August 4 – The Valley of Jezreel

“And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley [of Jezreel] have chariots of iron….” Joshua 17:16a

The mountain was not enough for the tribe of Joseph; they wanted to possess the valley as well, but they knew they would have to fight the enemy to get it. God’s people all over the world too must have a hunger for MORE of His kingdom in their lives…and be willing to fight to possess it. The Jesus Movement of the 1960’s drew in 3.5 million souls. The battle was on, and the revival fires were burning.

Joshua-type leaders are needed to help people overcome the obstacles of the enemy, leave the mountain, and take the valley by FORCE. “…since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” (Luke 16:16)  Matthew 11:12 says, “…the violent take it by FORCE!”

There is a call to BATTLE today like Gideon gave over the Valley of Jezreel in Judges 6:33-34. Prepare for and receive the warring Spirit of the Lord. Refuse to tolerate the altars of idols. Be obedient to God. Make sacrificial offerings. Then go and rally the troops for VICTORY in your life!

PRAY: “Most merciful Father, how I thank You that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against [Your church].’* Grant me victory in the valley and fill me afresh today. I ask in Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

August 3 – God’s Method of Testing

“The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.” Psalm 11:5 (NIV)

I Peter 1:7 talks about the “trial of your faith,” and Paul talked about suffering “the loss of all things…that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…” in Philippians 3:8-10. (Emphasis supplied.) Therein lies the reason for testings – MATURITY – not so God can determine your level of commitment… rather, so you can. How does He test you?

1)  By leading you into a DIFFICULT WAY. Jesus was led into the wilderness…God’s training ground.

2)  By putting CHOICES before you. Your choices reveal your true inner motives and desires.

3)  By proposing HARD TASKS…the feeding of five thousand or other seemingly impossible tasks.a

4)  By permitting you to SUFFER. Paul and Silas were beaten, chained, imprisoned…and PASSED!

5)  By permitting TEMPTATION. Remember that God allows the devil’s tempting as part of your exam.

6)  By demanding GREAT SACRIFICES. Abraham was put to the most stringent test…to give up what he held most dear…AND PASSED.

PRAY: “Father, help me pass the tests. I know You have promised they will be limited and under Your control,* and I know You will walk alongside me through them all. Amen.”

*1 Corinthians 10:13 and Hebrews 13:5 (paraphrased)

August 2 – Blessed Assurance

Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” Of what are you being assured? Read John 14:1-31.

1) A relationship with God (Verse 1)
2) A heavenly home (Verse 2)
3) Christ’s return (Verse 3)
4) The Way of life (Verse 6)
5) Christ’s miracle works (Verse 11)
6) Answered prayer (Verse 14)
7) The Holy Spirit, Your Comforter (Verse 16)
8) God’s commandments (Verse 21)
9) Spiritual knowledge (Verse 26)
10) Christ’s peace (Verse 27)
11) Prophecy fulfilled (Verse 29)
12) Christ’s life and love of the Father (Verse 31)

Therefore, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

PRAY: “Faithful Father, I declare that ‘the Lord shall be [my] confidence and shall keep [my] foot from being taken.’* My assurance is in You. Amen.”
*Proverbs 3:26