Through biblical stories, personal reflections, and practical tips, "Water's Edge" challenges the reader to take a step into a God direction in order to live more authentically and maintain inner peace. In each day's reading you will discover meditations bathed in scripture that will help bring clarity to the difficult decisions you are faced with in everyday life.
Perfect for individual devotions or as a basis for prayer partners and group studies, "Water's Edge: A 31-Day Devotional" invites the reader to leave the mundane shores of complacency and soak in the promises of God. Each day's devotional ends with one of the following: a prayer, reflection, steps for change, or plan of action that you can apply to your circumstances. Take the plunge. Set aside time to reflect, recharge, and refresh. Step into the waters of possibilities. Wade out a little bit deeper into the sea of biblical promises and know that God is by your side every step of the way.
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A 31 Day Devotional Volume I
By Sandra L. Bailey, Sharon A. Maylor
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2016 Dr. Sandra L. Bailey and Sharon A. Maylor
All rights reserved.
Today's Reading 2 Kings 2: 1 - 15
Ask For A Hard Thing
"And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so." ~ 2 Kings 2:10
I find that it is much easier for me to ask God for small things and believe that He will grant it unto me. However, when it comes to major things I begin to waiver in my faith and doubts and fears arise. We are consistently reminded that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think by the power that worketh in us. At times I think we forget about the clause that says, "by the power that worketh in us", which makes me believe that we have a part to do with our blessings and deliverance.
This passage in 2 Kings 2 records the home going of one of the greatest men in the Word of God. Elijah was greatly used of the Lord in his generation, but his time on the earth came to an end. The day came when it was time to pass the baton to a new generation. Our text tells us about a young man named Elisha who was a man hungry for all God could give him. He wanted the Lord and His power in his life and he was willing to pay the price to get it. He wanted to take over where Elijah had left off and to be the next prophet to Israel. He was willing to ask for a hard thing regardless of the high price he had to pay.
Elisha asked to receive a double portion of Elijah's spirit. The request was to be recognized as Elijah's replacement. Of course, he had already been selected by God for that position – "And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room." 1 Kings 19:16. It was common in those days for the firstborn child to receive a double portion of their father's estate. This was mandated by the Law, Deuteronomy 21:17. (Note: He called Elijah "my father" in verse 12.) Elisha was asking for the right of the firstborn! He was asking that the same Spirit that had empowered the ministry of this great man of God be given to him as well. He was not Elijah's biological son, therefore he was definitely asking for a hard thing.
Elisha is told that he has asked a "hard thing". In other words, it was beyond the power of Elijah to grant such a request. Only God could raise up prophets and give positions of power and influence. On the surface, Elisha's request seems a little selfish! It seems as though he is asking for twice the power and twice the glory, etc. In truth, his request is most humble in nature. Elisha knows that Israel still needs a man of God to deliver the Word of God and do the work of God. He also knows that if he is to be that man, then he needs power that he did not now possess! He needs the power of God working in him and through him if he is to accomplish this ministry.
This man of God was not asking for power, wealth or position, he was asking to be controlled by the Spirit of God. He was asking for divine power to accomplish the will of God! This request was not about pride, it was about necessity. Opportunities did not shake his resolve. Every time they passed through a city he met opposition, Elijah even attempted to get Elisha to leave off from following him. This was not an effort on his part to hinder Elisha's progress; it was designed to test his resolve. Of course, each of the places mentioned held a special place in the heart of the Israelites and would have made a pleasant stopping place. These were opportunities for Elisha to stop and to settle down.
1. Gilgal - The place of beginnings - It was here that the Israelites first celebrated Passover in the Promised Land. The males born during the wilderness wanderings were circumcised and the covenant was renewed, Joshua 5
2. Bethel - The place of dreams - It was here that Jacob met God and dreamed of angels descending and ascending out of Heaven, Genesis 28
3. Jericho - The place of past victories - It was here that Israel had its first military victory in the Promised Land, Joshua 6. Jericho was also a border town and to pass beyond this location was to enter wild and new territory.
4. Jordan - The place of commitment - That River represented the boundary for the Promised Land. To cross Jordan meant to enter into death. It was a formidable barrier that few would ever want to cross.
We too find ourselves at these same places in our walk with the Lord. Far too many believers spend their entire Christian lives at Gilgal. They never grow and they never leave the place of beginnings. Some go as far as Bethel, they catch the vision of God's great work which must be done. They see the needs, they feel the tug, but they never get past the place of dreaming about what they might do. They never take the next step of making those dreams and visions realities. Still others hold onto their Jericho's by living in the victories of yesterday. They remember what happened back there, forgetting that the same God who blessed then is desiring to bless now. Then some come to Jordan, this is the barrier between the self-life and the Spirit-life. Few ever take that final step of faith and sell out to go with God all the way.
So, do you want the double portion in your life today? Do you want to be in a position where the God of Heaven is using you for His glory in this world? All that is required is a consistent walk with the Lord that follows Him in spite of everything! When you get to the place where all you want is God, you will find God is all you need. The God of Elijah is still in power, Hebrews 13:8 states, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." He is still moving in great ways to accomplish His will in the world. He still feeds His children, moves their mountains, answers by fire and works wonders the heart cannot fathom. He is still the same God He has always been, and He still has all power in heaven and in earth. The problem is not with God it is with us because we refuse to ask Him for a 'hard thing." God is still looking for people who will take up the mantle and believe Him for the impossible! Will you ask Him for a "hard thing" today?
1. What are you believing God for at this time in your life that you would consider a hard thing?
2. List some of the seemingly "hard things" that God has done for you?
3. Where are you in your journey to obtain your "hard thing" from the Lord - Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho or Jordan?
Today's Reading 1 Kings 17
A Man Like Us
"Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months." ~ James 5:17
Healer. Miracle Worker. Prophet. False Prophet Slayer. Wonder Worker. Rain Stopper. Rain Starter. Dead Raiser. Oil and Grain Multiplier. Prayer Warrior. Elijah was all these things and much more. What a man! Better yet, what a SUPERman! Positioned next to such a great man as Elijah, all of our godly endeavors seem so small. Yet for all of Elijah's great feats, James commendation of him was that Elijah was a man like us and he prayed earnestly. Outside of verses like James 5:17 it would be easy for us to distance ourselves from doing great things for God based on the constraints of our humanity. James gives us a three ingredient recipe for doing miracles and achieving great success in God. Let's examine them:
1) Elijah was a man – Elijah was flesh, blood, bones, nerve endings, hair, teeth, and nails just like you and I. He got hungry and then ate. He got thirsty and then drank. He got tired and then rested. Nothing about Elijah was SUPER human. He was constrained by the limitations of his flesh. Accept it! Embrace the fact that you are human, flesh and blood and you cannot do everything, be everything, win everything or succeed at everything. God uses us because we are flesh and blood. We are God's most blessed creation and He knows every hair on our head. He knows what makes us tick and what ticks us off. If God can use a man like Elijah, then He can use you too.
2) Elijah had passions – In other words Elijah had feelings like you and I. He was angered by the audacity of the prophets of Baal to challenge the Almighty God. He was passionate and moved Israel to action against the prophets of Baal. He became discouraged, distressed and some might even say depressed when Jezebel sought to take his life. He felt lonely, he cried, he rejoiced, he smiled and sometimes he probably even day-dreamed. There were times when Elijah's meat was sorrow and his drink was tears; yet in spite of his range of emotions, God used the man to accomplish His will. God knows we get angry, sad, depressed, joyful, lonely and a range of other passions. However, He also knows how to navigate the minefield of our sometimes emotional and passionate heart in order to harness the essence of our passion for His will.
3) Elijah prayed – There was presence in Elijah's humanity, purpose in his passions and power in his prayers. Elijah prayed and fire came from heaven. He prayed and rain ceased and he prayed again and rain fell. Elijah prayed and a lad came back to life. His SUPER human powers was wrapped in his ability to touch the Almighty God with his prayers.
Prayer made the man Elijah powerful.
Prayer took Elijah's passions and gave it purpose.
Prayer allowed God to work through him.
James 5:17 is both a consolation and confirmation. It consoles us because it reminds us that men and women like Elijah, David, Ruth, Deborah and others were flesh and blood just like we are today. They encountered the vicissitudes of life, trials and triumphs, victory and loss, life and death, failure and success, yet through it all they never lost their faith in God. And it confirms that God can use us when we feel on top of the world and He can use us when we are at our lowest point. At his height Samson slew a thousand Philistines with a donkey's jawbone and at his lowest point he became a blind slave because of his disobedience. Yet when he prayed and asked God for forgiveness the Bible says that he slew more in his death than he did in his life - Judges 16:30. The power to do great things lie not in our humanity, neither does it rests upon the intensity of our passions. Our power dwells in our pursuit of God to use all of what makes us unique to carry out His divine will. Elijah was a man like us, with passions like us and he prayed and God delivered.
Let Us Pray
Dear Father, Help me to live in Your presence and to always be aware that without You I am nothing. Help me to acknowledge my humanity, my shortcomings and my failures, not as a cause for stagnations, but as a point for surrender to Your will. Help me to let go of those things, that thing, which separates me from You and keeps me living below my full potential. Father help me to remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and because You live in me I can do great things. Like Elijah, I am flesh and blood subjected to ups and downs in life, yet You were able to use him to do miracles. Make me a vessel that You can use. Help me to decrease, so that You can increase in my life and use me for Your purpose in Jesus name. ~ Amen.CHAPTER 3
Today's Reading St. Luke 9:1-6
A Call To Purpose
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8-11
Every living, breathing person has a divine purpose for their existence. Jeremiah 1:5 states, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee ..." and Jeremiah 29:11 states, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end." God has an expected purpose for all of our lives. There is no worthless human being and there is no useless life. From the first man Adam to the baby that is taking their first breath as you read this devotion, each of us has an assignment that requires us to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue, and have dominion while we walk this earth - Genesis 1:28. While Adam was given his assignment pertaining to the fish in the sea, the fowl of the air and every living thing that moved, our purpose entails us to be a witness, preaching repentance and remission of sins and to bring forth fruit that will remain - Luke 24:47, John 15:16.
As believers our chief purpose is to be fishers of men; therefore everything that God allows us to achieve, attain and experience in life is to enable us to fulfill this call. The call to purpose is one we all must respond to. We can respond with excuses of our inadequacies i.e. "I'm too shy," "I stutter," "I'm afraid," or we can respond with "Use me Lord." God uses seemingly ordinary men and women and empowers them through the power of the Holy Spirit to achieve His extraordinary will. The Holy Spirit can make the coward courageous, the fearful brave, the weak strong, the timid bold and the barren fruitful. It is in our positive response to the call that the Spirit of God can mold and shape us while moving us into the direction for which He needs us to be to fulfill His purpose.
During the time from our "Yes Lord" to the actualization of the purpose, we sometimes lose sight of what it is that God wants us to fulfill. It is during the waiting, molding, shaping and maturing process of the call that the enemy employs his tactics of discouragement, derailment and distraction to throw us off course. Allow me to offer you three tools to help you when you answer the call:
Do not despise the WAIT – The wait is a necessary component of our purpose. David responded to the call when Samuel anointed him to be king, yet he had to wait many years before he would sit on the throne. Joseph had a dream of his brothers bowing down to him, but he had to go from orphan to slave to prisoner before he could become a prime minister and person of influence. Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive power from on high. It is during the wait when nothing seems to be happening that we are susceptible to abandoning our call to purpose. However it is during the wait that God prepares us for our purpose, hides us from premature elevation and undue attention and then equips us with the skills, tools and spiritual maturity that we need to fulfill our purpose.
Worship Unceasingly – Worship refines and defines us. True worship lowers our façade and brings us in line with who it is God wants us to be. Remember the Woman of Samaria? She could not fulfill her purpose of announcing to Samaria that the Christ had come, until she began to worship. In the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost we find them waiting and worshipping in prayer and supplication. It was while they were worshipping and on one accord, a sound came from heaven, the wind filled the house, cloven tongues of fire sat on them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. St. John 9:31 " ... but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will him He heareth."
Excerpted from Water's Edge by Sandra L. Bailey, Sharon A. Maylor. Copyright © 2016 Dr. Sandra L. Bailey and Sharon A. Maylor. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
ContentsSandra's Acknowledgments, vii,
Sharon's Acknowledgments, ix,
Our Acknowledgments, xiii,
Day 1 - Ask For A Hard Thing, 1,
Day 2 - A Man Like Us, 6,
Day 3 - A Call To Purpose, 9,
Day 4 - I Need More, 13,
Day 5 - Get Up!, 17,
Day 6 - Shift Focus, 21,
Day 7 - Stir Up The Gift, 25,
Day 8 - How To Recover The Cutting Edge, 29,
Day 9 - Removing The Clay Out Of The Way, 34,
Day 10 - I Am Thinking Murder, 38,
Day 11 - A Call To Joy, 41,
Day 12 - Thank God Anyhow, 45,
Day 13 - Something To Be Proud Of, 49,
Day 14 - The Amazing Race, 53,
Day 15 - Inspired By Everyday Life, 57,
Day 16 - Grace – No Wonder It's Called Amazing, 62,
Day 17 - Forgive Even While It Hurts, 66,
Day 18 - Brothers Reconciled, 70,
Day 19 - Look For It, 73,
Day 20 - Shut Up!, 78,
Day 21 - Trust In God, 82,
Day 22 - Crumbs Please, 86,
Day 23 - Fish, Seasoning and Manna, 90,
Day 24 - In His Hands, 94,
Day 25 - Learning To Lean, 98,
Day 26 - It Is Ordered, 102,
Day 27 - Daisy Petal Worship, 105,
Day 28 - Window Watcher – Part I, 109,
Day 29 - Window Watcher – Part II, 113,
Day 30 - Mercy Drops, 118,
Day 31 - Rock Solid Faith, 122,
About the Authors, 127,