Tag: skill

Dec 26 In God I Trust

dollar-463380_1920Father, people look to many things to protect them, to save them, from hardship and the trouble of this world. Zechariah prophesied Your judgment on people here who had put their faith in and were trusting many things other than You.

These people were skillful. It’s easy to trust in yourself when you have skills. You know what you are doing and you know that you do it well. It offers you a sufficient level of confidence and security to be able to do what you need to do to make a living and build a strong shelter for protection.

People today also trust in their abilities. They believe they can trade their skills for whatever else they need: food, clothing, shelter. Beyond that, they may also derive their sense of self-worth from their abilities.

They had many possessions. So much so, that they are described as having “heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets.” When you have possessions, it is easy to feel insulated from need. You can literally see your wealth around you. If you want something, you just buy it; or can sell something to buy what you need.

Again, people in my day often trust in their possessions. And they often get their sense of personal value from what they own.

They had power. When you have power, you can take what you want. Your security comes from your strength. As long as you maintain that strength, you have no need to fear anyone, or trust anything besides yourself.

People today trust in power. They put their faith in their own personal power and their ability to control. Or the power of their business, or their country, or their military. They get their view of their worth from the power they can use to overcome others.

All these things are faulty reliances.

Zechariah tells me You will “take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea and she will be consumed by fire.” “Her” and “She” refer to the cities and the people who oppress Your people. But none of these things they trust in will save them.

It is the same today. None of these things: abilities and skills, possessions and money, power and might, can save anyone. No one and nothing can stand against You, Father.

So I agree with David. No one is so great as You, or more worthy of praise. Your glorious splendor and Your wonderful works have been passed down for generations. Your character is unmatched.

To a greater extent than is humanly possible, You are good, gracious, compassionate, trustworthy, faithful, and righteous. You are mighty and powerful above all things, but are just in all Your ways.

And I am blessed, supremely fortunate, that You are my God, my King. You hold me up when I fall. You satisfy me with good things. You are always near to me and answer my call. You watch over me although I have done nothing to deserve all this lavish care.

So I give You all my praise! I worship You alone. I look to You and trust in You, no matter what befalls me. I know that Your faithfulness to me deserves my complete and absolute trust.

“My mouth will speak in praise of You.” I will join with every other creature Your hand has made, and praise Your Holy Name. Amen

Zechariah 9:1-8; Psalm 145:1-21

Sept 12 A tool for God’s purpose

Father, when You sent Your judgment against Israel, You used the political and military and powers of the day.  Not knowing You, they believed it was by their own strength and power that they conquered.  But it is clear that they were merely a tool in Your hand.  The power is not in the tool, but in the one who wields it.

wood-working-2385634_640Father, I pray that I would be a tool in Your hand for godly purposes.  Use me to accomplish Your will.  You are truly the potter and I am the clay.  Send me where Your would, as Your handiwork, to achieve Your plan.  And never let me forget that Yours is the strength and the wisdom by which anything is accomplished.

Father, some are called to far away places to be tools for You in spreading Your Word and Your love.  And surely there are obstacles for them to overcome and challenges to conquer.  But sometimes I feel the hardest place to be Your representative is here at home, with the people I love.

I know You have a wonderful plan and purpose for their lives too.  So until you call me away to somewhere else, help me realize the potential here, and be willing to be a tool in Your hands in the lives of those people You have brought closest to me.   Help me live every day showing Your grace and mercy and compassion to them.  When asked, help me give wise and godly advice, not just my own preferences.  Let my words be instructive and gentle, and line up with Your truth, spoken in love for the benefit of the hearer.

Help me hold my tongue when I need to, when the words would not be godly wisdom, but come from some other motivation.  Help me spread peace in their lives when it would be so much easier to spread my own brand of how things should be.  Help me let go of my own expectations of them, freeing them up to know the fulfillment of Your plans and purposes.

Help me be patient with Your timeline for their development and maturity.  And help me be consistent to pray for them to be empowered and guided by the influence of Your Word in their lives, and what You speak to them and through the godly mentors and circumstances You allow into their lives.

Let me draw strength from You.  Let me be guided by You.  And let me rest in Your strong and skillful hands.  Amen

Isaiah 10:1-19

Feb 14 Gifts

loop-572859_640Dear Lord, how wonderful it would be to be like Bezalel or Oholiab. These two are singled out by name as being chosen by You, and filled with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts. They knew metalwork on gold, silver and bronze, stone cutting and setting, how to work with wood, yarn, linen as craftsmen and designers. And they had the ability to teach others these things. They worked effectively with all the others You gave skill and ability to, to carry out the work of constructing the tabernacle and all the things in it.

You have said that each believer receives a spiritual gift or gifts, as well as skills, talents. How wonderful it would be to be aware of that gift and have the opportunity to use it to create something that would point people to You and bring honor to Your name.

Father, help me be like Bezalel and Oholiab. Help me refine my gifts and talents, work on them and develop them to be ready for use when You give the opportunity.

Father, they did not shrink back from using their gifts. Sometimes I feel my talent isn’t good enough to be of use. Rather than step forward, I shrink back. I am often sure that the gifts of others are more valuable than mine. Help me trust that You knew what You were doing when You handed out the gifts. Help me accept who I am and what I have to offer, and make the most of it.

Are people the only ones of Your creation who doubt themselves and are envious? I doubt that an apple tree ever wishes it could produce peaches. Or a monkey ever wishes it had a fluffy tail like a fox. It’s easy for me to see and trust Your plan as it worked out in the lives of Moses, Bezalel, and Oholiab. Take away the doubts I have when it comes to me. Help me see Your plan and Your purpose, and be bold in doing my part. Amen

Exodus 35:30-35; 37:1-38:23