September 3, Tuesday

Today’s AMI Devotional Quiet Time is provided by Tina Hsu of Church of Southland in Anaheim, California. Tina (M.Div.), who was recently licensed by AMI, is a co-leader of college ministry at the church. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Speaking Strength to Your Inner Being”

1 Samuel 30:6 

“But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

Psalm 103:1 

“Bless the LORD, o my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”

In 1 Samuel 30, King David faced an extremely stressful and devastating situation when the Amalekites burned down the city of Ziklag with fire and took the women and children of Israel as captives. After David and his men wept until they lost strength, the latter took out their anger and sadness on David, threatening to stone him for what had happened to the city and their families. There was no physical refuge or comfort to turn to in this overwhelming situation, but the author records that David strengthened himself in the Lord his God and then inquired Him for his next plan.  Eventually, David successfully rescued the women and children, and destroyed the Amalekites. 

What did this time with God look like that caused David to regain strength? What prayers did he pray and what did he say to God? David’s psalms give us a glimpse that David often ministered to himself with songs that declared to his own soul the goodness of God. He commanded his being to bless and praise God’s name, even when his emotions did not catch up to joy and gladness yet. He spoke truths about God’s character and deeds in times of distress until his own soul would regain awareness of and thanksgiving to God. These prayers in the secret place gave him strength to carry out his public leadership. 

More often than not, we are taught to pray prayers of petition in our time with God and when we pray for others. Scripture teaches us to present our requests to God as a way of overcoming worry – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). King David displays for us another form of prayer that is just as important, and that is the prayer of declaration, or command prayer. Where strength was lost, he commanded his own being to declare praise to God, until his inner being would be strengthened and hopeful again.  

Today, what is your morning declaration over your own soul? In order to strengthen yourself in the Lord, attempt to lead your own soul to bless and praise God’s name until your awareness of God outweighs your awareness of your anxieties.

Prayer: God, You are my refuge and You are my strength. I command my soul this morning and all that is within me to bless and praise You for who You are. As I wait upon You, I pray for a renewed strength to arise from within me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 26


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV): For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Questions to Consider

  1. The apostle Paul is the writer of Ephesians. To whom is he writing?
  2. What is Paul’s prayer?
  3. Why do you think being strengthened with power in one’s inner being is directly correlated to grasping the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge?

Notes

  1. Paul is writing to Christians in the city of Ephesus. He also desires this prayer to be answered and to become real for “all the Lord’s holy people.”
  2. His prayer is for the Holy Spirit to strengthen every church member’s inner being with power to comprehend the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. He understands that a man/woman’s inner being is transformed by the love of Christ, but also needs to continuously be strengthened by the love of Christ in order to live fully as Christ’s followers. 
  3. Personal Response. 

Evening Reflection

Reflect about your day and courageously mention to God what you were lacking today. Was it joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, or wisdom? Activate and practice a prayer of command/declaration over you heart and may the Holy Spirit give you an overflow of His power and strength.

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