Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Preliminary Statement about Preparation

Scripture: Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Insights: Have you ever tried to change a person, whether that is their behavior or attitude?  In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for you?”  I know, because I have tried so often in my life to change those around me, it is not working for you.  Hudson Taylor, the father of modern missions, said, “It is possible to move men through God by prayer alone.”  What a powerful statement Taylor spoke.  This week we are going to be looking at the subject of preparation as a needed part to our character as we build this wall of faith.  Before we actually look at the verses from Nehemiah for this week we need to understand some truths about God’s sovereignty as it relates to changing people.  Notice the proverb in today’s verse.  The whole point of that particular proverb is to declare God is sovereign.  In other words, even a king over an empire is nothing but channels of water in the Lord’s hand.  He moves and directs such a monarch as He wishes and pleases to bring about His good will.  As you will recall from last Friday, Nehemiah’s prayer was for God to grant him favor before king Artaxerxes.  Remember that Artaxerxes was king over the Medes and the Persians.  There was an ancient saying in those days that went like this, “Don’t try to change it.  It’s like the law of the Medes and Persians.”  You may recall the story of Esther in which the king made a decree and later in the book he tells Esther that he can’t revoke what he had written.  The king in the book of Esther was Xerxes, also known as Ahasuerus.  He was a Medo-Persian king and he was bound by his very law he had written.  Well in the book of Nehemiah, we see another Medo-Persian king, and he is also a tuff nut to crack.  He can’t be changed by human methods of coercion, but by the method Hudson Taylor declared so boldly, even this king would be changed.  God as the sovereign over all His creation can move in the hearts of believers and non-believers to bring about His glory.  Beloved, we need to trust Him and intercede on behalf of those needing a heart change.

  1. Are you trying to change people yourself?
  2. Do you trust God as the Sovereign Lord over all creation?
Prayer: Lord, You are creator and sovereign over all.  Humble me to recognize my inability to change the heart of any person—that  wayward loved one, the grumpy coworker, the overbearing boss are beyond my capabilities to change.  So, Lord Jesus, I put them in Your hands and ask for You to draw on their hearts and bring about the change You desire in them.  May Your work in their lives bring You glory.  Amen.

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