Day 171: Healthy Hesitation

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 20th, 2020
1 Kings 22:1-53
Acts 13:16-41
Psalm 138:1-8
Proverbs 17:17-18
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
So [Ahab] said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.” – 1 Kings 22:4-5

Do you have a “healthy hesitation?” Do you check in with the Lord before making any decision, no matter how big or how small? Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to drag the entire nation of Judah into war with Syria. Jehoshaphat wanted to help! But he had one condition. What is God saying? He insisted on finding out God’s heart on the matter first!

Before you make any decision – whether major or minor! – stop and check in with Jesus. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Ask Him if He wants you to go! It will be life to your soul, and health to your bones.

Prayer:

Father, thank You for speaking to me. Help me to remember to check in with You all the time, for every decision, all throughout my day! Thank You that You are never too busy, and You always have time for me, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 170: Ministering to the Lord

The Daily Word: Friday, June 19th, 2020
1 Kings 20:1-21:29
Acts 12:24-13:15
Psalm 137:1-9
Proverbs 17:16
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” – Acts 13:2

The primary responsibilities of the leaders of the early church were 1) ministering to the Lord and 2) fasting.

What does “ministering” mean to you? We typically think it means running around and serving others as best we can. But there are actually two forms of ministry. One is outward-facing: ministering to others. But this should actually not consume the majority of your time! The other is inward-facing: ministering to the Lord! This is the form of ministry that should occupy the majority of your time as a disciple of Jesus.

The early church met the needs of the people around them. But they never lost their first love: ministering to Jesus. Yes, you should focus on others! But first you should focus on Jesus. He is the One to whom you should minister most.

Prayer:

Jesus, I want to minister to You! You are amazing, Lord. I bless You. I want to be with You! I am going to give You my all, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 169: Stop Before It Starts

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 18th, 2020
1 Kings 19:1-21
Acts 12:1-23
Psalm 136:1-26
Proverbs 17:14-15
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts. – Prov. 17:14

The best time to stop conflict is before it starts. And the best way to stop conflict is a prayerful, patient response. Listen before acting. Take a deep breath before responding. Take a walk before returning fire.

Once water is released, two things happen:

1) It quickly gains momentum. The weight of additional water that wants to come out and follow suit creates a tremendous amount of pressure that breaks and tears the mechanism holding it in. In other words, conflict escalates quickly and soon becomes something more damaging than you thought it could be.

2) It cannot be gathered back up again. Water is not solid. It seeps into the ground. It cannot be scooped up again and put away as it once was. In other words, the effects of conflict are permanent. Things will never be the same.

We are at a moment of divisive conflict in our nation. And now is our only chance to stop it before it is fully released. Please pray.

Prayer:

Father, I speak healing over our nation. I pray that systemic injustice would be rectified. I pray that hate and harbored resentment would be expelled. We ask for a level of healing over these United States that only repentance can bring, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 168: The Rain Started

The Daily Word: Wednesday, June 17th, 2020
1 Kings 18:1-46
Acts 11:1-30
Psalm 135:1-21
Proverbs 17:12-13
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there. Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” – 1 Kings 18:40-41

Israel was in the midst of a terrible drought. It hadn’t rained for three years and six months! God was frustrated because His people weren’t listening to Him. Instead, they were going to the prophets of Baal. They were turning to idols they had created for themselves. But the prophet Elijah stood up to the prophets of Baal. And do you know what happened?

The rain started as soon as the false prophets were removed. The drought was over as soon as the lying voices were silenced. Your provision will start as soon as you stop listening to voices that don’t come from God! Your blessing will start as soon as you stop listening to the world, and start listening to God. Wall out the negative influences in your life: the people who give you ungodly advice. The rain from heaven – the increase you have been waiting for! – will start pouring down as soon as you do.

Prayer:
Father, surround me with Your word. Surround me with wise counsel! I want to be driven by Your word: nothing and no one else. Rain down on me, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 167: The Remedy is the Word

The Daily Word: Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
1 Kings 15:25-17:24
Acts 10:24-48
Psalm 134:1-3
Proverbs 17:9-11
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” – 1 Kings 17:1

Ahab was a wicked king. He, “…did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all [the kings] who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). So God raised up a powerful prophet to confront him. In the face of wicked leaders and a decaying world, God sent His word. His word brings life! And God’s word is the only voice that has the power to bind evil and release good.

The answer is His word. Return to the word of God. Declare His word over your local, state, and national leaders! Declare His word over your life! Because the revival we seek will only come as we start to declare His word.

Prayer:

Father, help me to fall in love with Your word. Help me to know Your word like the back of my hand! I will declare Your word over my family, over my city, over my state, and over my country; because only Your word has authority to heal.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 166: Middle of the Day

The Daily Word: Monday, June 15th, 2020
1 Kings 14:1-15:24
Acts 10:1-23
Psalm 133:1-3
Proverbs 17:7-8
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” – Acts 10:3

What are you typically doing at 3pm? Cornelius was a centurion. He was an officer in the Roman army. He was in charge of soldiers, “…who waited on him continually” (v. 7). Yet God appeared to him smack dab in the middle of the day to speak to him. And what did Cornelius do? He responded.

Cornelius could have ignored God. He could have told Him he was busy, or communicated his busyness by keeping God at arm’s length. But he stopped what he was doing. He replied to God. “What is it, lord?” (v. 4).

When God comes to you in the middle of your day, how will you respond? When the Holy Spirit whispers to you at the least convenient time, will you stop and listen to what He has to say? God is not bound to your prayer schedule. He will speak when He speaks. But if He comes to you when you’re “busy,” will you stop and respond?

Prayer:

Father, I want to respond to Your voice. I want to respond to Your presence! You have my absolute permission to come and interrupt my day any time you please. I am ready to stop and listen to You, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 165: Backing Down

The Daily Word: Sunday, June 14th, 2020
1 Kings 12:20-13:34
Acts 9:26-43
Psalm 132:1-18
Proverbs 17:6
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
“Thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me. ‘ ” Therefore they obeyed the word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the word of the Lord. – 1 Kings 12:24

There is a time to fight! And there is a time to stand down. Rehoboam was the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. He was ready to fight and take back the throne! But God told him to back down. “This thing is from Me,” He said.

So Rehoboam backed down. And it’s a good thing he did, because had he gone to war, he would have lost. The people of Judah would have been massacred. You save innocent blood when you listen to the Lord. You save wasted time and effort when you listen to God!

Sometimes a dramatic turn of events in your life will be from the enemy. But sometimes it will be from God. And wisdom means knowing the difference.

Prayer:

Lord, tell me when to fight! And tell me when to back down. I pray I would always keep my ear close to Your heart and learn to know the difference, in Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 164: What If He Said No?

The Daily Word: Saturday, June 13th, 2020
1 Kings 11:1-12:19
Acts 9:1-25
Psalm 131:1-3
Proverbs 17:4-5
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 9:17

Paul was blind. He had encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus and was so blinded by the, “…light [that] shone around him from heaven” (v. 3), that he fell to the ground, and was, “…three days without sight” (v. 9). God had big plans for Saul. But first He had to show Saul that he couldn’t work alone. He would have to rely on God, as well as other people. So God sent Ananias to lay hands on Saul, “…so that he might receive his sight” (v. 12).

What if Ananias had said no? Would Saul have received his sight? When God told Ananias to go lay hands on Paul and heal him, Ananias had a reasonable objection:

Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” – Acts 9:13-14

But faith means going, even when you have an objection. Faith means saying yes, even when you have reservations! Following Jesus means laying down every ounce of resistance, taking God at His word, and doing what God says.

If Ananias had said no, God’s story would have been altered. And if you say no, how will it change the course of history? God has called you to do something amazing and unique. Will you go?

Prayer:

Father, give me the courage to step out and do what You have asked me to do! I sacrifice my need to understand. I give up my right to choose! Whatever You ask, I will do. Wherever You command, I will go! In Jesus’ name.

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 163: Holy Spirit

The Daily Word: Friday, June 12th, 2020
1 Kings 9:1-10:29
Acts 8:14-40
Psalm 130:1-8
Proverbs 17:2-3
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. – Acts 8:14-15

Samaria had already received the word of God! They already believed in Jesus. But there was something more that God wanted them to have. There was another experience that was available! So the church leaders sent Peter and John to them, to pray for them, “…that they might receive the Holy Spirit.”

You believe in Jesus. Great! But have you received the Holy Spirit? Here was a group of brand new disciples! They had received Jesus and been baptized in water. Yet the Holy Spirit had, “…fallen upon none of them” (v. 16). They had yet to have the experience Jesus prescribed for the 120 disciples in the Upper Room:

…but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” – Lk. 24:49

There is an experience – separate and distinct from salvation – called the baptism in the Holy Spirit that God wants you to have. Once the Holy Spirit “falls” on you, you will be filled with power from Heaven! So if you want to keep living life the way you have been living, devoid of power to actually do what God has called you to accomplish, then go right ahead. But if you want to be forever changed and filled with the same Spirit who empowered Jesus to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons, it’s time to get filled with the Holy Spirit!

Prayer:

Father, I want to receive Your Holy Spirit. I know that when I knock, the door is opened. So Holy Spirit, I’m asking You to come. Flood my life like never before. Fill me with power, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 162: Seeing Jesus

The Daily Word: Thursday, June 11th, 2020
1 Kings 8:1-66
Acts 7:51-8:13
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 17:1
For full text click here.

Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God… – Acts 7:55

An angry mob wanted to kill Stephen for boldly preaching the Gospel. They “gnashed at him with their teeth” (v. 54). They, “…ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him” (vv. 57-58). This aggressive crowd agreed on one thing: Stephen had to die!

But Stephen wasn’t panicked. In fact, he wasn’t even focused on what was going on. He was so in love with Jesus that nothing else concerned him. He, “…gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (v. 55).

I pray that you would become so enamored with Jesus that even in the midst of absolute panic – at life’s most threatening and critical moments – all you would see is Jesus. I pray the glory of God would consume your focus in such a way that even when everything is going wrong around you, all you can see is your Savior!

Perfect peace – even in the midst of certain death! – comes when you fix your eyes on Jesus, and refuse to focus on anything and anyone but Him.

Prayer:

Father, I pray You would give me perfect peace. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, even when it seems illogical! Help me to be obsessed with Heaven, even when it seems impractical. Your glory is all I want to see, in Jesus’ name!

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© Michael D. White, 2020. All rights reserved.

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