Worldly wisdom is an oxymoron. How many times do we hear the message, “Just follow your heart”?
God says, “Your heart is deceitful ABOVE ALL THINGS and is DESPERATELY sick.” Why would we be so determined to follow something that is sick and deceitful? Because the enemy is craftier than any other created being and he tells us what our flesh wants to hear.
How many bad decisions have been made, marriages wrecked, and lives ruined because someone “followed their heart”? It sounds romantic in a Hallmark movie but it can be devastating in real life.
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Everyone loves the 23rd psalm. So much so that we can easily skim over it without letting it sink into our hearts. Several days ago, something stood out to me.
He leads me beside still waters.
He leads me in paths of righteousness.
I couldn’t help but think of times when the water around me was anything but still and the path I was tempted to choose certainly didn’t lead to righteousness.
Then, I read this verse in Elisabeth Elliot’s book on suffering. “The Lamb will lead them to living fountains of water.” Jesus is always leading us to life. To peace. To righteousness. He never hands us a compass and wishes us luck. He will lead us.
Which made me think, if he’s doing the leading, I must do the following. And I thought of (what I consider to be) a gem of a verse hidden in 2 Chronicles 20:12.
When faced with a situation that felt scary and out of their control, the people cried, “We are powerless. We don’t know what to do.” Can anyone relate? 🙋♀️”But,” they continue, “our eyes are on you.”
👉Prayer: I feel powerless, Lord. I don’t know what to do. But, my eyes are on you and I’m following where you’re going because I know you will lead me to peace, righteousness, and life.
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I’ve been studying 1 Peter and have been struck by how much he emphasizes having the right mindset.
Prepare your minds for action. Be sober minded. Mindful of God. Unity of mind. A humble mind. A good conscience. Think like Christ. Be sober minded. Be sober minded.
Peter mentions the mind in every single chapter. Why was this so important to him?
And then it dawned on me what Jesus had personally said to Peter.
“You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23
However well intentioned we are – however seemingly pure our motives – if our minds are not set on the things of God, we will be a hindrance to Kingdom work.
Also, after receiving such a strong rebuke from Christ, Peter was compelled to share the lesson with others.
Where are our minds focused today? Are we helping or hindering the work of Christ?
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Are you thirsty (in need, needy, desperate)? Are you without money (with nothing to offer, empty handed)? Have you spent money on that which is not bread (made poor decisions financially, relationally, etc)? Have you labored for things that don’t satisfy (spent your energy, efforts, emotions on things that don’t matter, make an eternal difference)?
God says, “Come.”
Are you weary (physically, emotionally, spiritually)? Are you heavy laden (carrying burdens, overwhelmed by responsibilities)? Jesus says, “Come.”
If we call ourselves Christ-followers, our message must also be, “Come.” We are told to come and to invite others to come (Revelation 22:17.)
We should be engaging, not avoiding, those who are needy, empty handed, living with the consequences of poor decisions, throwing their energy and efforts after things that don’t satisfy, weary, worn, and bowed under the weight of their burdens.
To those we, the bride of Christ, say, “Come. There is room at the table for you.”
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It’s easier to be angry. Anger feels like a shield.
But anger is not what God desires for us. It’s not a shield, but a prison. It holds not power, but poison.
Nobody enjoys feeling hurt, rejected, abandoned and, so, we often choose anger as our companion because we fear grief.
It’s okay to feel the hurt for a moment. Hurt seems to ebb and flow and somehow know when to move on for a time. It sometimes fades into the shadows, gives you some space, lags behind just a little.
Unlike anger who is always front and center, making its presence known and attempting to dictate every step of the journey.
I’ve decided grief is a better companion than anger. Grief guides me to Jesus.
“Come to me, all ye heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
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