Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 3, 2015
Elijah said, “As the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, I will surely present myself to Ahab today.” So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 1 Kings 18:15-16
In my work with Ministry Ventures we are learning to set clear and attainable deadlines to drive decision making. Deadlines provide a sense of urgency and accountability internally for our team and externally for the ministry leaders we serve. For example, an opportunity to receive a scholarship may only be valid for 30 days and limited to the first ten organizations who sign up for our online certification. Deadlines are our friends. I am much more focused when I have a writing or project deadline. Prayerfully set deadlines drive me to make better decisions for God.
Elijah, the prophet of God, felt compelled to call out the false prophets of his day. So, he asked his friend Obadiah to set up a meeting with king Ahab, the authority over the prophets of Baal. The king charged Elijah with being a troublemaker, which he denied. The prophet then accused the king of deserting Yahweh. He challenged Ahab to use his influence to immediately convene the pagan leaders. The king brought together 850 false prophets and Elijah brought with him the one true living God Almighty. A prayerful deadline unleashed the dramatic power of God’s glory.
“Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God” (1Kings 18:37-39).
Procrastination could delay a blessing the Lord Jesus has for your life. Low priority tasks may be more fun and easier, but high priority tasks bring the best long term fulfillment. School work can be tedious and onerous, but deadlines along the way enhance your education. Incremental understanding is much better than last minute mental memorization with little comprehension. If you put off today what you can do tomorrow, you may miss a God opportunity. Be faithful with a small unpleasant task today and trust the Lord with a larger pleasant possibility tomorrow.
Furthermore, see deadlines as the Spirit’s way to show you the best direction. What would you do differently if you only had one year left to live? Take those ideas that come to mind and prioritize them around helpful deadlines. Short deadlines can keep tasks simple, while long deadlines may bring too much complexity. Focus on one problem at a time and do not be overwhelmed by a dozen things at once. Also, be flexible when a faith opportunity arises. Deadlines drive decisions, but be willing to adjust based on the Spirit’s leading. Be decisive, act and trust God.
“He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God” (Joshua 4:24).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the focus to set prayerful deadlines so I am a better steward.
Related Readings: 2 Kings 5:15; Psalm 67:2; Isaiah 37:20; Matthew 26:18; 2 Timothy 4:6
Post/Tweet this today: Be faithful with a small unpleasant task today and trust the Lord with a larger pleasant possibility tomorrow. #deadlines #wisdomhunters
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