Promise Reigns in Hopeless Times & Situations (Judges 13)

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ImageHas a person ever promised you something, like a candy bar or a coffee? Or have adults ever promised you something, like money or to go somewhere? Better yet, has God ever promised you something, like to be something or do something incredible? Have you ever felt that discouragement when that something just seems to NEVER be coming, when in reality God is GROWING you to make you STRONGER for when HE PUTS you in that position. God’s promises are NEVER FAILING, and if we have the patience or the will, you WILL see them come to pass.

In Judges 13, we read the start of how Samson came to be by the interesting promised filled story of his father and mother. Judges 13:1-7 reads:

“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites, whose name was Manoah. And his wife was barren and had no children. And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Then the woman came and told her husband, “A man of God came to me, and his appearance was like the appearance of the angel of God, very awesome. I did not ask him where he was from, and he did not tell me his name, but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”” (Judges 13:1-7, emphasis on verse 1)

God is PROMISING something, when God SHOULD be PUNISHING. If you look closely at verse one of this chapter, God is not very happy with Israel and gives them over to the Philistines, but yet God promises a barren wife and her husband a son. Out of something that is RUINED, and lost of HOPE comes a slim  line of hope, through the ONE who SAVES.

This promise is a promise that makes Manoah, the father, seek the Lord and seek guidance for he believes that the Father can, but Manoah wants to do it right. Through Judges 13, the reader would go through two paragraphs of circumstances, where Manoah sought out the Lord for guidance, and the Lord came to speak more of the promise.

1. Seek The Lord, When Promises are made Between YOU & GOD…. (Judges 8-20)

Manoah and his barren wife were promised a son, which was only possible if the Lord blessed them with it so the only thing they could do is BELIEVE and SEEK. God is a God that knows what you are going through and what is really on your heart, so do not think you are hiding anything from God. Tell God about your disbelief of the PROMISE He made you, tell Him about your anger of why it has not come, and tell Him your frustration about where you currently are in life. Because you are not telling it to God does not mean He does not know.

Manoah and his wife sought out the Lord for guidance and understanding about where they would have to go from here, they DID NOT mope about the time it WOULD TAKE FOR THE SON TO COME. Through there seeking, they found God and GREW in there KNOWING OF HIM, instead of there defeat in the frustration it is not happening there way.

2. Through the SEEKING OF THE LORD in a RUINED time, the Lord PROMISE PREVAILED & HOPE CONQUERED… (Judges 13:21-25)

“21 The angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of the Lord. 22 And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen God.” 23 But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.” 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.” (Judges 13:21-25, emphasis added in verse 23)

“But his wife said to him, “If the Lord had meant to kill us, he would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering at our hands, or shown us all these things, or now announced to us such things as these.”” (Judges 13:23) That verse brings to life the heart of the message, that when God wants to REIGN PROMISES in our lives, we will GROW CLOSER to Him like never before. Manoah and his wife saw a situation that had NO HOPE, to seeing the GLORY of GOD, to seeing THE HOPE RESTORED and the PROMISE REIGN. When God promises His people something it is not just for Him, but it is for the growing of ourselves included. Samson is going to be a historic figure, but Manoah and his wife do not know that, because all they know is the promise of God. And that is what THEY LIVE OFF OF.

If you read this message and get nothing from it, GET THIS: God knows what He is doing, and ALL His promises will come to LIFE, but SEEK HIM until they do. Do not be caught up in the frustration, bitterness, or anger because you do not understand why you are not there yet. But be CAUGHT UP in the PRESENCE OF GOD growing in what He is teaching you now, to become that person He is calling you TO BE!

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King Belshazzar Knew, and Still Followed

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Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored. (Daniel 5:17-23)

Have you either walked down a path or through a door that did not lead anywhere but frustration and failure? But a door that every time it comes open you find yourself walking through? The door of pride? The door of porn? The door of going to far with your significant other? There are many other doors but those are only a few, but these doors that we tend to find failure behind we often find our selves coming back to.

Above you read a passage about how King Belshazzar knew about the PRIDEFUL legacy that his father, King Nebuchadnezzar had, which then ended in an humbling of the heart by the Lord. Belshazzar knew these things and the doors that lead to failure for his father, but HE STILL walked the same path as his father. Daniel opens his eyes to this in the beginning of the interpretation of the handwriting on the King’s wall, saying basically this, “what person or God are you following? Are you following the steps and legacy of your father who worshipped idols and became to proud for his own good? Or are you following a God, who GIVES you BREATH of LIFE and who LEADS to SUCCESS in HIM?”

The hard truth to all of this, is that we are King Belshazzar in many ways than not. Personally, I find myself running to the same doors that only lead to sin and death, and an avenue for the enemy to attack. It is not healthy and I do not know why I do it but this is the truth of the matter it DOES NOT DO ANY GOOD! So how do we stop running to the doors that are appetizing deceiving?

1. Worship God WHOLE-FULLY….

Daniel is a prime example of what this means to serve God whole-fully. By reading through Daniel, you will see a man that in EVERY situation good or bad, easy or hard will seek the Lord through it all. He will NOT MOVE until the Lord speaks to him in a way that will move him away from the wrong “doors.”

2. Watch the doors that you walk through or others, and KNOW if they HONOR God or DISHONOR Him…

Belshazzar knew exactly that the path he was walking through or going down was a path that lead no where good, because it was the same dishonoring path as his fathers. Everyone around you on a daily basis walks through doors that will either lead to death or life, if we watch there footsteps and not follow right away, we will learn what to do or not. The enemy is going to make doors that are deceivingly appetizing to you but lead no where, and they might be the same door that someone close to you went through too, lets not be BLIND to what is GOING ON AROUND US and FOLLOW the RIGHT LEGACIES.

This world is going to bring on doors that you get to choose to walk through or not, some leading to death and some leading to life. Some honoring the Lord greatly and some not honoring to God at all, but if you learn from your MISTAKES and FOLLOW the RIGHT legacies, God will show you the right paths. Do not walk through doors that just look pretty and appetizing to the eye, but walk through the doors that will bring you happiness, and honor to the God we serve.

Impossible Steps of Faith, Bring God to be a God of Possibilities

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“Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah,Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 and told them to seek mercy from theGod of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven……The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.” (Daniel 2:17-19, 26-28)

Life sometimes leads us to a dead end or a path that a decision has to be made or money has to come in for a living to be made, that is when God is on the scene MOST.

Daniel was facing adversities with King Nebuchadnezzar, when he was told that Babylon was going to see a hit of deaths by his hand if his dream was not interpreted. By doing this, Daniel, a man of bold faith stepped out and prayed before God KNOWING and BELIEVING He was going to reveal to him what the dream meant. That is where the first lesson of this passage is found, sometimes we come to Gods throne not believing with BOLDNESS that the Lord is going to do something then and there, but the TRUTH is He ALWAYS wants to do something BIG. Daniel was in broken-ness about what could happen to his people in Babylon, and what the King could do to them. But with FAITH, and a BOLD heart he started to pray. Life sometimes leads us to a dead end or a path that a decision has to be made or money has to come in for a living to be made, that is when God is on the scene MOST. Do you ever think during times of impossible situations and pure adversity, that God wants to HEAR about it, and YOU to believe it?

Daniel had this mentality, and what came was a beautiful praise because the Lord BLESSED his HEART. Before we get to the praise, let me tell you that God blesses and looks at our hearts in EVERYTHING. If your heart is not right (with Him, pure, why you are doing it) then the blessing will or will not come. Daniel’s heart was broken and was needing God to do something incredible, and the Lord saw that and BLESSED IT. What story does your heart tell the Lord? Does it lead to the beautiful praise that came from Daniels lips?

Adverse times lead to songs of praise. Right hearts lead to blessings to come. Boldness and faith lead to God’s ultimate workings.

“Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. 23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”” (Daniel 2:20-23)

Adverse times lead to songs of praise. Right hearts lead to blessings to come. Boldness and faith lead to God’s ultimate workings. All the enchanters, magicians, and everyone else who tried to interpret the dream of the King could not. But the one who could, put his FAITH in GOD or YAHWEH and his KNEES of the GROUND! Let adverse times not seem impossible, but let God be God and let Him work in the most stressful of times.