June 19th, 2013 by Os Hillman
“The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.” – 1 Samuel 2:4
There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.
Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.
When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless.
June 18th, 2013 by Os Hillman
“He went out to meet Asa and said to him, ‘Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.’” – 2 Chronicles 15:2
Asa was the king of Judah from 912-872 B.C. He reigned for 41 years and was known as a good king who served the Lord with great zeal. He reformed many things. He broke down idol worship to foreign gods; he put away male prostitutes and even removed his own mother from being queen because she worshiped an idol. The Scriptures say that as long as he sought the Lord, the Lord prospered his reign.
However, Asa was not totally faithful in his calling. There came a time in his life when he made a decision to no longer trust in the God of Israel. He lost his confidence in God as his deliverer. The prophet Hanani came to Asa to inform him that God’s blessing was no longer on his life because of an ungodly alliance he had made.
Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war (2 Chronicles 16:8-9).
There are no guarantees that if we began well we will finish well. The life of Asa tells us this. It is only through God’s grace that we can be faithful to our calling. Each of us is capable of falling away from God. Pray that God will keep you faithful to the purposes He has for your life. He strengthens those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
June 17th, 2013 by Os Hillman
…”Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today….” – Exodus 14:13
The Israelites had just left 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They had fled to the desert, but they had come to a dead end at the Red Sea. Word reached them that Pharaoh had changed his mind. He was sending his troops to recapture the Israelites. They cried out to their leader Moses, complaining that he had brought them that far only to die in the desert.
Learning when to move and when to stand is the greatest challenge for a workplace believer. We are trained for action. We are not trained to sit idly and wait. We are trained to solve problems, not wait for them to resolve themselves. However, God says there are times to wait. We are to wait until He says go. If we go before He says go, we likely will make our situation worse. If the Israelites had attempted to cross the Red Sea before it parted, they would have drowned. If they had fled north to try to avoid the Egyptians, God would not have moved in a miraculous way. God cannot work on our behalf if we continually try to solve our problem when He has instructed us to stand still. Standing still is sometimes the greatest action we can do, although it is the most difficult thing to do in the Christian walk.
Stand still when He says stand and see the deliverance of the Lord.
June 16th, 2013 by Os Hillman
“But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory, so they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it….” – Joshua 19:47
What is the spiritual inheritance God has reserved for you? When God told the Israelites they were going to receive the Promised Land, it was not given to them on a silver platter. In fact, they would encounter 39 battles in taking the land God promised to them. It took a joint effort between God and the Israelites to engage and battle the enemy that maintained control of the land.
God has given you and me a spiritual inheritance that must be won in the heavenlies. A dear friend and mentor once counseled me after watching my life over a period and said, “The Lord has given you a spiritual inheritance. That inheritance lies in relationships, and because it lies in relationships, that is the place the enemy has attacked you most. The enemy always attacks us in the area where we are to receive our inheritance. You must walk in faithfulness and obedience to His righteousness in how you deal with relationships.” These were words of wisdom that have since guided my path. The Lord has proven these words to be true.
What is the spiritual inheritance He has reserved for you? What areas of your inheritance must you take possession of? The enemy of your soul does not want you to take possession. Put on your armor and begin walking in obedience into the areas God has called you to possess.
June 15th, 2013 by Os Hillman
…”The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” – Judges 6:12
Has God ever spoken directly to you in such a way that you knew that it was actually His voice speaking to you specifically? I don’t mean just an appropriate verse of Scripture, or a circumstance that seemed probable that it was God. I am talking about a situation that you know that you know it was the God of the universe speaking directly to you.
In the book Experiencing God, authors Henry Blackaby and Claude King say that one of seven important steps to experiencing God in everyday life is how God speaks to us. “God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.” [Henry Blackaby and Claude King, Experiencing God (Nashville, Tennessee: LifeWay Press, 1990), 225]
You can examine the life of every major character in the Bible and see this principle expressed in the way God worked in each of their lives.
One of the ways God speaks is through others. God often used others to speak to individuals, especially in the Old Testament when God often spoke through the prophets. This is still one of the ways He speaks today.
Several years ago I was in a church on the west coast that I had never been in before. I was in the midst of a tremendous trial. Three people prayed for me, and as they did, they began to describe a picture that was reflective of my life since I was a young Christian. It was a very accurate picture of my life. About a year later a man from Virginia prayed with me in my office. After our prayer time, he began to describe what he had just seen as a picture of my life. It was the same picture that had been described a year earlier. A year after that I was on a trip overseas and a man from England whom I had never met before came to me. He and I had a time of prayer together, and at the end of our prayer time he described a picture he had just seen in his mind while we were praying. Again, it was the same type of picture as the two previous encounters. Only this time, one element was added that was important for me to know related to what God was doing in my life at that time. When God chooses to speak into our lives through others, it can be an incredible blessing. He speaks in many ways. This is just one of them.
God desires to encourage us by speaking to us. He does this in many ways. The next time someone speaks into your life, prayerfully consider whether God is using that person to convey something important He wants you to know.