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Showing posts from November, 2010

RESTART

Sleep reminds me of pushing "restart." The screen goes black, silence, then light, whirring, clicking and there it is: a fresh start. God is so smart; though He never sleeps nor slumbers He knew that we would need to re-boot. Each new day still carries the information of yesterday, yet offers a new beginning. Lord, I praise You for your indescribable wisdom and nurture. Help me take hold of this new day.

UNREADINESS RESOLVED

When I take an honest look at the distracted unreadiness of my soul I realize why God’s blessings so often delay. It is the goodness of God to withhold divine action until I am properly postured to receive. The reliable discipline of the Great Shepherd prepares me for still waters. I am not ready when I want to be ready; I’m ready when, in truth, I’m ready. Father, I meander, but You lead me in THE WAY!!

DIVINE AUTHORITY

We confuse exercising biblically granted DIVINE AUTHORITY with being an AUTHORITY ON THE DIVINE; confidently condemning those not like us. From there it is a slippery slope.  Discernment has great value, but we can easily move into judgment and declarative pronouncements that are careless and hurtful rather than helpful. Lord, help me to discern, think and speak things bathed in Your love.

THANKFUL

I woke up thankful today. Thankfulness floats close to the surface for me, but it is usually not my first reaction. Constant, auto-response gratefulness requires a level of surrender that still eludes me. Typically I must first navigate through a maze of my own thoughts and emotions BEFORE I reach the bliss of thankfulness. Today, I am there quickly; thank You Father for the early gift.

CONTROL

Each day, I am increasingly aware of how little actual control that I have. This is good; I do not warrant unmitigated control of my life. My record is littered with the debris of failures where I attempted to be my own final authority. Oh yes, many attempts. Master, I am at peace with surrender to Your control. Grant me DIVINE PURGING today that I may more easily yield to your primacy. My life is Yours alone.

PRAISE NOW

A mental grasp of God is wholly unnecessary since His greatness is beyond human comprehension. I don’t have to wait for more understanding of His works and ways to praise him. He is worthy of outrageous, extravagant acclamation and adoration NOW. Great are You Lord and worthy of all honor and glory! My heart and mouth is full of praise to You my God and my strength.

FRIENDS

How do new friendships come? Like summer rains, they often build surprisingly quick and seemingly come from nowhere. Actually, God SENDS rain and God SENDS friends. They are irreplaceable gifts from the Holy One. Blessed Lord, Friend of Sinners, thank you for granting me friendships, old and new. Help me to be a better friend to others. Lord, bless my friends today.

SAFE ADVANCE

I will not live my life in a fear-fueled rage against circumstances. While there are many things I would like changed, I accept that I don’t understand what is best for each moment on this earth. I do know that God is generous, loving, meticulous, and wise. He is ultimately in control. I’m good with that. Lord, knowing You is enough. All things are in your perfect hands; I safely advance.

THE VOICE

Will God speak to the depths of a heart not open to His voice? Can I expect God’s guidance in issues closed to His counsel? Provoked by His extravagant love, He does speak through humanly held barriers, standing just outside the door knocking. Holy Father, I seek hope that only You may bring; uproot every impediment to Your voice within me. I long for Your words my Lord and Redeemer.

JUST BEYOND REACH

I must keep in mind that whatever is beyond my reach was put there by God. In some cases things are just beyond touch to urge me forward, in others, the extra distance is for my protection. Ultimately, the One who places things beyond my grasp can just as easily drop them in my lap if it accomplishes His will. Blessed lord, I trust Your ways, knowing that what is inaccessible for me is firmly in Your grip.

PAIN

Pain has a unique way of capturing all of our attention. Life without agony of some variety seems impossible. I must not allow sorrow of any sort to have more than momentary notice or it will soon sequester everything around it. Giving, serving, or any act of selfless love requires doing so through pain. Lord, I earnestly believe Your words: “those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy”. My harvest is on the way.

UNRESOLVED

As soon as I awake my mind is bombarded with unresolved problems; there is never a shortage of them. My first inclination is to share my anxiety with others, yet I know the ultimate answer is not there. No, I will cast my cares upon Him who cares for me more than any other. Lord, I yearn for Your consoling voice. Instruct me from You limitless knowledge, strengthen me with Your benevolent power.

THE QUIET SHOUT

The quiet shouts, morning is dawning. One day closer to forever. The darkness slips away and my soul awakens to another moment of God’s unfailing love. I haven’t been here before, so I must not presume that it is like any other I’ve traversed. New beginnings. Lord, show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Fill my heart with fresh expectation. Use me to lift others today.

BY FAITH

The simple phrase “by faith” opens a universe of understanding and divine power. By faith, I confidently approach the Throne of Grace. By faith, I can love others without terror. By faith, I can march through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. By faith, my heart is filled with the abundance of the unseen. Lord of Faith and Goodness, Your Promises grant me uncluttered assurance; point me in Your way.

PRAYER IMPULSE

As of late I have experienced an impulse to pray. While prayer has been a part of my daily life for a long time, this is different. Specific people have been on my heart in greater volume and intensity. As I pray for others, God lays open the cover-ups within me, healing incurable wounds, breaking through invincible walls. Father, in Your mercy, hear my prayers. Thank You for the gift of interceding for others.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS

While shrouded in yesterday’s darkness, I observe in advance of the day the light of the hope of saints. With pardon and help, I will escape the shadows of the abyss of my own self-generated fogginess and walk fully in the light of a new beginning. This new day is a gift, I am thankful for another. Lord, dispel the murkiness of wrongdoing that has infused me and cut me loose from all that binds me to disobedience.

WALKING WITH THE ALMIGHTY

My earthly excursion must be trod on mountaintops and deep valleys alike; each day brings gains and losses. My goal is to please God, yet it is difficult to take hold of eternal things while constantly immersed in the temporal.  Unruly sin and deep regret accompany my pilgrimage, but mercy and forgiveness deliver me daily. Lord, I thank You that You walk with me, before me, after me, within me.

MOUSE STEPS

MOUSE STEPS produce little forward advance, but are often the prelude to the monumental. I prefer GIANT STEPS, but they must be taken with greater caution and forethought. There is a time for each. Everything God does with mankind must seem like mouse steps to Him. Eternal Lord, You who holds the universe in Your palm, thank You for Your patience and delicate care. Make me more like You.

DEEPER

I am, of late, being drawn into a deeper place. This newest spiritual advance requires little outward action, however, a lot is happening inwardly. Past growth means little here, no, only the present. Attitudes, commitments and practices are being put to the test; fresh excitement and passion is gurgling. Shepherd of My Soul, thank You for fresh winds. Help me to not take shortcuts. Be magnified in me.

NEW DAY

The table is set for a new day. Only God knows exactly what is prepared and ready to be set before me. I must now leave behind my simple-minded ways and ready myself for new insight, higher life, greater things. Am I ready for today? Only the day will tell, but the One who provides it will also carry me through it. Lord, today is the day You have made; I’m good with that. Lift me in Your arms.
The basic human instinct for harmony, symmetry, balance and rhythm is continually assaulted by the unpredictable anarchy that each day brings. In art, the imperfect, the incomplete, the suggested are central to its beauty, its mystery. The work of God’s Spirit is precisely to bring order and truth out of chaos. Lord. Help me trusts Your artful work throughout this day. I will trust Your eye for beauty from ashes.

MERCY

The mercy of God requires no conditions. By the time we need mercy, nothing more CAN be done, that is why we need it. We who know little of unconditional love struggle with the very idea that God offers mercy of this nature. Don’t get me wrong, grace and mercy are deadly. Every last strand of selfishness will succumb to their work. Most Merciful and Gracious God, do your holy work in me today.

PEOPLE TESTS

People are God’s principle means of developing divine qualities in us.  As we learn to be truly grateful for this process we make huge spiritual strides. How would God provoke me to change without others? Raw truth, without the test of practical application, would leave me fundamentally unchanged. Lord, thank you for the relentless test of walking in love. Guide me through the maze of forgiving, blessing and lifting others.

ONLY JOY

Imagined happiness can never offer the authenticity of the joy that God provides. Since human happiness is rooted in temporary circumstance, with ebbs and flows like tidal waters, we learn to anticipate its departure soon after its arrival. No so with the joy of the Lord. No, this sticks. It’s not as giddy, but offers exquisite texture and is loaded with extras. Lord, I love Your joy, no substitute will suffice.

HEART FENCES

I cannot permit my heart to have open borders; it must be guarded since everything I do flows from it. It is really simple, garbage in garbage out, treasure in treasure out. Like the physical body, my inward man must be nourished, protected and cultivated for it to stay healthy. A free roaming heart will stray into danger. Lord, Shepherd of my Soul, help me stay in Your shadow. Keep me safely in Your care.

GRACE GROWTH

While I have grown spiritually over a lifetime I continue to struggle with the same basic human issues. This discouraged me as a younger man, but now my response is different. I am actually encouraged by the knowledge that it is grace upon which I must wholly depend; it always has been, it always will be. Father, that I must continually lean upon Your goodness provides a liberty that self assurance never could.

SEASONAL SHIFT

A seasonal shift, change in the air; almost unperceivable at first, then obvious signs emerge. I love how God works in both nature and in me. There is always something afoot, new seasons arrive unannounced. Grace for where I have trod recedes, grace for what is next appears. Lord of Seasons, acclimate my heart to what approaches, more of You in me…much more.
Discretion is a precious gift from God. If I ignore its protection I suffer the consequences. Time spent with thoughtful people increases my discernment and guards me from inappropriate recklessness. Good judgment does not lock us away from the world around us, but empowers us to walk safely among all. Giver of All Wisdom, grant me foresight and good sense today.

THE CHASE

Chasing after God must be done in spite of many obstructions. I not only face the difficulty of human selfishness, but also the twisted theology of contemporary Christian culture; that personal fulfillment is on the same level as the will of God. A full embrace of the Cross will finish this. Father, pull me toward You when I pull away. Teach me to hold tightly to the finishing work of Your death, burial & resurrection.

UNPLUGGED LOVE

I treasure the moments when God’s love flows freely through me to others. I know it should be constant, but sadly, perpetual self-awareness regularly restricts its unobstructed passage. On those occasions when the channel is open, His divine passion passes unhindered and I myself am more exhilarated and deeply fulfilled than at any other time. Lord, forgive me for monopolizing Your love by my neediness.