5:16–18

    Post/Tweet: The Holy Spirit directs a life on the move, not one that is stuck—preoccupied with either pleasure or pain. #HolySpirit

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Hebrews

  • Draw Near

    Posted on July 20, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He said to me, “The room facing the south is for the priests who have charge of the temple, and the room facing north is for the priests who have charge of the altar.
    These are the sons of Zadok, who are the only Levites who may draw near to the LORD to minister before him.   Ezekiel 40:45-46

    Draw near to God before you minister on behalf of God. This is the proper sequence for serving the Lord. Otherwise, you serve others in your own strength and limited abilities. Ministry without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment leads to burnout and bewilderment. You are not meant to serve in the flesh, for followers of Jesus have the privilege of drawing near to Him and being freshly filled daily with His Spirit and motivation.

    Draw near to Him and you will naturally draw near to others. This is harder for driven people; they are always on the go. Other pending activities persistently arrest their attention. It is hard for their minds to focus because responsibilities flash to the forefront of their thinking. They cannot draw near to God because they fear failure and all its embarrassing ramifications; but this means that fear has the upper hand. Hyperactivity drives them because they fear everything depends on them alone. This is not a burden your heavenly Father desires for you to bear. No one can persevere in ministry or service under this kind of self-imposed pressure.

    It is up to the Lord whether you reach your goals or not. It may not be His will for so much to be accomplished so soon. Ministry that does not depend on drawing near to God is a ministry that doesn’t last. A person who attempts to serve Christ without drawing near to God will become overwhelmed and frustrated. Therefore, draw near and let the Lord whisper assurances—and perhaps whisper some adjustments—into your ear.
    Make drawing near to the Lord a holy habit of your life. Change your thinking so that no decision or activity will define your activities until you have communed with Christ. Do not commit to do ministry until you have met with your Master. It is better to have one engaged in ministry who has first drawn near to God, than to have a dozen operating in their own strength. Those who operate apart from God’s direction give Christian ministry a bad name. God is unimpressed with those flesh-driven fools who flash their good deeds as a badge of pride. He is even perturbed at this prideful display of service in His name.
    So, draw near to Him. When you do, people become dearer and your own needs become less important. Draw near to Him in your heart, for this is where your affections lie. Draw near to the Lord and let Him touch your lips with life-giving words of hope, encouragement, and rebuke, when necessary. Draw near to God and allow Him to unleash your giving, so you are freed in the Spirit to give with hilarious generosity. Draw near to your heavenly Father and experience His love and forgiveness so you are aptly able to administer the same to your sometimes strained relationships. Draw near to God and rest in His grace and peace. Draw near and dismiss fear. Draw near and give Him your listening ear. His voice is soothing and secure. Draw near to God and you will minister to others in His power. He is extremely accessible and close by, so draw near now. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”(Hebrews 10:22).

    Post/Tweet: Draw near to God and rest in His grace and peace. Draw near and dismiss fear. #drawneartoGod

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Ezekiel

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