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If – Then

June 28th, 2010 No comments

Proverbs 3:5, 6 (6)

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

This “if-then” statement has provides a promise that has been an instruction and an encouragement to many Christians.

If – you trust God completely and always

If – you don’t rely on your own ingenuity or abilities at all, and

If – you recognize that without God you are an absolute Zero,

Then – He will be your guide through life.

The Eads Bridge in St. Louis was designed by James B. Eads and was completed in 1874.  At that time it was the longest arch bridge in the world.  It was 6,442 feet long and was constructed with the use of ribbed steel arch spans.  This was the first time this method had ever been used on major bridge project. The people did not trust the structure to be safe.

Therefore on June 14, 1874, John Robinson led an elephant across the new bridge.   It was believed that elephants would instinctively refuse to walk on unsafe structures. Two weeks later, James Eads sent 14 trains across the bridge at the same time.

The bridge that had not been trusted became a common means of passage from Missouri to Illinois across the Mississippi river.  Believers in like manner may have difficulty trusting in God.  We may cling to our old methods of trusting in our faulty intelligence and our weak efforts.  Until we can instinctively learn to trust in Him, and lean on Him for guidance in life naturally, we will continue to stumble from one failure to another.

Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: Devotionals

Asking the Right Question

June 28th, 2010 No comments

Psalm 143:1-12 (10)

1 O LORD, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.

2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.

5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.

6 I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Selah

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.

In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus instructed the disciples to pray “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” This assumes that God’s will is not always done here.  When we pray “thy will be done” we’re not just saying,  “Whatever happens,  I will accept it.”  Instead we are praying in rebellion against every plan, deed, word, and movement that is at odds with the will of God.

Prayer is not enough.  We are to do our best to fit into God’s will.  The problem is knowing what the will of God may be.

Henry and Richard Blackaby make an important observation in their book, “Experiencing God.”  They state that we are asking the wrong question when we say, “What is God’s will for my life?”  Instead we should be asking “What is God’s will?”  Once we discover His will then we can re-orient our life so that it is in sync with God’s will.  Blackaby says, “My focus needs to be outward on God and His purposes, not inward on my life.” (p. 33)   He goes on to note that God’s plans for our lives are based on what He is doing in the world around us.  Instead of self-centeredly wanting a blueprint for our own life we come to understand what God wants to accomplish where we are.  When we see this clearly then we can get involved in what He is already doing.  Then we will gain the fulfillment of knowing that we are doing what we should.

Dr. Gayle Woods

Categories: Devotionals