Standing with the Overcrowded and Overrated



Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 1-3, Luke 24:1-35

Today’s Reflection: 2 Kings 2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.

The affirmation of the brethren is no substitute for the anointing of The Lord! Here, as Elisha stands by the Jordan alongside one of God’s most anointed prophets of the hour, Elijah, fifty more sons of the prophets stand “afar off”. 

This begs the question: why weren’t they any closer? One could argue that the position Elisha found himself in…a front row seat, if you will…was only filled because of his appetite for the things of God. 

After all, Elijah on three separate occasions sought to depart from Elisha, but Elisha would not have any of that! He INSISTED that he remain right by the side of Elijah. And may I say, it paid off! Elisha knew that the benefits of being consecrated to the service of The Lord as a servant to His prophet Elijah would reap spiritual blessings much greater in comparison than anything he might have gained, had he led a typical, normal life with the click and the club. 

While the young preachers looked on from a distance and missed their opportunity for advancement in God’s Kingdom, Elisha separated himself if by chance he might receive the double portion upon Elijah’s departure, which he did!! 

Today, I wonder just how many pastors, preachers, missionaries, etc. are yet afar off from that place of appetite, hunger, and thirst for righteousness that it takes to receive the double portion anointing for maximum impact in ministry. 

As I look in the mirror, I must ask this question of myself. Am I close enough? Or has my apathy created a cold distance between me and my fullest potential in God’s Kingdom? Oh, may it not be so! May God draw me…rather, may God draw ALL of us close to His side where we might receive the power needed to impact this world with the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ!

If Elisha could receive such power from the imperfect prophet Elijah’s mantle, how much more could we receive power from the perfect prophet Jesus Christ through His Spirit? But, have we taken every opportunity that presents itself to depart from Him? Or, like Elisha with Elijah, have we refused to depart from Christ, though He test our appetites with trials of faith? 

Will we quickly excuse our lack of power with the affiliations and affirmations of the other 49 prophets standing afar off, or will we separate ourselves from the over-crowded room of powerless preachers that we might find real power with God? 

Do we seek a crowd’s consensus, or do we seek Christ’s consolations? Oh that God would raise up a crowd of Elisha’s hungry for His power at any expense!


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Lying Preachers leave Empty Souls...



Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 21-22, Luke 23:26-56

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 22:7 And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?

Out of 400 prophets, Jehoshaphat couldn’t even find one to shoot it to him straight. We see here a 400 to 1 ratio. 400 prophets prophesying lies, and then there’s Micaiah. Now Micaiah is the hated one. Why do you think he wasn’t hanging with the rest of the prophets? The truth was, Micaiah had already prophesied truths to the King that he didn’t want to hear, so needless to say, they didn’t keep him around the throne for a daily devotional!! 

However, not being satisfied with the 400 prophets’ advice, they sent for Micaiah. This proves a mighty point; when you KNOW you are being fed a pack of lies, regardless of how sweet they sound to your ears, and regardless of how many people are echoing them to you, they will never satisfy your soul. Lies always leave you empty on the inside searching for more. 

So, there comes a day when truth must be called upon and weighed once again. This was that day for Jehoshaphat and King Ahab. Having heard nothing to satisfy their hungry souls from the lips of 400 lying prophets, they called on the only one they knew would tell them the truth, regardless of the consequences. 

And, at first, even Michaiah came in prophesying under the influence of a lying spirit, just like the rest of them, but the king wouldn’t have any of it. What was so interesting to me was that out of 401 prophets, only one discerned what was actually going on. Only one had the inside scoop; that a lying spirit was commissioned by The Lord to convince the king through all the prophets to go into battle so that he could be slain. 

It was all a divine plot to fulfill an earlier prophecy spoken by the prophet Elijah. So, since the king pressed Michaiah for the TRUTH, Michaiah “spilled the beans” so to speak, but only because The Lord granted him permission. Michaiah truly was a man who sought only to speak that which The Lord allowed him to speak. 

Now, this brings us to our application today; let us endeavor to speak NOT what everyone else is speaking, but ONLY what The Lord is speaking. Furthermore, if there were a King Ahab today, searching for TRUTH, would there be even ONE that he could call on for a straight up answer? Or, would he find amongst all the preachers of the land, only those who would speak blessings and prophesy success over him? 

Where are the prophets…the men of God…that will stand up and declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even if it isolates him, gets him cast out of society, out of the preacher’s fellowship, and into prison?


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The Earmarks of a Prophet...




Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 19-20, Luke 23:1-25

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 20:41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.

While false prophets must disguise themselves to try to convince others they are the real deal, true prophets must disguise themselves to try to convince others they are not! In other words, a true man of God needs no props to convince others of his calling. The authentic is readily and undeniably recognizable! 
As soon as this prophet removed his disguise (please read the passage for the backdrop), it was only then that the king of Israel knew that he was a prophet. 

I then notice three things that gave him away. I wish to call these “The Earmarks of a Prophet!” First, and most obvious, was his countenance. There was just something about his face that gave him away. Perhaps it was the glow on his face that is so prevalent on God’s true servants (anyone who sees this knows what I’m talking about), or perhaps it was the glimmer in his eye. 

We can only speculate what specifically about this young man’s face caused the king to recognize him as a prophet, but regardless of what it was, his countenance revealed it to him. King David, God’s anointed King, even said of The Lord in Psalm 42:11, “…for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” There is just something about the countenance of God’s anointed ones that is different than any other. 

But not only did his countenance reveal his identity as a prophet, but also his cargo! And I don’t mean what he was carrying in his hands, but what he was carrying in his mouth. This man had a word straight from God to carry to the king, and it was undoubtedly a word from God, without any question whatsoever. True prophets speak only what thus saith The Lord. This is one of their primary earmarks. 

In fact, in the Old Testament, they were taught that if a prophet speaks a word that does not come to pass, to mark that prophet as a false prophet. Simple enough, right? God’s Word is ALWAYS truth. PERIOD. And a true man of God will seek to speak only a true word from God! 

And lastly, the third earmark of a prophet is his character. This man, as did all the prophets, spoke directly to power, not fearing men and what they might do to him for speaking raw, uncut, and in many cases, condemning truth. He had the character required to put himself on the line for the sole objective of delivering God’s message to its intended recipient. And so is the case today; a true prophet or man of God can be authentically identified by his countenance, cargo, and character.


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Don't blame the preacher!!



Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 16-18, Luke 22:47-71

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?

Don’t blame the preacher! After all, it was King Ahab himself that took Jezebel (a God-hater and later a true Prophet-slayer) to be his wife, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him, as if it was a light thing (see 1 Kings 16:31). The TRUTH was, that it was the sins if Ahab himself that troubled Israel. 

Had he not done so wickedly in the sight of The Lord, this famine would not have come on the land to start with. But alas, Ahab did what lying politicians do best; he placed the blame on someone else. However, regardless of how King Ahab felt about the Prophet Elijah, only Elijah had the power with God that was needed in order to open up the windows of Heaven to release rain and to end this long famine. 

So, this begs the question; why is King Ahab riding Elijah’s case, when Elijah alone has the power to end the famine? It looks to me like we have a conflict of interest here. It appears as if Ahab wants the best of both worlds, so to speak. He wants it to rain blessings upon the earth, while he continues to serve his false gods. But, it just don’t work that way with God! 

Oh the folly of such a mindset, and yet we find it even so amongst all of society even today. Many a people have rejected the preaching of God’s Word as well as the preacher who delivered God’s word, because they were troubled by the message. Kind of like the rich young ruler, to whom Christ commanded to sell all he had, and to give to the poor, who then walked away in sorrow, because that wasn’t what he wanted Christ to tell him. 

He was troubled, because he was in trouble with God, and he didn’t like the only solution that could fix it, which was repentance. So it is today. Many today are troubled by true Bible preaching, because it reveals to them how much trouble they are in with God because of their sins, but yet they are unwilling to do the ONE thing required to make things right with God; repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. 

Oh how it pains the fighting sinner to let go of his sin, but let me warn you dear reader, oh how it pains the fighting sinner even more to hold on to his sin. For one day, we shall all reap what we sow, and the scriptures teach us in Galatians 6:8a, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;” In other words, if you choose to live in your sin, you are also choosing the fatal consequences of dying in your sin, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Not the preacher, not the church, and not even the hypocrite. Your only solution is to turn to Christ in repentance of sin!


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When you're going to need more than natural vision...



Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22:31-46

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 14:4b-5 …But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.

We see here a prophet (aka a man of God) by the name of Ahijah, for whom The Lord became his sight. You see, in his old age, he had lost his ability to see, and here comes a woman to deceive him by taking advantage of his physical weakness. However, when you serve The Lord, no amount of physical weakness will stop His plans for your life! 

As a matter of fact, Ahijah could not have seen more clearly had he actually had 20/20 vision. This was a time when naturally perfect vision would have been of no assistance anyway, for even if he had been able to identify her with his natural vision, there would have been no way to discern her motives for having come to visit him. 

Only The Lord knows both the thoughts and intentions of the heart. That is why we must always pray that The Lord will be our eyes and ears. May God keep us from snares crafted by the deception of the enemy. 

As for the wife of Jeroboam, her assignment was simple enough. I do not believe that she even meant any real harm, for she was sent to ask what would happen to the child that was sick. So, in all honesty, I do not see this particular situation as a plot set out against the man of God, but rather an attempt to conceal identity for reasons not mentioned within our reading today. 

Nonetheless, when God speaks to a situation, His Word sheds light not only on the parts that you want light shed on, but His light lights up the whole room, exposing all elements involved in the thing which light needs to be shed upon. That’s why God’s council is so revealing, and why so few seek it today. However, seek it we must! 

And, if you are a pastor, teacher, or layman in the Kingdom that gets discouraged because the Biblical council you give is more often dodged or ignored than heeded and obeyed, do not let that discourage you. Keep speaking forth the truths that God speaks to you into those situations, because pure light will always do some uncomfortable exposure for the recipient. That’s God’s business. 

Our business is to share the light, and to live by it and in it. When we do, God will give us insight that no physical limitations or plots of men can hide or keep from us. And if God either sends you to a man or sends a man to you with a word from God, take heed! Read now 1 John 1:7 for further insight!


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When "the old man of God" is DEAD WRONG!!!



Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 12-13, Luke 22:1-30

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 12:8 And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.

Let us now consider the aftermath of listening to the wrong voice. Here, a younger prophet had went into town to deliver a Word from God, with specific instructions NOT to eat or drink with anyone, but to just leave town altogether after the message was delivered. 

Having done so and having already turned down one invitation to stay and eat, this young prophet was well on his way to complete obedience, that is, until another older prophet lied to him. You heard that right! An older, more seasoned, and supposedly trusted man of God lied to this young prophet and told him that an angel of the Lord had spoken to him to offer this young man some food and drink. 

So, the young man put his trust in the old man of God, but as we see in our text, to his own demise. That’s right; the carcass that was “cast in the way” in our selected verse is the very dead body of that young prophet, all because he took the word of an older man of God OVER the voice of God. And the moral of this story is, if you get a word straight from God, any deviation or course alteration also better come straight from God! 

Sometimes we put too much trust in aged men, when we should be putting our trust in the Rock of Ages. In fact, I grew up around a lot of “old men of God” who I love and respect to this day. I was also taught that “you better listen to the old man of God”, but I was never taught the counter-balance to that truth, namely, that sometimes even the old man of God can be wrong! 

Indeed the aged and seasoned men of God have much to offer us in terms of wisdom, insight, experience, and counsel, but at the end of the day, we will still be held accountable for how that council measures up to GOD’S Word, and which one we took heed to. 

Listen dear preacher, just because an older man of God may have “rank” or whatever you want to call it, does not make him bullet proof, nor does it make him perfect and incapable of giving unwise counsel. The truth is, we can all get it wrong at times, no matter how old or experienced or educated we may become. 

In fact, it would do all of us preachers some good to keep in practice the words “I could be wrong!” whenever we’re giving advice, especially when two seemingly innocent paths can be taken. This man was judged by God and killed by a lion, all because he did not trust God’s word over man’s word. So, when the old preacher’s advice is wrong, the consequences can be deadly, so be careful!


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Learn to pray for the proportionate equivalent of the blessings of King Solomon.



Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 10-11, Luke 21:20-38

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 10:5b …there was no more spirit in her.

The Queen of Sheba was so awe-inspired by all that she had both seen and heard of Solomon’s wisdom and works, that she had “no more spirit in her”. The Hebrew word here for spirit is breath. I suppose another way to put it is, it all just took her breath away! You might also say that she was left speechless! 


Regardless of how you may say it, I think you get the point. What God had blessed Solomon with was absolutely breath-taking. By the descriptions of these few chapters in 1 Kings we learn that King Solomon was wealthy beyond measure. And to think that these blessings came, in part because of his father, David, and in part because of his request to The Lord for wisdom, when he could have asked for anything he wanted. 

I believe that God wanted to simply show us just how much goodness He is able and willing to pour on us when we set our hearts on him. He also wants us to see how much our children will reap from the harvest that we plow, plant, and water. 

I’m certainly not telling you that “God will make you a rich billionaire beyond compare!” I’m also not going to tell you that He won’t. What I will say, is that God blesses those who honor Him and seek His Kingdom agenda FIRST. This “blessing” from The Lord will vary from Kingdom son to Kingdom son, but the point is, you’ll have what you need when you need it while serving THE KING! 

Many will look at what all King Solomon had, and they will look at what the Queen of Sheba said about the half having not been told, and they will liken it unto Heaven. And though that might be an appropriate application, or at least a parallel (though weak in comparison to Heaven) in terms of splendor, I believe that it is more of a type of the favor of God that is available to all who become people after His very own heart. 

Solomon was a King, so he needed power, a throne, wealth, etc. with which to run the Kingdom. You might not be an earthly king needing that kind of wealth or influence, but you will need your own resources to strengthen your impact in your own realm of influence, where ever that may be. 

Having said that, why wouldn’t you ask for the favor of Solomon upon your life and ministry as you seek God’s righteousness and His Kingdom FIRST in your life? I’m not telling you to ask for HIS wealth or HIS wisdom…I’m telling you to pray for the proportionate equivalent to match YOUR specific needs as you serve Christ with all of your heart.  God never rebukes (but rather instructs) His children for coming to him for either wisdom or provisions. You have not because you ask not, so ASK AWAY!

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Learn why God's "shall be" is still good enough!




Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 8-9, Luke 21:1-19

Today’s Reflection: 1 Kings 8:26 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou speakest unto thy servant David my father.

God spoke some promises to David His servant that King Solomon, David’s son, is seeing come to pass before his very eyes. At this point, Solomon has already praised The Lord for fulfilling the promise that He would raise Solomon himself up for the purpose of building a temple unto The Lord. In fact, Solomon had just completed this assignment prior to the prayer we are now observing and writing about. 

But the promise goes much further than that. Ultimately, there is a promise that David’s seed will rule and reign on his throne forever. So, King Solomon is asking God to “verify” (that is, build up or support, foster, render firm or faithful, cause to be permanent, etc.) His word concerning the longevity of the lineage of King David’s heirs to the throne. 

The promise he’s asking God to verify goes like this; “There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.” The only question then, after careful observation, is this; WHEN can we expect this prophecy to begin? 

King Solomon is praying for it to start “now”, is he not? Just look back at your verse. See how it starts? “And now, O God…” However, having the advantage of thousands of years of history behind us since this prayer was uttered by King Solomon, we NOW know that things did not happen as quickly as he had prayed. 

Looking at the nation of Israel, they have been scattered throughout the world since then, and not until recent history have they even united back together, recognized as a nation again. So we know that the permanence of this promise has not yet begun. That’s why the promise uses the future tense word “shall”. And one of these days, King Jesus (right out of the lineage of David) is going to set up permanent rule and reign on Earth in the city of Jerusalem, on the throne of David, from which He will rule the world. Until then, we still find ourselves praying for “shall be” promises to come to pass “now”. 

And this is where I want to draw application. Regardless of whether or not things happen according to OUR preferred timing, does not make God’s promises null or void. With God, if it still is a SHALL BE, then it still SHALL BE! Did you get that? Do not allow the devil to cause you to think that God missed His opportunity to make good on His promise. When you start thinking that the timing is too wrong to work, remember Lazarus!


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