Do you go outside of your comfort zone for God?

August 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The next morning Jesus awoke long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.
(Mark 1:35 (NLT))

What do you think of when you think of a wilderness?

Some people think of a wild place such as a jungle. Some think of a barren place such as a desert. Either way, it is often associated as a place that is untouched by human hands. To many, this implies that it is a dangerous place to be, and it can be.

Have you considered that a wilderness can also be a place of peace away from the hectic pace of the world? A wilderness can be a place to encounter God without the distractions of the world weighing you down. I am certain that we all know of someone, if we are not like this, who finds that a walk in the woods or a day in a boat is the most productive prayer time that they can have.

Let’s face it. God doesn’t care where you are when you talk to Him. All that He cares is that you earnestly seek His face. If that means that you need to go out to a place that is not easily accessible to other people, then do it. Look at all of the times that Jesus went into the wilderness. Look at all of the time that David spent in the wilderness tending sheep and then running from Saul. Look at the time spent by John the Baptist in the wilderness. All of these, and may others, spent time alone with God in the wilderness. If you stop to think about it, a wilderness is something outside of your comfort zone. John the Baptist wasn’t raised in the wilderness, yet he was called there. David wasn’t raised in the wilderness, but he spent a period of time in his life getting prepared for what God called him to be. Jesus, as the Son of God, was not used to a wilderness, but He spent countless times in the wilderness so that He could clearly hear God and His call.

They went outside of their comfort zone in order to hear God!

They spent countless days, weeks and months in the wilderness in order to hear God. They were willing to take that step of faith to let God know that they were sincere in their desires. I know that times have changed, but maybe the reason we don’t hear from God is the simple fact that we aren’t willing to go beyond our comfort zone. We aren’t willing to go into an unknown, into a wilderness.

How far are you willing to go to be able to hear God?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have the faith to survive your wilderness?

December 1, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;
Selah
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.
(Psalms 55:7-8 (NIV))

What is your place of shelter?

Do you think of the desert as this place?

Most of us do not think of the desert as a place of refuge, after all, a desert is a harsh place that brings about pain and death.

Perhaps it is our perspective on our situation and our location that gives us this attitude. All throughout the Bible, people who had to experience the desert often came out stronger on the other side. Perhaps this is due to the fact that human nature expects to find God in the lush and plentiful. Let’s face facts. God often appears to us when we do not expect it and in situations that we do not expect. That is exactly why God uses the desert to draw us closer to Him.

The desert lacks the distractions of this world. We can either choose to focus on the fact that we must rely upon God, or we can focus on our situation. If we focus on our situation, if we come out of the desert, we will be weakened and lack focus. Satan will have won.

If we focus on God and what He can provide, then we will come out of the desert stronger in our faith and ready to be the servant that God is calling us to be. In the Bible, “desert” and “wilderness” are often used to indicate a place of testing. A desert is used to indicate a crossing or a right of passage where refuge may be found, while a wilderness indicates an untamed place. Many times throughout each of our lives, we will find ourselves in such a place. How we look upon it will determine our outcome. If we have the faith to look upon our situation as a place of shelter because we have found God to be there, then we will not only survive, God will make us thrive in our work for Him.

Do you have the faith to be in the desert or the wilderness?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is power and majesty in what we hear

May 16, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
(Psalms 29:4 – 20:4 (NIV))

I needed to read this today.

Do you ever have days when it seems that the world is drowning out God’s voice and you can’t hear Him at all? All you can hear is the noise and distractions of the world and nothing will make it go away.

We all face days like this. We all have times when we wonder if what we are doing even makes a difference to anyone. We all have times when it feels like our walk of faith is going nowhere fast.

It is in these times when we need to listen for that still, small voice. It is in these times that God’s power and majesty will find their way into our lives if we will only surrender.

Surrender!

That is a nasty word to many people, myself included.

In my humanity, I would rather boldly move forward with my own agenda instead of surrendering to the plans of someone else. How many of you can relate to this?

Fortunately, we don’t have to face the world with just our humanity. We can face it with the assurance that God has a purpose for our lives. We can face it knowing that the world will try to keep us from that purpose. We can rejoice in the fact that Jesus will not abandon us even when we are in the midst of the problems the world sends our way.

The voice of the Lord is powerful. It will steer you away from sin. The voice of the Lord is majestic. It will guide you to salvation.

Even when we listen for God’s still, small voice, there is power and majesty in what we hear!

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Take a look at your life of worship

November 11, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
(2 Kings 17:35-39 (NIV))

As the Body of Christ, we have been grafted into the root of Israel. We are to worship God in the same manner as the instructions that He gave to Israel.

Do we?

Are we guilty of worshipping other gods? If you stop to think about this question, it is very easy to fall into this mindset.

Do you spend more time shouting and praising your favorite football team than you do for the Creator of all things? Do you sit in a church service and watch the clock because you have someplace better to be? Do you spend more time on your boat than you do in worship? Do you spend more time pursuing money than you do pursuing godly righteousness? Are you more concerned with the stock market than you are with where you will spend eternity?

Just what is worship?

I have heard someone say that worship is the act of showing respect and love for God. I have also heard if explained as excessive admiration for someone or something.

Which definition of worship applies to what you practice? Is it the love and respect for God or is it the excessive admiration of something or someone? We have to be careful that we do not cross the line from loving God to admiring something else. When we do, we lose sight of where our worship truly belongs!

Take a serious look at your worship life. Are you overjoyed and desire to praise God or do you sit there with your arms folded thinking about anything else that occupies your mind?

Is worship confined to within the walls of a church building? Do you worship God wherever you may be or do you leave it behind when you walk out the doors of the church? Is this what we are called to do?

With all of the distractions that we have in this world, we need to focus on God.

Worship!

In all things that we do, we should worship God! We should praise His name. We should focus on the one who created all things and gave us life and not focus on the things that God created! The creation will fade. God is eternal.

Take a look at your life of worship.

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Kneel down and look up!

March 8, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
(2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV))

How often do we forget that the battle is God’s? If you are like me, it is probably all too often for your own tastes.

We all face our own “vast armies” on a daily basis that seem to distract us and keep our focus off of God. It is when we loose our focus on God that these distractions can overwhelm us just as the vast army discouraged King Jehoshaphat and all of the people who lived under his authority.

Our “vast armies” are many and range from extremely personal to vastly public. Society has made some shifts that I am sure are causing Satan to celebrate. Don’t let these discourage you. We are in a battle between the army of God and the army of Satan. It may appear that Satan is getting the upper hand, but take heart, read God’s Word. He wins!!!

We tend to forget that God does win, especially when we are right in the middle of the battlefield. It is hard to see the glorious victory when all around you is chaos. It is important to stay firmly grounded in God’s Word so that we will have the faith to take the words of 2 Chronicles 20:15 to heart, for the battle is truly not ours to fight. It is God’s!

Are you discouraged?

Kneel down and look up!

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