I remember when I was younger, and I would make shadow puppets in the light of the projector in elementary school. As we know, the “puppets” were not real—it was only my hand forming particular appearances in the light. I also recall trying to jump on my own shadow or change my shadow appearance. Yet these shadows are all temporary because they are dependent on light and a particular blockage of this light. Take away the cause the for shade, or the actual light, and it is clear there is nothing there.
Today’s verse speaks about us living lives in shadows, actually as a shadow. This is a difficult concept for us. We certainly can say we accept that life is temporary, and we are but a breath; however, we often live otherwise. We cling. “We gather, we hoard, we cling to our things.” We start building a kingdom here. Yet if we refocus, we are reminded that we are just living in the shadows. Whatever we are building up will not stand. Our better investment is to invest in the Kingdom.
Today, as you consider yourself living in the shadows, take time to focus on the Light. Be reminded that in His Light, with His Light, we can see the Good News and the Truth of God. He will reveal all things. Seek Him out in His Word and in prayer. He will reveal to you hidden things. Instead of clinging to things, cling to Him. May all you do and all you say bring glory to Him.
“We live our lives like those living in shadows. All our activities and energies are spent for things that pass away. We gather, we hoard, we cling to our things, only to leave them all behind for who knows who.” – Psalm 39:6 [TPT]
What do you want? That is a pretty big question. Whenever I pull up to a drive thru window for dinner, I ask the kids, “What do you want?” Every year in November, this is again what I ask my kids as I prepare my Christmas shopping list. What do you want?
Today’s verse says that if we make God our utmost delight, our greatest pleasure, He will give us what we desire most. He will give us what we want. We tend to focus on the second part – that He will provide for you what you desire most. We always make it about what we want. But we miss the first part. We miss how we first delight in Him.
This is a game changer. See when you fix your eyes on Him, when you focus on Him and do life with Him, then what you desire most changes. If He is your utmost delight, He is your greatest desire. When He is your greatest pleasure, everything else you want flows from Him. The focus is never on what you are provided, but the Provider. The gift is never the resulting blessing; the true gift is God being your utmost delight and pleasure of your life. He is the blessing.
“Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most.” – Psalm 37:4 [TPT]
We all struggle, and at times it seems like all we do is struggle. When it appears like life finally hands you breathing room, another situation arises that causes you to question everything. Life is hard. The world is a busy place and often it feels like we will never get ahead. When I was younger, I remember sleepless nights worrying if anything would change for the better. I recall questioning if everything would fall into place.
As time passed and I continued to trust in the Lord, it became evident that He used everything for His good purpose. As I continued to follow in obedience and keep my focus on God and His promises, I found that I no longer spent my nights worrying about anything. Instead, I slept. I was secure—secure in Him.
Today, I pray that you are feasting on His faithfulness. I pray that you lay all of your worries, struggles, choices, etc., before God, and leave it in His hands. May your trust always be in Him. May His promises always be etched on your heart. May you feast on His faithfulness for His glory.
“Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.” – Psalm 37:3 [TPT]
Today’s fortune cookie said this: “There is no glory unless you put yourself on the line.” Glory is a big thing. We read in the Bible that we are made for God’s glory. We read that no one can steal God’s glory. In fact, the glory is God’s alone.
This fortune cookies basically says that one must be on the line for glory. If there is no sacrifice, no challenge, if things are simple and ordinary, there is no achievement—there is no magnificence. If you are satisfied with mediocre, you may be missing the mark.
Sometimes in life, we are at an all-time low and God gets greater glory from our faithful obedience as He leads us from all-time low to our greater destiny. Sometimes we must sacrifice, humble ourselves, and risk what may appear as an easy win, so that we can get the more difficult victory. In faith, we are often led to put it “on the line,” to even say “no” to the good, so that we can say “yes” to the great. Remember, it all comes down to God’s glory. So today, ask the Spirit if you are living for His glory.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:9-11 [NIV]
God delights in every step. Every step. The focus for many is on the success of step(s) taken. We think every step of obedience should result in something big. In this age of social media, we see the blessings of God that others receive, and human nature is to compare lives.
As well, when we make a step and we do not see a visible result, it can cause frustration and doubt. When we take a step and it appears as if something bad happens thereafter, we experience discouragement. Today’s verse does not say that God delights in the successful steps we take to follow, but that He delights in every step we take to follow Him. Every step; not the result of the step(s).
Be careful not to be caught up on the result of your steps. Do not let the results of past steps keep you from taking the next step. Remember, God delights in the steps. He is cheering you on as you live out your purpose. Keep pressing forward. Keep pursuing Him. Keep taking the steps to follow Him.
“The steps of the God-pursuing ones follow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord, and God delights in every step they take to follow him.” – Psalm 37:23 [TPT]
Every Saturday morning, I have the exciting task of filling my pill organizer for the week. This last time, I grabbed the capsules from one bottle only to find an empty capsule. The contents were missing. I stared at this finding and considered how it was no longer useful. The medicine that was to be contained in the capsule was missing. The capsule was empty, so it was worthless.
Sadly, too many people think of themselves as the empty capsule. Some people do not think they have the right ingredients within to make a difference. Some people think they are missing something that will make them special. Some people hear negativity so much it results in a feeling of worthlessness.
Fret not my friends. Though this empty capsule of mine got tossed in the trash, we live in a world where God’s math matters most. He takes each of us and does something great within. We simply need to let Him have His way in us. He placed things within you that you do not even know are there. He has given you the foundation to carry out the destiny He placed within your heart. He knows you by name, and He knows every hair on your head. You are priceless.
Today, remember this truth. Remind yourself again tomorrow. The worth of something is always the price someone is willing to pay… and when we look at that math when it comes to our relationship with God, it doesn’t make sense at all. He paid the ultimate price—the very life of Christ Jesus—what a hefty price that points to your truth worth. God loves you. Oh, how He loves you!
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” – 1 John 4:16 [ESV]
There are so many created things all around, and each thing is created for a purpose. I love technology and I am continuously amazed at all things new. It’s crazy to think that my watch can perform an ECG, but this is what the creator purposed for the creation—a watch that does more than tell time, a watch that improves life quality. Even so, there are things the watch cannot do yet, and possibly some things that it will never do—it all depends on the creator, or as they are known in the tech world—the developers.
Now getting away from technology, let us focus on people. We are God’s creation. You are God’s creation. Each person—yes this means you – was created for a specific purpose in mind. Our purpose is broad as well as specific. We have the big purpose of making God known, of sharing the Gospel, of living for Jesus and pointing to Him. We also have specific purposes for life, things God has for you alone to do as part of the body of the Church. We each have different skills, experience, gifts, etc., all for God’s glory.
Nonetheless, we have a problem at times with seeing what God sees. Remember, we cannot think like Him (Isaiah 55:8-9). Just like Moses declared, “I have never been,” so do we make the same declaration. When we are faced with hardship, beginning a new season, etc., we say we cannot do it. We do not have the strength. We do not have the time. We do not have the money. We do not have the skills. We do not have… fill in the blank. Even though God, the Creator, declares it to be—we blindly say, “I have never been.” We instead believe those words. We stand back from what God has promised. We stand back from what God has purposed. We remain stuck in the “have never been” statements of life. Yet God is calling us for more. He is still making the declaration. His Word still rings true as much yesterday as it does today. It doesn’t matter what you “have never been”—it matters what He is going to help you to be. It all comes down to trust. Are you going to trust God to do the “eloquent” in your life?
“Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” – Exodus 4:10 [NASB]
I recently took my son to a Post-Apocalyptic themed restaurant at Fishtown in Philadelphia that boasted different décor including jackets and custom gear, weapons, and a virtual reality lounge. It was a great night on the town; the food was great, the music was great, and it was fun to see all of the costumes and weaponry that was to be seen as the Post-Apocalyptic remains from battle.
The weapons on display were many, but they reminded me that “the weapons of man are false hopes for victory.” The truth is we often try to attempt things by our own human strength, and yes at times we do succeed. But in the end, without Jesus, we are nothing. True victory is through Christ alone. We will always get so far in life by our own skills, experience, etc., and yet all comes from God, and we will never fulfill our true purpose and reach full satisfaction without Him.
When we have weapons that we have devised to help us with the battles in life, we come to realize that the weapons are not always able to achieve the victory. Taking vitamins, getting more education, training in the gym, improving eating habits, etc. all can have a positive impact on your life. This positive direction may provide you some false hope that you can do anything. And the world wants you to think that you can do anything. Many even cherry pick scripture to try to make you get those “I can do anything” feelings like the self-help books declare. Yet no matter the strength and the weapons, you are still limited. Yes, with God, anything is impossible—but we tend to forget the with God—we tend to forget the source. May you be reminded today of your dependence on Jesus Christ. Surrender once again to Him, your true hope—your true victory. To Him be all honor, glory, and praise.
“Human strength and the weapons of man are false hopes for victory; they may seem mighty but they will always disappoint.” – Psalm 33:17 [TPT]