We often think of pride as thinking too much of ourselves. Like when Saul set up a monument to himself after a successful battle (1 Samuel 15:12, NLT).
But thinking little of yourself is not the answer to pride. For even when I’m thinking little of myelf, the focus remains….on myself. As long as the focus is on me, pride creeps in and dominates my thinking.
Once I turn my eyes on God, however, on what He says and what He is doing, it is then that true humility flows.
Father help me to keep my eyes on you, whatever you may have in store for me, big or little. I want you to be the focus of my heart and mind.
When we limit ourselves by our own thinking we forget what God can do.
This is my problem. But God’s Word keeps my heart open to who God is and what He can do. It compels me to seek Him instead of limiting myself to my own plans or my own thoughts or my own abilities.
Still, for all of Jonathan’s faith, he doesn’t presume upon God. He seeks God even as he begins to step out in faith. God’s Word is not a meant to be a book of formulas but of faith.
Let Him expand your vision and continue to guide you as you step out looking to and trusting in Him.
The lamp of God had not yet gone out…
And it never was supposed to. By God’s own command, it was to perpetually shine and bring light to the Holy Place in the Tabernacle. The priest on duty must regularly trim the wick and keep the oil filled.
But Eli was almost blind. He rarely heard from the Lord. He failed to trim the wicks, and so his sons ran wild. The oil was burning out and there was no one to fill it.
We are the priesthood of believers. We bring light to those around us.
It’s so easy to get caught up in so many other things. And we neglect our spiritual care. Like Eli, we begin to lose our sight, we rarely hear from the Lord, and our light starts to dim.
Take time to tend to your lamp today and keep the light on.
She leaves her family and home, with no promise of life being easy or comfortable. In fact, as far as she can see, she’s choosing a life of struggle and hardship.
Then, when she finds unexpected favor and blessing, she doesn’t pursue her own desires, chasing after the handsome young men, but chooses loyal love, to her…mother-in-law?!?
A place of voluntary surrender.
Yet the seeds sown in loyal love, bloomed for generations through David…and Jesus.
It would be easy to grumble and complain. It would be easy to sit in pool of tears and self pity, to give in to despair. It would be easy to look to God, “exercise faith”, do nothing, and expect manna to fall from heaven.
But Ruth was found hard at work. She did what she could with what she had.
Does God then help those who help themselves? Ummm, not quite the story He is telling.
Rather, He is taking us through a process and wants us to be a part of it. He’s bringing us from glory to glory in the midst of the challenge.
In your situation, will you join Him? Will you be found hard at work?
Absolute disaster. How else would you describe losing your husband, then both your sons, while living in a foreign land. Surely God has raised His fist at Naomi, has made her life bitter. Add to that a particularly stubborn daughter-in-law. Could life get any worse? But…
God is working when He give no assurance that He is.
God is working when circumstances don’t go our way.
God is always working.
In the midst of the discouragement, in the middle of a period with no apparent hope, are we willing to stick with Him and see His work through?
The priests said they would believe if Jesus came down from the cross. He didn’t, so they didn’t…and they missed God’s greater miracle – Jesus raised from the dead.
Can harden hearts
And then we miss
God’s greater work.
Father, soften my heart. Let me never trade what I want to see for what you want to do..
The mob comes, riled up and determined. They grab Jesus and arrest Him. Peter, full of bravado, draws his sword and slashes wildly into their midst.
He knows Jesus, knows what He is capable of. So he flies into the fray. A shout. Perhaps lightning from the sky. Surely God will scatter His enemies.
And then, He doesn’t. So they flee.
In the midst of trials, when God doesn’t work as we think He should, when all is stripped away, will we stand and trust Him or turn our backs and flee?
But failure is not the end…
We go our own ways. We blow it as parents. We miss the mark as spouses. We outright sin. We fail to stand when everything hits the fan.
Jesus knows we will fail. And as He did with the disciples of old, He wants us to know, He’ll be waiting to meet us…on the other side of failure.
Don’t give up. Don’t despair. For Jesus is waiting…just as He said.
Jesus spent a considerable amount of time with the crowds and those closest to Him. While He could have used the time to do so many different things (heal, deliver, bless, feed), He made it a regular practice, instead, of teaching them.
He taught them from a boat, on a hillside, in the synagogue…whenever and wherever He was, He taught. And in three years, He prepared them to turn the world upside down.
Could we do the same? It’s so easy to get caught up in busy activity and lose sight of God, His purpose, and His Kingdom. But what if there were a few (or even one) practice we usually take part in that could change our world…in three years.
What would that practice be for you?