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Showing posts from October, 2010

WHY

We spend a lot of time considering what we want and how we will attain it, yet make little effort to understand why we want it in the first place. Too often, after obtaining long-sought goals, our pursuits leave us exhausted and disappointed. Discerning the “why” before the start can deliver us from the wrong chase. Lord, help me truthfully discern my desires. Keep me from running headlong down empty trails.

GOD'S WILL

I am not capable of mapping God's incredible will. I must trust Him to reveal it in each step of obedience. He has promised to guide the steps of the righteous. The steps. I prefer more foreknowledge. Yes, advanced guidance seems reasonable, yet faith must be developed God’s way rather than my own. Lord, I am pleased to do it Your way. Teach me the daily walk of faith and cheerful trust.

FRIENDS

Friendship brings pleasantness to one’s life, but the greatest treasure is the earnest counsel that springs from a true comrade. While all advice must be properly weighed and measured, even the wounds of a trusted friend lifts and blesses our soul. Earthly love always comes laden with imperfection, but when authentically offered, leads us to God’s amazing, perfect love. Father, thank You for my friends.

DIVINE DISSATISFACTION

I have a welcome case of divine dissatisfaction. His goodness is what stirs discontentment with our current condition. He will not leave us in the squalor of yesterday’s spiritual attainment. God induced turbulence is ultimately terminal, bringing every unregenerate attitude or behavior into the open for disposal. Blessed riddance. Father, thank you for provoking me to go deeper. May it ever be so.

SHADOW WALK

I am far more familiar with the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” than the “Mountain of Transfiguration”. Apprehension is the constant companion of faith; each step forward is a repudiation of doubt. Ultimately we must learn that faith does not rely upon circumstances and that its fullness is often developed in the darkroom. Lord, take my hand as I step through the shadows, in You do I put my trust.

CONUNDRUM

Striving to enter rest, the daily conundrum of the soul. It seems that most of my energy is exhausted in resistance, only to find rest in abandon. What sweet whisperings await the relinquished heart! Lord, arrest me, body, soul and spirit. Teach me to succumb to Your promptings BEFORE running headlong into walls. Constrain me to “Come Unto” before I ”Go Therefore.” At Your feet is the better part.

CRITICISM

Criticism is an important component of our growth process. Even if offered with wrong motives, it is a huge motivator for needed changes. I do not like to be criticized, but have learned that much of my progress has been impelled by it. A person fully conscious of the firm grip of God’s hand may be stung, but never devastated by the disapproval of others. Father, sustain me and transform me.

SPEED BUMPS

I despise speed bumps. Understanding their purpose and safety value doesn’t seem to help. I create workarounds to avoid them or limit wheel contact. Commentary on their size, placement, justification and frequency is obligatory. Slowing down when I’m ready to roll just bothers me. Father, I get it. Thank You for the necessary slowdowns of life. I will not resent Your placement of required pauses.

FEELINGS

I almost always feel that I am right. Thankfully, I’ve learned that feelings are not dependable for guidance. Emotional fervor is no substitute for the rock solid combination of biblically informed, spirit-guided and humbly surrendered discernment. God protects and directs the submitted heart like a watercourse. Father, break every stronghold of prideful stubbornness in me. Make my heart pliable and my path sure.

BIG SHOES

As a child I would kidnap my father’s shoes and walk in them. It was clumsy, awkward, adventurous and a bit perilous. It still is. Now that my daily pursuit is to walk in my heavenly Father’s shoes, I often feel the same; too small, amateurish, inelegant, vulnerable. No longer a child, I realize that I am being groomed for purpose. Lord, I am still learning. Risk is reward when taken in pursuit of Your highest.

FAITH

The life of faith does not require complete suspension of human reason. The mind is an integral part of faith and is essential to good judgment, obedience and creativity. However, since I only know in part, every thought must be brought under the guidance, cleansing and dominion of He who knows everything. Father, may my thoughts only be those which reflect Your will. Help me keep my mind set on the right things.

PAINFUL TRIAL

Having suffered a painful trial in the past does not take away the sting of a new trial, even if it is similar to ones passed through long ago.  Prior grace will not relieve the dark night of the soul. I must return to the foot of the cross and behold the Son.  Grace for today is given freely to those in renewed surrender. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, yes to You, no to all else.

HUMILITY OF GOD

The level of selfish ambition and vain conceit that still drives my behaviors is disappointing. After a lifetime of the dealings of God there remains plenty more to be transformed in me. I cannot promote the best interest of others while in hot pursuit of my own. Lord, You make yourself smaller to relate to all You have created. I know that if I am to love as You do I must do so with the humility You have.

JOYFUL COMPLIANCE

Since God sees into our souls, grudging obedience will not suffice. Joyful compliance puts a smile on our Heavenly Father’s face; He loves a cheerful giver. Resentful servitude leaves us empty and does not produce in us the purpose God intends. Willing submission releases copious fruitfulness and enduring peace. Oh Lord, Keeper of My Soul, teach me to love You without reserve in all that I do.

JOYFUL COMPLIANCE

Since God sees into our souls, grudging obedience will not suffice. Joyful compliance puts a smile on our Heavenly Father’s face; He loves a cheerful giver. Resentful servitude leaves us empty and does not produce in us the purpose God intends. Willing submission releases copious fruitfulness and enduring peace. Oh Lord, Keeper of My Soul, teach me to love You without reserve in all that I do.

JUST OFFSTAGE

I’m standing just offstage; the curtain is about to rise on a brand new day. Past performance informs the moment, but this hour has never been. Will I confidently step forward in grace and mercy, or will I drag along yesterday’s shortcomings, misgivings and calamities? Lord of New Beginnings, You have given me this new day. Let Your light wash over me. May the glory of Your brightness be seen in me.

IMPERFECTIONS

To openly live a life of faith is not a proclamation of personal perfection. In fact, the opposite is true. My imperfections become the stage upon which the amazing grace and relentless love of God are displayed. In my weakness, His awesome strength is discovered and brought to the forefront. Lord, You are my Fortress and Deliverer, reveal Yourself in me. May my failings spotlight Your exquisiteness.

SPIRITUAL SUPERIORITY

The heart that understands the unmerited grace God offers will not fall victim to a superiority complex toward others. If we are still under the delusion that we are blessed because of our moral rectitude or exceptional behavior, then prideful judgmentalism is assured. Godliness produces sound judgment, not a sense of spiritual superiority. Lord have mercy on my prideful ways.

CLOUDS

My family lived in Costa Rica and on several occasions we visited Mt. Poas, an active volcano. We were amazed at the spectacular view of the huge, steaming crater. On a couple of visits we never saw more than clouds; its incredible power and girth shrouded by something as fleeting and inert as vapor. Father, forgive me for allowing temporary things to cloud my view of Your Awesomeness.

FORCE

Extension of the Kingdom of God in me and through me to others must not be an afterthought; spiritual progress cannot be accomplished with life’s leftovers. Scripture proclaims: “the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. Today matters, and how intentionally I approach it will affect its outcome. Lord, help me lay hold, rattle my cage until I come at last to You.

PERFECT LOVE

My love for God and the people He loves is authentic, but still contains a polluting mixture of conditional, selfish, human love. While at times I wish to be entirely free of it, I know it is only a half-hearted aspiration. Yet, progress is being made and for every millimeter forward I am grateful. My Lord, My God, forgive my recklessness. Help me to be vigilant to not mix selfishness into Your perfect love.

STRONGER

As with muscles, my giftings and abilities grow stronger as I use them; so my best strategy is to get busy and put them to the test. I can ignore the daily opportunities that God grants me or I can step into the challenge and man up. I could grow today, make a difference, become more effective, please God. Father, help me move farther in, deeper down, higher up, farther out. Awaken my soul to You.

SURGERY

I am in the debt of those who have touched my life. Like surgical instruments in the hands of the Great Physician, God has pressed people into my life to cut away what harms me from within. I have often resented those used for the deepest cuts, only later to realize that they have done me great good, even if they intended otherwise. Father, keep me under the knife and thank You for all whom You choose to use.

DELUSION

It is a common deception to fall in love with a false image. We imagine only the good about something or someone, only to subsequently discover that we have successfully ignored the truth. Human love is delusional because it is selfish at its core. Only a godly worldview can prepare us to properly love people or things. Father in Heaven, You love the imperfect perfectly. Grant me Your love, deliver me from my own.

DIVERSITY

The diversity of people is as much a gift of God as any other treasure He offers. While differences engender many difficulties, they also provide ample opportunity to learn the many angles of love. Like a diamond turned in light, each person reveals another facet of God’s imprint upon each of us, even in those wholly unaware of His presence. I praise You Father for Your Glory and Majesty.

TRUSTWORTHY

There is no trepidation in not knowing if you can count on someone trustworthy who does. Indescribable rest is released when assurance exceeds ignorance. Knowing the greatness of God is vital for significant personal progress. The unknown paralyzes; knowing the All-Knowing One mobilizes. Therefore, I will move forward in confidence and peace. O Lord Most High, my hope and strength are in You.