Posted in Christian lifestyle

Are You Expecting Victory?

Imagine a deep valley with steep mountains on each side.  You’ve been trudging through it for some time and it seems like you’ll never make it out. You’ve begun to wonder if you’re supposed to be there and doubt is creeping into your mind about your purpose. All the while, you’re dying for just a cold drink of water.
That’s the shape these three kings were in when they came to Elisha in II Kings 3. {Go read II Kings 3:4-15} The Lord told them to make the valley full of ditches (vs. 16).  Strange request to those who are down & out, thirsty and tired, huh?  Especially when there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight!

But see, if they made all these ditches, they’d be prepared to catch all the water that the Lord was going to pour out for them.  Without the ditches, they would have no water, and there would be no victory.
Spiritually, we go through valleys in life. We doubt. We get tired. We get thirsty.
But are we filling our valley with ditches?  Are we expecting the Lord to fill them with water just any day?  Are we faithfully working and serving the Lord even though we may not see the “rain cloud” or know how God will work it all out in the end?

{Now read II Kings 3:16-20}

It says they would see no rain or wind, but yet those ditches would be filled with water, enough that they could all drink and their animals too!
Do we have enough faith in God, enough expectation in Him, to dig our valleys full of ditches?

This was but a light thing for the Lord (vs. 18), to fill up their valley with water….such a HUGE thing for them, but LITTLE for the Lord!  Are we expecting HUGE things?  Our greatest expectations can be abundantly exceeded by the Lord!

{Continue reading II Kings 3:21-27}

As the story continues on, we see that not only did all that water serve to quench their thirst, sustaining them to go on, but it also proved vital to their victory over the king of Moab.

See, we read in II Kings 3:22 that the Moabites rose up in the morning, ready to go out and kill these kings, but they saw the water. The sun shone upon the water, and made it look red to them! Aren’t we glad that “the Son” can shine even in the darkest of situations and completely change the outlook and outcome!?! So, the Moabites believed that the three kings had killed themselves and that the water was their blood. (Vs. 23) They went on into the camp of Israel thinking that they had the victory and were going to take the spoil, but, lo and behold, the Israelites were not dead! The Israelites drove out the Moabites and even beat down their cities, cut down their good trees and stopped up their wells of water. (Vs. 24-27)

It was the same water that God gave them in their valley, that sustained their life and the lives of their beasts, that also wrought them the victory against the Moabites! And, to think, a drink of water is all they had wanted, and God gave them so much more!

May this study encourage your heart today, as it has mine, to have faith even in the face of doubt. To expect great and amazing things from the Lord, so much so that you are already preparing the “ditches” you’ll need to hold them.

Posted in Christian lifestyle

Read the Instructions

Student: “I don’t know what happened.”
Me: “Did you read the directions?”
Student: “Ohhh, no, I just put it in for a few minutes.”
This happens in my class on an almost daily basis, usually concerning popcorn. And may I mention that the burnt popcorn smells up the entire school, yuck!  But…it made me think…. as adults, do we read God’s directions?
It’s not like He doesn’t lay out plainly how He expects us to live, what exactly we should (or should not) do, and how to deal with basically any situation we will come across.  All we have to do is read the directions, a.k.a. the Bible.
It really is that simple.  There’s no need for us to be trying to figure it out on our own, turning to “self-help” books, or getting advice from the world.  We have all the directions in our hands, in God’s Word, we just have to read them and follow through.

II Timothy 3:16 KJV says: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Micah 6:8 KJV: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Psalms 32:8 KJV: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Psalms 37:23 KJV: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Romans 15:4 KJV: For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Psalms 119:105 KJV: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.

Posted in Christian lifestyle

How to Start Studying Your Bible

“I’m going to start studying my Bible every day.” A week later, “Well, I don’t know what to study, so I’m going to read my Bible every single day.” A month later, “I really need to get back in my Bible everyday.”

-Me, on multiple occasions

I’ve been through this cycle many times. I feel like we all probably have. It’s true, we have alot in our lives to distract us from the Word, but we can’t let that be an excuse. We have to resolve to get in God’s Word every single day, no exceptions. The easiest way to do that when you don’t know where to start, I believe, is through Scripture Writing. It’s a small, totally “do-able” commitment that ANYONE can fit into their day! And…I’ve noticed that once I started getting into the Bible each day, the more I CRAVED the Bible each day. You will too!

Here’s how:

• Find a plan to follow, this will tell you what verses to write each day. You can find my current plan here.

• Schedule time (even if it’s only 10 minutes) to do your writing each day. I suggest the morning, waking up just 10 minutes earlier to spend with God can make a tremendous difference in your day!

• Get a separate notebook or add these journal pages to your planner to use for your Scripture Writing.

That’s it! You’re ready to get started! Scripture Writing can be used to springboard you into the Bible, then you can do a personal devotion/study on your own on whatever topic you choose, or you can use the Scripture from that day to study out further and really get all that God has for you in that passage! If you want to make the most of Scripture Writing, follow these tips:

PRAY! This is by far the most important thing you will do, at any time, but especially before any form of Bible study. Ask God for understanding & wisdom, then pray again after studying and ask Him to help you meditate on His word throughout the day.

Define keywords. Even if you think you understand all of the words, look up the definition and write it down. Sometimes, it’ll bring out more meaning in the scripture or show you that our modern day use of the word may not be exactly how it was used in the Bible.

Cross reference & include context. Read the entire chapter or passage. Sometimes, you may feel like you need to read more to understand the setting, you can’t read too much. If you use a reference Bible, flip and read all referenced verses. If not, look up the keywords in a concordance. Are there any other relevant verses mentioned? Take note of what you find.

Pray again. I know, I know, I already said to pray. Pray again. After all, this month (March) is about prayer, and we could never pray too much!

I encourage you to join me in March as we focus in on the subject of Prayer. The Scripture Writing Plan for March includes verses that point out hindrances to our prayers, show us examples of prayers, and give us guidelines on how to pray. Head over to Instagram and follow me (@mrs.edwards.828) 🤪. Share your writing in your stories and tag me each day! If you make a feed post, use #scripturewriting2021 . I can’t wait to get started with you!

What other tips or advice would you give someone who is starting to get into their Bible each day?

Share them in the comments!