February 17, 2011

Authority, Loyalty and Faith

When I find myself doubting, God is always there for me. He is there to reassure and remind me of His truth. He is there to remind me that He is the only One who knows my situation, my heart and my motives. He is the only One who matters.

Here are a couple of devotions from my week that have served as excellent reminders.

The first was in regards to the promise of God's authority.

"In the LORD's hand the king's heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him." Proverbs 21:1

It reminded me that everyone and everything is under the authority of God. Satan may author the evil acts that surround us but ultimately God sets the boundaries. There is NO power outside of God's plan. His plan will always be accomplished. Even through the most wicked of hearts, God IS the final authority.

So much evil is occurring right now but God has promised good through the heartache. He will use the wickedness of others for His good.

I am recognizing that His good for me may be different from what I would consider good for my life. What I mean is that His plans are so much better for me than my own. What I thought I needed, He knows better and though it may hurt that He has taken things away, ultimately it is for my good.

The second devotion was on the importance of love and encouragement in relationships and one that I needed.

"And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself."

1 Samuel 20:17

I used to believe that I had close friends and family who loved me and would support me. I have learned a hard lesson over the past couple of years.

This devotion caused me to take a step back and re-evaluate the people that were in my life. Were they godly? Were they relationships that honored God? Did those I surrounded myself with choose to live with one foot in the world?

Someone made the comment to me that perhaps God was using my situation to reveal to me those relationships that were unhealthy. Those it is hurtful to be betrayed and abandoned, I am realizing that it was for my good. I have spent time examining my relationships through a microscope and realizing that they did not meet up to God's requirements. In order to have meaningful, life-long and intimate relationships, they have to be centered on God.

True friendship produces love but it is not the only fruit. Real friendship consists of sacrifice as well. It is the ability to put another person's needs, desires and wishes above our own. It is about loyalty. Loyalty is something that I just did not think existed anymore until God shined a light on those in my life right now that have walked this road with me. They have been beaten down and bruised for me. They have supported me through thick and thin. They have been loyal.

A loyal friend is one who takes your defense before others and will not talk about you when you are not around. True and loyal friends stick up for one another and they do not bale when the road gets rocky. They stay and fight with you and for you! They allow you to be yourself no matter what "self" may look like in that moment.

This kind of intimate friendship consists of love, sacrifice, loyalty and freedom. For months I have mourned the loss of relationship but this morning I find myself becoming aware of those couple of people (and you know who you are) that have been exactly what
Jonathon was for David .

I ended with a devotion on the story of Jesus healing the blind man.

7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means "Sent"). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

John 9:7

This is a story about faith. It means having faith in Christ to do exactly what He tells us to do even if it doesn't make sense. When Jesus calls us to do something, we need to pay close attention to all of the details. We have a tendency of putting God in a box and limiting His power based on our own assumptions of what He is capable of doing. We have to have faith in His promises and follow His lead.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:9-13

The world would have us believe three lies about God:

  1. That God's love for us depends on how good we are. That our positive and negative behavior influences His love and affection for us.


     

    Truth says that the Lord's love never changes. It is constant.


     

  2. Acceptance by others has to do with performance, not who we are in Christ. This mindset leaves us to the constant approval of others.

    Truth says that God has adopted every believer in to His family and we are fully accepted.

  3. Security comes through social status and material things. This kind of thinking leads to manipulation and anxiety.

    Truth says that Christ is our only source of true security.


     

    Each of those lies represents a "hidden enemy of love" because godly affection cannot flourish with attitudes that are immature and childish. We have to replace such beliefs with TRUTH and trust God's promises!!!

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