April 10

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 (NIV) 10Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

All these actions are trying to find out the things of the spiritual world without going through God. The demonic realm loves to take the place of God. They are real and they are cunning. They will sometimes tell the truth, but for the purpose of deceiving you in the end. The goal is to tell you what you want to hear to lead you down a road of destruction. The ruinous path of evil is well documented.

The people of God were to have nothing to do with these ways. Most religions of that ancient time have died out, but these demonic counterfeits continue just as they did millennia ago. They can still be found in almost every city of the world. Avoid them like the plague. Pray them out of your city. Warn your friends that dabble in them. The only source of truth about the spiritual realm that is healthy and whole is the Holy Spirit through God's word.

It is good to do an inventory and see that none of these things have invaded your home. Warn your children when they are mature enough to understand. As the world comes closer to the end of days, we will see these more blatantly expressed and will be ridiculed for speaking against them. It is not the person we condemn but the power that uses them and the deception that is spoken. Be sure and read tomorrow's devotion that follows up on this line of thought.

Pray: Lord, keep these influences from finding a foothold in my family and city.

April 10

Mark 1:35, 37-38 (NIV) 35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

37and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!" 38Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."

Shortly after Jesus moved His ministry from Nazareth to Capernaum, He became swamped with requests for healing. The whole town waited outside the door of the home where He stayed (verse 33). To any rabbi of that day, this would have been the epitome of success. To connect with the masses in such a way as to have them begging for more would have been the pinnacle of achievement. Jesus' did not measure His success by man's standard. You can be sure He was kept up late with the demands the people placed upon Him for ministry, yet, early in the morning, before the dawn, He got up before anyone else to find time alone with His Father, to seek direction for the approaching day.

The disciples went searching for Him because everyone was clamoring for more. "Jesus! It's revival! Hurry back and capitalize on the situation. What are you doing out here all alone?" Jesus response must have dumbfounded them. "Time to move on boys. We have other cities that need to hear. I didn't come to be a star; I came to share the good news that kingdom of God is at hand."

I wonder how much man has interfered with the work of God by staying when it was time to go, by being enamored with success when God desired fruit that remains. If we really want to be a success in the eyes of the One that made us and called us, we need to take the time alone with Him to get our direction. Let us take our eyes off the things that man focuses on and focus on the Father's direction, His pleasure.

Consider: Fame is fickle. Fortune is fleeting, but pleasing the heart of God is fulfillment and joy that runs deeper than circumstance and time. Are you taking time to hear the Father's direction?