July 2

2 Kings 3:15 (NIV)But now bring me a harpist." While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came upon Elisha

Elisha became the prophet in the place of Elijah. The king of Moab rebelled against Israel and refused to pay tribute, so the king of Israel, Joram, asked for assistance from the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom. They tried to make a sneak attack through the desert but ran out of water. Jehoshaphat suggested inquiring of a prophet of God, and Elisha was called.

Elisha told Joram he should inquire of the gods of his parents. Out of respect for the presence of the king of Judah, he did inquire of God. It is interesting to note how he went about hearing from God. It is a theme often repeated in the Old Testament. He asks for a harpist. Remember it was David's harp playing that set Saul free from the oppressing spirit that troubled him. David had assigned instrumentalists to play in the Temple. It seems that Elisha needed music to quiet his spirit that he might hear from God.

The gift of music is, indeed, a spiritual thing. It can draw us to God and still our spirits. We need to be cautious as to the type of music we listen to. When you need to hear the voice of the Spirit to direct you, you might consider listening to something that was written to the praise of God. He inhabits the praises of His people.

Music that was written to the praise of man or worldliness can have the opposite affect on us. It can stir our flesh in the direction of the suggestions in the lyrics. It seems that everywhere we go we are bombarded with "popular" music. Most of it promotes illicit relationships. Choose your music wisely and have a good collection of music that is written to the praise and glory of God.

Consider: When you are troubled, tune everything else out and praise the Lord in song. You will find the Lord brings the answers to the troubles that face you just as He did to Elisha.

July 2

John 15:9-11 (NIV) 9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

The Father loves the Son with a perfect love throughout eternity. That is the love that Jesus has for you! The Apostle Paul prayed that we might have the power to grasp how high and long and wide and deep that love is (Ephesians 3:18). How could He love us so? He sees what He is making us into. He sees the church complete as His bride. He sees you conformed into His image, so He perseveres in your transformation. What grace and love to patiently take such material as you and I and continue working with the hope of such a glorious end.

Do you want Him to continue working on you, staying in that perfect love? You must obey His commands, just as He obeyed His Father's commands and remained in His love. He summed them up by saying that you must love the Lord your God with your all and your neighbor as yourself. That is only possible when we remain in Jesus.

Lest you become discouraged with the impossibility of the task, He told us this so His joy would be in us. He didn't say, "So that you will be joyful". He spoke of giving us His very own joy. That is the joy that sees the end product. That is the joy that knows God is triumphant. It's the joy that sees by faith that all things are working together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Jesus added that our joy would be complete if we remain in His love. Topped off and to the rim!

Man seeks happiness in so many things other than His Creator. Happiness is fleeting. It is controlled by circumstances. Joy is a deep abiding reality that circumstances cannot touch. It comes from a secure relationship that is richer and more fulfilling than anything the world has to offer.

Meditation: Do you have His joy? Remain in His love.