How Thirsty Are You?
By: Bill Gaultiere, 1.cbn. com
Have you ever been so thirsty that you had “cotton mouth” and your saliva balled up like tiny balls of cotton? That happened to me all the time as a kid playing football. Back then, no one carried a water bottle. Cotton mouth is uncomfortable, but it’s no big deal — at least that’s what my football coach always said!
But what about becoming so dehydrated that your whole body gets the chills, aches, and is about to collapse with exhaustion?
That’s happened to me twice while hiking in the high sierras with my son. The first time, he was 16-years-old and we were with his Boy Scout troop. We had hiked 12 miles that day, climbed over 5,000 feet, and had set up camp close to Mount Langley, a near “Fourteener” (a mountain peak that was 20 feet under 14,000 feet high).
There it was, a great mountain peak just a few miles and 4,000 of elevation gain away — I felt I had to climb it. It was late in the afternoon and no one wanted to go with me. So, I filled my camelback with water, grabbed a couple of bars, and headed for the peak, planning to be back for dinner.
Well, it took a lot longer than I thought. I ended up hiking in the dark with just a flashlight and I got lost. And I got altitude sickness. I felt like I was going to throw up. I was so thirsty and weak I could hardly walk. When I got back to camp at 8:30 pm, just before a search crew was going to look for me, the first thing I did was drink water!
Thirst for God!
What if we thirsted for God like that? David did. He prayed:
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1ESV)
His prayer resonates with us because this world is a dry and weary desert with no water. I often use his prayer to remind myself of how thirsty I am for God. One way I’ve done this is to paraphrase portions of Psalm 63 into a “Thirsty for Jesus” prayer.
Remember Jesus’ wonderful invitation to us who are thirsty:
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39, ESV)
Ahhh! Yes. When we open our hearts to Jesus we don’t just get a sip of water — his Spirit enters us and we gush forth with rivers of living water!
In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. — Romans 8:28 NIV
Haman had it out for the Israelites. We read about his story in the book of Esther. A few hundred years earlier, the Israelites had defeated Haman’s people, the Amalekites. Haman was an Amalekite carrying a huge grudge and vendetta on his shoulders. It just so happened that Haman was promoted to a very influential position by King Xerxes of Persia. With this access to power, Haman planned to completely exterminate the Jews on Adar 13, a date somewhere around the months of February and March on our calendar.
Yet, there was another storyline developing that would eventually collide with Haman’s story in a big way: King Xerxes selected a new queen, Queen Esther, who was Jewish.
What situation are you facing right now that stirs in you the same kind of fear the Jews had for Adar 13? Illness? Not enough money? Then take a tip from Esther. She used her influence as queen to talk to King Xerxes. She asked him to allow her people to defend themselves on Adar 13. He agreed. Because of this, when the day came, the Israelites were victorious and Haman was executed.
Early in his dealing with mankind, God promised to bless obedience:
If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. — Deuteronomy 28:13 NIV
Esther did what was right. She took a step of faith, and God blessed her obedience. He will do the same for you. No matter what situation you find yourself in today, God will ultimately win.
Promises from God
This God — how perfect are His deeds! How dependable His words! He is like a shield for all who seek His protection. The Lord alone is God; God alone is our defense. He is the God who makes me strong, who makes my pathway safe. — Psalm 18:30-32 GNT
We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. — Proverbs 16:33 NLT
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. — 1 Corinthians 15:56-58
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? — 1 John 5:4-5
Praying God’s Promises
Almighty God, You have promised to honor obedience. Help me walk steadfastly in Your Word and in Your promise. Remind me of Your power. Give me the courage to take steps of faith, remembering that everything will end all right.
Thank You that even if my circumstances may cause me to fear, I have the final victory in Christ. I only have to do what is right and place my trust in You. You are my hope. You are my victory.
Streams IN The Desert
By: L.B. Cowman
It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good” (1 Sam. 3:18)
See God in everything, and God will calm and color all that thou dost see!” It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ, as Lord and Master of our life, is brought into our grief and gloom, “HE will compass us about with songs of deliverance.” To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath, taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us, and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the blessings they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.
–H. W. Smith
“Give me a new idea,” I said,
While musing on a sleepless bed;
“A new idea that’ll bring to earth
A balm for souls of priceless worth;
That’ll give men thoughts of things above,
And teach them how to serve and love,
That’ll banish every selfish thought,
And rid men of the sins they’ve fought.”
The new thought came, just how, I’ll tell:
‘Twas when on bended knee I fell,
And sought from HIM who knows full well
The way our sorrow to expel.
SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS, great and small,
And give HIM praise whate’er befall,
In life or death, in pain or woe,
See God, and overcome thy foe.
HE made the day shine clear and bright;
I saw HIM in the noontide hour,
And gained from HIM refreshing shower.
At eventide, when worn and sad,
HE gave me help, and made me glad.
At midnight, when on tossing bed
My weary soul to sleep HE led.
I saw HIM when great losses came,
And found HE loved me just the same.
When heavy loads I had to bear,
I found HE lightened every care.
By sickness, sorrow, sore distress,
HE calmed my mind and gave me rest.
HE’S filled my heart with gladsome praise
Since I gave HIM the upward gaze.
‘Twas new to me, yet old to some,
This thought that to me has become
A revelation of the way
We all should live throughout the day;
For as each day unfolds its light,
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight.
Life will, indeed, a blessing bring,
If we SEE GOD IN EVERYTHING.”
–A. E. Finn