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Calling the Discontent

WomanI’ve been posting about how God is calling His people back together. It’s a lot like how the Lord brought the Mighty Men to David when he was on the run from King Saul.

All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:2

The last group this verse talks about is those who were discontented; or literally bitter souled. That’s quite a picture of these people, yet God wanted to use them for His purpose.

When I think about bitter souled people I have to ask myself; do I really want them in my church? Then I studied out this phrase in the Old Testament. I made some interesting observations.

It was only used of 4 specific people in Old Testament. A woman named Hannah, who desperately wanted child. Job, who desperately wanted his life restored. King Hezekiah, who wanted healing. There was also the prophet Ezekiel…

The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me.
Ezekiel 3:14

God placed a powerful Word in this prophet. The problem was that no one listened.

In reading about these individuals I found that bitterness can be used of God. But it depends upon the source of that bitterness. It must spring from a godly desire that we have in our heart. But it’s a desire that hasn’t been met yet. This takes place in us when we know that what we’re looking for is God’s will, but it didn’t happen the way we thought it should have.

All these great men and women of God; Hannah, Job, Hezekiah, and Ezekiel were discontent with the way things were. They knew that God was going to do something; they were just impatient in the waiting.

In that sense, God is calling for all the discontent believers. Bitterness in your soul is the sign that there needs to be a change. But how does it take place? We must cry out to God.

In each example of Scripture, God worked it out. Hannah received a son, Samuel, who anointed kings. Job was restored and his friends were blessed through his prayers. Hezekiah was healed. Ezekiel was miraculously brought to those who would listen to his message.

What has to happen for bitterness to bring glory to God?

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:15

Simply put; don’t let bitterness take root in your life. Use the bitterness to give you the drive to see things change. Let it bring you to your knees to cry out to God.

No one wants you to be satisfied with things as they are. But God wants you to do something with that discontent.

Bitterness can do one of two things. It can drive you into God’s presence; then you’ll see the power of God. Or it will give you an excuse to drop out.

The Lord wants these drop outs to get back on their feet for Christ. They know the need. They felt the hurt. Now by the power of God they can do something about it.

It’s time to call God’s people to gather back together.

It’s time.

Question: What is your godly discontentment?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Church

 

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Change is the Constant

TrailGoing through changes in our life is never easy. I wish it were. If you want to lay hold of your destiny, then you need to accept change.

Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have another son.” As she breathed her last – for she was dying – she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
Genesis 35:16-18

Sometimes going through change is like we’re dying to ourselves. Psychologists say that when change takes place there’s a grieving process that we must walk out.

The fact is that we can’t stop change from happening. The only thing we have control over is our attitude. It’s how we deal with change that makes all the difference.

In this Scripture, Jacob and his family were “on the road” when his wife Rachel died in childbirth. If anyone could have had a reason for bitterness, he did. But he didn’t wallow in self-pity. She named the child Ben-Oni, which means, the son of my trouble. The hurt of that day would have followed the child for his entire life.

Instead, Jacob immediately changed the boy’s name to Benjamin, the son of my right hand. He released the pain into God’s hand. I don’t know what you’re going through right now. But if there’s a great change you’re grieving over – give it to God.

Only the Lord can bring you through. As you spend time in His presence you’re allowing Him to turn your Ben-Oni into a Benjamin.

So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.
Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.
Genesis 35:19-21

There are many changes that are hard to deal with. That’s why it’s so important to work on our attitudes during those times.

When God speaks to our hearts as we’re quiet before Him, He may require us to make a great change in our lives. Sometimes the change is so big, that it may seem that our old way of life has died and we’ve been reborn to a new way of living. It’s like our life is going through a huge makeover.

It’s essential that we learn to bury the “old man” and then move on. Unless we leave the past behind, we can never enter His future.

One of the ways Jacob moved on was in the setting up of a pillar – a memorial – to remind him of what happened. You could set up a “memorial stone” as well, by commenting in your journal or placing a sticky note in your Bible. It could be a kind of tombstone for your old way of living.

God wants to bring you from glory to glory but you’ll have to leave your old self behind. Change is really the only constant in life. Either you’re going through it right now or you will in the near future.

Make the choice now to rely on God’s grace in times of change. Be willing and ready to accept His leading, whatever form it may take. Only then will change do its work and make you a better, stronger person.

Question: What are the changes God is leading you through right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Encouragement, Faith, Prayer, Worship

 

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Is Your Tongue Your Problem?

DogI’ve been talking about Abraham’s example to us in receiving God’s blessing and provision.  In my last post I said that we needed to speak what we believe from our heart.  This is important because it’s usually our speaking that gets us in the most trouble.

Listen to the exchange that took place as Abraham was taking Isaac up the mountain.  All Abraham knew at this point was that God was asking him to offer Isaac up as a sacrifice.

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  And the two of them went on together.
Genesis 22:7-8

I can only imagine how much pain this question caused Abraham.  I believe that there was a long pause while Abraham thought about how he could answer the boy.  It amazes me how simply the answer was formed.

In spite of his confusion, and without anger or bitterness toward God, he spoke the truth in faith and love.  This is a lesson we need to take to heart.

So many times we speak without thinking.  We especially run into trouble when we talk from the hurt and anguish we’re experiencing.  We say many things that we wish we could take back.

That’s why one of the secrets to positioning ourselves to receive God’s blessing is to watch what we say when we’re hurting.  James understood this truth.

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body.  It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:5-6

James is looking at this from a negative perspective.  Controlled by the spirit, the tongue can set your life on course for God’s blessing.  Controlling the tongue is one of the hardest things we’re called to do, yet it’s one of the most important.  What we say can set the emotional foundation for our eventual success or failure.

How we speak, especially in times of confusion and pain, will have a lasting effect on both us and those around us.  Is what you’re saying building up or tearing down God’s work?

We must choose to keep a watch over our tongues.  If needed, we can go to the Lord in repentance for things that may have been said in hurt or anger.  We can ask for His strength to take control of this unruly member of our body.

If we will spend time in the Lord’s presence and meditate upon His Word, then there will be a greater chance that truth and love will come out during stressful times.

Question: When have your words either helped or hurt the situation you were in?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision

 

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