Buried Treasures

A couple of years ago, I wrote a short blog post called “There Be Treasures in them Beaches!” You may have thought, “Is he talking about buried pirate treasures?” Not quite. I was writing of the treasures found on the beaches of the Jersey Shore.

The article is written in 2010 and it was about viewing people as treasures to be desired. In other words, each person is of value in the sight of God and to others. The only real way to discover the hidden treasure is this. Go talk with them.  Continue reading “Buried Treasures”

And They Are Off! Race For 2012 Has Begun

In case you haven’t notice, the race for the Presidency of the United States is already underway.  Aside from President Obama, there are 7 other people who’d like a shot at the Oval Office.  I am not going to say who to vote for.  As an American citizen, the decision is yours to make.

My goal is to urge you to begin praying for the eight presidential candidates and not wait until the summer or November.  The best time to begin praying, is today. We, each have a candidate that we like.  This is fine and a good reason to pray for him or her.

I would like you to go a step further. Ask God, the Father about these people.  What is God saying about the candidates? Please remember, God is not a Republican or a Democrat. As God’s ways are not ours, please don’t expect an echo chamber. It is good to ask “Who is God’s man for the hour?”

Did you know that Scripture offers some advice on what to look for? For starters, there is Exodus 18:21:

21 Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.

There is also Deut 1:13:

13 Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

Did you notice that God is telling Moses, to choose those who’d help him lead the tribes of Israel?  Could Moses choose anyone?  No, Moses had to choose people with very specific character traits.  These traits are honesty, hate dishonest gains, experienced, godly, wise and discerning. Once chosen, God would appoint them, as leaders of the tribes of Israel.

We should want these same characters in our elected leaders.  Why is this important? A person with these character will seek to do what is right, in the sight of God.  They would not be so prone to popular opinions and resist pressure groups.  Plus, they would not have the need to sign pledges.

A friend once suggested that we need statesmen and not politicians.  I agree. A politician is one who worries about the next election and not doing what’s right.  A statesman is a godly person, who seeks to do what is right and he is not worrying about re-election. Let’s ask God, to replace the politicians with statesmen.

How shall we know, if we have such a person?  It is done through prayer and searching out the truth.  Don’t be satisfied with what you hear on Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. They are each pushing for their favorite candidates.

It is best to start with prayer.   Ask God, the Father about how to pray for each person.  Ask the Holy Spirit to shine a light of truth on what’s heard on the news. You can trust God to lead us, to all truths about each candidates.  Here is an illustration of what I mean.

In the Election of 2008, I set my heart on praying for the presidential candidates of that time.  While praying, I was drawn towards certain presidential candidates. Did I know or understand what the political issues were? No.  Did I know where the presidential candidates stood on a given issue? No.

What did I do? I trusted the Holy Spirit to lead me, in prayer.  Sometimes, I would pray about a personal item relating to a specific candidate. Did I get some special download where I knew what to pray?  This may have happened; however, it was not my primary source of information.  I would occasionally get insights on what to pray through cable news or the Internet.

Take care of what you listen to or read! Not everything is true.  It is always good to talk with God and ask the Father about what you are hearing.  Please remember, Jesus did say that the Spirit will lead us, to all truths.

Don’t be afraid to do your own fact checking. My personal favorite fact checking sites are Snopes and PolitiFactOn The Issues is another good place to learn about the candidates. These sites were a great tool for smelling out the manure.

I will finish with these two set of Scriptures:

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. [Proverbs 3:5]

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. [James 1:5-6]


Who Are You Listening To?

Ever had to make an important decision and needed wise counsel? I know that I have needed it and went looking for it.  It is wise to take care of who you’re listening to and what is being said.  Here is an illustration.

In 1 King 22, Jehoshaphat has gone to King Ahab to discuss an important military matter.  He wanted help in retaking a citing that rightfully belonged to them.  Before rushing off, Jehoshaphat suggested they’d seek the counsel of God:  (1 King 22:1-5):

1 Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. 2 In the third year Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 Now the king of Israel said to his servants, “Do you know that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, and we are still doing nothing to take it out of the hand of the king of Aram?” 4 And he said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle at Ramoth-gilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

5 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.”

The taking of a city is not an easy task, even by today’s standard.  Jehoshaphat is wise to seek God of Israel on this matter.  At first, King Ahab inquired of the court prophets and here’s what happened (1 King 22:6-12):

6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?” 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.” 10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 12 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.

King Jehoshaphat was not going to listen to these guys.  For one thing, they were not prophets belonging to God, Almighty.  Secondly, everyone spoke favorably of the coming military endeavor.  One man thought he heard from God of Israel and proceeded to make declarations about what would happen.  There is just one problem; they were deceived.

It was not long before Micaiah showed up.  He was a godly man who spoke what the Father has given him; rather then what sounds good or popular.  Micaiah was not someone who gives in to peer pressure.  According to King Ahab, the man never spoke anything positive about him.

Let me ask you this question.  Would you prefer a man who spoke the truth, in a loving and right fashion?  What if the truth is negative?  Contrary to popular myth, it’s not wrong to say something negative; if done in a loving fashion.

If I was in King Jehoshaphat’s shoes, I’d prefer a man like Micaiah over Ahab’s court prophets.  For Micaiah will tell the truth; even though I may not like it.  This is in sharp contrast Ahab’s court prophets. They never confronted King Ahab about his sins. They only spoke what’s favorable and pleasing to him.

There is more to this story than what I have shared in this blog post.  The rest can be found in 1 King 22:13-28.  It is worth noting that the court prophets were under the influence of a deceiving spirit. What was this spirit’s goal? It was the destruction of King Ahab.

Hence, it is important to listen more to what God, the Father is saying through His Spirit rather than listening to what others are saying.  The Father cares about you and will help you in dealing with your mess.  You can trust God, to reveal what’s true and what’s false.

Are you willing to listen to God, the Father?