Tuesday, 25 July 2017

First Devotional Thoughts Platform (Part Seven)


Lessons from God's Faithfulness (Part Four)
IC: The next lesson we learnt is to always remember, “We are human beings after all. We can make all the plans in this world, set goals and determine strategies to achieve them but unless God breathes on our efforts, they are nothing.”
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:11, NKJV)
IC: Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (NIV). It is important to recognize and have peace with this, focus on what you can control and learn to hand over what you can’t control to God.

Akin: That reminds me of the Serenity Prayer. I grew up seeing the abbreviated version framed on many a wall. The prayer is credited to Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971). It reads thus,
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.
Akin: Wow! What an awesome and powerful prayer. As humans we need to recognize our limitedness, and sole dependence on God. We need to live with absolute trust in a God who loves and cares enough to intrude our schedule. We can never be in a place better; we can never have a thing better than God will have us. He loves us far much more than we can ever love ourselves. [Hebrews 12:5-11]

Akin: Hence, after we are done making our beautiful plans, we need to commit them to Him and be willing and ready to make adjustments as He enlightens us along the way. [Proverbs 16:3; Psalms 37:5-7; James 4:13-16]

IC: In making our plans though, it is important to be sure they are aligned with the word of God and what we believe to be His purpose for our lives. Making plans that are clearly misaligned with His words and expecting Him to bless such plans is an exercise in futility.

Akin: That is large. A lot of us miss it in this wise. Rather than give place to God’s sovereignty, we seek to only use Him as a rubber stamp. We do not trust Him enough to seek for and allow His will. We feel we know much more than God. We think we can work out a better plan than God. This is a sure recipe for failure in life. [Ezekiel 14:1-11]

Akin: It is absolutely important we never get so attached to our goals that we make a god out of them. It gets so bad that some people actually threaten God with desertion, just because their dreams (goals) are being delayed, or not appearing to come to pass, as they envisaged.

Akin: Our heart’s disposition must always be that NOTHING EVER TAKES FIRST PLACE, BUT GOD, AND GOD ALONE. Anything short of this, and we have missed it. He will not compete with any other thing (or person) in our life, irrespective of what that thing (or person) might be.

Akin: And, the reality of life is, GOD WILL ALWAYS TEST THIS. What we are referring to is not a mere lip service. It’s got to be clear where our devotion lies. It’s got to be one that runs deep into the marrow of our being. [Mark 12:29-33; Deuteronomy 6:5-6]

Akin: OUR PROMOTION IN LIFE, AND TO WHAT EXTENT GOD RELEASES HIMSELF TO US, IS DEPENDENT ON WHERE OUR HEART LIES.

Akin: Goals are important, but they MUST NEVER TAKE, NOR CHALLENGE THE PLACE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES. Our goals should be what we prayerfully put together, trusting God for wisdom and the wherewithal to bring them to pass. [Proverbs 16:1-3] It should be our vision of where we believe God will want us to be. [Proverbs 29:18] And, make no doubt about it. He wants us to have the very best in life.

Akin: That is all we are able to take this week. We will pick up from here next week. We love you. Remember, God loves you much more.


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