Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm out here, Lord!

10:15 a.m. Today's project is to prepare a devotional for the first class of our Fall 2011 session of Heart to Home. This ministry, which the Lord honored me with bringing to Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley six years ago, utilizes skilled instructors to show women how to bless their families with the home arts, including cooking, crafting, gardening, decorating, hospitality, and practical classes like tonight's offering, "Making your own Laundry Soap."

This blog provides topics and devotionals for each class, which I offer after opening in prayer. The emphasis that the Lord has shown me is that this is a spiritual ministry as well as a practical one, and the Word of God must always have the preeminence. To that end, I have been praying about tonight's message. God told me to wait until this morning, and now I know why!

My devotional reading for today was I Kings 19, where the prophet Elijah was running for his life into the wilderness in fear of Jezebel's death threats. King Ahab's Baal-worshiping queen was not to be trifled with, her wickedness and vengefulness well-known. And since Elijah had just publicly slaughtered 450 prophets of Baal, Jezebel sent this message to Elijah, NLT:

May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.

I happen to face a nerve-wracking situation this morning, although no one has sworn to kill me other than the devil who would love to kill every born again Christian on the face of the earth!

I would digress here to ask for prayer for an Iranian pastor facing execution for refusing to renounce his faith. Since the evil rulership needs a death penalty-worthy excuse to kill him, they are currently bringing the trumped-up political accusation of "Zionist" against Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani. Please pray for him, and for the Amercian Center for Law & Justice's European affiliate taking the case!

No, I am not being hunted down physically, but a do need to make a timely deposit to cover a withdrawal. It's fascinating that information on this need should strike as we begin a blessed new series of HtH classes tonight; I am taking my grandsons to High school Bible study; and just after God gave me this chapter to write on! Of course I am tempted to make a beeline to the bank RIGHT NOW to deal with this, in an enemy-caused panic, rather than obey the Lord and write His word to me today. I pray this is a word to you, precious sisters and brothers, as well.

Elijah was depressed, "sitting under a solitary broom tree," praying to for God to take his life, just after a magnificent work of God that began a serious revival of the nation to turn from worthless idols to God (I Kings 18:39).Thousands of years later, we see the same kind of mischief afoot! A new believer is suddenly hit with ruinous trials after accepting Christ; one who has blessed others at a ministry event is struck ill or experiences a physical or financial setback. Yet, God is not surprised or ambivalent toward us! He who "declares the end from the beginning" ( Isaiah 46:10) stands ready and more than able to see us through, to make a publicly visible reality the truth that we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37).

Tonight, as the ladies learn to stretch their household budgets and be wiser stewards of what God has granted us, my prayer is that all believers be built up in our faith, courageously obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and go forward with joy and confidence in the midst of trials, pains, and even true persecution and suffering. May we, like the Iranian pastor, be strong representatives of Jesus Christ!

In Jesus' name, AMEN!

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