Today God Is First: Walking in the Anointing

Today’s Prayer,
Oh God, most gracious heavenly Father, that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain (to You, my loved ones, my church family, to those who stand in need of your love, mercy, and salvation–or to myself). May You be glorified, Oh lovely and loving One. Thank You in Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Anointing
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1

by Os Hillman
07-10-2014

“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power….” 1 Samuel 16:13

Has the Spirit of the Lord rested on your life? Can you cite the time when God’s Spirit began demonstrating His power through you?

David knew the day the Spirit of the Lord began a special work in him. That Spirit was different from most leaders. Instead of seeking power and control, he led in response to a need. Instead of being a perfect person, he learned from mistakes and acknowledged them among those he led. Instead of placing confidence in his own abilities, he sought wisdom from the only real Commander in charge. David never lost a battle through his many years of leading Israel. He failed God by sinning with Bathsheba and by numbering the troops, but he learned from those failures, and he had to pay a price for them. However, God’s Spirit never left David. He never left because of David’s willingness to keep a soft heart toward God, even when he failed.

God wants to do the same in you and me, but He will not allow that Spirit to rest on us if we seek to control outcomes and manipulate out of our need for power. Servant leaders know that they are only a tool in the Master’s hand. They do not value themselves more than they ought. David’s heart was fully the Lord’s. Is your heart fully the Lord’s to do with what He wills?

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Today God Is First: Play to your Strength

Today’s Prayer,
Dear God, Today I’m thinking about how people try so hard to be independent. We want to be individuals, to “do it myself.” It starts when we are children. Then again, we are still children in your eyes, no matter what our age. I realize that people really do need each other. We need to support one another emotionally and spiritually…and sometimes physically. We need accountability, and a true friend or loving family member so often provides that. Help me to be willing to help and to be helped. May I be a loving member of the family of God…and a team player in my home, workplace, school, ministry, wherever I live and serve. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Play to Your Strength
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1

by Os Hillman
7-4-2014

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:4

Have you ever tried to do anything that you were not gifted to do? I am not a handy man. If there is a household project, like a plumbing leak or anything mechanical – forget it. God has not given me any “natural” gifts for such things. And I’d prefer not buying anything that requires assembly!

I have a friend who can fix or assemble anything. It comes naturally to him, and he loves to help me. This same person looks at some of my abilities and marvels. We appreciate the gifts God has given to each of us. These differences have created a need for one another. God wants each of us to need one another. The Scriptures describe the Body of Christ in the same way. Each person is a member of His Body with gifts and talents designed to make His Body perform as a multi-talented group, all playing to the same tune. It is when one member is “out of tune” or decides he doesn’t like his gifts, or decides to do something he is not designed to do that the orchestra begins to sound off key. Imagine if the parts of the human body decided they didn’t want to fulfill their parts any longer. That body would no longer function effectively because one or more of its members were not performing the functions they were designed for.

What has He equipped you for? What role has he called you to play in God’s Kingdom? When one link in the chain is weakened, the whole chain is susceptible to breaking. God made it that way so that we could help that weak link. He made it that way so we would be forced to depend on one another. Are you being a strong link in the chain of God’s Kingdom? Ask Him if you are fulfilling your role as He designed.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

The Black Hole I & II

Today God Is First
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2,

by Os Hillman

“…My grace is sufficient for you….” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If you are older than 35, you may recall the early days of the space program. I remember the early spacecraft launch with John Glenn. One of the most exciting and tense moments of his return to earth was his reentry to the earth’s atmosphere. I recall the diagram on television of the heat shield on the capsule that had to withstand incredible temperatures to avoid complete destruction. There was a blackout period for several minutes in which mission control had no radio contact. He was in the “black hole.” It was a tense time. Either he would make it through, or the spacecraft would burn up in the atmosphere. There were several minutes of silence that seemed like an eternity. Then, mission control shouted with joy when they reestablished contact with the spacecraft. It was a time of rejoicing.

Have you ever had a time when you were in a spiritual black hole in your life? I have. The pressure was unbearable. No sense of God’s presence. No sense of anything going on around me. God was about as far away as the man in the moon – at least from my perspective. I think every Christian who is called to make a significant difference in his world experiences times like these. These are the times when we question the reality of God, the love of God, the personal care of God. And He demonstrates to us that He was there all the time. These are “faith experiences” that God does in every person who is called to a higher level of relationship with Him. These times are needful in order to know that we have the “heat shield” that can withstand the incredible heat that comes when we follow Him with a whole heart – a heart that is radical in a commitment to fully follow His ways. Elisha had that spirit. He slaughtered his 12 oxen and burned his plowing equipment so that he would not have the opportunity to return to anything if God didn’t come through (see 1 Kings 19:21).

The apostle Paul asked God to remove the heat from his own life one time. God’s answer was not what he wanted to hear.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP)

How’s your heat shield today? Can it withstand the heat that would want to burn up everything in your life not based in Him? Christ said, “My grace is sufficient.” Is that really true in your life? Let His grace be your shield today.

Part II

“…for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

On February 20, 1962, at 9:47 A.M., the spacecraft Friendship 7 rose on a pillar of fire, piloted by lone astronaut John Glenn. Leaving the coast of Florida far behind, the space capsule orbited the earth three times, traveling 81,000 miles in less than four hours. As the craft began its descent from space, mission controllers in Houston received a warning signal. A sensor indicated that the capsule’s heat shield was in danger of detaching. If the heat shield came loose during reentry, the capsule would burn like a meteor–and John Glenn would die.

Because radio waves cannot penetrate plasma, the spacecraft experienced a total communications blackout–what astronauts and mission controllers call a “black hole”.

The minutes crawled by and the suspense mounted in the Houston control room. NASA engineers felt totally helpless. Finally, after five minutes of silence, mission controllers heard Glenn’s voice crackling over the radio: “Friendship 7 to Houston?”

Shouts of joy shook the control room. John Glenn was coming home. Although neither Glenn nor the mission controllers knew it at the time, the heat shield was absolutely firm and reliable. The fears for John Glenn’s safety during his black hole experience were unfounded.

If you’ve ever been through a major crisis, you probably know what a communications “black hole” feels like. While you are in the pit of adversity, you feel that your world is collapsing, that your life is out of control–and that God is silent. The silence of a black hole is deafening. You feel isolated and alone. You question God’s love, His care for you, and even His existence.

But even when it seems that God is distant and silent, your “heat shield” is still there, firm and reliable. In your black hole experience, God is teaching you to go deeper into your relationship with Him. You may think that your life is out of control and burning like a meteor, but in reality God, your heat shield, still protects you from the fiery forces that surround you.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

…hey, this is Josephus-Joppa, letting you know I’m back! How long have I been gone? Anyway doesn’t matter…really never left… Letting you all know that after my abrupt hiatus (and getting a job!) I’m going to get back in the swing of blogging; after this week (of posts of Os Hillman’s Prime Time With God every day) I’ll dial it back to posts every Tuesday and Friday, to help clear out the backlog of Prime Time With God posts; my own posts will be showing up soon, at any time of any day… maybe even Tuesday or Friday. Just keep up with my journey and God bless you for reading!

A Fine-Tuned Instrument

Today’s Prayer,
Lord, Please help me overcome these old habits that jump up to haunt me. I want to be clean and pure in heart and life. I want my thoughts and actions to glorify you and to be a witness to your power and love. Thank you for hearing me and touching me with your power and grace. Through Your Holy Spirit, I will overcome. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

A Fine-tuned Instrument
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

10-04-2014

“…I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.'” Zechariah 13:9

My business career has been as an owner of an advertising agency. Over the years, I have had the privilege to work on many different and prestigious accounts. One of those accounts was Steinway Pianos, the maker of the world’s finest pianos. Each piano has always been made from scratch; it takes over a year to make one Steinway. The most impressive scene as I toured the manufacturing plant was the place where the soundboard is stretched to its maximum tolerance and allowed to sit for an extended period until it remains in the curved design. This was done in an off-to-the-corner part of the plant. If the wood were alive, it would be crying out for mercy.

After an extended time of stretching, the wood will never spring back to its original state. It is permanently changed. The piano is becoming a fine-tuned instrument. After this process takes place, the next step requires another point of stress. It takes 11 tons of pressure on a piano to tune it. Each step in the process moves the piano closer to a finished product that will ultimately be played by the world’s finest musicians. These musicians desire a particular sound that only a piano like this can make.

God looks at each of us as a fine-tuned instrument. However, we begin as rough wood that He desires to transform into gold. Tuning us requires certain experiences that will stretch our faith, our frame, and our very life. Sainthood springs out of suffering. If we can stand the strain of this intense process, we will come forth as gold-as a sweet-smelling offering to our Maker. When we are in the midst of these times, it feels like fire. It is painful to be stretched beyond our perceived limits, but the Lord knows this is necessary for us to become an instrument that can play a beautiful song that others will seek after.

Let the master Craftsman have His way in your life today. You will be pleased with the instrument He fashions.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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