God’s Surprise Visits

  • July 29, 2016
Friday 29

Exodus 3:1-6

I recall a time when I was faced with a particularly difficult decision. The timing, the circumstances—everything about the opportunity in front of me seemed wrong. Choosing to pursue the prospect didn’t really make sense at all. Though I simply wanted to turn it down, I understood the importance of praying first. As I spent time with the Lord, He gave me a clear vision of what He expected next from my life. I accepted that seemingly illogical, ill-timed offer and reaped great blessing for my obedience.

As Christians, we expect the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts through prayer and Scripture. But sometimes He may choose to intervene more directly in a person’s life, as He did with me that day.

God has been visiting people since the beginning, when He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden (Gen. 3:8). The way He reveals Himself is different in each instance. Moses saw a burning bush (Ex. 3:2), whereas Samuel heard a voice at night (1 Sam. 3:1-14). Yet each was clearly a divine encounter.

When the Lord visits someone, He comes for a purpose. Joshua received specific—and unusual—instructions for defeating Jericho (Josh. 5:13-6:5). Saul of Tarsus was called into ministry (Acts 9). Others were warned of danger through dreams (Matt. 2:12-13).

God’s personal calls are rare and unexpected. We cannot pray or fast to make Him come. He simply makes His presence known in a believer’s life when He chooses. So be prepared with an open heart and willing spirit if He visits you.

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 28-30

Other Daily Content

Comment

This feature will be available soon





What happens to my notes

1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

3 So Moses said, I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."

4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses!" And he said, Here I am."

5 Then He said, Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

6 He said also, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

2 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well),

3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was,

4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, Here I am."

5 Then he ran to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he said, I did not call, lie down again." So he went and lay down.

6 The LORD called yet again, Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." But he answered, I did not call, my son, lie down again."

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him.

8 So the LORD called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli discerned that the LORD was calling the boy.

9 And Eli said to Samuel, Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, `Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, Speak, for Your servant is listening."

11 The LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

12 In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.

13 For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them.

14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."

1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;

4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"

5 And he said, Who are You, Lord?" And He said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."

7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias." And he said, Here I am, Lord."

11 And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,

12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."

13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem;

14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name."

15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;

16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

19 and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,

20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, He is the Son of God."

21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?"

22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the Christ.

23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him,

24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;

25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

28 And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.

29 And he was talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death.

30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.

32 Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.

33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed.

34 Peter said to him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed." Immediately he got up.

35 And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

36 Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which translated in Greek is called Dorcas); this woman was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did.

37 And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room.

38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, having heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him, Do not delay in coming to us."

39 So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.

40 But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

42 It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

43 And Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.

12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.

13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."

1 Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine!

2 Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.

3 The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.

4 And the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley, Will be like the first-ripe fig prior to summer, Which one sees, And as soon as it is in his hand, He swallows it.

5 In that day the LORD of hosts will become a beautiful crown And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;

6 A spirit of justice for him who sits in judgment, A strength to those who repel the onslaught at the gate.

7 And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment.

8 For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

9 To whom would He teach knowledge, And to whom would He interpret the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just taken from the breast?

10 For He says, `Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there.'"

11 Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,

12 He who said to them, Here is rest, give rest to the weary," And, Here is repose," but they would not listen.

13 So the word of the LORD to them will be, Order on order, order on order, Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there," That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.

14 Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, O scoffers, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,

15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception."

16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

17 I will make justice the measuring line And righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies And the waters will overflow the secret place.

18 Your covenant with death will be canceled, And your pact with Sheol will not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling place.

19 As often as it passes through, it will seize you; For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night, And it will be sheer terror to understand what it means."

20 The bed is too short on which to stretch out, And the blanket is too small to wrap oneself in.

21 For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be stirred up as in the valley of Gibeon, To do His task, His unusual task, And to work His work, His extraordinary work.

22 And now do not carry on as scoffers, Or your fetters will be made stronger; For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts Of decisive destruction on all the earth.

23 Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my words.

24 Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground?

25 Does he not level its surface And sow dill and scatter cummin And plant wheat in rows, Barley in its place and rye within its area?

26 For his God instructs and teaches him properly.

27 For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club.

28 Grain for bread is crushed, Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, He does not thresh it longer.

29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.

1 Woe, O Ariel, Ariel the city where David once camped! Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule.

2 I will bring distress to Ariel, And she will be a city of lamenting and mourning; And she will be like an Ariel to me.

3 I will camp against you encircling you, And I will set siegeworks against you, And I will raise up battle towers against you.

4 Then you will be brought low; From the earth you will speak, And from the dust where you are prostrate Your words will come. Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the ground, And your speech will whisper from the dust.

5 But the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust, And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; And it will happen instantly, suddenly.

6 From the LORD of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.

7 And the multitude of all the nations who wage war against Ariel, Even all who wage war against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, Will be like a dream, a vision of the night.

8 It will be as when a hungry man dreams-- And behold, he is eating; But when he awakens, his hunger is not satisfied, Or as when a thirsty man dreams-- And behold, he is drinking, But when he awakens, behold, he is faint And his thirst is not quenched. Thus the multitude of all the nations will be Who wage war against Mount Zion.

9 Be delayed and wait, Blind yourselves and be blind; They become drunk, but not with wine, They stagger, but not with strong drink.

10 For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.

11 The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, Please read this," he will say, I cannot, for it is sealed."

12 Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, Please read this." And he will say, I cannot read."

13 Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed."

15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the LORD, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, Who sees us?" or Who knows us?"

16 You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, He has no understanding"?

17 Is it not yet just a little while Before Lebanon will be turned into a fertile field, And the fertile field will be considered as a forest?

18 On that day the deaf will hear words of a book, And out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

19 The afflicted also will increase their gladness in the LORD, And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the ruthless will come to an end and the scorner will be finished, Indeed all who are intent on doing evil will be cut off;

21 Who cause a person to be indicted by a word, And ensnare him who adjudicates at the gate, And defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.

22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale;

23 But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, They will sanctify My name; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

24 Those who err in mind will know the truth, And those who criticize will accept instruction.

1 Woe to the rebellious children," declares the LORD, Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, In order to add sin to sin;

2 Who proceed down to Egypt Without consulting Me, To take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh And to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!

3 Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame And the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation.

4 For their princes are at Zoan And their ambassadors arrive at Hanes.

5 Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them, Who are not for help or profit, but for shame and also for reproach."

6 The oracle concerning the beasts of the Negev. Through a land of distress and anguish, From where come lioness and lion, viper and flying serpent, They carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys And their treasures on camels' humps, To a people who cannot profit them;

7 Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty. Therefore, I have called her Rahab who has been exterminated."

8 Now go, write it on a tablet before them And inscribe it on a scroll, That it may serve in the time to come As a witness forever.

9 For this is a rebellious people, false sons, Sons who refuse to listen To the instruction of the LORD;

10 Who say to the seers, You must not see visions "; And to the prophets, You must not prophesy to us what is right, Speak to us pleasant words, Prophesy illusions.

11 Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel."

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, Since you have rejected this word And have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them,

13 Therefore this iniquity will be to you Like a breach about to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant,

14 Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter's jar, So ruthlessly shattered That a sherd will not be found among its pieces To take fire from a hearth Or to scoop water from a cistern."

15 For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength." But you were not willing,

16 And you said, No, for we will flee on horses," Therefore you shall flee! And we will ride on swift horses, " Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.

17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill.

18 Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

19 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.

20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.

21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

22 And you will defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and your molten images plated with gold. You will scatter them as an impure thing, and say to them, Be gone!"

23 Then He will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the yield of the ground, and it will be rich and plenteous; on that day your livestock will graze in a roomy pasture.

24 Also the oxen and the donkeys which work the ground will eat salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork.

25 On every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

26 The light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day the LORD binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted.

27 Behold, the name of the LORD comes from a remote place; Burning is His anger and dense is His smoke; His lips are filled with indignation And His tongue is like a consuming fire;

28 His breath is like an overflowing torrent, Which reaches to the neck, To shake the nations back and forth in a sieve, And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads to ruin.

29 You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival, And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute, To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.

30 And the LORD will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones.

31 For at the voice of the LORD Assyria will be terrified, When He strikes with the rod.

32 And every blow of the rod of punishment, Which the LORD will lay on him, Will be with the music of tambourines and lyres; And in battles, brandishing weapons, He will fight them.

33 For Topheth has long been ready, Indeed, it has been prepared for the king. He has made it deep and large, A pyre of fire with plenty of wood; The breath of the LORD, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire.

Background Color:
Light
Aa
Dark
Aa
Font size:
A
A
A
loader
Publish Date July 29, 2016
God’s Surprise Visits

Read Now
Daily devotion not found for this date
Devotion archive not available for dates in the future