May 18

1 Samuel 16:23 (NIV) 23Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

The Spirit of God departed from Saul and an evil spirit was sent by God to trouble him. Evil spirits are always waiting to trouble us, but they need permission to attack those who belong to God. A spirit was given permission to oppress Saul. It would put him in a foul mood. Saul invited this spirit through his disobedience and pride. Nevertheless, he did not like the affect the spirit had upon him. Someone in his court suggested that music would cause the spirit to leave him. David was called in to play the harp. The man who has been anointed the next king was called to help Saul deal with the consequences of his choices.

It worked. Music seemed to bring the king relief. It works for us too. You'll find that when you are in a foul mood, if you will listen to praise music, you will be uplifted, and your mind will pull out of the rut it seems to be stuck in. If, by faith, you can sing, you'll feel much better. I have even made up songs to deal with certain attacks of the enemy. God allows this to strengthen and test us or wake us up to our sin. In many cities, you can turn on Christian radio and get instant help through the songs of praise.

Why was David's music so effective? The Spirit of the LORD had come upon David in power. (1 Samuel 16:13) A worshipping saint causes the enemy to cringe and flee. There are many stories of the wonders that praise music has done in asylums. It is a powerful tool. Use it for the glory of God.

Consider: How can I have praise music readily available for times when I am struggling?

May 18

Luke 17:7-8, 10 (NIV) 7"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'?

10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"

The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus told them it wasn't how big your faith is, but that just having a little can do great things. He followed that with the supposition in our passage for today.

We are servants of the Most High God. We should be daily doing what He directs us to do. It may be providing for our family or serving on a mission field. Whatever we do, we do it to the best of our ability to glorify God. When our main service for the day is over, we do not turn around and ask God to serve us. We are the servants even if we are friends. He is God; we are creatures. He asks us to do another act of service and we joyfully submit. It is our pleasure to serve such a gracious and loving God.

In this service we can expect His assistance. He will not act against us when we are serving, but on our behalf. He will supply the tools and time and anything else necessary to carry out His request. That is faith. It is believing in our relationship and His ability. It is a lack of faith to plead for Him to serve us, as He will always care for His servants.

When a great thing comes to pass because we obeyed, we don't deserve any credit or commendation. We were just doing what we were instructed to do, and all the impossible things were done by our Master. Faith is just doing our duty. It is required of servants. Growing in faith is to grow in the realization of our relationship. If we know we are serving the Almighty, we know He will enable us to complete what He asks us to do. What a great honor to serve the Lord of all!

Consider: Is verse 10 your attitude in serving the Lord?