Mundane Monday: Freedom in Yielding

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Inspirational Thought of the Day:

When we yield to our Creator’s will and plans, we become what we were meant to be.

Scripture of the Day:

Jeremiah 18:4-6

“Now and then there would be something wrong with the pot he was molding from the clay with his hands. So he would rework the clay into another kind of pot as he saw fit. 5 Then the LORD said to me, 6 I the LORD, say: “O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? In my hands, you, O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in this potter’s hand.”

My youngest child still loves to play with clay. The delight shown on his face by a new creation made according to his specifications is felt by those around him. The clay responds to his touch and yields to the form the creator is making. If it were made of another material that was less pliable, it could not do so.

So, too, when we yield to our Creator’s will and plans, we become what we were meant to be. But when we fight His working in our lives, we do not rise to our God-given potential.

There are many ways a lump of clay can resist the work of God. We might look the part on the outside, but on the inside we resent the work being done. Instead of yielding, we can inwardly seethe and doubt God’s goodness when we would rather be left alone.

Or perhaps we can compare ourselves to other vessels and wonder why their process of being shaped seems easier. We wonder what the purpose is in it, anyway. It might seem mundane or perhaps cruel, this shaping of our wills in which our flesh has to die so our spirit is made alive.

But when we resist the shaping of our lives because it hurts, we do not recognize that we are in fact harming ourselves. Protecting ourselves from God’s work on our hearts is only impeding the progress He is making. The tools might seem crude or unnecessary, but our loving God sees the complete design. His character is revealed in the fruit of the work He is doing, and His grace is sufficient to enable us during the process.

There is hope in the knowledge that God’s work is always redemptive and for our good. It is in fact in yielding that we taste of the freedom of being a child of God. Free from the shackles of sin, at peace and free to be what He intended in the first place.

The joy my son has in displaying his creation reminds me of the joy of the Father, delighting in His children. He is glorified when we surrender our lives to Him and let Him work in us. Patient perseverance develops us, changing us from the inside out. The end of His labor is a beauty to behold – forever changed into His image, made to be more like Him!

Lord, help us to trust Your working in our lives and to yield to Your purposes, even when they do not make sense to us.

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Denise Pass  •  www.seeingdeep.com  •  www.denisepass.com

Author | Worship Leader | Singer/Songwriter | Speaker

Worshipful Wednesday: Our Guiding God

God Guides Us

Inspirational Thought of the Day:

Following God’s guidance will never lead us astray.

Scripture of the Day:

Psalm 25:12-14

“The LORD shows his faithful followers the way they should live. 13 They experience his favor; their descendants inherit the land. 14 The LORD’s loyal followers receive his guidance, and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.”

I thank God for my GPS, even though it often can lead me astray.  It is hard to remember a time without a GPS.  Our fast-paced world is navigable by this small device which guides us to our destination without a lot of planning.

My husband thinks I can be too dependent upon it, though.  He is probably right.  Perhaps it feels easier on the intellect to not have to exert a lot of effort to determine which way is right.

So it is with our lives.  Often arriving at forks in the road of life, it can be difficult to discern the LORD’s will and to do what is right.

We can gauge man’s opinion, circumstances, our own desires or follow someone else’s direction, but ultimately we are daily faced with the fact that we have to choose a path.

More like we GET to choose.  We are given free will and are responsible for the choices we make.  But the awesome thing about knowing God is that He has not left us without directions.  Internally we hear His voice, like a GPS, guiding us.  Reading His Word further shows us which way is pleasing to Him.

World religions point us to a list of rules given by an absentee god or a statue of a “god”. These requirements remove relationship from the equation and make us slaves to a law we could never fully keep.  But God, rich in mercy and understanding, reveals His will and purpose to us.  Out flesh might not want to follow His precepts, but we find life and joy in resisting our flesh and seeing the wisdom in God’s plans.

Sometimes the road is hard and the boundaries uncomfortable, though comfort as our aim causes us to become disoriented and get lost.  We may have to tarry long and wait on Him, putting patience to the test, but the peace that comes from abiding in His will far surpasses going my own way.

Lord, thank You for showing us how to live and for Your precious favor and promises given to those who seek to obey You.  Thank You that You have not abandoned us and will never forsaken us.

The Fleece and God’s will

Photo Credits ivhanrusli.blogspot.com

Photo Credits
ivhanrusli.blogspot.com

Genesis 24:12, 21, 26-27

“He prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham,guide me today.  Be faithful to my master Abraham.  21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine if the Lord had made his journey successful or not26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying “Praised be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love for my master! The Lord has led me to the house of my master’s relatives!  56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me – the Lord has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return to my master.””

Judges 6:36-40

36 “Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said, 37 behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.”

Seeking God’s direction is often a complex matter, predominantly because we come with our will and desires already ruling our hearts.  Throughout Scripture, God’s people cry out to God for guidance or favor, but have often twisted or manipulated that guidance to suit their own way.

Perhaps we get tired of waiting or afraid of what His will is going to be.  Sometimes we think it would be easier to just cast lots like they did in days of old, yet would we be content with the outcome?

I remember a time when I was seeking God’s will regarding a personal conviction I felt He was giving me.  I rationalized it as being hyper-spiritual and did not want to accept the direction God was giving me, so I pulled a Gideon maneuver.  Twice I laid my fleece before God and both times He miraculously showed clearly what His will was.  Humbled, I obeyed.  Other times, God forgive me, I confess I have wanted to quiet that still small voice when it has been uncomfortable.

I love reading about Abraham’s servant who humbly acknowledged Who God was, and asked God to show him who should be Isaac’s wife.  In his desire for God to confirm His choice, he was not going with someone already in mind – he was surrendered, emptying himself of anything short of God’s perfect will.  Beautiful.

When God calls us to a relationship or a work for His Kingdom, it is a humbling thing to step out in that calling.  The desire to do his will and not miss his calling can be paralyzing.  Afraid of being a fool or making a mistake serves to distract us, whereas a fear of the LORD propels us to fervently seek Him while we seek to see His kingdom advanced.

If our motivation is for self, it will be revealed.  If it is for God and His purposes, God will ultimately provide and lead, though we will often have to endure trial and testing in the process to purify our hearts.

We often do not know where God is leading us – that is part of this faith walk.  But when we draw nearer to Him, we know His character and that we can trust Him.  Like Abraham’s servant, we will be tested and people will try to deter us.  But we can be confident that God will speak to us and lead His sheep – He is the perfect Shepherd.

Lord, lead me!  Your will be done in every part of my life!  I empty myself and ask that You be glorified in all that You place before me to do.  You are worthy!