Release from Self-condemnation

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Willing To Be Made Willing

Week 5  Trust and Know

Day 32

Willing To Be Made Willing

as his perfect happiness cannot be separated from his perfect holiness, so our happiness will be in proportion to our being made holy.
Matthew Henry[i]


f we trust God and know He is sovereign in power and love, then of course we are willing to follow Him. Hesitancy to follow the Lord’s lead has its roots in lack of trust along with a ridiculous but deadly desire to go our own way. 

When we struggle with obedience, we may become aware that situations from childhood have influenced our current negative behaviors. We may approach the Lord with excuses from the past in hand, expecting him to say something like this: “Well, you really have had an unusually difficult time, no wonder you are having so much trouble now.” 

This is not at all how the Lord responds to our tendency to blame other people for our own wrongdoings. The root problem is sin, not that of others, but our own. We fear judgment because we have judged; we have placed blame (judgment) upon those we perceive to have contributed to our unhappiness. 

We attempt to correct our own behavior, and miss the point. My own thoughts went something like this: “Maybe I should spend more time in praise; maybe I haven’t expressed my love for God adequately.” But resentment toward other people is not a flag for an area in which we do not love God as we should, it highlights an area in which we do not obey God as we should. Lack of obedience is sin, and it is sin—our own, not that of other human beings—that separates us from an awareness of God’s abiding presence with us.   

The remedy for disobedience is discipline, not a discipline of our own making, but submission to the Lord’s lead. We dishonor Him with our fear of His discipline and resist His rule in our lives through disobedience. We look to our own wisdom and offer Him gifts of our own making, but it is a worldly thought that self-discipline can accomplish God’s work. Only discipline from on high can yield fruit fit for Heaven. 

We are afraid of the Lord’s rebuke, but remember, when He tucked Elijah into the cleft in the rock, Elijah did not hear God’s voice in the storm or the fire. God came to him gently, quietly.[ii] Acceptance of Christ as Savior has put us in a protected place; God is our shelter from the storm and shade from the heat.[iii] If He doesn’t allow other voices to scald us, do we think He will consume us with fiery anger Himself? He will not. Do not fear the voice of His rebuke; His discipline cleanses. 

 Pray: Lord, please forgive me for judging others. Forgive me for trying to discipline myself in an attempt to avoid Your discipline. Forgive me for following plans of my own making so as to avoid submitting to Your plan. Show me how to proceed; I really don't know how to make myself willing. I don't think I can do even that. Please make me willing to submit to You, in Jesus' Name I pray. Please enable me to be disciplined in You.  Father, please set my heart free!  Amen.


I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart (for you set my heart free…)[iv]
 Psalm 119:32

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth…
 Isaiah 54:4

[i] Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 1 John 1, public domain.
[ii] 1 Kings 19:11-13
[iii] Isaiah 25:4
[iv] Italacized portion is from the footnote alternate translation of the ESV

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