Devotional Week 20 Wednesday
“Now faith is the assurance, the confirmation, the title deed of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality – faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”
Hebrews 11: 1
“When we are united to Christ we can say, ‘I am in Christ’ as well as, ‘Christ is in me.’ My faith need have no ups and downs, for my righteousness is in heaven. I may lose my sight of it, but it is there all the same…It is faith, not feeling, leaning, not resolving, that carries us through…Faith makes giants look like grasshoppers, and unbelief makes grasshoppers look like the Anakim (giants). Unbelief looks at the difficulty, and faith looks at God.”
Andrew A. Bonar
Today’s Study Texts:
1. Joseph to his brothers: “As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day.” Genesis 50: 20, Amplified Bible.
2. Elisha to his servant: “Elisha answered, ‘Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” II Kings 6: 16, 17, Amplified Bible
“The God of Dothan – Part 18
“Keeping Our Eyes on High”
“Only he (she) who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”
Has there been a time in my life when my vision was so limited I had no idea where God was leading my life?
Looking back over my life, what events do I now see that happened directly because God was leading me?
“Vision encompasses vast vistas outside the realm of the predictable, the safe, the expected.”
Charles R. Swindoll
“Hindsight provides insight.”
Over the past few weeks we have been on a journey which traversed the desert region of Gilead down into the Valley of Dothan and on to the country of Egypt. Two significant Biblical characters, Joseph and Elisha, who had both grown up in well-established homes, facing no want as young men, found their lives connected by a city named Dothan.
How very grateful I was during these studies to receive a link to a geographical map of this region, sent to me by Kitty G., one of God’s beloved daughters here in the Garden. Actually, viewing a picture showing the rocky highlands which surround the mountains in Gilead, which act as a border on either side of the lush Dothan Valley, serves in my mind’s eye to give me a sense of the natural conditions which confronted Joseph and Elisha.
As I picture these two individuals looking through their own eyes upon the verdant land, I imagine that neither of them could have really foretold what lay ahead in their lives. And frankly, neither can you or I! Oftentimes, our own pilgrim journey is just as daunting and confusing as theirs.
I’ve often wished to be by the side of Elisha as he watched his mentor and dear friend Elijah leave the confines of this earth in a fiery chariot sent from the courts of heaven to retrieve one of God’s most faithful servants. As Elijah’s mantel floated down through the sky into Elisha’s waiting arms, I wonder if Elisha, just for a minute, had a question in his mind if the gift he had asked for, a double portion of the blessing of God’s power bestowed upon Elijah to be bestowed upon him, would really happen.
If you haven’t read the account of Elijah’s trip to heaven and Elisha’s role of the “doubly-blessed” prophet of God found in II Kings 2, I encourage you to take some time to read this inspiring passage. But take a moment to stop and comprehend II Kings 2: 14 where we are told that Elisha, “took the mantle that fell from Elijah and struck the waters and said, ‘where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ and when he had struck the waters,they parted this way and that, and Elisha went over.” Oh, the God of Dothan was alive and well in the life of Elisha. The Bible records tell us that no one but Jesus performed more miracles on this earth than Elisha. No wonder Elisha could tell his servant to look on high for the chariots of fire. Look up for our rescue. Look on high for our salvation. Indeed, when pinned down in Dothan by the Syrian army, Elisha knew where to look for deliverance and so did a 17-year-old boy, dropped into an earthen pit in the Valley of Dothan, left to die by wicked brothers who plotted against “the dreamer.”
However, just as the God of Dothan had a lifetime planned for Elisha, so He also had the future laid out for the young Joseph whose betrayal, at the hands of his family, set in motion a series of circumstances many which were completely misunderstood and seemingly plotted by the wicked against the child of God. Yet as bad as things appeared, just as Elisha looked up to his God, so Joseph also kept his eyes on the Lord God who he knew had planned out his life too.
Just this morning my niece Bethanie sent me a text. She is one of two finalists for a promotion at her company. She’s nervous. Anyone would be and she needed her aunt to give her some encouragement. I called her back because I wanted her to hear the tone of my voice as I read to her one of my “go-to” promises found in Jeremiah 29: 11-12 – “’For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts and plans for (your) welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” And let me just add, these words came from the ‘weeping prophet,’ as some refer to Jeremiah, who was also a person with “Prison-Time” as a notation on his resume.
As I told Bethanie, “It doesn’t matter if you get this promotion now or at Christmas or any other time. God got you this wonderful job at just the right time and His plan is still ruling your life. So you don’t need to stress out.”
Bethanie then said what we all feel when our world is in chaos and we’re ready to hit the panic button, “Oh but Effie, I feel so stressed out right now!” She was perfectly explaining how we all feel when we are seemingly left in the darkness without a compass. We don’t know where we are or what we are doing. How comforting to know without question that the God of Dothan is just as capable today as He was yesterday. He knows what He is doing with your life and mine right now – at this very minute.
Sometimes when I think I’m the only one who feels that my journey is totally confusing, I love to go to the book of Psalms – specifically into Psalms 73: 16, 17 where the same “confusion” led to questions that plagued the Psalmist. I find The Message Bible paraphrases this passage in a way I can relate to:
“When I tried to figure it all out, all I got was a splitting headache.”
Does this sound like familiar territory to you! Thankfully, the Psalmist did not stop with a pounding headache. He continued:
“Until I entered the sanctuary of God,
Then I saw the whole picture.”
As author J.H. Jowett comments on Psalm 73: 16, 17 – “So long as the Psalmist remained outside the sanctuary he was shocked and perplexed even to despair. All things seemed thrown together into a jumble, a jarring discord, a hopeless entanglement in which he had no clue. All the ground around him seemed to be a marshy waste in which he could find no footing. Everything yielded! There was no rock, no rock of ages!”
“And in this perplexity and sinking of mind and of heart he ‘went into the sanctuary.’ And something happened which lifted him out of the horrible pit and miry clay, and set his feet upon a rock, and established his goings. He was steadied. He was quieted. It was not that he received some brilliant and satisfying interpretation of events, but that there was given to him (her) an assured and satisfying communion with the Lord by whom the events were controlled. He did not find a clue, he found his God; not a clear explanation, but a great companion! The miracle was not that his path was made to blaze with light; it was rather that the Lord touched him and the fever had left.”
“In these awful and chaotic days the way into the sanctuary (the presence of God) is open, wide open! The Lord is waiting for His bewildered pilgrims, waiting with the gracious gifts of assurance, courage, and peace.”
Do you long for courage to face each day? Ask the God of Dothan to be your daily companion and cling to His strength.
Do you desire for the blessed assurance that only your heavenly Father can give? Ask the God of Dothan to fill your heart with His love.
Do you cry out for the peace of heaven to live in your life? Ask the God of Dothan to keep your eyes heavenward as you journey to your eternal home.
“God, give me strength to run this race,
God, give me power to do the right,
And courage lasting through the fight;
God, give me strength to see Your face,
And a heart to stand till evil ceases,
And, at the last, O God, Your peace.”
“Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast.”
“My very dear friends, don’t get
thrown off course. Every desirable
and beneficial gift comes out
of heaven. The gifts are rivers
of light cascading down from the
Father of Lights, who does not
change like shifting shadows.”
James 1: 17, 18
N.I.V. and The Message Bible
“It never ceases to amaze me here in Transformation Garden at the way God works. Just two days into our “God of Dothan” series, I had an email from one of God’s Garden daughter’s, Jenny Gremm, who penned “a song a few years ago,” entitled “Dothan Experience.” With Jenny’s permission (Thank you so much!!) I am sharing the words to her song with you for our Affirmation today.
“Lord, won’t You give to me a Dothan experience?
Show me those angels camped all around
Sometimes I need to see some of Your strength and power
Show me those warriors protecting me!
Well, the Syrian king was getting steamed by the
Secrets that got out
He’d only told them to a chosen few
But a prophet of the Lord, Elisha by name, knew
of his battle plans
Battles were won before they’d begun.
So send out some troops and seize that man
exclaimed the shaken king.
And to Dothan a vast army was sent
Elisha’s servant looked out and saw the crowd-
he thought that he was dead
And back to Elisha the servant ran.
Lord, open his eyes and let him see,
Elisha prayed for him
And he saw the angels all around
Lord, make them blind he prayed again
and he led the sightless troop
Back to Samaria in victory!
Show me those warriors protecting me.
Show me those warriors protecting me.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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