Ahoy Mateys! I pray that these devotions bless ye in a big way!
|Pearls From The Sea|
Wrestling with God (Our Anchor in the Storm)
By MaryLu Tyndall
Remember the story in Genesis 32 where Jacob spends the night wrestling with God? What a fascinating story! I've always wondered what started this holy wrestling match. Did the Lord appear and Jacob started arguing with Him? Did he challenge God? Did he ask for something God refused to give him? Who jumped on whom first? And why? Surely God could just have said a word and Jacob would have been frozen in place or disabled. Why would the Lord spend an entire night wrestling with one of His creations? Absolutely fascinating.
During your prayer time or Bible reading, have you ever felt as though you were wrestling? I have. Sometimes I feel as though I'm fighting my way through a massive wave crashing over my ship, or worse, my ship has capsized and I'm under water and the sea is muddling my words to God and His to me. I realize most of that opposition is the Enemy, for in Ephesians 6, Paul tells us that we wrestle "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
But what if during some of these moments, it isn't the Enemy, but God who is wrestling with us as He did with Jacob? He's not answering. He's not blessing us. He's opposing us. But why? I contend that it's for the same reason He wrestled with Jacob: to find out just how serious we are about our walk with Him. If our prayers aren't answered right away or if we feel Heaven is silent, are we just going to walk away? Or is God important enough to us that we will persevere, sacrifice even to the point of pain, just to know Him, to win His favor?
For Jacob, to know God and receive His blessing meant everything. We already know he held God's birthright in high esteem because he tricked his elder brother into giving it to him at the cost of his life. Now, here in Genesis 32, Jacob loses a night's sleep, exerts himself to the fullest of his strength, and even after he is injured, he is not willing to let go of God until he receives all God came to give him.
This is why God chose Jacob over Esau, and this is why we see his story written for so many generations to read.
How about you? Where is your heart? How much are you willing to sacrifice; how hard are you willing to struggle? How important is knowing God and receiving His favor to you? Are you willing to go through the storm to reach the horizon?
Don't let go of God, our anchor in the storm.
By Debbie Mitchell
You are standing on the deck of your ship and the rain is gently falling upon your face, offering you such a refreshing reprieve, especially on this hot, sweltering day. But then that rain starts to pour down, pounding against the deck, stinging your skin, and flooding down the hatches. Next thing you know, your peaceful moment has passed, and you're frantically racing around trying to stop the rain from causing any more damage than it already has. After fighting the rain for hours, you may feel as though all is lost, that you might as well just let the ship sink. But hang in there, all is not lost.
My son loves to listen to Michael W. Smith. I was listening to one of his CDs, and one song stood out for me. It is titled "Healing Rain." In one portion of the song it states how healing rain comes like fire, how you shouldn't be afraid to let it wash over you and take you higher and higher.
This song rang so true to me. Whenever I need a special touch from the Lord, I know that He will be there for me.
We all need healing at times, whether it be from sickness, sorrow, hurt feelings, stress, worry....It's like that pouring rain that pounds the deck of the ship.
But before we can receive His "healing rain," we first have to believe that He can heal us, and then we need to go to Him and ask for His healing.
Faith is the key:
Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment(Matthew 9:22 NIV).
This woman believed that she would be healed just by touching the hem of Christ's clothing, and look what happened!
In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk(Acts 14:8-10 NIV).
This man had faith, and look what happened to him!
Like the song says, we should not be afraid to come before God. He loves us and wants what is best for us. The more we have faith, the higher we rise and the closer we get to Him.
...for our "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:29 NIV)
Fire burns off all impurities.
God will cleanse us and heal us.
Do you want to be washed in Heaven's rain?
Believe and ask.
Have a blessed SONday, Mateys!!!!