THEY ARE YOURS – Thu, Mar 29, 2018

1 Samuel 4:18 KJV

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

A lot of people know King David ruled Israel for 40yrs but very few know Eli the priest served Israel the same number of years, as its spiritual leader.

The Eli wasn’t a bad man himself, yet all the sins he failed to commit, his two sons and priests, made up for. Sacrilege upon sacrilege, their actions knew no limits. And though prophesies about their tragic end was never hidden from them, they never listened. Eli lost his own life, that of his two sons and daughter-in-law all in the same day.

Only few stories are more tragic than Eli’s. His problem with God was that he didn’t do much about the sins of his sons. This statement alone puts a lot of responsibility on all of us who have been entrusted with the care of others. Whether siblings, colleagues, mentees, god-children, etc… they are your responsibility.

So if you are like me and you haven’t checked on your god-children for ages, know what you are setting yourself up for. Don’t give in to this sin of omission, don’t stand aside and just look on. God will consider you responsible.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

HEAR FROM THE LORD – Wed, Mar 28, 2018

1 Samuel 3:8 KJV

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child.

Usually when I come across this passage in scripture I’m reminded of one of books I recommend for every child of God, “The Art of Hearing” (by Dag Heward Mills). You should be able to find the e-copy online and buy.

The boy Samuel wasn’t familiar with the voice of the LORD. It wasn’t his fault either, open visions were very rare in those days (see v1). So when God called him, in his first personal encounter, he had to rely on the expertise of his spiritual director, Eli.

At that age, the boy had a mind and mentality of service. One of the chapters in Dag’s book talks of “The Servant Mind.” A mind that is already made up to serve the LORD is a fertile place for His Word to breed.

So two main points hit me here:
1. A mind that is not akin to service may not hear the LORD.
2. You may need help from a much experienced person (spiritual director) to perceive His voice.
Let’s desire to hear Him daily, when we have to make decisions.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

HONOUR FOR HONOUR – Tue, Mar 27, 2018

1 Samuel 2:30 KJV

Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Prior to what we have today, the priesthood and priestly duties were a reserve for only those of the Aaronic and Levitical Orders. But not until the corrupt sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas made it so.

We read that these two corrupt priests did so much evil that at a point God thought of His own rule He had established through Moses. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel was also coming up, he didn’t belong to the line of priests or levites. God had to act, so what did He do?… He changed the rule.

“I will honour them that honour me, and they that despise me I will lightly esteem.” These are very deep words. God changed the rule for the sake of Samuel and he became one of the greatest priests of all time in Jewish history.

May God change the rule to favour you because you honour Him. May you never grow weary of honouring Him, because in one moment, He will return that favour, He will honour you too.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

HAND OF GOD – Thu, Mar 22, 2018

Ruth 1:13 KJV

…nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

These were the words of Naomi when the got to the crossroads with her two daughters-in-law, who had asked to continue with her.
I thought she using a line like, “…the hand of the Lord is gone out against me,” was a bit strong.

A cross reference revealed that actually David and Job both made similar statements.
Ps 32:4, Job 19:21
It was no surprise that these statements were made when the subjects were under serious distress, though they all knew God.

Naomi’s situation could be described as ‘hell in a cell.’ Knowing the significance of husbands and sons in that ancient Jewish culture throws this into a better perspective.
Indeed, some situations can force you to question your God.

Yet in all of these scenarios, i.e. Naomi, David and Job, we know how things eventually ended.
I pray God grants us Endurance, above all things, so we don’t lose it in extremely difficult situations. May they all turn out for good someday. Amen.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

NO KING NO LAW – Wed, Mar 21, 2018

Judges 21:25 KJV

In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

I found myself in a very remote town some few years ago. Work had brought me there. One peculiar thing I realised was how much charms and amulets the people wore on themselves.

I had a long conversation with one barber and all he told me was, “because there was no chief or police in the area, everybody was protected by their own ‘power.’ ” He added that people easily died for very simple offenses, so he advised me to be very careful with those I dealt with while I was still there.

Assuming this was the situation in the whole country, you can imagine how difficult living in such would be. Israel had gotten to such a time, so I can understand why they would later ask for a king, against the wishes of God.

The freedom you have now may allow you room to behave in a certain way. But you need always be reminded that “there is a way that seemeth right unto man…” (Pro 16:25).
Don’t think you are of yourself, you only choose a path of death in doing so. Subject yourself to His rule and live accordingly.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

WAR VICTORS – Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Judges 20:28

And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the Lord said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

Never was it intended or planned that things would turn out this way in the Promised Land. The Land was supposed to flow with milk and honey, not the blood of brothers as a result of civil war.

At this point, discerning the Voice of God doesn’t come easy. On two occasions the people consulted God before battle and though victory was assured, they still lost it.
It is very easy to dismiss God when in crisis. Especially when earlier proposals from no mean persons but His very servants have proved futile.

Who else do you listen to in such times? What else can give you comfort? How do you circumvent bleek situations that ‘even God doesn’t seem to have an answer to?’

You may lose the battle but don’t give up the war. When all was said and done, Israel was victorious, so that the singular losses in battles did not matter.

I pray we turn out victorious in our wars, so that irrespective of the battle results, we still hold our ground and faith in the Lord, and believe Him to deliver the war to us.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP

GIFT USE – Tue, Mar 13, 2018

Judges 13:11-12 KJV

And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am.

[12] And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?

How often do we go back to God to ask how our gifts should be used? Do we learn from others with similar gifts or we chart our own paths exploring the various dimensions to these gifts we receive?

Prior to Samson’s birth, his father, Manoah, had had an important encounter with an angel of God. Though his wife was barren, the Angel had promised a son, a source of joy to the couple. But Manoah was careful, his excitement won’t get the better of him.

He asked the angel, “how shall we order the boy’s life?” In other words what will be his rule of life and his work? What blueprint should he follow? What’s the mandate on his head?

Like Manoah, you and I receive unexpected gifts from the Lord. But we need to be more careful with the use of that gift, rather than just bursting out in excitement and going on a fun fair. Our gifts are ours, but they are also for His good pleasure. Serve Him with your gifts.

Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP