September 20, 2017

My God Is So Big


Nehemiah 2:4-8
4 Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” 6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.


Someone shared in a Bible study small group that she would pray, “Lord, please, just get me through this day.” I thought how sad to pray for so little from such a big God. Little faith does not see a big God. A small faith has our eyes on ourselves instead of looking at God. I’m glad I have more for my resources than me, my strength and my ability! I have a big God. But I watch people around me expect little from Him.

Why do we expect so little from Almighty God?

Nehemiah would have much to say on this subject. He was the cupbearer for the king of his captivity, and yet, the king gave him everything he asked for when he prayerfully sought him for all he needed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the broken walls around the city. After praying for several months, he courageously asked for a long list of favors and supplies, and the king granted him every single request. 

Nehemiah asked Big!
He believed in a Big God!

Nehemiah makes sure the reader knows in the eighth verse of Nehemiah 2, this blessing from the king was God’s good hand upon him. Nehemiah could never have accomplished this by himself.

One of my favorite verses I love to recall when I’m asking God for something that requires a huge leap of faith is 1 Corinthians 2:5 “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” This has encouraged me many times when doubt would start knocking at my heart’s door. Doubt will shrivel up your faith like a pin pricking a balloon will drive out all the air. But the truth in this verse will chase the doubt away and remind us that we serve a powerful and Almighty God.

Do you believe God can do more than merely get you through the day? Open your eyes of faith and see a Big God!

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

September 17, 2017

Battles and Praise: Reflections on David


I read the Psalms more than any other portion of my Bible. I take comfort and I am deeply encouraged by the strong and poetic words written by its major author, a shepherd warrior king. I keep a long list of favorite verses and passages from the Psalms that I turn to often, and I am blessed each time I read them.

And yet, when I read the story of David’s life in the books of I and II Samuel, it is wrought with danger and battles and heartache.

We see David anointed king at a young age by the prophet Samuel, and we see him victoriously kill the giant Goliath with a slingshot and go on to become a great warrior. The chant “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” puts his life in jeopardy, making him the sworn enemy of King Saul, who becomes jealous and attempts to kill him at every turn. When he is eventually crowned king of Israel, he is engaged in constant war and battles with the enemies that surround God’s chosen people and with enemies among his own people.

Yes, he writes about battles in the Psalms. But he writes more about victory given by the hand of God. We see God’s sovereign hand of guidance and protection, and we hear David declare that our battles belong to the Lord.

He proclaims God is his strength, his refuge, hiding place, strong tower, and his shelter in the storm. 

He writes praise, worship, thanksgiving, and he beautifully writes in Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life… 

We see David rise, fall, and rise again, and we learn from this shepherd warrior king that there is no sin that cannot be washed away and forgiven. We learn that our Holy Almighty God is a God of healing and restoration.

We see David’s battles and we see the victories only God can bring. We read this psalmist's praise unto the Lord in words modern poets cannot duplicate. He teaches us to hide God's Word in our heart, and he teaches us through psalm after psalm that our hearts are made to worship. 

When I reflect on David, I learn a lot about my God.