It happened two days in a row: three different messages from God.
Do you, like me, sometimes wonder how God lets us know what He wants for us? I’m a practical person, not given to flights of fancy or emotion. I’m more likely to read for information or to search out the history behind a particular Scripture passage. But three times in two days, God clearly spoke to me through my regular morning devotions.
A group that I help to lead is having difficulties getting started for the season, due to events beyond our control, and the members are not happy. I allowed a comment from a group member to put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I piled everything into my mood: politics, COVID-19 restrictions, rumours, new owners of the RV park where I live, remodelling and shutdown of our buildings — you name it. Mainly, it revolved around my powerlessness to do anything about any of these situations.
The next morning, two devotionals that I read were just what I needed — amazing how this happens, isn’t it?
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV 2011)
Next to this passage, there’s a note in my Bible from a long-ago sermon: “To carry out God’s eternal plan, we need to get along here on earth.” And that can come only when we are rooted and established in His love and filled with His fullness. If that’s true in my life, then nothing else really matters.
The second devotional referenced John 13:12-14 in which Jesus humbled Himself to wash the disciples’ feet. The devotional ended with the question, “How will we wash someone’s feet today?” — in other words, how will we humble ourselves and serve others today?
I laughed as I read the second one — two hits in one day and aimed correctly. I have no control over any circumstances in my life, except my attitude to them. I’d been telling friends that I wasn’t letting all this stuff bother me, but God was clearly telling me to make my actions match my verbalizing.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45a NIV 2011)
That afternoon, something else happened that I let get under my skin. Evidently, I hadn’t yet internalized the two messages that God had sent me earlier! The next morning, I read about a group that responded in love to someone who hated them, and I realized that my response had not been out of love, and that I’d let the devil into my thoughts and reactions.
Did you notice the phrases “I allowed” and “I let”? Perhaps, like me, you “allow” and “let” situations beyond your control to get to you. I want to remember these lessons often. I hope that you will, too. Pray with me:
Prayer: Father, I know that I’m quick to judge and slow to give grace. Help me to love my enemies — and my friends — whose actions get under my skin. Help me to be so rooted and established in Your love that I can surrender it all to You. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Sharon Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission