Release from Self-condemnation

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thoughts From Day Three

Each devotion in One Hundred Days begins with an opening thought: a Scripture or a quote. The quote from day 3 is challenging:
You attempt to improve your outward appearance ahead of setting your heart right. You desire fruit before the seed is planted, but God looks at the inmost being. He judges by the state of the heart, not by how you appear to others.
Setting our hearts right entails a choice to believe God's word rather than human wisdom. Let's contrast two Biblical truths with what most of us actually believe.  I think the contrast is startling:

We can choose how we walk the path,
but we don't get to choose the path itself.
1) We believe that if we adopt good health habits that we can prolong our lives. But according to God's word, we can impact how we reach our final day--but not when.  God's word says the span of our lives were determined before we were born:
"...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:16).  
2) Our circumstances are in God's hands. We don't really believe that, we think our times are in our own hands and so we believe that if we adopt goals and word hard to achieve them that we can transform our own lives. We may transform our outer appearances, but if our hearts aren't motivated by God's love, outward change will not affect inward discontent. If we can't be fat and happy in Jesus, we can't be happy in Jesus thin.  Our happiness does not depend upon having things our own way.

"But I trust in you, Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands..." (Psalm 31:15)

We can change manner in which we walk our life path. Hundreds of little decisions throughout our days determine whether we follow God's command to focus upon him, love him, and show that love to others. Our happiness doesn't depend on having things our own way, but upon learning to accept, trust, and have peace in God's ways. That includes an acceptance of God's sovereign power over circumstances we would not have chosen for ourselves.

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