Submitting to God’s planning
Submitting to God’s planning
When I invite the Lord to come, he always comes and never does less than I ask. What I invite him to is most often a mess. From Adam to me, God has compassionately worked messes into something that glorifies him.
Romans 8:28 NLT And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
What an amazing truth! And, furthermore, I notice the setting of verse 28 starts with the first words of verse 26.
Romans 8:26 NLT And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
The Spirit of God helps me! Praying, working, leading, living…he is there! And, when I can only hold up messy hands, he is there as well to make something beautiful.
This reminds of me of the potter passages from Isaiah and Jeremiah:
Isaiah 29:16 NLT How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?
Isaiah 64:8-9 NLT And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. Don’t be so angry with us, LORD. Please don’t remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.
Jeremiah 18:1-4 NLT
The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.
The painstaking work of my Lord to keep working with me…it’s hard to understand. Regardless of my comprehension, it is true.
But let me run loose and free, celebrating God ’s great work, Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “ God, there’s no one like you. Psalm 35:9
The greatest freedom is found within God’s boundaries. Freedom is not license. Though we speak of deserving the freedom to…what is really meant is freedom from restriction. We don’t like restrictions but deep inside we know they provide security. Within God’s fences, we are protected and free.
In Genesis, Adam and Eve were given every tree to enjoy except… They were naturally drawn to crossing God’s line, just as I am. When they did, everything was lost. I don’t want to fight God’s boundaries anymore. I want to run freely within them.
Lord, help me enjoy and thrive in your enclosures for me. I want to run free within them, your boundaries. Thank you for knowing where and how to set the boundaries for me.
You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:11-12
I love how Psalm 30 ends. This leads me to a simple thought for this day. Every day, situation, life…can end the same way. Reflecting on what the Lord has done, how can I not thank him? And, when closures come, how can I not thank him? “I can’t thank him enough” is the ultimate conclusion of all.
Lord, thank you. I can’t thank you enough.
God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace. Psalm 29:11
Peaceful strength, strong peace – gifts from my glorious Lord. What can stand in his way? What interferes with his abiding peace? Who is more strong? What circumstance overrules his wisdom? Glory!
Lord, forgive me for allowing inferior things to interrupt my glorifying you. You alone bring peace and strength to me for this moment and every moment to come. Thank you, Lord.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Ps 7:17)
This is the first time the word thank appears in the psalms. Behind it is a deeper understanding than just saying thanks. It is being a person of gratitude. This person lives out 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Simply said, circumstances can only lead me to give thanks. Living with gratitude approaches all circumstances with “Thank you, Lord.”
Gracious Lord, Savior
In all, I give thanks to you
With all, heart rested
Lord, you have never made it difficult to thank you. Through wonderful times, you have been with me. Through the uncertainties, you have led me. Through need, you have provided. Thank you, Lord.
Psalm 23 is one of those psalms that keeps showing me truths every time I read it. After reading it again, I see this vital lesson opening before me:
I dare not separate walking in green pastures, sitting near still waters, enjoying times of restoration and receiving goodness and mercy every day from walking in valleys.
Mountaintop perspective is not found in this psalm. It is walking with him through the valleys that these blessings are found. He is unceasingly ahead and with me; therefore, no valley causes me to fear. He leads me to my valley walks where I find comforting and healing. From the valley, I look up and see grandeur; things look bigger from the valley. The vision of my Shepherd-Lord is most intimately sharper in valleys. I am small, he is grand!
Into the valley
Blessing, renewing, living
I am His alone
Lord, you lead me in righteous ways – you lead me into valleys. I am so cared for by you. I love that truth that I need never fear. Keep me from trying to escape the valleys. Help me accept the abundance you offer.
I love Psalm 19; it’s one of most marked psalms in my Bible. The focus on God’s Word is wonderful.
What is the Word like? (19:7–9)
How much do I appreciate the Word? (19:10, 11)
How do I apply the Word? (19:12–14)
Do I need my soul to live again? Do I need wisdom? Do I need a heart that rejoices? These are the rewards of the living Word in my heart and life. And all of the Word’s work is right, pure and sure.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… (Colossians 3:16)
Lord, help me to let the Word do its work in my life. Remind me where to find my resources for every day and challenge.
I love you, O Lord, my strength….but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:1, 18-19
God has no problems, just plans. – Corrie tenBoom
Lord, you alone are my strong deliverer. Help me depend upon you alone.
God is unhindered in making things right. I forget that he is not affected by limitations of time or space. He hears the afflicted. He strengthens the weakest. He responds to the fatherless with a parental love and protection. He makes things right. One day, all things will be righted and justice will be forever enjoyed.
Until then, life happens. People flee terrorism. Children are hungry. People groups are desperate. As I write this, I am following the Rohingya Crisis. One-half million Rohingya refugees have fled their homes to Bangladesh.
People are living in squalor, where, in the rainy season, mud is ankle deep. International aid providers are doing the best they can. And the government of Bangladesh is doing the best that it can. – Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International
Girls reach out for food handed out by a volunteer organization in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh.
Lord, help! Perhaps this is one of the most honest prayers I can pray. I am unable – but you are not. Bring justice to our world. Give missionaries hope and courage where it is needed today. Make things right.