O LORD, open my eyes so I may see

April 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:15-17 (NIV))

“O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.”

Is this your prayer?

I know that Elisha was praying it for his servant when his servant thought all was hopeless. Elisha knew that the Lord was with him. It took a prayer from Elisha asking God to open the eyes of his servant before his servant saw what he saw.

Can you imagine how the servant felt?

How would you feel?

Would our hearts contain the overwhelming awe and wonder of such a sight?

We pray for God to open our eyes and to open our hearts, but are we ready to see what God is truly doing? Are we willing to relinquish what we think we know and allow God to truly guide us? With what is going on in this world, I pray that my eyes would be opened so that I can see. I pray that for you as well. I pray that all will come to a saving grace through Jesus before it is too late.

I want you to think about something, if you will.

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
(Philippians 2:10 (NIV))

Would you rather have God open your eyes now so that you can see and understand, or would you rather see the hills full of horses and chariots of fire when you are being surrounded by them? The servant saw the vast army of the Lord when he was under their protection. However, put yourself in the shoes of the ones that they were protecting them from. How would you rather see God’s army?

O LORD, open my eyes so I may see.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Remember His strength

September 6, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV))

Have you ever felt that no one could possibly understand what you are going through?

Do you ever feel that the weight of this world is just too much for you to bear? Do you feel that you are completely alone and have no where to turn?

I am sure that we have all felt like that at some point in our lives. We just can’t seem to find anything that offers us any hope at all. All too true, if we only look upon our situations with worldly vision. Fortunately, we have another way to look at things. We can look with faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

Jesus has been where we are. He understands how you feel. He has faced the very temptations that we face. He has faced the very struggles that we face. We can lean on His strength when we are weak. We can rely on His love when we feel unloved. We can rely on His truth when all around us is a lie. We can rely on His grace and mercy even when we feel that we do not deserve it.

We can approach anything with confidence if we fully rely on Jesus. He may not keep us from the trials and tribulations, but He will see us through them if we only have faith. Too many times, people forget that He never leaves us, and they leave Him when things go bad. They try to face the trials and tribulations relying on their own strength and not the strength of the one who is with them.

The next time that you feel that you are facing life’s trials and tribulations on your own, remember that Jesus has been there. Remember that He is with you. Remember that His strength will carry you through our weaknesses.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Anguish. Pain. Distress. Anxiety. Freedom!

May 4, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
(Matthew 26:39-42 (NIV))

Anguish.

Extreme pain.

Distress.

Anxiety.

There have been times in each of our lives when we felt that things just couldn’t get any worse. We were at our limits as far as anguish, pain, distress and anxiety. We have prayed that God would remove the pain from our lives. We have felt something similar to what Jesus felt that night so long ago.

If this type of feeling only came once in your lifetime, we could probably face the single event knowing that if we make it through that one episode, then we will never have to face this severe anguish ever again. The sad thing is that we know that we may face these type of feelings many times during our lives.

Still, we survive. We continue to live out our lives.

Why?

We have been given a hope. We have a faith that is built upon the events that took place that night that lead to the crucifixion. We have a faith based on the resurrection three days later. That is why we can face the trials and tribulations that this world sends our way. Jesus bore the burden for us. He carried the weight of all of our sin, anguish, pain, distress and anxiety.

Think about that.

I can recall times when I literally felt that my heart would burst just from the burden that I bore. I am certain that each of you has felt the same. Now, multiply that feeling by the countless number of times in your life where you are distressed. The burden gets heavier.

Now, multiply that amount of anguish by the billions of people that have ever lived and will ever live and the anguish grows to be so large that it is difficult to comprehend. Yet, comprehend it is exactly what Jesus did. He not only understood the amount of sin, anguish and pain, He willingly bore that burden for us so that we would not have to bear it any more.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV))

Jesus bore the sins of the whole world so that we can know peace. All that we have to do is accept that peace and turn our burdens over to Him. If He can carry the weight of the sin and anguish for all eternity, then He is more than capable of carrying you through whatever you may be facing.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you complain or argue?

October 29, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Do everything without complaining or arguing
(Philippians 2:14 (NIV))

We are never satisfied!

Think about that statement. There is an extreme amount of truth in those words. We are constantly seeking something that we don’t have. We want more, and when we don’t get it, we complain or we argue. Take a serious look inward and think about what makes you complain or argue. If you are like me, then it is probably the insecurity and the emptiness that we all feel. There is a void that we long to fill. When we don’t get it filled, we complain and argue. If we look for perfect love through our relationships, then we will be disappointed. If we look for fulfillment through our jobs, then we will be disappointed. If we look for happiness in our material possessions, then we will be disappointed. Everything of this world will leave us short of what God intended. He has so much more planned for us.

To claim what He has planned, we simply must place our faith in Jesus. We must also place our hope in things that are of God and not of this world.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:21 (NIV))

If we place our hope and our hearts in things that will disappoint us, then we are setting ourselves up to complain. If we focus on Jesus and the hope that He brings, then we can simply realize that what disappoints us is not important. It is at this point that our whole life comes in to focus. We no longer have a need to complain or argue. We keep our eyes focused on the prize and not the obstacles along the way. This shows a sign of spiritual maturity, for you are able to realize that each moment is quickly gone and the next moment brings hope for something better.

Place you hope in Jesus. Allow the Holy Spirit to mature you. Do everything without complaining or arguing.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Helpless, hopeless and lost?

September 8, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
(Matthew 18:12-14 (NIV))

Are you lost?

Helpless, hopeless and lost?

Satan longs to have us feel this way.

God longs for us to feel helpful, hopeful and loved.

God also longs for us to mature spiritually and become the person whom He created us to be. Sometimes this requires tough love. Just as a parent must sometimes withhold things from a child, God must withhold things from us. Just as a parent must allow the child to enter into things that will teach them a lesson, so too with God and us.

We are creatures of habit. Each of us exists within certain boundaries that we have established or that have been established for us. These boundaries become our comfort zone. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that our comfort zones foster stagnation. We soon grow complacent. We soon grow so rigid and confined within our comfort zones that we fail to recognize the need for spiritual growth and maturity. We become creatures of habit, and all too often our habits leave something to be desired. It takes something drastic to get our attention. It takes something that will make us look beyond our circumstances and look at our core beliefs and priorities.

God wants to get our attention. He wants to get us out of our comfort zones and focused on Him. Sometimes, that requires something bigger than we care to have happen. He wants us to take the time to fulfill Psalm 46:10a so that we may know Him and His will for our lives.

Be still, and know that I am God
(Psalm 4610a (NIV))

Just how does God get your attention so that He can bring you back into the flock?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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