Have we ever read a "Scripture" that defined itself so well, gave meaning to our lives, and provided a sanctuarial refuge? Then as we looked closer, we had marked and read the same scripture many times before. Same Scripture, different times and, DEEPER MEANING. When we become RESOLVED, ABSORBED AND DEPENDENT upon GOD'S WILL we receive HIS FAVOR, MERCY AND REFUGE. Psalm 119:127, " I Love YOUR commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold". If we read the Bible for any other reason, its words remain a Mystery; AND WHAT DOES THAT MAKE GOD IN OUR LIVES?
Who are we to do anything GREAT? "HE called the disciples and chose from them twelve..." (Luke 6:12). These disciples were non-professionals, with no social standing, just ordinary (even ORDINARY ORDINARY) people. But in all of these ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES they had EXTRAORDINARY EXPECTATIONS. Not EXPECTATIONS of what they wanted JESUS to do for them; just GREAT EXPECTATIONS THAT ORDINARY THINGS WOULD BE EXTRAORDINARY. It is not who we are, but who JESUS knows we can be, WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Everyone knows that Agony, Pain and Tribulation are the Characteristics of a Christian. It causes a "somber face" with "concern lines" in the forehead. NOW THAT'S A DEDICATED CHRISTIAN! REALLY? The only time we have Pain and Agony with "long faces", is when OUR WILL DOES NOT AGREE WITH GOD'S WILL. But we are suppose to agonize in inexpressible shame and degradation for our sins. If that's the case, we must have a VERY UNFORGIVING GOD. Revelation 2:99, "...I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews..." When GOD'S WILL is OUR WILL, the same things which once caused Pain and Agony, now are the SOURCES OF EXUBERANT CELEBRATION AND REJOICING! If "Church services seem too long" and we need a "break from" all of this Praising, MAYBE HEAVEN IS NOT FOR US.
Do you just "have to get away" from people? Are we "drained" when we can't get away from the "Spiritually Walking Dead"? There are things we will never learn or experience by being around other people. Before JESUS gifted others with miracles, HE would go and be alone; as ONE being prepared, anointed, empowered, (John 6:3). ALONE WITH GOD has no restrictions of mind, no limitations of thought and no influence other than THE HOLY SPIRIT. Before any Prophet, Reformer or Revivalist can help others, they must have TIME ALONE WITH GOD IN PREPARATION. TIME ALONE WITH GOD GIVES A PERSONAL REVIVAL THAT SPREADS TO OTHERS.
When someone has the HOLY SPIRIT and speaks the GOSPEL, it comes not only in words, but in POWER and CONVICTION (1 Thessalonians 1:5). The message and the messenger have undeniable authenticity and authority which brings CERTAINTY to our minds. TRUTH and DECEPTION both become TRANSPARENT. It is our CHOICE whether we just "Hear" the Message, or chose to "Hear and Live" the Message. It is with CERTAINTY that we KNOW GOD'S SOVEREIGN appointment of ETERNAL LIFE. No matter our choice, AT THAT MOMENT THE TRUTH OF THE MESSAGE AND THE MESSENGER TRANSPARENT AND CERTAIN.
When we dwell on, what we think is a sin, the "dwelling" works like cancer until it spreads to every thought and action we have. Do we not know that JESUS CHRIST is in us (2 Corinthians 13:5)? Our "woe is me" life is self-indulging and tells GOD we don't believe, or Trust, HIS Mercy and Grace. Do we not Trust GOD to take each of our thoughts and actions and INTERPRET THEM to others IN LOVE? And when we Love and Pray for others, DO WE REALLY THINK GOD DOESN'T LET THEM HEAR THOSE PRAYERS? So, is it WOE IS ME, OR GREAT HE?
When we have lost everything and we "want" and "desire" nothing more; WE HAVE EVERYTHING. It is no longer an effort to "remember" HIS WORDS for they are written on our Heart. We no longer see "empty skies" when we Pray, we "know" HIM everywhere. In our stillness, we know HE IS GOD (Psalm46:10). Souls before and Souls to come; WILL KNOW THIS MOMENT; "SOUL TO SOUL".
When we really need Spiritual Encouragement there is nothing anyone can say or do to give us Peace. We are disappointed in our past and present sins, and know that our future sins will continue to Crucify JESUS. Then we read about King David who was a murderer, adulterer, and a liar; and yet GOD said he was still after GOD'S OWN HEART. Maybe because those "forgiven much", "love much" (Luke 7:47). David encouraged himself in the LORD (1 Samuel 30:6) and did not depend upon anyone else. Maybe King David GRASP THE ENTIRETY OF FORGIVENESS.
Do we go to Church on Sunday then "feel" exonerated for another week? Is our mere presence in Church "worshiping"? Isaiah 1:13-15, "Bring no futile sacrifices...they are an abomination to ME. When you spread our your hands...I will hide MY eyes...and your prayers I will not hear". Do we "study" astrology and do what the "omens" say more than we respect and follow what the Bible tells us? Do our futile "sacrifices" only expose our hypocrisy? Does our "SPIRITLESS" WORSHIP resist GOD, but satisfy ourselves? Do we feel free to "worship" GOD as we "GOOD AND WELL PLEASE"?
"THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE..." (John 8:32). When we don't take RESPONSIBILITY for our sin, we are actually BLAMING GOD for the consequences of our sin. Every time we reject personal RESPONSIBILITY, we reject TRUTH, we reject GOD. Do we really not seek the TRUTH OF GOD because then we would see the TRUTH ABOUT OURSELVES? The world is not what we want it to be; and yet it is the reflection of who WE ARE WILLING TO BE. Psalm 51:3, "...I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me." What a beautiful, TRUTHFUL statement where we take RESPONSIBILITY for our sin, and set GOD FREE. Don't we understand that unless we take RESPONSIBILITY for our sin and repent, we CONTINUE TO BLAME GOD FOR OUR SIN'S CONSEQUENCES? Can we even "imagine" the power, creativity, influence, sensitivity, and love if we would just be RESPONSIBLE for our sin? We would be "so connected" to GOD that our real selves would NATURALLY BE RESPONSIBLE for everyone, we would NATURALLY LOVE everyone, we would reach out and HELP, and HEAL. THEN IN KNOWING THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD, WE KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT OURSELVES. AMEN!
About the Author and writer
The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.