When I hear a message once, I pay attention. When I hear it twice, I search it out and do my best to apply it to my life. This week, my mind has been on doing things God’s way. Saying that I want God’s will in my life also means I must trust the way He chooses to carry out His plans.
Two of my daily devotions this week have been about God’s way.
Streams in the Desert March 29th
See how the lilies of the field grow. (Matthew 6:28)
Many years ago there was a monk who needed olive oil, so he planted an olive tree sapling. After he finished planting it, he prayed, “Lord, my tree needs rain so its tender roots may drink and grow. Send gentle showers.”And the Lord sent gentle showers. Then the monk prayed,”Lord, my tree needs sun. Please send it sun.” And the sun shone, gilding the once-dripping clouds. “Now send frost, dear Lord, to strengthen its branches,” cried the monk. And soon the little tree was covered in sparkling frost, but by evening it had died. Then the monk sought out a brother monk in his cell and told him of his strange experience. After hearing the story, the other monk said, “I also have planted a little tree. See how it is thriving! But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better than a man like me what it needs. I gave God no constraints or conditions, except to pray, ‘Lord, send what it needs—whether that be a storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. You made it, and you know best what it needs.'”
Streams in the Desert March 30th
But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand:You will lie down in torment.(Isaiah 50:11)
This is a solemn warning to those who walk in darkness and who try to help themselves find the light. They are described as the kindling for a fire that is surrounding itself with sparks. What does this mean?
It means that when we are in darkness, the temptation is to find our own way without trusting in the Lord and relying upon Him. Instead of allowing Him to help us, we try to help ourselves. We seek the light of the natural way and the advice of our friends. We reason out our own conclusions and thereby may be tempted to accept a path of deliverance that would not be of God at all. The light we see may be the fires from our own kindling, or deceptive beacons leading us toward the danger of the rocks. And God will allow us to walk in the false light of those sparks, but the end will be sorrow. Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place except in God’s timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness, knowing He is present.
Remember, it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.
from The Still Small Voice
Stop interfering with God’s plans and with His will. Touching anything of His mars the work. Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time. You may be able to rush the unfolding of some aspects of God’s will, but you harm His work in the long run. You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to Him, without exception. “Not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). Stephen Merritt
God sent me on when I would stay
(‘Twas cool within the wood);
I did not know the reason why.
I heard a boulder crashing by
‘Cross the path where I had stood.
He had me stay when I would go;
“Your will be done,” I said.
They found one day at early dawn,
Across the way I would have gone,
A serpent with a mangled head.
I ask no more the reason why,
Although I may not see
The path ahead, His way I go;
For though I know not, He does know,
And He will choose safe paths for me.
from Sunday School Times
“You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower”
These messages could not have come at a better time for me. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to figure out exactly what God’s is up to and how He is going to accomplish that which has been spoken over my life. I am reminded of a scripture in the book of Isaiah.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Many times, it is easier to accept God’s will than it is to accept His way. I was doing some planting around my yard (totally not normal for me) and the story of the monk came to mind. Like him, I want my plants to grow, blossom and to become the best flowers possible, but I can not force them to bloom. I have to trust that if I do my part, God will do the rest, and that He knows what the plants need more than I do because in His own divine intelligence, He designed them. It’s the same way with my life. I want to grow and become what God destined for me to be, but I can’t direct God on how to make that happen. He knows what I need more than I know what I need. He designed my life and the course that I should take, so I must trust my Designer.
As, I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized just how short our time on this earth is, and because of that revelation, it’s natural to try to rush things and attempt to bring things to pass with our own strength. But the bible says,
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. “
Doing things in our own power is a waste of effort. Pslam 127:1 says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” I want the Lord to be the foundation of everything I do. I don’t want to foolishly build my own house, only to find in the midst of a storm, that it will not stand.
Has there ever been a time when you were in a hurry to get out of a situation or circumstance? Have you ever tried to force change in a situation that God wanted you to remain in and learn from? Are you in that place right now?
Lord, help me to wait upon you and to trust in your way. Don’t allow me to walk in the false light of my own selfish fires or pursue endeavors that are not a part of your design for my life. Help me to walk steadily on the path that has been set for me and not to circumvent your clear way for me. I trust your design for my life, and I understand that your ways are not my ways. Your thoughts are higher than mine, so I will wait on your timing because you know what is best for me. Have your way in my life. Amen.
You are a rose. You are beautiful, and your life is perfectly designed. Don’t rush the process. God is not bound by man’s time table. Allow God to beautify your life in His time.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time