To others, with them
To others, with them
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.
I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. Psalm 34:1
Every chance I get I…
This little phrase makes me stop and ask myself questions. What do I enjoy every time I get to do it? What captures my thoughts and attention more quickly than anything else? Am I disciplined enough to bless my God when difficulties come? I bless God every chance I get rests upon decisions and disciplines I enact today. They prepare me for unknowns and properly position the difficult and joyous times.
So, Lord, I will bless you every chance I get. I will start where I am now and will make every effort to discipline myself so that this response is the first one to all that comes, regardless.
We’re depending on God ; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got— that’s what we’re depending on. Psalm 33:20-22
Another classic thought from Corrie ten Boom. “Look at a cup on a saucer; it has to rest on something. Yes, you could put it on a shelf or table. But, the cup was made for the saucer. It most naturally rests upon it.”
I was created by God to rest upon Him, to depend on Him alone. Nothing can take his place. He has given me his name – I was created for him as a cup and saucer set. When I choose to rest upon him, I understand his loving support and care. That is what I must depend upon.
This also clarifies what I am to do when waiting. I wait not for something to happen or something to come together. I wait for him and him alone. What he does and when he does it, is always right.
Thank you, Lord, for being the one I can rest upon. I depend on you today.
God-defiers are always in trouble; God-affirmers find themselves loved every time they turn around. Psalm 32:10
Every decision leads me to one pivotal point: resist/refuse to obey or surrender/submit with joy and faith. The Scriptures are filled with examples of those who refused to obey the Lord. And, occasionally, there is an example of one who simply said, “Yes, Lord.”
I remember a quote from Corrie tenBoom, a Dutch watchmaker, and survivor of World War 2 concentration camps. She said, “You cannot say ‘no, Lord’.” How simple is that? I think this is what Psalm 32:10 is saying. We affirm God by my obedience, our “Yes, Lord.” And, when I obey, I find myself loved and loved.
Dear Lord, yes.
“What a stack of blessing you have piled up for those who worship you, ready and waiting for all who run to you to escape an unkind world. You hide them safely away from the opposition…Blessed GOD! His love is the wonder of the world.” Psalm 31:19-22 MSG
There is an escape from this unkind world, only one. My Lord waits expectantly for me to disconnect my heart from the world’s things and open my empty hands to all he wants to give. The world takes away, he gives unceasingly and graciously. The world passes away; my Lord’s gifts live eternally. So, why do I get so connected to this temporary, grasping world?
Lord, the beautiful things in the world are fore tastes of what is to come. They point to me to you. Forgive me for the many ways I fall in love with be with the things and miss the giver.
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.