Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trust and Know

Week 5  Trust and Know

Day 29

Divided Loyalties

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
James 1:6-8 NLT


"I have issues."

When we say we have issues, we usually mean we harbor objections to how certain situations in our lives have unfolded. 

At the beginning of my freedom journey, I had a lot of issues: longstanding responses to life circumstances I viewed as unfair. However, the trouble with rehearsing one's own perception of life's injustices over time is that inflexibility results, and I had become solid in my opinions regarding various situations in my life. The Lord did not like this state of affairs. He expects us to recognize our fallibility, value others above ourselves, and seek His perspective rather than depending on our own judgments. 

An inflexible perception of the circumstances that cause us stress is dangerous, because the conclusions we draw based on our own, limited understanding will very likely be inaccurate and lead us to sin. For example, if we fear we are going to be treated unfairly, this may tempt us to treat others unfairly to “get ahead of the game.” Satan paints circumstances as being more threatening than they actually are, and fans to flame an urgency to be proactive, to take some action that will shield us from the consequences we fear.

Most of the time I identify with the "good guy" in the Psalms, and heartily side with the writer if he rails out against an evil and unjust foe.  But as I considered a long-standing resentment—one I felt certain was well justified—I became uneasy when I read this Scripture passage:  "The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies" (Psalm 5:5-6 NIV).  I hadn’t yet lied to anyone, but because I felt I had been treated unjustly there was a very real possibility that a lie of omission would have seemed "only fair" to me in the near future.

We may have to work our way through grief over life circumstances that have not unfolded as we would have chosen, but we must take care that the grieving process doesn’t include blame, resentment, or anger toward human beings who are a part of situations God has allowed. We must choose whether we are going to depend on our own judgments, or trust in God’s sovereign knowledge and control of the challenges we face. It is not wrong to feel heartache, but when we cast blame on other people (or even God) for our pain, sins of resentment and anger blind us to the Lord’s solace. If we wait on the Lord, we can partake of His peace as we trust in His perfect timing and unfailing love. 

Pray: Lord, I now understand that I can’t trust Your perfect knowledge and yet retain the right to my own judgments; please forgive me for divided loyalties. Forgive me and cleanse me of the arrogance of judging others. Show me any lies or tendency to use unequal measures within me and cleanse me of these, but please also protect me from malice and lies of others.  Keep me from rebellion against circumstances You have allowed, and bless and surround me with your favor as with a shield. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.  


Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 NLT

… they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

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