It’s parenting. It’s being in a “foriegn land.” It’s my circumstances. They always find me weary and weak. I’m so thankful that in my weakness, as I wait on the Lord, He strengthens me.
Maybe you’re a weak and weary soul this morning. Wait on the Lord. Let Him hear you. And maybe in the words below He’ll give you instruction, strength, for today as He did me.
Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.
Acts 17:17What did Paul do about the idolatry which broke his heart? He talked. In the church and on the street, Paul dialogued daily concerning the idolatry which gripped the city. So too, I am discovering that it’s my job as both a pastor and as a father to dispute, to dialogue, and to discuss in depth.
Mom and Dad, we have the responsibility and the privilege:
To talk to our kids constantly,
To share with our kids consistently,
To invest in our kids wisely —
Not so much telling them what to do, but teaching them how to think so that, slowly but surely, they will make the right decisions eventually.
How do we teach our kids how to think? Through the Scriptures.
How long has it been since, like Paul, you’ve talked with your kids in depth concerning issues as they relate to the Scriptures? In 2 Kings 4, we read that the responsibility of one of the young men who studied under Elisha was to prepare breakfast. But when the other students dove into the meal, they spit it out saying, ‘This stuff is terrible. There’s poison in the pot.’ Spitting and sputtering, they were about to dump out the whole thing, when Elisha said, ‘Hold on. Don’t dump it out. Take the meal — the good stuff — and pour it into the bad stuff.’ They did, and a miracle transpired, for when the good was poured in, the poison dissipated.
That’s the key, Mom and Dad:We are not to pick the poison out of our kids’ lives, for that will only lead to legalism and result in resentment and rebellion. Instead, we’re to pour in the meal of the Word when our kids are poisoned by the pottage of the world, for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).
Not only are we to pour in the meal, but we are to let the dirt go, for in 2 Kings 5, we see another relevant example in the life of Elisha. Naaman, a Syrian who had leprosy, was told by Elisha to dip in the Jordan River seven times. When Naaman obeyed, he was healed immediately. He then said to Elisha, ‘I must go back to Syria, but I want to take some soil from Israel with me so I can worship Jehovah at home.’ You see, in this region of the world, the prevalent point of view was that gods were local, and could only be worshipped on the soil of the country of their origin. That is why Naaman wanted to take dirt from Israel back to Syria. Elisha’s response? ‘Go in peace. Do it.’
‘Elisha, what are you doing?’ I protest. ‘You know that the God of Israel is not a local
deity to be worshipped superstitiously. Why didn’t you correct Naaman?’ But upon further reflection, I believe there’s a wise reason Elisha let Naaman return to Syria with dirt from Israel: Elisha knew Naaman’s understanding of God was very limited. Naaman had been touched by God, had received healing from God, but he was not yet very deep in his knowledge of God. Did Elisha give him a lecture on theology? No. Elisha simply let him go his way, knowing that as a brand new baby believer, Naaman would, in time, discover he didn’t need the dirt at all.
So too, mom and dad, if we fight every side-issue our kids struggle with, when they face the crucial issues — the ones dealing with sin and black and white matters — we will not have their attention. We see a lot of Christian young people whose circuits are blown because a well-meaning parent pushed too hard on non-essential matters and fought the wrong battles. Consequently, as a father I have to pray, ‘Heavenly Father, help me to know what issues are essential for my kids. Help me see which questions need to be addressed, and help me, Lord, to let the bags of dirt go.’
Folks, our Father delights in dilemmas without easy answers because they make us go to Him. A lot of us would rather talk to a pastor, read a book, or seek counsel from a friend — but in so doing, we are robbed of the opportunity of cultivating a deep, intimate, eternal relationship with a Father Who says, ‘See Me for specific instructions. Search the Scriptures daily and I’ll guide you and show you what battles need to be fought, for I alone know the hearts of your children.’
This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book “A Days Journey” by Pastor Jon. “A Days Journey” is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testatment. If you would like your own copy of “A Days Journey” you may click here to go to the SearchLight Store