“For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything He does.”
– Psalm 33:4 [NLT]
A friend of mine is a teacher and she explained to me how she has her students walk as a group to get to their bus. The children each hold hands with each other and they walk forward following her. They don’t look around to see the traffic, the people, and the dangers around them. They simply trust her and walk forward with all eyes on her. This type of trust we are to have in God. We are to have this faith where we give it all to Him and do not think a second more about it. We are to have this faith that causes us to simply do as He asks with no questions asked, not concerning ourselves with the result because we understand He is faithful and has promised us a hope and a future.
A big issue is that faith should not be seen simply as having faith in the power of God. These kids weren’t following the teacher because she had power to keep them out of danger. Danger was certainly possible. They followed her because they trusted her. They trusted her because she was a person of good character. She never let the kids down and they remembered that as she led them onward. Though God is all-powerful, if our faith in Him is only in His power, we will have a problem. Oswald Chambers saw it this way: “Faith is unbreakable confidence in the Personality of God, not in His power… We must have confidence in God over and above everything He may do, and stand in confidence that His character is unsullied. Faith stands under all tests—‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.’” (“If Ye Shall Ask”). If we only have faith in God’s power, and not in His character, we will never fully follow God or fully trust Him.
This past summer I was challenged to walk in faith. I could not walk forward simply trusting in God’s power. I had to trust His character. I had to trust His promises. I had to trust His Word. Yes He has the power to do anything in His will; however, is it in His character to use His power in a particular situation or will He sit back and not use this power He has so that we are able to spiritually mature from the circumstance? If we have faith merely in God’s power, where is our faith when God choose to not use His power, when God chooses to be silent? To have faith in God’s character is to truly trust God, to trust His Word and to trust His promises. Knowing that God was leading me forward, I was able to walk in faith trusting in Him. Perhaps He would use His power to take care of anything that would arise, but that didn’t concern me. I trusted Him—I trust God. He didn’t use His power, but He was faithful. He did what He promised. Job trusted God, not simply God’s power. Abraham trusted God, not simply God’s power.
Today I ask you, do you trust God? Do you trust God so much to walk forward even if God may choose to not display His power? Do you have confidence in the character of God? Could you handle trusting God even if you were to be worse off than Job during his time of great trouble? Is your faith in God simply in His power or do you truly trust Him?
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.”
– Psalm 62:5 [NIV]
The beginning of a year always brings resolutions and as we near the end of the month, most of the resolutions no longer are fresh in our minds because they ended weeks ago. One resolution many Christians make is to devote more time to reading the Bible and more time for prayer. Some people may have decided to follow through with a daily devotional. It is very important to have some quiet time with God each day, time where you are able to wait on Him, read His Word, speak with Him, and hear what He has to say to you.
If you have made a resolution similar to this, but have fallen short of the goal already, do not be hard on yourself. Start where you left off and keep pressing forward. God is waiting. If you haven’t made a resolution, but you are considering spending more time with God now, consider finding a Daily Devotional that will help you with your daily reading. There are so many different options available, some which are delivered via email, are presented in a RSS feed, or can even be found on a smart phone app.
I can honestly say that Daily Devotional time has always been a struggle for me. I have to do it first thing in the morning or it doesn’t happen. Something I have just started recently however is to have afternoon and evening devotional time as well, because I find it is beneficial for my walk with Christ.
Here’s a list of twelve of the Daily Devotionals available online that I use daily and/or occasionally. Why twelve? I love that number. I recommend them all; however, if it is something you are considering, please look at each of them to see which one helps you the most. The purpose of a Daily Devotional is to have some time with God. It’s all about God and you – on the relationship that matters most!
Devotionals I Use /I’ve Used / I Recommend:
- My Utmost For His Highest (Oswald Chambers) – simply LOVE this devotional
- In Touch Ministries (Dr. Charles Stanley) – constantly gleaning from this devotional
- Joni & Friends (Joni Eareckson Tada) – always insightful & must read daily
- PD Daily Hope (Rick Warren) – simple, insightful, great devotional
- BGEA: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – nicely formatted, insightful
- Joyce Meyer – good daily devotional
- Our Daily Bread – nice devotional, possibly found in your church
- Daily Grace Inspirations (Joseph Prince) – nice devotional focused on God’s grace
- The Upper Room – nice devotional
- Spurgeon’s Daily Meditations (Charles Spurgeon) – insightful, available AM & PM
- Harvest (Greg Laurie) – good devotional
- Heartlight SpiritFire (Phil Ware) – good devotional
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.”
– Psalm 42:1 [GW]
This morning I passed by a dumpster filled with items from a house that is currently undergoing renovations. Out of the corner of my eye, I was able to spot a large box of books lying on top of the other discarded items. The books looked brand new and many of them were titles that were once found on the best sellers list. For a moment I thought of how those books and so many other items within the dumpster could have been used by someone instead of going to a landfill. I imagined if the items were donated to a church or another charity, the good that they could do for some lives. Then my mind started to focus on how we are all so guilty of getting things and tossing them out.
We have become a society that is so very good at getting rid of things. We toss out clothing because we have plenty of other items in our wardrobe. We toss out food because we had so much food, that we did not have time to eat it all and it went bad. We toss out relationships because it takes work and sacrifice for marriage and friendships to find success. We toss out opportunities because we do not desire taking risks on challenges. We toss out money with gambling or with purchases we don’t even want or need. We toss out pets because we bought them for their cuteness without thinking of the time investment. We toss out technology because something new came along. We toss and toss.
Then I thought of those who do not have anything to toss, those who are lacking the basic needs of life. There are people who are not able to eat tonight. There are people who have lost their family, their friends. There are people who do not have shoes or clothing. There are people who do not have all of the advantages and opportunities. There are those who do not have money to toss away. There are some who are sick, some dying. There are some who are slaves, yes slaves, on this very day in 2013. I could go on and on.
I cannot give any answers of how we can fix all of these things. I do not have the answers. I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to tossing out things. All I can say is that I know Who has the answers. I know that all we can do is look to God for the answers of what we can do in our own lives to be His hands and feet, and to share His love with those around us and to be who He called us. We can start here. “He has told you, O man, what is good: And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NASB). Let us start there.