Vince Miller Podcast

Vince Miller

Get ready to be inspired and transformed with Vince Miller, a renowned author and speaker who has dedicated his life to helping men become the best versions of themselves. With over 36 books under his belt, Vince has become a leading voice in the field of manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has been featured on major video and radio platforms such as RightNow Media, Faithlife TV, FaithRadio, and YouVersion, reaching men all over the world. Vince's Men's Daily Devo has touched the lives of thousands of men, providing them with a daily dose of inspiration and guidance. With over 28 years of experience in ministry, Vince is the founder of Resolute, a platform that aims to build better men through its bible studies. If you're looking for a way to improve your life and become a better man, then look no further than Vince Miller and his inspiring work at www.vincemiller.com read less
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Episodes

Confusion to Clarity | 1 Samuel 6
Yesterday
Confusion to Clarity | 1 Samuel 6
Are you trying to find your way from chaos and confusion to clarity? Happy Father's Day, and welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 6. I've titled this chapter "From Confusion to Clarity." So far, in the story of 1 Samuel, we have been introduced to a few key figures, like Samuel and Eli, but rather quickly, we come upon a battle between the Philistines and the Israelites. Israel sustains devastating losses, and the Ark of God is taken. The problem for the Philistines is that the Ark of God proved to be a curse to them for about seven months. It tormented the five lords of the five cities with the Black Plague and severe hemorrhoids. The situation is so bad that their attention has turned from their victory over God to what to do with God. The chapter we are reading this week chronicles how the Philistines rid themselves of the Ark of God and how the Israelites received the Ark of God. Through their experiences, we uncover some profound lessons on how both unbelievers and believers find their way through chaos and confusion to clarity. The key verse of this chapter is verse 20, which reads: "And the men of Beth-shemesh said, 'Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall he go up away from us?'" — 1 Samuel 6:20 If you read through the chapter, you will notice that it begins with big questions and ends with big questions. However, the questions at the beginning are very different from those at the end. The Philistines' initial question in verse two is: “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord?" The Israelites' final question in verse twenty is: "Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God?" As we compare these questions, we can see three distinct differences. First, the nature of the questions is different. The Philistines are grappling with how to handle an object of God, while the Israelites are wrestling with the very nature of God. Second, the motivation behind the questions is different. The Philistines are driven by self-preservation, while the Israelites are motivated by self-renunciation. Third, the responses to the questions are different. The Philistines' response to God is superficial, while the Israelites' response is spiritual. This chapter is bookended by two questions from two different people with two different responses that attempt to address the chaos and confusion in life. Eventually, the chapter concludes with one nation seeking clarity by ridding itself of God and the other finding clarity by returning to the reverence of God. We all face moments of chaos and confusion. Through these times, we are confronted with the most profound questions we will ever have about God and his work in this life. These questions either guide you to rid yourself of God or to reverence of God. But if you rid yourself of God, you will never find the clarity you need through the chaos of this life. Chaos and confusion will come again. Permanent clarity is only found if you are willing to come to the end of yourself and submit to the heavy hand of the Holy God. In full submission of all we are to God we find the clarity we need through every time of chaos and confusion in this life. So if you need this today, submit to him. God, on this Father's Day, we men submit our lives to you. We all have some form of chaos and confusion in our lives right now. We need your clarity and know this is only found bowed low before you. We are sons. You are the only Father. Lead the way we are ready to obey. Amen. #FaithInChaos, #FindingClarity, #SubmitToGod Ask This: How do you typically respond to moments of chaos and confusion in your life? What steps can you take to ensure your response draws you closer to God rather than pushing Him away?In what areas of your life do you need to submit more fully to God's authority? How can you practically begin to bow low before Him and seek His clarity in those situations? Do This: Submit to God. Pray This: Father, I surrender my chaos and confusion to You, seeking Your divine clarity and guidance. Help me trust in Your wisdom and revere You in every aspect of my life. Amen. Play This: I Surrender.
Glory In Motion | 1 Samuel 5:11-12
2d ago
Glory In Motion | 1 Samuel 5:11-12
Do you see God's glory in this world? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." So far, in Chapter 5, God has cleared his own path to glory. He has afflicted the Philistines with hemorrhoids, and in doing so, they have passed him around from Philistine town to town until there is a meeting of the five kings in Philistine. Here is how this chapter closes off in verses 11-12: They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people.” For there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there. The men who did not die were struck with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.  — 1 Samuel 5:11-12 If you recall, at the end of Chapter Four, the wife of Phinehas declared that the "Glory had departed from Israel." This was such a significant moment that in her death, she named her orphaned son Ichabod based on this declaration. While the glory has departed, it has not vanished. In Chapter Five, we learned that God's glory has been moving around independently, self-sustained, self-proclaiming, and finding its own way back home. God wants to work in harmony with his creation. However, when humanity desires to play God and seeks its glory, this won't work. Our glory and God's glory are no match. We either submit to the heavy hand of God, or we are subject to the heavy hand. It's better to submit to it than to be smitten by it. This life is full of God's glory. Through his revelation, we can see it everywhere. Today, anticipate it and point it out. See it moving and making its way. Look beyond the noise of propaganda, lawfare, war, hate, and violence and see his glory. God's glory is still moving. Then, when you see it, point to it, praise it, and proclaim it. It's far better to submit to the heavy hand of God than to suffer under it to the point of pain, pestilence, and punishment by death. #GodsGloryInMotion, #DivinePresence, #SubmittingToGodsHand Ask This: How can we actively recognize and celebrate God's glory moving in our lives and in the world around us, even amidst challenges and difficulties?In what areas of our lives do we struggle to submit to God's heavy hand, and how can we cultivate a posture of surrender and obedience to His will? Do This: Look for God's glory, point to it, and praise it. Pray This: Father, help me to see your glory moving in every aspect of my life and give me the full courage to submit my will, knowing that your heavy hand is for my good. May your presence be my constant guide, leading me closer to you, which is ultimately found each day. Amen. Play This: Here Comes The Glory.
When Moving the Problem Isn't Enough | 1 Samuel 5:8-10
3d ago
When Moving the Problem Isn't Enough | 1 Samuel 5:8-10
Are you just moving your problems around? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." So far, in Chapter 5, we've discovered that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it back to Ashdod, and now it's given everyone in the land a bad case of hemorrhoids, and here is what happens next in verses 8-10: So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to Gath.” So they brought the ark of the God of Israel there. But after they had brought it around, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing a very great panic, and he afflicted the men of the city, both young and old, so that tumors broke out on them. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But as soon as the ark of God came to Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought around to us the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people.” — 1 Samuel 5:8-10 When we began this chapter, we said five different lords governed five Philistine cities. What is happening here is one lord is passing it to the next until they finally concur that one lord is using the box to kill off another lord and his people. The irreverent capture of the Ark of the Covenant has led to disease, death, disorder, conspiracy, and conflict. God has worked the Philistines over without Israel needing to lift a finger. If they only would have just trusted the Lord! But there is an excellent lesson in this. We are all prone to move our problems around. I know I do this. You do, too. When we encounter problems, we instinctively look first for natural solutions. We find ways to rectify the situation by making corrections and adjustments. Once in a while, it works, but that does not necessarily mean it worked. It might have only been a temporary solution to a larger problem that we have moved around or moved for someone else to deal with. The people of Ashdod and Gath rid themselves of a problem, but they have not rectified it. They have merely moved it from themselves to someone else, and the people of Ekron are wise to this. They don't want to inherit a problem that demands a divine solution they are unwilling to accept. Had they just acknowledged God and accepted their wrong, they might have dealt with the situation and resolved it. But they were unwilling to acknowledge God or their sin, so instead, they moved the problem around. Today, when you face a problem, instead of looking at every problem as a natural issue needing your incredible solution, consider the potential for a divine problem and divine solution. Look at the situation in the same way God would. Most of the time, the issue arises because of some sin (personal or corporate), causing a problem you haven't yet identified. Look first for that, diagnose it, and then respond to it. You will get to the heart of the core issue much faster, and it's far better than continually moving it around. #TrustGod, #DivineSolutions, #BiblicalWisdom Ask This: In what areas of your life are you tempted to seek natural solutions instead of seeking God's divine intervention? How can you start inviting God into these situations today?   Reflect on a time when you moved a problem around instead of addressing the root issue. What steps can you take to ensure you confront and resolve issues with God's guidance in the future? Do This: Look for a divine solution first. Pray This: Father, help me recognize when I rely on my solutions instead of seeking Your divine guidance. Grant me the wisdom to address the root of my problems and the faith to trust in Your perfect plan. Amen. Play This: God Of Miracles.
Responding to Divine Discipline | 1 Samuel 5:6-7
4d ago
Responding to Divine Discipline | 1 Samuel 5:6-7
BUY THE 1 SAMUEL JOURNAL Is God punishing you or preparing you? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." So far, in Chapter 5, we've discovered that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it back to Ashdod, setting it up in the temple of Dagon. The following day, the people awoke to find that Dagon had fallen prostrate before the Ark. Despite their shock, they propped him back up. The next morning, they discovered Dagon had fallen again with his head and hands cut off, which terrified them. Then we read verses 6-7: The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. And when the men of Ashdod saw how things were, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god.” — 1 Samuel 5:6-7 There are a couple of choices as to what disease this was, and we are not sure. Some think it was the Bubonic Plague transmitted by fleas and rats that spread to humans. Or it could have also been a massive break of hemorrhoids that afflicted the people. Either way, this outbreak was a major pain in the butt, so much so that they associated the affliction with the recent capture of the Ark. What is fascinating about this situation is that people who believed that they just defeated God now believe God was defeating them. They have seen enough occurrences to believe God is punishing them. At some point, we are all disciplined by God. Most of the time, discipline by God comes in the form of natural consequences stemming from disobedience to him or his authority in this life. These consequences inflict pain and compel us to pay attention, thus driving us to pay attention to God. For instance, if you are intoxicated and drive a vehicle and then get pulled over, there are numerous consequences. You will be arrested, ticketed, lose driving privileges, incur legal fees, face probation, and insurance increases. In this example, it is relatively easy to see the connection between our human defiance and God's divine punishment. It is even easier to see you have a biblical worldview that assumes God is the divine judge who governs all things and operates through human government to administer judgment for human defiance. But in the case of the Philistines, they did not have a biblical worldview. They held polytheistic views, but they were right in this situation to establish a divine connection. The "heavy hand of God's judgment" was afflicting them. Through natural circumstances, he was trying to get their attention, and they made the connection. What they neglected to do was worship him. Instead, they would dispose of him by sending the Ark of God to another town. Here is what you need to see today. When you experience affliction and discipline in life, you should pause and assess the divine signs. Afflictions by God are meant to get our attention. Take time to pause, reflect, and assess. Go to God in prayer and ask God to show you why this is happening in your life. Discern if God is afflicting you for disobedience or to drive you toward deeper obedience. Either way, God will likely show you something that he wants you to see. Remember, there are moments when we experience affliction without seeing the act of disobedience. For example, consider the stories of Job or even Jesus. Afflictions in both cases did not stem from disobedience but were designed to stretch their obedience. Both types of discipline and affliction have occurred in this story. Some people in Israel were not disobedient to God and yet were being disciplined, like Samuel and his family. On the other hand, God was directly disciplining others, like Eli and his family who had been blatantly disobedient. Either way, the right response is always to bow and worship the Lord. It is to submit to him and his discipline and be changed by his affliction. It is not to do what the Philistines do here and merely suppose it is God and then dispose of him. #DivineDiscipline, #GodsCorrection, #FaithJourney Ask This: When have you experienced a situation that felt like divine discipline? How did it impact your relationship with God and your understanding of His guidance in your life?How can you better recognize and respond to God's discipline in your daily life? How can this awareness transform your spiritual growth and obedience? Do This: Pause, reflect, and accept the afflictions and discipline of God. Pray This: Lord, help me recognize Your discipline in my life and respond with humility and obedience. Guide me to deeper understanding and faith, trusting that Your correction is for my growth and good. Amen. Play This: The Struggle.
The Idols We Fear | 1 Samuel 5:4-5
5d ago
The Idols We Fear | 1 Samuel 5:4-5
What idol do you fear? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." So far, in Chapter 5, we've discovered that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it back to Ashdod, setting it up in the temple of Dagon. The following day, the people awoke to find that Dagon had fallen prostrate before the Ark. Despite their shock, they propped him back up. The next morning, they discovered Dagon had fallen again with his head and hands cut off. We read this in verses 4-5: Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day. — 1 Samuel 5:4-5 This event created a lasting fear for the priests of Dagon and the Philistines. Many suggest this letter was written about three centuries later, indicating that God's intervention in the temple of Dagon lingered in the people's collective memory for an extended period. This moment clarifies that wooden or stone idols are not what terrifies mankind. Rather, what we fear are the idols we build in the construct of our minds. In fear of being nothing, we construct idols that make something of us. These idols aren't statues; they are ideologies founded on things that give us confidence in the flesh—our professions, possessions, and personal success. When these idols are threatened or fall, they generate fear and insecurity. For the Philistines, the fall of Dagon was a direct confrontation with the one thing they truly feared—powerlessness. Their idol, which they believed held power and protection, was shown to be powerless before the Almighty God. This left them fearful and uncertain, propping up their idol desperately trying to regain control and security. This attempt would never succeed. God instilled in them a terror that would never dissipate. What is interesting is that the Philistines never changed their minds about this fear. Instead of turning to the God of all Power, they continued in fear for hundreds of years. Unwilling to face their powerlessness, they were led into an endless cycle of fear and frustration. In contrast, a believer is called to recognize these moments as opportunities to trust more deeply in God. When our idols fall, it's a call to a new way and path. Instead of living in human fear, we should respond with holy reference, fearing the God with whom there is nothing to fear. So stop living in endless cycles of fear today, trusting only in ideologies based in the flesh. Fear the Almighty God, with whom there is nothing to fear—before him, all the other idols bow and are cut down. #TrustInGod, #OvercomeFear, #BreakIdols Ask This: What are some modern-day idols in your life that you rely on for security and confidence? How can you dismantle these idols and place your trust more fully in God?How does recognizing and facing your fears lead to a deeper faith and reliance on God? Share a time when confronting a personal fear helped you grow spiritually. Do This: Fear God, not idols. Pray This: Father, help me to recognize and dismantle the idols in my life that I have placed above You. Grant me the courage to trust in Your power and sovereignty, knowing that in You alone, I find true security and peace. Amen. Play This: Fear Is Not My Future.
When Idols Fall Don’t Prop Them Up | 1 Samuel 5:3-4
6d ago
When Idols Fall Don’t Prop Them Up | 1 Samuel 5:3-4
Are you propping up an idol? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." Yesterday, we discovered that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it back to Ashdod, setting it up in the temple of Dagon. The following day, the people awoke to find that Dagon had fallen prostrate before the Ark. Despite their shock, they propped him back up. They then discovered this in verses 3-4: So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. — 1 Samuel 5:3-4 A Battle of Gods So, the same mysterious event occurs overnight, but this time, his head and hands are chopped off. The picture that plays in my mind is of two deities battling in this temple, and God takes a sword and chops off Dagon's head and hands. I know that in our time and our country, we don't prop up idols in the same way. Our idols are not man-made objects of stone and wood but are just as consuming. Propped-Up Idols More often than not, our idols are the ideologies we prop up in our minds. We prop up ideas, beliefs, and pursuits that consume our thoughts, time, and energy. Eventually, these propped-up idols establish strongholds of worship within our minds. Eventually, the pursuit of wealth, success, titles, and fame becomes our primary focus in thought and conversation. Possessions, achievements, and conquests dominate every conversation. Consequently, we become enslaved to our idolatrous ideology and its need for approval, validation, and acceptance from others. We mold our lives and identities around these propped-up ideas until they are abandoned on the threshing floor with their head and hands lopped off. Cutting Down Idols This is the hard-learned lesson of propped-up idols. If we have propped up an idol in our minds for too long, challenging it will require us to rethink everything. When they fall, we are prone to prop them up because we have become accustomed to them. Dealing with them is too much work when we have constructed our lives based on them. Only when the idol is cut down and chopped up do we face the fact that they can no longer be propped up, and we need to rethink the idols we have made in our minds. This is what the people of Ashdod were probably thinking to themselves—who is this God, and what will we do with him now that he has slaughtered Dagon? Stop Propping; Start Cutting But let's get practical: What idol do you need to stop propping up today? What idol stands between you and God? Tracing it back should be easy. You talk about it a lot. You think about it all the time. If you lost it, you would lose yourself. So what is it? Can you name it? If you know it, remember that you don't merely need to stop propping it up. You need to cut off its head and hands and come to the Lord before who stands no idol. #IdolsExposed, #ClearingThePath, #SeekingGod'sGlory Ask This: Reflect on the idols in your life: What beliefs, pursuits, or ideologies consume your thoughts, time, and energy? How can you start acknowledging and confronting these idols in your life?   Consider the implications of propping up idols: What practical steps can you take today to confront and dismantle the idols that stand between you and a deeper relationship with God? How can you refocus your thoughts and actions on seeking God's glory above all else? Do This: Cut down an idol today. Pray This: Lord, help me identify and confront the idols in my life, surrendering them to You completely. Guide me in prioritizing Your glory above all else as I seek to align my thoughts and actions with Your will. Amen. Play This: No One Else (Tear Down The Idols).
God Never Sits Second | 1 Samuel 1:1-3
1w ago
God Never Sits Second | 1 Samuel 1:1-3
Is God sitting in second place in your life? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." Today, I am reading verses 1-3: When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord. — 1 Samuel 5:1-3 God Set Second The Philistines did with the ark what they would've done with any trophy taken in war. Notice the arrogance of the narrating verbs: they captured it, took it, brought it, and set it in the house of their idol god, Dagon. For the enemy, there could be no more powerful expression of victory. The Philistines, with Dagon, had triumphed over the God who defeated the powers of Egypt. However, overnight, something happened in their temple. We are not told what happened, only that the next day when the people enter the temple, they discover that Dagon has fallen to the ground. Dagon is found prostrate before the Ark of God. This surely frightened the people of Ashdod. God Never Sits Second The lesson is this: The Almighty will not sit in second place. He will not be used by his creation for his power or bow to the carvings that man constructs from his imagination. Both the Israelites and the Philistines were guilty of wrong treatment. Israel treated the Ark of God like a good luck charm and the Philistines like an inferior trophy of war. Because they fail to comprehend God's might, he smites them both and makes his own path back to Shiloh. So, let's apply this practically because most of you will not fight an actual war today. Put God First Let's say today, you claim a small victory in your life. Let's also assume that you claim this victory without a thought of God. Your pride takes hold, and you think, "I did it." Because you were successful this time, you repeat the same thing. If you meet with success again, this will train you to believe that you did it, you can do it on your own, and there is no need for God. Eventually, pride combined with the power of human effort takes over until you see no need to pray, consult the Spirit, or call on God. And this keeps going until you encounter a battle that is beyond your power or ability. Then, like Israel, you finally bring God into battle, but all you are doing is using his power to win your battle to get your victory. You will lose if you fail to see that you set yourself first and God sits second. It is interesting that this pride is evident in the actions of the Philistines, while it is less apparent in the conduct of the Israelites. However, it is the same pride that ultimately results in defeat. Stop putting God in second place in your life. God will not be satisfied with being a periodic part of your life. God demands to be at the center of everything. When you place God in second place, you put yourself in first place, and like Dagon, you will inevitably bow before the Almighty Lord, who can clear his path to glory with or without you. #PutGodFirst, #PriorityOfFaith, #ClearPathToGlory Ask This: Reflect on a recent victory or success in your life. How did you acknowledge God's role in that achievement, or did you attribute it solely to your efforts? How can you ensure that God remains at the center of your victories moving forward? Consider areas in your life where you may inadvertently place God in second place. What steps can you take to realign your priorities and ensure that God holds the primary position in every aspect of your life? Do This: Give God first place. Pray This: Lord, forgive me for the times I have placed myself before You and help me recenter my life around Your sovereignty, acknowledging Your presence in every victory and trial. Guide me to continually seek Your will above my own so that You may always reign first in my heart. Amen. Play This: First.
The Disciple of the Heavy Hand of God | 1 Samuel 5
Jun 9 2024
The Disciple of the Heavy Hand of God | 1 Samuel 5
How do you respond to God's discipline? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 5. This chapter recounts the Philistines' capture of the Ark and the subsequent divine intervention that led it back to its rightful place. I've titled this chapter "Clearing The Path To Glory." At the end of the last chapter and the beginning of this chapter, Israel has sustained severe losses. The wife of Phinehas summarized it well: The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured. — 1 Samuel 4:22 The sad ending in Chapter 4 marks an abrupt conclusion to a once glorious period for Israel. It represents a dark time of profound loss for God's people. If you have experienced a similar moment in your life, you understand the feeling it brings. These moments are characterized by darkness and overwhelming despair, often leaving one uncertain of how to react. But then we come upon the key verse of Chapter 5. Verse 6 reads: The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. — 1 Samuel 5:6 The "heavy hand of God" is the great metaphor of this chapter. It describes God's tangible involvement in human affairs in profound and mysterious ways. But this metaphor takes us back to another place where similar language was used—Egypt. In the book of Exodus, God's "heavy hand" is displayed numerous times through mighty plaques against the Pharaoh that deliver his people from bondage (Exodus 3:19-20; 6:1; 9:3; 15:6-7). God's "heavy hand" had been an image of the forceful discipline he used to bring about his glory. Thus, in the previous chapter, we witness God's "heavy hand" against Israel. Then, in this chapter, we witness His "heavy hand" against the Philistines. I couldn't help but notice that Israel regrets God's "heavy hand" against them but then relishes His "heavy hand" against others. God disciplines us all. Sometimes, his hand is heavy, and other times, it is light. He disciplines us in public or private, great or small, and it always has a purpose. His discipline directs us to his glory. You see, God's glory never fades, but we fail to reflect it. He does not need us to sustain it, but he does want us to know it, enjoy it, celebrate it, praise it, never abuse it, use it, misuse it, and defame it. The key is submitting to his discipline. In Chapter 5, we will see the Ark of God move from Philistine town to town until it returns to Shiloh. (There is a map in the video today illustrating the journey). It is carried from Shiloh to battle at Ebenezer. Then, it is captured and taken into Philistine territory in Ashdod. Then, it is carried down to Gath, next to Ekron, and finally returned to Shiloh. Some mysterious "heavy-handed" events occur that hold fascinating lessons for us. And you will have to join us for the next six days to discover them. God Never Sits Second Chair. When Idols Fall, Don’t Prop Them Up. What Idol Do You Fear? When God Becomes a Pain in Your Butt. Don’t Move Your Problem Around. The Return of The Lord. #GodsDiscipline, #SpiritualGrowth, #DivineIntervention Ask This: How do you typically respond when faced with challenges or discipline, whether from God or otherwise? Reflecting on Israel's journey with the Ark in 1 Samuel 5, what lessons can you apply to your life regarding embracing God's discipline and seeking His glory? Do This: Submit to God's discipline and know his Glory. Pray This: Lord, help me to embrace Your discipline with humility and trust, knowing that Your guiding hand leads me closer to Your glory each day. Grant me the wisdom and strength to learn from Your lessons and reflect Your love to those around me. Amen. Play This: The Heart of Worship.
Glory Where There is No Glory | 1 Samuel 4:19-22
Jun 8 2024
Glory Where There is No Glory | 1 Samuel 4:19-22
Are you ready to reveal God's glory where there is no glory? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." In the first few verses of Chapter 4, we discover that the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. They lose two battles, killing 37,000 men. The Ark of God is taken because Hophni and Phinehas make another stupid decision. They are both killed, and a messenger brings back news: Eli, their father, falls out of his chair because he is fat, apathetic, and blind, breaking his neck and dying. And then this happens to Eli's daughter-in-law: Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” — 1 Samuel 4:19-22 This chapter concludes with the fulfillment of God's prophecy against Eli and his household. In just a few hours, the impact of this prophecy on many generations is evident. Eli, a long-standing Judge, has tipped over and died. His sons, who were high priests, were also slaughtered. Additionally, his daughter-in-law dies during childbirth, leaving his grandson, Ichabod, orphaned. The repercussions are not limited to the family alone - 37,000 families have lost their sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. The spiritual dismay of Israel, a result of the loss of their high priests, is also significant. Furthermore, there is a looming fear of complete destruction as the glory of God has departed from the Tabernacle in Israel. If you are a father or grandfather and you are reading this with me today, I hope you feel compelled to step up your game because your spiritual apathy affects others. Like Eli, you can sit around, get old, blind, and fat, and become apathetic in your old age. Or you can get into the spiritual game and start doing something. My life was changed by a grandfather who refused to sit around in apathy in his old age. In his retirement, he taught me manners, self-care, and chivalry. He gave me driving lessons, taught me a work ethic, and demonstrated how to love, give, and forgive. He spiritually mentored me when I was desperate for a male role model. He tabernacled his life around my needs and then told me about a man who tabernacled his life on this earth to redeem my soul. The Word became flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, and we have seen his glory. — John 1:14. Through Jesus, where there was no glory [Ichabod], glory was revealed. Fathers and grandfathers, start fulfilling your duty to reveal God's glory today before it's too late. #RevealGodsGlory #SpiritualLeadership #FromIchabodToImmanuel Ask This: In what areas of your life do you see signs of spiritual apathy creeping in, and what steps can you take to actively cultivate a deeper connection with God?Reflecting on the legacy of Eli and his family, how can you ensure that your actions today positively impact future generations spiritually, especially as a father or grandfather figure? Do This: Step Up Your Game. Pray This: Father, help me to recognize and overcome any spiritual apathy in my life, so that I may faithfully reveal Your glory in all that I do. Empower me to lead with wisdom and love, leaving a legacy that honors You and blesses future generations. Amen. Play This: Here Comes the Glory of the Lord.
When National Power Fades and Fails | 1 Samuel 4:15-18
Jun 7 2024
When National Power Fades and Fails | 1 Samuel 4:15-18
Feeling disillusioned by the state of national leadership? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." In the first few verses of Chapter 4, we discover that the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. They engaged in two battles sustaining devastating losses, first 7000 dead, then 30,000 dead, until the Philistines claimed victory, captured the Ark of God, and then sent the Israelites running. Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see. And the man said to Eli, “I am he who has come from the battle; I fled from the battle today.” And he said, “How did it go, my son?” He who brought the news answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great defeat among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.— 1 Samuel 4:15-18 What we witness here is not just a catastrophic defeat in battle. This is the end of an era. The end of 200 years of the nation of Israel being led by Judges. It is a sad ending that comes about by an apathetic Priest and Judge who fails to lead. But it also marks the beginning of a new chapter. Samuel, the great Judge, will lead us from a Theocracy led by Judges into a Monarchy led by Kings, a transition that brings with it the promise of hope and change. As I have aged, I have learned a thing or two about national leaders and government powers. There isn't one who isn't corrupted by some form of sin. Israel, God's people, would be led by Judges, Priests, Kings, and Prophets, and not one of these men and their systems were without sin. There was and is only one perfect leader. He is our Judge, Priest, King, and Prophet — Jesus Christ. Till he comes to reign earth again and take us home, he reigns within our hearts. He is the only perfect leader. Till Jesus comes, we will live under the leadership of some unfortunate leader or power. In the next four years, Americans will either be led by a babbling puppet president or a self-absorbed playboy. Those are the choices we have in our Constitutional Republic. It does not matter how you present or position either one of these men. Neither man is our Savior because neither is a match for the Savior. And that is what Eli just learned. His failures in leadership were no match for God's plan, promises, and power. Age, blindness, apathy, poor parenting, and his failure to lead were not an excuse. God held him accountable for all this, tipped over his chair, and took the reigns from another apathetic and pathetic leader. We have a ruler. He is the only ruler. He rules all creation. It doesn't matter who rules and reigns our nation. The only thing that matters is if God rules your heart. If he doesn't, then you will have hell to pay, just like Eli. #DivinePower, #SpiritualLeadership, #GodsSovereignty Ask This: Reflecting on Eli's leadership, how can we ensure we don't become apathetic in our roles of influence, whether in our families, workplaces, or communities?Considering the contrast between human rule and God's sovereignty highlighted in this passage, how can we actively invite God to rule our hearts and guide our decisions in a world filled with imperfect leadership? Do This: Submit to the King. Pray This: Lord, help me recognize and resist the temptation of apathy in my leadership roles. Guide me to lead with integrity and passion, reflecting Your divine power and sovereignty in all I do. Have Your will with our national leaders. Amen. Play This: Champion.
Your Sin Can Become A National Crisis | 1 Samuel 4:12-14
Jun 6 2024
Your Sin Can Become A National Crisis | 1 Samuel 4:12-14
Your sin can become a national crisis. Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." In the first few verses of Chapter 4, we discover that the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. They engaged in two battles sustaining devastating losses, first 7000 dead, then 30,000 dead, until the Philistines claimed victory, captured the Ark of God, and then sent the Israelites running. A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with dirt on his head. When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out. When Eli heard the sound of the outcry, he said, “What is this uproar?” Then the man hurried and came and told Eli. — 1 Samuel 4:12-14 This is a tragic moment for Israel. In a short devotional, it's tough to capture how devastated God's people might have felt. The unnamed Benjamite makes the 20-mile run retreating from the battle and shows up wearing all the signs of a man in mourning “with his clothes torn and dirt on his head.” The only way to capture the feeling of this moment is to imagine that you receive a call in the next few moments that your spouse or child was killed and then multiply it by 37,000. That's the message this man delivered to this city: 37,000 souls lost on the field of battle, including sons, husbands, and fathers. But let's not forget that all of this stemmed from the apathy of one man. Eli, the last in a long line of Judges, allowed his sons to continue to act in disobedience until finally, they did the unthinkable. They took the Ark of the Covenant from the House of the Lord into battle, which led to slaughter. Disobedient actions concern God, but so does disobedient inaction. Eli had plenty of time to deal with his sons' disobedience, but he didn't. He was apathetic. He took no action, and his inaction was counted as disobedience. This devious sin had devastating consequences for him, his family, his legacy, and 37,000 families who were also impacted. Listen carefully: your sin never only affects you. Disobedient action and disobedient inaction have consequences for everyone. Here's the application. Don't be spiritually apathetic to God today. Address your secret sin and stop hiding it. Address the issue in your marriage that you still need to address. Address your child who is acting in sin. Move from disobedient inaction into obedient action and rally those around you to godly action. If you keep putting it off, that situation will have the same devastating consequences in your life as it did to Eli, his family, and the nation of Israel because your apathy never affects only you; it affects everyone around you.
God’s Promises Are Greater Than Your Plans | 1 Samuel 4:5-11
Jun 5 2024
God’s Promises Are Greater Than Your Plans | 1 Samuel 4:5-11
God's promises are greater than your plans. Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." In the first few verses of Chapter 4, we discover that the Israelites were at war with the Philistines. They engaged in a short battle between the towns of Ebenezer and Aphek. They sustained some losses, and then they got the crafty idea to bring the Ark of God to battle, so let's see how that turns out in the next reading, verses 5-11: As soon as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel gave a mighty shout, so that the earth resounded. And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the Lord had come to the camp, the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before. Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness. Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.” So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. — 1 Samuel 4:5-11 Man Up And Fight As we can see, there was initial excitement about the idea. Even the Philistines were initially frightened by the understanding of how God had defeated an empire in Egypt that was far greater than them. But then the Philistines rally, resulting in a raging slaughter with 30,000 dead, and the ark is compromised. I find it especially interesting that if you look at this situation only from the perspective of the Philistines, you would be convinced that the victory resulted from courage in facing adversity and their resolve to "be men and fight." But we know it wasn't. This situation fulfilled the prophecy spoken by Samuel, stemming from the disobedience of Eli and his sons. God determined the outcome of this battle, not the Philistines or their courage. And because Israel had not trusted in God's power and tried to use his power for their pleasure, he was going to display his power without them. Limited Perspectives Make Wrong Deductions Humanity often has a limited perspective on God's plans. We can only see immediate events, so we make deductions based on what we can see. When we cannot see God's plans, we sometimes become uneasy. Instead of trusting God by faith and obeying him, we take matters into our own hands. In doing so, we justify our actions and make natural human deductions that do not align with God's intentions. Like the Philistines and the Israelites, we may think we need to "man up and fight." While this approach could lead to an occasional victory, it can also result in catastrophic failure. Regardless of the outcome, we must recognize that our deductions and connections may not necessarily be correct, even if we have manned up and fought. Both Israel and the Philistines were about to learn a hard lesson: God's promises are greater than their battle plans. God's Promises Versus Your Plans You have plans. You have career plans, financial plans, marital plans, family plans, and retirement plans. You battle for these plans. Sometimes, you think you need to put in more effort and fight harder. But occasionally, your plans will contest God's promises. Given your limited perspective, you will mistakenly think fight harder. Sometimes, you might win and wrongly think you did it, mustering more courage for another fight. Sometimes, you will lose, causing you to reflect and change course. Before you man up and fight, here are four preliminary actions: Immerse yourself in God's promises.Let God's promises inform your perspective and plans.Be obedient.Trust by faith. Then, man up and fight. If you don't do this first, you will only end up fighting against God, and no man can man up, fight, and win against God's promises. #GodsPromises #TrustHisPlan #FaithOverFear Ask This: How can you discern between your own plans and God's promises in your daily decisions and pursuits?What steps can you take to cultivate a deeper trust in God's promises, even when faced with uncertainty or adversity? Do This: Do all four actions. Pray This: Father, help me to surrender my plans to Your promises, trusting in Your wisdom and sovereignty over my life. Grant me the courage and faith to follow Your lead, even when it requires letting go of my own understanding. Amen. Play This: God of the Promise.
God's Power Is Not Your Pleasure | 1 Samuel 4:1-4
Jun 4 2024
God's Power Is Not Your Pleasure | 1 Samuel 4:1-4
God's power is not your pleasure. Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." Today, I am reading verse 1-4, which states: Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle. And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. — 1 Samuel 4:1-4 The contention between Israel and the Philistines will continue throughout this book, so it might be helpful to understand the tension between these two peoples. The Philistines and the Israelites, both relatively new to the region, emerged around the same time. The Philistines settled primarily in the coastal plain to the west of the hill country, establishing their dominance in five main cities: Ekron, Ashdod, Gath, Ashkelon, and Gaza. Each city was governed by a Philistine lord or king. This geographical and political context is crucial to understanding the dynamics of the conflict between these two peoples. When we begin Chapter Four, a battle unfolds. But since we have just started reading 1 Samuel, we would be wrong to think this was the first battle. This loss was only one of many battles that had been going on for some 200 years through the time of the Judges. For Israel, this loss in battle was one of many, and it was the last straw that broke the camel's back. You can see Israel returns to Shiloh conflicted about this. They concluded they were defeated by "the Lord" and not by the Philistines, which is perfect theology—making their theology right and their subsequent response wrong. The issue at hand for the Israelites is "Why?" Why has the Lord allowed this to continue for the last 200 years, even though they entered the land with such a promise of prosperity? The "Why" is probably threefold: The disobedience as a nation.The disobedience of Eli and his sons.The promise of punishment to Eli and his house is prophesied by Samuel. But rather than exploring the answer to "why" and seeing the connection to their disobedience, they took matters into their own hands. They decided if God would not use his power to give them victory, they would use his power for themselves. In failing to see God's "why," their theology makes a radical turn. They change their minds about what God is and is not able and capable of doing and make themselves the enemy of God. Listen to their reasoning again: "Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.” Initially, they proclaimed God did it. But now they deduce God's proximity is too far; therefore, they do something they should not have done—remove the ark of God from Shiloh. In the coming days, you will see the result of this wrong decision. This happens to believers on a personal level all the time. We are fine with God being sovereign and in total control of the events in our lives until we don't understand the "why." When his "why" evades us, we become irritated because we can only sustain so many losses until we change our minds about what God is or is not doing. We justify ourselves, assuming we are innocent of sin, and then take matters into our own hands because we don't like the mystery and the faith required when there is no answer to the "why." If you find yourself in this place today, wondering why things are happening, rest assured that there is an answer. God knows it and will reveal it in time. However, be careful not to misuse God's power for your own pleasure, as this could lead to an uncomfortable and challenging lesson. Instead of asking "why," have faith in God's timing and power and focus on the more important question: "How can I obey God today?"
Misusing Divine Power | 1 Samuel 4
Jun 3 2024
Misusing Divine Power | 1 Samuel 4
Are you misusing God's power, thus missing his power? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 4. I've titled this chapter "Misusing Divine Power." Today, I am reading verse 22, which states: And she said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” — 1 Samuel 4:22 This verse is the shocking moment in this chapter. It is a statement of national stupidity. Israel made foolish choices, thinking they could harness God's power for personal means, which led to the capture of the ark of God. For those unfamiliar, the ark was a sacred chest containing the Ten Commandments that rested in the Temple, symbolizing God's presence and power. Humanity has long been intrigued by God's power. Even if we don't fully comprehend the intricacies of religion, we know that God, by nature, is considered all-powerful. The idea that God's power could somehow be harnessed for our benefit is undeniably attractive. The thought of this takes me back to those old classic Indiana Jones movies, like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Last Crusade" where notorious explorers are allured by the proposition that the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail hold power that one could harness for personal pleasure and means. For many, God's power is exactly what draws them to God. Consider the businessman burdened by anxieties and challenges. In desperation, he comes to God, praying that God's power will give him success or prevent the success of his competitors. If God's power can do that, the businessman sees value in God. Or consider the unbeliever who is terminally ill. Even though they have lived a prayerless life, their illness brings them to one of those "Hail Mary Prayers" for God’s healing power. If God can offer that, then they see some value in God. The applications of this twisted understanding of God's power are endless. But this is exactly what the followers of God in Israel attempt to do in 1 Samuel 4. Believers attempt to harness the power of the ark of God for their own personal means, resulting in a mass casualty event of proportions that is catastrophic to the people of Israel. And that is what the woman in this text has learned. Her husband (Phinehas), brother-in-law (Hophni), and father-in-law (Eli) are all dead because they misunderstood and misused the power of God. This entire chapter warns everyone about the misuse of God's power for personal pleasure. Harnessing God’s power even in our fragilities may be alluring, but it's fatal. We might even try to camouflage our attempt to harness our power behind a religious front, but still, this is fatally wrong. With that, here are the six topics we will address in this chapter: God’s Power Is Not Our Pleasure.God’s Promises Are Powerfully Fulfilled.Personal Sin Becomes A National Crisis.God’s Power Is Not Your Good Luck Charm.God’s Power Reveals Godless Corruption.God’s Judgement is Painful for Everyone. So get ready for a powerful chapter where we discover the God of all power. #MisusingDivinePower, #HarnessingGodsPower, #BiblicalWarnings Ask This: How do you discern between seeking God's power for personal gain versus aligning yourself with His will and purposes?In what areas of your life do you find yourself tempted to misuse or manipulate God's power for your own desires, and how can you realign your perspective to honor His sovereignty and wisdom? Do This: Don't misuse God's power. Pray This: Lord, help me surrender my desires for personal gain and align my heart with Your will, recognizing Your sovereignty over all things. Grant me wisdom to use Your power in accordance with Your purposes so that I may honor You in all aspects of my life. Amen. Play This: In Christ Alone.
God Is Silent No More | 1 Samuel 3:19-21
Jun 2 2024
God Is Silent No More | 1 Samuel 3:19-21
When God is silent no more! Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verses 19-21, which states: And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. — 1 Samuel 3:19-21 This passage describes Samuel's character. After receiving guidance from the Lord, he experienced spiritual growth and matured. The presence of the Lord was evident with him, in stark contrast to Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas. Furthermore, his words carried weight; people listened and remembered when he spoke. As a result, his reputation grew and surpassed others in his time, spanning from Dan to Beersheba, which is like saying from San Francisco to New York. We are given four distinct characteristics of Samuel. There are four things we could aim for as a follower. Receptivity to Spiritual Growth.Intimacy with the Lord.Speaking the Unforgettable Word.Reputation that Advanced. Most men want the fourth item without doing the other three. We want a reputation without putting in the hard work of being receptive, intimate, and teaching the Word. This is mainly because we confuse our fame with God's fame. It's not about our fame and reputation that we need to promote, but about advancing God's fame and His reputation. The chapter and book serve as something other than a self-help guide on how to become a great leader from the perspective of someone who was a great leader. Instead, the book focuses on how God used a man to usher in a new season for the people of Israel. It's worth noting that in times of crisis, God's initial response to a nation is not to send a political leader but to communicate His Word through a man. I believe God is looking for this man right now in our time: one who is receptive to growth, intimate with him, speaks his truth and is concerned about His fame, not his own. This is what we need. Are you that man? #GodSpeaksThroughMen, #SamuelEffect, #ReceptiveLeadership Ask This: Following Samuel's example, How can we cultivate a deeper receptivity to spiritual growth in our lives?How can we prioritize advancing God's fame over our reputation in our daily interactions and leadership roles? Do This: Be God's man: a receptive, intimate man of His Word. Pray This: Lord, help me to be like Samuel—receptive to Your guidance, intimate with You, and bold in speaking Your truth, all for the glory of Your name. May Your fame be my foremost concern as I seek to lead and influence others by Your will. Amen.
Telling The Hard Truth | 1 Samuel 3:15-18
Jun 1 2024
Telling The Hard Truth | 1 Samuel 3:15-18
Are you willing to swallow the hard truth? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verses 15-18, it states: Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” And Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.” — 1 Samuel 3:15-18 In the popular movie series The Matrix, the lead character, Neo, is given an option at the beginning of the film. He could take a red pill, enabling him to understand the truth outside the illusion of the Matrix. Or he could take a blue pill, allowing him to return to the illusion. Neo, of course, chooses the red pill, which opens his eyes to a discomforting truth. The life he had been living was nothing but an illusion. He was living a lie. This illustration fits here because Samuel and Eli have to swallow some troubling truths. But notice a few details about the two men. First, Samuel lay there all night, likely unable to sleep due to the troubling message about his mentor and feeling afraid to inform Eli about what God had said. Second, Eli calls Samuel as if he were a son, fully aware that God spoke to him but demanding to hear the truth about God's words. In a way, they both have a red pill to swallow. Samuel has to speak a hard truth. Eli has to accept a hard truth. I said this yesterday, but when God speaks, his truth is always a hard pill to swallow. God's truth declares that we are sinful, and then we have to accept the truth that we are sinful and need his salvation. Some people don't want to believe this truth. They prefer the blue pill. They buy into the illusion that they are good enough and that this life is all about pleasure and personal gratification. But ignoring the hard truth does us no good if we are going to be confronted by it at some point. If we are going to face judgment by God at the end of life, isn't it pointless to ignore the truth? Make today the day you make a change. Swallow the red pill, accept your sinfulness, and receive salvation and redemption before all you get is God's judgment. If this is you today and you are ready to make a change, pray this prayer along with me: God, I realize my life is ridden with sin. I accept this truth and need your salvation. I receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and his life, death, and resurrection as my means of redemption. I am ready to accept your truth and live by it all my days. In Jesus' name, Amen. If you prayed this today, reply and let me know. I would love to support you in some next steps. #EmbraceTheRedPill, #CourageousFaith, #FacingHardTruths Ask This: Reflecting on Samuel's hesitation to share God's message with Eli, consider a time when you've struggled to speak the truth in love. What steps can you take to cultivate courage and honesty in your relationships, even when it's difficult? In what areas of your life are you tempted to take the "blue pill" of denial rather than confronting uncomfortable truths? How can you actively choose the path of courageous faith, embracing God's truth, and pursuing transformation in those areas? Do This: Accept the truth from God, even when you don't like it. Pray This: Lord, grant me the courage to embrace the red pill of truth, confronting the uncomfortable realities in my life with faith and humility. May Your grace empower me to walk boldly in Your truth, trusting in Your redemption and transformation. Amen. Play This: Jesus, I Need You.
3 Keys To Unlocking Divine Guidance | 1 Samuel 3:8-10
May 30 2024
3 Keys To Unlocking Divine Guidance | 1 Samuel 3:8-10
Three keys to unlocking divine direction. Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verses 8-10, it reads: And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” — 1 Samuel 3:8-10 Today, Samuel demonstrates how to unlock the divine direction that you want and need. Three keys: Key One | Persistence God called Samuel four times before he realized that God was speaking to him. Four times! You thought you were slow. Sometimes, we are all a little slow, but Samuel got something right. He was persistent in listening. We need the same persistence in how we listen. The world is noisy: there is political noise, business noise, financial noise, marital noise, household noise, emotional noise, and sometimes, it takes a lot of work to hear God through all the noise. This means you need to persist in listening. Don't quit listening for God after the first attempt or prayer. Listen longer because when you don't know what God's voice sounds like, you might have already heard it but just don't know it yet. Key Two | Guidance Samuel needed clear guidance to discern God's voice and how to respond. If you are confused about what God wants you to do, seek spiritual guidance from someone you know who hears from God. Samuel had Eli. Eli was not a perfect man, but he did provide Samuel with enough guidance on how to discern and respond. It was just enough for him to take the first step. There are believers around you who hear from God and who have just enough wisdom to guide you as well. Key Three | Readiness I love Samuel's statement, "Speak, for your servant hears." His posture and positional readiness are what is needed. Most believers want to hear from God but sometimes are not positionally ready for the answer. If you want to hear God's voice and get his direction, then you need to prepare your soul for divine guidance that may not be what you want to hear, do, or share with others. This is exactly what is about to happen to Samuel. Your posture must be that of the servant. When God speaks you need to ready yourself. If you desire to hear from God, confidently embrace these three keys: persistence, guidance, and readiness. By applying these principles, you will consistently unlock the divine direction you want and need. #DivineDirection, #HearingGodsVoice, #SpiritualGuidance Ask This: How can you cultivate a spirit of persistence in your daily life to better hear God's voice amidst the noise of the world? Who in your life can you turn to for spiritual guidance and support, and how can you actively seek their wisdom to discern God's direction for your life? Do This: Do the three keys. Pray This: Father, grant me the persistence to listen for Your voice, the humility to seek guidance from those who follow You, and the readiness to obey Your will, even when it challenges me. Help me to hear Your whispers above the clamor of the world and to faithfully follow where You lead. Amen. Play This: The Struggle.
Uncomfortable Messages From God | 1 Samuel 3:11-14
May 30 2024
Uncomfortable Messages From God | 1 Samuel 3:11-14
What do you do when God speaks and says something you don't like? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verses 11-14, it reads: Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” — 1 Samuel 3:11-14 Samuel is not just receiving any communication but direct communication from God. Let that sink in. Samuel is hearing the voice of the Lord in the house of the Lord from the Lord Himself—inspiring and humbling. Four Realities About God's Voice To Man But I want to pause briefly and state four realities about this experience. First, every believer, at some point, wishes they could have an experience like this with God. Second, some think they are hearing God's voice when they are not. Third, others say they have heard God's voice and use it to coerce or control others. Fourth, and this is the vital point. You can hear from God and speak to God all the time. We hear from God in his Word. We are directed by God by his Spirit. We hear from God through other believers who are also in God's Word and led by the Spirit. We can speak with God in prayer, and God gives divine direction through events around us. You can have a very lively, vibrant, real communication with God all the time. This is one of the benefits of the Cross: Jesus made it possible for us all to access God at any time and anywhere (Eph. 3:11-12, Luke 23:44-47, John 14:6-7). When God Speaks, And You Don't Like It The startling issue of this communication from God is that it was a divine message with a damning message. God told young Samuel that his mentor, the High Priest of Israel, and his family would no longer have their sins atoned. That's eternal damnation by God. The message is "You are going to Hell." So, let me make an observation: God speaks a lot, but we don't listen. God's Word is His spoken word. If you want to hear from God, all you have to do is read His Word. In His Word, God has things to say about everything, but especially about you—your life, sin, vocation, family, finances, marriage, identity, and holiness. But here's the problem: When we read God's Word and hear his message, we don't like what he says because God demands a change. He is Holy, and we are not. This means that his message to us is not always positive and predictive but frequently painful because God demands change. By chapter three, two men—Eli and Samuel—had heard from God. Eli and his sons were given plenty of time to hear and change. They didn't, so they were damned. But, now it's Samuel's turn to hear from the Lord. Will he embrace the discomfort and deliver the message, or not? We will see... But what about you? Do you want to hear from the Lord? If so, gird up your loins. Embrace the discomfort. Do what God says. This is what it is like for a fallen creature to hear from the Creator of all Humanity. God, help us be courageous today. Please speak to us, and may we hear your truth, embrace the discomfort, and do what you demand. Amen. #GodsVoice, #DivineCall, #CourageousObedience Ask This: How can we discern between our own desires and God's voice when faced with challenging decisions or messages?In what areas of our lives are we resisting God's call for change, and how can we cultivate a willingness to embrace discomfort and obedience? Do This: Embrace the discomfort and do what God says. Pray This: Lord, grant me the courage to listen attentively to your voice, even when it challenges me to change. Help me embrace discomfort and walk in obedience, trusting in your wisdom and guidance. Amen. Play This: The Truth.
4 Principles for Tuning Into God’s Voice | 1 Samuel 3:2-7
May 29 2024
4 Principles for Tuning Into God’s Voice | 1 Samuel 3:2-7
Do you want to increase how you hear God's voice? Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verses 2-7, which states: At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. 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. Then the Lord called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!” and 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. And the Lord called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. — 1 Samuel 3:2-7 Two Contrasts This section has two fascinating contrasts. First, there's a striking contrast between aging Eli's failing eyesight lying in darkness in his own place and young Samuel resting in the Temple near the ark under the evening lamp. The author wants us to see the strong contrast between the two men at this moment. One man is on his way out of the leadership, and the other is on his way in. Second, we encounter the phrase, "Samuel did not yet know the Lord." This line echoes the declaration made about Hophni and Phineas in the previous chapter, "They did not know the Lord." However, the distinction lies in their reasons: Eli's sons rejected the Lord, whereas Samuel hadn't yet had a personal encounter with Him. The word "yet" in the text promises future revelation: "Samuel did not yet know the Lord." Many of you know what happens next in the story. It's pretty spectacular. Four Principles for Tuning Into God's Voice But for now, let me suggest four great principles we can glean from this text for tuning into God's voice. Principle One | Put Yourself In Proximity To God. God is speaking. He has something to say to you about your present situation. But if you are not in proximity to God, like Eli, who is weary and in his own place rather than in the house of the Lord, it will be harder to hear his voice. Physical and spiritual proximity play a part in hearing from God. This means you have to stop being resistant to the Church and God and move closer to both. Let me make this simple and practical: Go to church this week. Stop being so judgmental about the program, people, praise, and preaching, and instead listen to what God is trying to say only to you through the program, people, praise, and preaching. I bet you hear God speak in a way you have not heard him speak in a while. Principle Two | Disobedience Hinders Hearing God. Hophni and Phineas were disobedient men and spiritual leaders who did not know the Lord because they did not listen to the Lord. So, if you live in disobedience to the Lord, don't expect to hear from the Lord. It's impossible to hear from the Lord in disobedience because you are not listening to the Lord but to the Enemy of the Lord. You cannot listen and act on what the Enemy says to do and expect to hear from the Lord. That logic doesn't work. Principle Three | Obedience Enhances Hearing God. When we are obedient to God, this will enhance the connection to God. As John Hammis once wrote: When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, what a glory he sheds on our way! While we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey. — John Hammis, Trust and Obey. Principle Four | The More You Listen & Obey, The More You Know God. As the text states, "Samuel did not yet know the Lord." But once he learned to listen, he would remember his voice and know the Lord more and more. The same is true with us. The more we listen and obey God, the better we hear him and the more we know Him. If we continue listening and obeying, we will know him and hear from him more and more. So, commit to drawing closer to God. Get to know Him. Increase your reception by being in proximity, ending disobedience, and living in obedience. Tune into the whispers and get to know the Lord. He has the guidance and comfort you want and need. #ListenAndObey, #DivineWhispers, #SpiritualReception Ask This: How can you intentionally create space in your life to draw closer to God and hear His voice more clearly?Reflecting on times of disobedience and obedience in your life, what changes can you make today to enhance your receptivity to God's guidance and direction? Do This: Choose one of the four principles above and do it. Pray This: Lord, help me draw near to You with an open heart, eagerly listening for Your voice amidst the noise of life. Guide me to obedience and deeper intimacy with You so that I may walk closely with You and know You more fully each day. Amen. Play This: Trust and Obey.
Navigating Seasons When God Is Silent | 1 Samuel 3:1
May 28 2024
Navigating Seasons When God Is Silent | 1 Samuel 3:1
Have you ever felt the weight of God's silence? Today, I will give you two suggestions for navigating it. Welcome to the Daily Devo. I am Vince Miller. This week, we are reading 1 Samuel 3. I've titled this chapter "Into Our Silence God Speaks." Today, I am reading verse 1, which states: Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision. — 1 Samuel 3:1 If you are a believer, there is no greater comfort than hearing from the Lord. At the same time, there is no greater discomfort when you want to hear from Him, but you sense that either He is not speaking or you are not hearing Him. More than a few times in my life, I have experienced this silence on matters of health, vocation, healing, finances, and marriage when I wanted an answer from God. This silence is disturbing and unsettling. Often, it leads to anxiety, confusion, and frustration that can mess with my head. In God's silence, my patience sometimes wears thin, and if I am not careful, my beliefs and thoughts will lead me to take matters into my own hands because I am weary of waiting on the Lord. Have you been there? We all have. The people of Israel were in the same place in 1 Samuel 3. They were in a time of silence when the "word of the Lord was rare." But the reason why was stated in Chapter 2 is that the priests at Shiloh, Eli’s sons, “did not know the Lord” and behaved in contempt for God and the people (1 Samuel 2:12–17). So, if you are still waiting to hear from the Lord, let me make two simple suggestions. Stop Spending Time With People Who Don't Know The Lord First, stop spending time with people who do not know the Lord, even if they appear to know the Lord. Many people boast credentials, status, and education but are not grounded in the Lord (like Eli's sons). Their answers are based on secular ideologies and will lead you away from the Lord and further into silence. Start Spending Time With People Who Do Know The Lord Second, start spending time with people who know the Lord. These people are easy to find. They read God's word, listen to sound teachers, and share godly wisdom. In addition, increase your intake of God's Word and get around praying people who will pray for you. If you do both of these things, the silence will break for you as it did for God's people. God will send the light of hope to you through Samuel, even in the darkest and quietest moments. And then listen. God will speak, and you will know it. It will be easy to discern because it will be the voice of comfort in your present discomfort. Let's pray: God, please speak to those today to whom you have been silent. Please help them to eliminate the dissonance of this world. Put believers in their lives to whom you speak, and may your Word be a clear voice of comfort in their present season. Amen. #GodsSilence #SeekingHisVoice #SpiritualJourney