How do we grow away from God?

August 28, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV))

It is so difficult to not be anxious about the situations in the world today. People are losing their jobs. People are losing their homes. Prices are increasing. Natural disasters abound. Terrorism and wars are all the news. People no longer respect other people.

I find it difficult some days to remember that God is in control. It is human nature to want to be in control. When we are not in control, we grow anxious. We grow irritated. We grow away from God.

How do we grow away from God?

That is a simple matter of whom we place at the center of our lives and whom we place in control. When we grow anxious, we are saying to ourselves and to the world that we are the ones responsible for our happiness and our status. We ignore God and focus entirely on us. The more that we grow anxious, the further away that we get from God. It is a viscous cycle. The further we get from God, the more anxious we become and then the more we focus on us and our pitiful situations. I would venture to say that our problems as a society all stem from the single fact that as a society, we strive to do it on our own. We have removed God from far too many aspects of our lives. The more we remove God from our society, the more anxious we become about our own fate. We have become too focused on the wrong individual. Instead of focusing on God, we focus on ourselves. We no longer know peace. We no longer know God.

I do not pretend to know what tomorrow will bring. I do know that I can face anything that the world may throw at me as long as I keep God at the center of my life. I also know that I cannot face a single day without talking to my Lord and Savior. Sometimes it is only an internal groan from deep within my soul. Sometimes it is much more. No matter how the conversation goes, I find myself resting in God’s grace and reflecting on what He has done for us – for me. I find the anxiety melts away. I find peace overtaking me.

Be still, and know that I am God
(Psalm 46:10a (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Spiritual Depth Perception

August 14, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2 (NIV))

If you focus all of your attention on one thing, all others will be ignored. It is true of the physical as well as the spiritual.

If you concentrate on a show on television, the events around you are ignored. They still happen, but you do not perceive their importance and place in the scheme of things. The same is true of spiritual matters. If you focus, intentionally or unintentionally, on matters of this world, then matters of and from God will be ignored. If you focus on matters of and from God, then the world will be ignored.

Could it be that we also have spiritual vision that works in a similar fashion as our earthly, physical vision?

Depth perception in vision allows us to focus on the details of what we focus our eyes on. All other items within our scope of vision are still there, but they are just shadows of what they truly are. If we change our visual focus to look at these things in detail, then the other items become shadows of their true detail. If we focus on God, then our spiritual depth perception “blurs” the things of this world that could serve to distract us. We know that they are still there, but we are not drawn to them because of the lack of detail and the strong focus of detail that comes from the things of God.

Where is your spiritual vision focused? Has your spiritual depth perception blurred the things of this world or has your physical depth perception blurred the things of God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our understanding

July 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
(Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV))

Our understanding is like that of a very small child. We see the world through limited vision and understanding. When you were a small child, you looked to your parents for guidance, comfort and strength. We lean on their understanding to guide us and keep our paths straight. As adults, we are still very small children in the eyes of God. We see and understand in a very limited way.

God is our Heavenly Father. He desires to show us His creation through His eyes and through His understanding. He knows what guidance, comfort and strength we need better than our earthly fathers. We must turn to His understanding and rely on His guidance so that our paths do not wander into evil.

This is hard for many people to do. Human pride does not easily allow us to admit that we are not in control, and that we must turn to someone more powerful than ourselves for guidance and direction. God has given us a mind. He does not wish for us to waste that gift, yet, He wishes to guide us so that we will not misuse that gift. We must always look to the source of all wisdom and knowledge, and not look upon ourselves as the source of that knowledge. If we look to ourselves, then we do not turn to the ultimate understanding, which, eventually will lead to evil.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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It was, and still is, a matter of attitude

April 30, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
(1 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Could we, as a society, be on the way to a time when God will makes us look foolish?

We are at a time in history when knowledge is increasing like never before. Humanity can accomplish some pretty incredible tasks if we put our minds to it. We can send a message around the world in a fraction of a second. We have begun to unlock the secrets that God has placed within our DNA. We are developing technology faster than we literally can produce it. By the time a product gets to market, it is already obsolete. We have become wise in the ways of the world.

We must keep our focus on God, for if we start to proclaim that we have done these things and that we do not need God, then we will be floundering in foolishness created by our worldly wisdom. We will have done the same thing that caused confusion of our languages at Babel.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
(Genesis 11:4 (NIV))

It was, and still is, a matter of attitude. We must keep God as our focus and give Him all the glory for what He has given to us. We must not seek to make a name for ourselves. If we do, then we will be scattered and our wisdom will be made foolish.

Is God first in all that you do? Do you seek to glorify God or do you seek the glory for yourself?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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