May 18

Habakkuk 1-3, Psalm 133

Now in its third year, The One Year Bible Challenge began January 2017. When the Holy Spirit began leading me into the various aspects of this ministry, one area that concerned me was the thought of writing a daily post. By nature as a physician, I have always been comfortable in the arena of science and math and much less so with writing. Social Media was foreign to me and I had never posted anything before. One fear that I had was that when I approached His Word, perhaps I wouldn't find anything to write about on a particular day. The problem with my thinking and with what I just stated was that there was too much "I" in my thinking. Whenever I approach the Word of God every day now it is with pen and paper and with fear and trembling. My prayer is that the Word would illuminate my eyes and heart and that God already knows even one person who might need to hear some specific thing. So often I used to approach the Word with an expectation of what I would write about. So often now, while reading I feel the Holy Spirit directing me in a completely different direction. My desire is to merely be a vessel which is empty and willing to be used by Him rather than a filled vessel expressing my thoughts.

The short book of Habakkuk is so real and personal. Notice the prophet's honesty in approaching God in Habakkuk 1:2,4, "O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save...Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds." How often do we question why God is allowing something to happen personally or nationally. We spend so much time trying to figure it out in our little brains rather than step back and realize that His ways are not our ways and beyond understanding (Isaiah 55:8-9). After posing a couple of questions before God we see the prophet do what we should all do in 2:1, "I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected." Notice he didn't wonder if God would respond, he waited and expected to hear from God. We don't know how much time transpired but we read in 2:2-3, "Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry." Sometimes God's answers are not what we were hoping or thinking they should be. We may be disappointed. But notice Habakkuk's response in 3:17-19, "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls-Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like a deer's feet, And He will make me walk on high hills...".

So as we approach God's Word daily, are we truly seeking His direction or do we seek to validate our will through His Word. That is one of the problems with only reading our favorite verses or books of the Bible, it should not be about what we think we need but what God knows we need. Amazing is the that if we approach Him in His Word and in prayer with expectation, He is always there. If we approach His Word lazily or simply put in our time then we get as little out of it as we expect to get from it. Please consider approaching His Word with fear and trembling and with pen and paper in hand and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you. There is a literal army of Christians available but are we willing to submit to His authority? Are we willing to receive His marching orders and direction for our lives on a daily basis? The Holy Spirit cannot fill those who are already filled with our own thoughts, beliefs and expectations. He uses empty vessels. If we truly want to see revival in our personal lives, in our nation, in our world we need to render ourselves available to be used according to His will, not ours.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster