Release from Self-condemnation

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

Friday, June 2, 2017

Be Instant in and out of Season

Day 23 speaks of the difficulty of submitting to God's call to rest in Him, and goes so far as to call this kind of rest a discipline.

This boils down to abiding and obeying. Most of us have an agenda that trumps God's "still, small, voice." It isn't that it is so hard to figure out what God wants us to do, it is that we have a very hard time exchanging our own good plans for His.

Example: I am suffering a flare of swelling and redness from Rosacea, and this makes it prudent for me to avoid allergens and stay out of sunlight and wind. The swelling is disfiguring; I look as though I've suffered an allergic reaction.  I know I ought to stay inside. But last night every member of my family attended one of my oldest grandson's evening baseball games. Instead of staying home, as I strongly believed the Lord would have me to do, I gave in to my restless sorrow at being left behind, and jumped in the car and drove (too fast) the 20 miles to the baseball diamond.  I did not inquire of the Lord because I was afraid he would say, "No."  It wasn't that if I'd prayed, stayed silent before Him, and listened for His guidance that He wouldn't have shared His guidance with me, it's that I did not ask.  The Voice Translation says it like this: "You do not have because you have chosen not to ask" (James 4:2-3).

A friend of mine who diligently follows good plans for health and well-being asked me, "Well, how do I know what God wants me to do?  Just what I think is best?"

No, not quite.  We have to seek Him.  He's made the path clear--prayer, praise, and Scripture will lead us to the foot of the throne.  A seeking time might look like this:  sing a praise song, read a selection of Scripture from a daily reading plan and record the verses that seem meaningful, wait before Him, and then record the thoughts He gives.  The question is scarcely ever whether we can hear God's guidance or not--it is whether we will dismiss it because it isn't what we want to do.  And most of the time, when we don't want to change, we just don't ask.

2 Timothy 4:2 tells us to be prepared in season and out of season. The Living Bible says "whether it is convenient or not."  Whether we feel like it or not, whether or not we would prefer not to change course and fear what the Lord might direct us to do, we need to seek Him with hearts willing to conform to His direction. Let's seek His presence and ask for His guidance, and pray for grace to be able to change course when He asks it of us.

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