January 21, 2020
And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. (Genesis 29:35)
We are sinful. Not hard to illustrate, is it? When Christ comes to live in us through His work of salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, all the capacity for transformation from our sinfulness is there. We have Christ in His fullness within us. The issue is learning to let Him lead from the inside out.
NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE
But the problem is our will. This is the part of us that decides. For years we have been self-willed. Without Christ, there is nowhere else to turn so we have decided what to do at every spot on our own. We have become accustomed to doing what we want to do, not deferring to Another.
This will must be progressively broken, like a horse is broken, and brought more and more into submission to the will of God once we become true followers of Christ. But this process is humbling and painful at times, for our will’s are independent and strong.
Observe Leah in Genesis 29. Her husband, Jacob, loved Rachel more than Leah. Leah knew this and it naturally grieved her heart. She thought the most important thing in life was her husband's affection.
God gave her 3 sons and with each one she said, "Now, this will make my husband love me." But by the fourth son, something had changed in Leah's heart.
Notice the outward expression of this surrender. She named this son, Judah and said, "This time I will praise the LORD." Her heart, it would seem, had come to a settled understanding that her greatest joy was in God who would provide her needs. She had matured to look to God for her life, not just to her husband.
God longs for us to learn that there is no ultimate satisfaction found anywhere but in Him. We look to things and people and circumstances, and all of these fail us at times. But God will never fail. He progressively shows us that dependence upon Him is our ultimate good.
Lord, bring me to the point where I submit to you in everything and praise you in everything. Where I embrace Your sovereign will at every turn. Where I am so content with You and what You provide that my heart is at rest. And show me the next step in this further surrender of my will today.
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September 23, 2020
September 22, 2020
It is said of Martin Luther that he dreamed he was transported to heaven and there noticed thousands of boxes with his name on them. When he asked the angel what they were, the angel replied, “These are answers to prayers that have never been asked.”
God has much more for us. He reminds us that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2).
September 17, 2020