Are you trying to do things your way?

March 12, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
    “No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
(John 21:4-6 (NIV))

Do you consider yourself an expert in what you do?

Think about that question for a moment.

How willing are you to take the advice of someone who doesn’t know anything about what you do? How willing are you to even consider doing something differently than what you are accustomed to?

Now, is there something in your life that you are struggling with because you know that God is leading you in a certain direction, but you feel that you are constantly encountering roadblocks and obstacles? Have you stopped to consider that you are trying to fulfill your calling using your own strengths and plans? Perhaps you simply need to step back and accept the advice from someone else.

That is exactly what the disciples did, not only in this story, but in other stories as well.

Every time that they attempted to do something without Jesus, it did not go as planned. When they allowed Jesus to guide, things vastly improved. Fortunately for those who can claim spiritual descendancy to the disciples, they allowed someone else to lead them. They soon realized that they could not do it on their own. They needed Jesus.

What in your life is in need of the guidance that Jesus can give? Is it your job? Is it your family? Is it your calling? Is it a ministry that He is longing to use to spread the Gospel? Listen to that still, small voice. I think that you know the one. It is the one that says “Throw your net on the right side of the boat. . . ” It is the one that sounds foolish, but you just can’t seem to get it out of your mind. It is the one that is calling you to trust in something besides your own so-called expertise.

I once heard a story about how a revival got started. To summarize, many people got together to pray that a revival would start in their town. They met regularly, but with no results. Finally, someone asked after a rather lengthy prayer meeting if anyone felt anything. No one answered. This went on for several more prayer meetings, and still no one answered. Finally, at still another prayer meeting, someone reluctantly said that they felt that they were supposed to hit the table. They said that they had felt this way almost since the beginning of their prayer group, but they felt that it was foolish and didn’t mention it. Finally, they broke down and did what they felt they were being told to do. They hit the table.

Can you guess what happened?

Are you ignoring something because you feel that it is foolish? God is not calling the equipped. He is equipping the called. It is up to each of us to answer that call. He will call you in ways that you may think are foolish.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.
(Isaiah 55:8 (NIV))

Are you trying to do things your way?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you thought to be discerning?

June 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
(Proverbs 17:28 (NIV))

It seems that all too often I am found out for my true identity. I have an alter-ego and it is not one that I am proud of. All too often my tongue gives me away for who I do not want to be. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Since we are all human, I think that it is safe to say that all of us have been guilty of this more often than we care to admit.

Why does the tongue rule our lives so much? How can an organ that spends most of its time out of sight of ourselves and others cause so much damage when it does show up?

Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
(Proverbs 12:18 (NIV))

For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
(Proverbs 5:3-4 (NIV))

Perhaps it is simply due to our rebellious nature. God, in all of His glory, speaks and the truth that comes forth cuts through all that it touches.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 (NIV))

We in our sinful, fallen state desire to be in control, to be like God. Our words are pronounced judgments upon those whom they are directed towards. Perhaps our words cut in an effort to elevate ourselves above others. Perhaps they even cut to try to elevate ourselves above God. Either way, we play the part of the fool, for we are no better than the one we confront, and we are definitely no better than God.

Are you thought to be discerning?

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