A Prayer for My Daughter as She Heads to College

August 15, 2014 at 10:23 am | Posted in Personal Testimony, Prayer | 2 Comments

This is a prayer for my daughter Amber as she will be moving to college in just a few days.  It is inspired by Psalm 144:1-2, 12 and Psalm 118:28-30

Dear Lord,

I bless you for you are my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.  To whatever you call me, for that you will prepare me, and you will carry me through it.

So I pray for my daughter Amber, as she heads off to college that you would be her Rock; that she would find her strength, not in family or friends who are no longer near, but in you alone.  Prepare her hands for the war to which you’ve called her, her fingers for the battle.  Be her steadfast love and fortress; her stronghold and deliverer; her shield where she can find refuge.  If school work seems overwhelming, be her refuge; if homesickness tries to depress her, display your steadfast love; if the enemy tries to attack, be her fortress; if a different climate seems stifling, refresh her soul; if she feels weak, be her stronghold.  As she faces a new level of music, a band far better than any she’s been in, may her fingers be ready to play and her heart in tune with you, the source of all music.

May she be like a corner pillar cut for the palace.  As a corner pillar, give her incredible inward strength to face anything that comes her way; allow her to be a stronghold for other freshman girls; for others in the band; for those on her dorm wing; for any others who may be struggling.  As a pillar cut for the palace, may she show incredible beauty.  May those who see her, see your beauty in her; may she be a winsome person that draws others to you; may she demonstrate your beauty in purity and integrity; may she be like Jesus in all she is and does.

Lord you are the one who lights our darkness.  For Amber, light her lamp, be a light in her darkness.  When the darkness of being away from all that is familiar tries to overwhelm her, be her light; may your word be the lamp to her feet and the light for her path.  By you, she can run against a troop; by you she can scale any wall.  Whatever challenges come her way, she can handle them in you, for she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her.

Your way is perfect; your word proves true; you are a shield for all who take refuge in you.

Amen

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Micaiah Revisited

August 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was privileged to spend two days last week at the 6:4 Fellowship National Conference here in the Denver area.  It was a blessing.  The 6:4 Fellowship is a group of pastors committed to something I can strongly support, the priorities of Acts 6:4, prayer and the ministry of the word.  One of the plenary speakers was Mike Romberger, Senior Pastor of Mission Hills Church.  His talk was “Mr 401,” a reference to Micaiah, a prophet called by kings Ahab and Jehoshaphat to speak after 400 false prophets had given the same report.  Pastor Mike encouraged us pastors, like Micaiah, willingly to face opposition and speak the truth, willingly to be a minority voice, and willingly to stick to God’s script.  It was a great message.  It reminded me of a post I made, over six years ago now, called “Micaiah and Today’s False Prophets.”  For a while it stood as the most popular post I’d written, but in recent years has been mostly lost.  Pastor Mike’s reminder made me think this was a good time to repost that article:

Those who are false prophets will say whatever is to their advantage, regardless of the truth, and they disguise their rhetoric in the words of people who believe the truth.  This is illustrated in the story of Micaiah, who prophesied against King Ahab.  His story is in 1 Kings 22 (and also 2 Chronicles 18 — I read the First Kings account this morning).  King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah joined forces to fight against the king of Aram.  At King Jehoshaphat’s request for a prophet, Ahab consulted his false prophets – about 400 of them – who all gave the same report, “Go to war, for the Lord will give victory.” (v6) Jehoshaphat was not persuaded, asking, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” (v7)

The upper and lower case letters are critical to a correct understanding of this story. When the prophets spoke of “the Lord” (with lower case letters), they were using a generic term that could refer to any authority, false god or idol.  But when Jehoshaphat spoke of “the LORD” (upper case letters in most modern English translations), he was specifying what God he wanted to hear from; he wanted a word from Yahweh, the God who created the universe. In other words, he was saying “these guys are false prophets, and I want to hear from a true prophet of God.”

At this point two things happened.  First, Ahab sent for a prophet of the LORD named Micaiah, of whom Ahab was not fond, for Micaiah never said what Ahab wanted to hear.  And second, while they were waiting for him to arrive, the false prophets changed their tune.  They had been prophesying “the words of the Lord,” but after Jehoshaphat’s inquiry, they started saying, “This is what the LORD says.” (vv 11-12)  The only thing they kept consistent was the promise of victory.

Just like Ahab’s prophets said what Ahab wanted to hear and changed the wording so Jehoshaphat would also be pleased, so today’s false teachers promise what their audience wants to hear, using the words popular with Bible believers.  Unfortunately, again just like Ahab’s prophets, they change the meaning of those words to fit their agenda.

Be cautious!  Some of today’s popular teachers use good words but change their meaning.  They say what people want to hear.  They don’t talk about sin, which is so prominent in the Bible and without which there can be no good news.  Instead, they teach prosperity according to the world’s standards – exactly what most people like to hear.  Paul warned us that people would “gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”  Let’s be like Jehoshaphat, listening to the truth, even when a part of that truth is not what our human ears are fond of hearing.  Then we can hear and experience the real good news!  The real good news is not news of temporal prosperity; it’s news of eternal prosperity.

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