June 30

1 Kings 22:30-31,34 (NIV) 30The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31Now the king of Aram had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel."

34But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded."

Good king Jehoshaphat must have been awfully naïve or under some kind of spell to want to help evil Ahab. The prophet of God warned them, and they still went into battle. Why in the world would good king Jehoshaphat wear royal robes and become a target while he let evil Ahab hide in regular soldier garb?

You can't out wit God. If God says something will happen, it will happen, try as you may to prevent it. In the book of Chronicles, we will see that Jehoshaphat repented over his error of uniting with Ahab.

The forces of Aram were ordered to attack the king. Jehoshaphat saw them coming for him and fled to safety. God allowed him to escape even though he was doing something wrong in the eyes of God. But Ahab has had his chances. It was God's time to finish his reign. After all he had seen and heard, he would not surrender himself to God. A stray arrow found its way between the plates of his armor, and he bled to death in his chariot. The chariot was washed out in Samaria, and the dogs lick up the blood, as was prophesied.

The odds are not what matters in the battle of life. God is on the throne of heaven. What matters is what you have done with His revelation of Himself to you. Has it humbled you and broken your proud spirit so that you are His, or are you stubbornly refusing to listen to Him? The outcome of these two men's lives was dramatically different. Both were involved in the same error, but their hearts were different and responded to God differently.

Consider: How are you responding to His instruction to you?

June 30

John 14:23,26-27 (NIV) 23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus promised that, if we loved Him and obeyed His teaching, the Father and He would come and make their home with us. The Holy Spirit will live in us. Here is a clear picture of the three in one God. Think about what it means for Him to be at home with us. If God sets up His home in you, it will certainly transform your outward life. If He is at home with you, your life will express the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and gentleness to others. Perhaps you've met someone, and you can tell Jesus is at home with him or her. It is God's desire to make His home with each of us, but there is a prerequisite, to love Him and obey His teaching.

A few verses later Jesus explained how that is possible. The Holy Spirit would be sent to teach and remind us of Jesus' words. That is His main role within us. He is teaching us the perspective of the Father, what to say, how to say it, and His own attitude toward the world around us. By reminding us of the words of Jesus, He is teaching us to distinguish light from dark and showing us how to respond.

The presence of the Holy Spirit is the Father and the Son at home in us. His presence is the peace of Christ. That peace transcends situations, because we know that the God who oversees all things is with us through it. The peace of the world is dependent on situations being calm. The peace of Jesus is only dependent on His presence. That is why He can again say, "Do not let your hearts be troubled", and adds, "do not be afraid." If the God of creation is at home in you, He will surely see you through to the glorious future He has planned for His own children.

Consider: Have you discovered His peace?