“Let the Word Do the Work” Day

busToday has been “let the Word do the work” day.

There just comes a point when you’ve done everything you can do and you just have to leave the rest up to God. I mean, there seems to be a fine line between what we’re responsible for and what He takes complete ownership of, like, say, who your kid’s gonna marry and what you’re gonna be like when you’re really old, or if diabetes just runs in your family, you know? We don’t get to choose our parents, after all.

There’s a saying that goes, “Pray to catch the bus, then run like hell.” But Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, “Having done all to stand, just stand…” So do I stand or do I run? If I miss this bus is another one coming soon? I want to think I’ve done my best in everything, but there’s always that nagging question, “What if I didn’t?” I’m praying, I’m running, I’m standing, too, but sometimes it still feels like I just missed the bus no matter which way I look at it.

We should pray. We should do all the “right things” like get up at 4:30 a.m. to read the entire Book of Psalms, fast until breakfast, and then serve in a soup kitchen til noon. But, sometimes, even if we’ve checked off all the boxes of all the shoulds, things still don’t seem to be moving in the direction we would hope. What then?

Maybe that’s the time to “let go and Let God,” to take it “one day at a time,” and just trust that the Word is working in us and for us in ways we can’t see or even know. Psalm 139 (that I read about 4:57 this morning) says that God “knit me together” in my mother’s womb. If He’s smart enough to do that, He’s probably smart enough to take care of the rest of my life, right?

The field goal kicker for Auburn just missed a 27′ field goal. I’m sure he’s practiced a lot and has done a lot of “right” things, but he’s not having a great day. I’m sure he’s just kicking himself right now. Maybe later when the team looks at the reels or he’s laying in bed feeling horrible, he’ll realize his self-esteem isn’t hinged to his performance. Maybe he’ll be okay with having prayed, run, and still missed the bus. Or, maybe he’ll just hurt a lot and trust that God is there with him on the curb as the bus zooms away and he re-lives that missed kick over and over.

Today is “let the Word do the work” day.

If that’s true, then God still loves me. He’s not mad at me for anything and He’s got some good things ahead. Maybe I missed the field goal, or maybe I’ve not done all I could do to do things “right.” It seems to me that if things are ultimately up to me, I’m screwed already because and I could never do enough”right” things to earn His love.

So, I choose now to let the Word work for me.

Whatever buses I’ve missed, whatever I’ve done right or wrong, whatever I can or cannot do, it’s all ultimately in God’s hands now. He’s the One who set life in motion. He’s the One who’s led me through it all, from the womb on. He’s the One who is faithful and who has decided to “work all things together for my good” (Romans 8). He’s the One who’s made the heavens, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the stuff that goes into making cars and trucks and buses.

In fact, I think I can see Him at the wheel of another one turning the corner right now.

 

 

 

 

 

“Kick the Devil to the Curb” Day

devil

Today is “kick the devil to the curb” day.

You might not believe in a “personal devil” but he believes in you. He knows more about you and how to get to you than you’ve ever give him credit for, probably. He shows up in myriad ways, usually as thoughts that undermine God’s authority in your life, but sometimes as outright temptations to compromise your integrity and love for God.

In Genesis 3:1 he asks Eve a simple, yet deceptive question, “Did God really say you can’t eat of any tree in the garden?” Funny how just a slight twist in meaning can make all the difference. God had said they could freely enjoy any fruit from any tree except for one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Theologians have argued for centuries over the meaning of this particular tree, but it certainly was the one that would alter their spiritual state from pure and pristine to something that no longer reflected their original creation, should they choose to eat from it. And eat they did. First Eve, who was deceived, and then Adam who was close enough to see what was going down and ate in direct disobedience to God anyway (1 Timothy 2:14).

There’ve been times in my own life that I knew I was being tempted of the devil and yet, like Adam, I chose to follow him into sin instead of resisting it and choosing what was right before God to do. If anyone could’ve worn out 1 John 1:9 that says God forgives us when we sin it would’ve been me! I’m so thankful that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us”!

Every time I have disobeyed God, especially deliberately, something has “died” inside me that takes a while to regain, some spiritual ground that is lost, if only temporarily, that has to be regained as I live into the love and grace of Jesus again. Needless to say, sin is a joy-stealer and needs to be avoided at all costs.

Today is “kick the devil to the curb” day.

If he’s questioning God’s authority and Word in your mind, and he surely tries, take a hard stand against him now and shoo him away like a fly. The prophet Isaiah said we’ll one day look at him and ask, “Are YOU the one that caused all this trouble?”(Isaiah 14:16). The devil is NOT an equal with God–he is a created being with limited authority to run around trying to deceive us like he did Eve.

Recognize his tactics (Ephesians 6:11) and just kick him to the curb.

Looking for A City

Hebrews 11:10

Hebrews 11:10

In Genesis 12:1 God called a wealthy man named Abram to leave his own home, the “land of his fathers and mothers,” to follow Him to place he’d never been before. In effect, God was asking him to leave everything he knew as “home” and everything that was comfortable and familiar to go someplace new–someplace God wasn’t even revealing to him yet.

“Faith” had never been a sermon topic or the premise of a book back then. No one studied it or even knew what “faith in God” was. There were no preachers on television offering “the five steps to greater faith” and no radio programs helping people “grow” their faith. There was, of course, lots of pagan ritual back then as there is today and Abram himself was known as someone who actually worshiped the moon for the special powers he thought it had.

And then GOD showed up.

Among several unique visitations Abram would have throughout his life from God, the first one recorded in Genesis 12 would cause him to become known as “the father of faith” throughout the rest of recorded history just because he was willing to follow God’s directions without having to control the results. I guess that makes him the first “faith evangelist!”

Abram’s willingness to step out and follow God to a place he didn’t know can still speak to us today. Have you sensed God talking to you about greater obedience to Him, even though you don’t know what that might mean? Have you felt a tug on your heart to finally write that book or go on that mission trip or even just speak to a neighbor even though you don’t know what the results may be?

In both big and small ways we all have an “Abrahamic call” on our lives to follow God wherever He leads. It starts with the simple willingness to follow and grows from there. Abram didn’t become the “father of faith” overnight, but watched as each single step of obedient trust became a lifetime and legacy of faith that still encourages us today.

What simple step of trust will you take today?