Some days God has to use a 2x4 to get through my thick skull. Today must be one of those days.
I've found lots of great resources for Bible study lately, so I use two devotionals, a book on prayer, and an older Henry Blackaby Bible study text on the mornings when I have quiet time. I want to have quiet time every day, but unfortunately I let the world get in my way sometimes. So instead of being on-time with lessons that are designed to be done Monday through Friday, sometimes I'm off schedule.
Today it was fascinating to see how each of these four books linked together to give me direction.
I use Stormie Omartian's book, The Power of a Praying Wife, to pray for my husband. It has thirty short chapters, each ending with specific scriptures rewritten into a prayer, so I try to read the chapter that coincides with each days' date. The prayer in chapter 30 is about a vision for the future. One of the verses is Luke 18:27 "the things which are impossible with men are possible with God."
Next I read the October 30th devotion from My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Today's verse is "Without faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Hebrews 11:6). The devotion focuses on how God reveals truth in ways that seem impossible for us. Chambers says that "the life of faith says,'Lord, You have said it, it appears to be irrational, but I'm going to step out boldly, trusing in Your Word.' " He mentions that stepping out if faith is always a fight, not just sometimes.
After that I opened a devotional that I'm reviewing for my blog called Jesus Take the Wheel by Stuart Migdon. I'm starting a new weekly segment about living a selfless life. It tells the story of Moses -- his birth and adoption, the murder of an Egyptian, and his flight to Midian. Migdon shows how Moses was self inspired, not God inspired, in his actions in Egypt. He believed that his own way was more rational than God's way and it took forty years as a shepherd for Moses to reframe his perspective. He could not be used by God until he had the faith to step out and take actions that would glorify God, not himself.
Finally, I worked on the next day's study of Henry Blackaby and Claude King's Experiencing God. It tells the exact same story of Moses, and asks the question, "Why do we not realize that it is always best to do things God's way?" It leads you to realize that understanding what God is about to do where you are is more important than telling God what you want to do for Him. If we don't cling closely to God and His way, he will leave us to our own devices (Hebrews 3:7-19), and then we will never experience what God wants to accomplish through us.
The message that I got from these lessons is that I am relying too much on my own 'logic' and not on God's plan. It addresses my life over the past few years (trying to define how I would work for the kingdom through writing, teaching, consulting, or coaching) and especially over the past week or so with things we are experiencing as we deal with the last days of my father-in-law's life.
God, please help me to put myself aside and focus totally on you. You know the situations we are facing and how to resolve them for your glory. Please make your desired actions clear so all involved will trust your way instead of our own. I believe there is something big you are trying to do...please don't let me get in the way!