August 12, Wednesday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT devotionals from Aug. 9-15 are provided by Cami King, a staff at Journey Community Church (Raleigh).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Kings 6:15-17

 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

12When I was a little girl I remember reading the story of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It follows a little boy, Alexander, through what he concludes is the worst day imaginable. From having a drawer fall on his foot, to getting gum lodged in his hair, to being forced to eat lima beans, all before being scalded by his bathwater – this kid is having a pretty rough time. Things are so bad that he resolves to move to Australia. It’s a cute little story that teaches kiddos that sometimes life doesn’t go our way, but tomorrow is always a new day.

Yet as we get older, our terrible, horrible days are a lot less cute than Alexander’s. And they last a lot longer – spanning months or years or even whole seasons of life when things just don’t go our way. If you’re like me, it doesn’t take long to recall a time when you felt absolutely and unequivocally outnumbered by life’s circumstances—a time when you just knew you were beat, when one thing after another after another fell apart. And even for the resilient among us, there comes a point when we are at our wits end and may even find ourselves in despair.

In our passage for today, Elisha and his servant find themselves surrounded by enemy forces. From what the servant could see – they were finished and the battle was over before it began because they were so greatly outnumbered. But Elisha’s vision was a little clearer and He could see the true state of things. I can rarely read this text without welling up with tears because no matter how difficult life gets, we can always rest assured that the Lord is our protection, surrounding us with powerful spiritual forces that work for our good and for His glory. And when we are overwhelmed and overcome we need only to remind ourselves who our God is and rest in His promise to fight on our behalf. Those who fight with us are always greater than anything and anyone against us. When we find ourselves in despair, we can recall the words that Moses spoke to the Israelites in Exodus 14:14 – The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Prayer: Almighty God, open my eyes to see Your strong arm of protection around me. In the midst of my most difficult times, help me to remember that You encamp Your forces about me and work all things for my good and for Your glory. Help me to stand firm and trust in You. Give me the vision to see my circumstances the way that You do.

Bible Reading for Today: Galatians 3

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Lunch Break Study

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why is it important that we be strong in the Lord and put on the full armor of God? How does this perspective change the way you view any difficulties you’re currently facing?
  2. After putting on the full armor, what are we called to do? Why is this important?
  3. Which piece of the armor strikes you most as an area that you may need to give more attention? What are some practical ways you can take up the armor of God in this area?

Notes:

  1. We are called to be strong in the Lord and put on the full armor of God because our war is not against flesh and blood (but against rulers and powers in the spirit realm). If we limit our view of the things going on around us to what we can see, we will rely on limited resources as opposed to God’s infinite power.
  2. We are called to stand firm. That’s it – just stand. This is important because we do not ultimately have to overcome difficulties on our own. We don’t even have to figure out how to use God’s power within us to overcome. We only have to stand firm in the Lord, continuing to walk in faithful obedience to Him, and He will do the rest.
  3. For some of us it is the truth that we are lacking or a grasp of the Gospel, in which case spending more time in the Bible will help us to arm ourselves. For others we may need to spend more time in prayer and take a firmer hold of the Holy Spirit’s power at work in us. Whatever it is for you, spend some time asking God to strengthen you in those areas.

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 Evening Reflection

Saint Patrick is credited for the following:

“I rise today with the power of God to pilot me, God’s strength to sustain me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look ahead for me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to protect me, God’s way before me, God’s shield to defend me, God’s host to deliver me from snares of devils, from evil temptations, from nature’s failings, from all who wish to harm me, far or near, alone and in a crowd.”

Spend some time reflecting on the quotation above. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring His peace as you choose to put your trust in God’s willingness to protect you and see you through even the fiercest of storms.

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