January 9, 2016

Isaiah 35:3-4 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”

There will sometimes be strong individuals, but there will always be those who fit the description in this passage. Actually, everyone fits this description at least occasionally. We are by nature weak and foolish. That’s not bad IF we look to and depend on God. If we fail to do that, it gets us into a lot of trouble that God never desired or intended for us. Just as stress comes from wanting to control things we can’t, so failure comes from trying to do things in our own strength alone. We can have partial and minor successes on our own, but even those will ultimately be completely empty if we are ignoring God. This passage, and the many like it throughout the Bible, does not mean we are not involved in the process, that we are supposed to be passive rag dolls. Far from it! We were given free will, and we are called on to exercise that will to choose obedience, to choose to do God’s best that He has laid out for us. As Paul said, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) We can do those good works and find joy and fulfillment, or we can run from them and find defeat and destruction. Those good works are going to be different for each individual, but there will be some common themes for all who genuinely seek God. For starters, there will be active pursuit of fellowship with God, because He will be the first priority. That will include taking in His Word and talking with Him, regularly and frequently. It will include active humility, being open to the Holy Spirit and repenting immediately of things He shows us need to be corrected. It will include allowing the love of God to flow through us to those around us, blessing them and drawing them to God. There are as many ways for that to happen as there are people, so we are not to go around comparing ourselves to others, either favorably or unfavorably. Rather, we are to acknowledge God in every detail of our lives and walk with assurance the path that He lays out for us. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I certainly have my moments of weak hands and wobbly knees! When I started this devotional time I was having a visual migraine to the point I could hardly see, but that has largely cleared at this point. I am not to let my own weaknesses, physical or otherwise, discourage me at all, but rather rejoice that they will allow God to manifest His strength through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) However, that does not mean that I am to seek to be weak! Rather, I am to choose the strength that God offers, that comes from Him and not from me. Only then will I be able to follow through with all the good works that He has prepared for me to do.

Father, thank You for the accomplishful day yesterday. It included some activities that have been weighing on me for their not being done. Thank You for what You have planned for today. Some of it seems straightforward, and some of it You’re really going to have to show us how to get it done. I ask for guidance and strength, and above all Your peace that is beyond human understanding, so that Your will may be done in Your way on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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