21 October 2014
I sometimes find myself complaining about things even more when i am around people. There is a greater tendency for me to complain and grumble when i have an audience versus times when i am alone. Often the complaining does not make me feel any better and only worse. But when i take my complaints to God, and when i pour out myself to him in secret, i feel the opposite effect of complaining to others. It is as if God understands and comforts my moments of distress. He helps me lift the emotional and spiritual atmosphere that i breathe and replaces it with his peace and presence.
I believe God is not pleased with people who grumble and complain to others, but if grumble and complain we must, perhaps we can petition these things to God in the trust that he understands and he listens. Let us take our weary hearts and pour it out to him in humility. Acknowledging his kindness and his eagerness to listen and comfort.
Philippians 4:5-7: “Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Lord God, i present my anxieties and requests to you. Only you can fully understand me and know how to correct me. Only you are good and wise. May i allow your peace to transcend all worries and understanding. May your peace dissolve my bitterness and may you guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus so that i do not complain outwardly. May you replace my angry spirit with your gentle spirit and may this be known to all men.
20 October 2014
Trusting God is not only a blind leap of faith but more about knowing the character of God. We cannot trust someone whom we do not know well. I trust my family because i know them well and i know they love me and would never harm me. And so it is with God. God loves me, dare i say, even more than anyone here on earth or all creation. I can know the character of God and his goodness by reading scripture which was given to me as evidence of his love for me and mankind.
If i do not trust in God, i will be trusting in other things. It’s either God or this world – i don’t think i can stay neutral as i know i will gravitate toward one or the other.
I’m trusting in you Lord to keep my future with you in tact. I’m trusting in you Lord so that i do not trust in the world. I’m trusting in you, so that nothing can break my peace.
Often times I am so concerned with whether i have analysed a situation correctly and whether i have read and taken the most comprehensive advice available to make a good decision about the future.
Yet there is never enough analysing that can be done because life is in a constant state of flux. No one can accurately predict what will happen in the future but we still try to do so. We study economics, we make financial models, we listen to the news and read expert reports only to give us an edge over what will happen tomorrow. Sometimes it pays off, but even if it does, it comes at the expense of a lot of time, energy, stress and perhaps, money.
It is repeated in scripture that the Lord gives wisdom and that those who follow the commands of God will be wise. If God knows the future and we dare to trust in his provision. Then perhaps there is something to be learned from scripture. Perhaps we should be investing more into reading and knowing God’s word than in frantically analysing the news out there. The news today is gone tomorrow, but the word of God stands unchanged and true for eternity. It is relevant today and tomorrow.
Lord let me trust in your provision, your goodness, your word, and the wisdom you will give me should i ask from you. I ask for this wisdom in making decisions about my life. I pray you lead me in prayer and in thought. Be my compass and light the way.
18 October 2014
The glory of God sets us free from vainglory. It is the direct opposite of vainglory as it points away from us and sets its goal to please God. We acknowledge His sovereignty over all things, we know all good things are from above, given to us by grace and not by works.
Lord, help me to set my eyes on You. Let my goal be to please you and to bring you glory. And let this goal be the source of my fulfillment. Let me not fall into the trap of the devil’s game to seek out vainglory which is temporary and empty. May your glory fill me from within.
17 October 2014
I am tempted constantly by the vanity of life. There is an urge to be successful, wealthy and powerful. Success is recognition from the world that we have made it above the rest. Wealth indicates abundance and sustenance. Power says control is mine and so are you.
Scripture tells us that friendship with the world is enmity with God. It sounds like an almost impossible proposition. How can we practically live this out in our daily lives? We cannot remove ourselves physically from this world and neither did Jesus – for he also came eating and drinking when he came into the world.
But his thoughts were above the world, his mind and eyes transcended the physical and were lifted toward the Father. He had revelation that we did not have. But now the revelation has been made clear in scripture so that we are without excuse. Yet more, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit has been deposited with us as a seal for the day he returns.
If that is the case and if i have put my faith in Jesus, then i am without excuse. I need to make use of the revelation i have in scripture and the revelation that also comes from the Holy Spirit, to open and fix my mind and eyes on the things above the worldly order.
Lord Jesus, may i declare in my heart and may this set a seal upon me for eternity. Success is recognition from the Father that i have set myself apart from the world. Wealth is the abundance and sustenance that comes from the Father and the spiritual treasures i have stored in my obedience to him. Power is my strength in you for i can do all things through Christ who lives in me. You are Sovereign and i am yours.
16 October 2014
When God made us, he made us live under the sky and subject to the elements of the air. We may have created shelter and ways to protect ourselves from the weather, but we are ultimately still subject to and at the mercy of an uncontrollable force. It is as if God continues to declare every day to us, “I am the Sovereign Lord”. Scripture also tells us to both fear and love God. To be in holy awe of His powerful presence, to be humble and to know that He is God.
I was at a wedding the other day which was to be hosted outdoors. The backdrop would be a beautiful ocean and unending horizon during sunset. But an hour before the wedding, the thunder could be heard and a storm came. I could feel hearts sinking as the picture perfect wedding seemed doomed. But about an hour later, the thunder quieted and rain stopped. The air felt crisp and the skies were clear. The ground was cool from the rain and guests could enjoy a fresh breeze in wait of the bride with a breathtaking ocean view. A beautiful wedding, a beautiful moment and a reminder of God’s Sovereignty over everything.
Lord, may i be humbled by who you are. May i not let the pride of life enter my heart and may i not seek self-reliance but reliance on you to sustain my peace.