Hello everyone, happy summer!! Here in the Pacific Northwest, they say summer doesn’t technically start until after 4th of July because our temperatures are still on the cooler side and we have cloudy days. However, that all changes tomorrow…
Today, I was reading my devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chamber’s and it was so good that I read ahead. Again. Do you ever do that?! Sometimes I can’t help myself, but I also believe the Spirit prompts us forward to speak to us for a particular reason or situation. Soooo…
Happy early 4th of July!! Yay!! Barbecues, family, friends, ice cream, and maybe a few sparklers thrown in just for the fun of it. Be safe and celebrate the independence of this amazing country we are fortunate and blessed to call home.
I’m going to change gears here and focus on Chamber’s devotional titled, “One of God’s Great Don’ts.”
“Do not fret–it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:8
Do you fret? I wasn’t sure just how much I did it because, honestly, I couldn’t remember exactly what it meant. According to the online dictionary it means, “be constantly or visibly worried or anxious.” Yup, we were once very close cousins. Anxiety used to be a very big part of my life. In fact, I would say it affects many family members as well. Remember, cousins? 🙂 I believe many traits can be generational, whether it is a tendency toward anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, etc. Those traits are all sin and the opposite of what Jesus wants us to have which is the fruit of the spirit.
“Worry always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of just how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God” (Chambers, July 4th, emphasis mine).
The sentence that really convicted me today is the one I emphasized. Have my own way… If I am praying to God and seeking His help, worry should never enter the equation, right? He has searched me and knows me (Psalm 139:1) and He knows all the days ordained for me (Psalm 139:16).
God knows everything and He is always with me. I wasn’t alone when my dad was recovering from triple by-pass open heart surgery, He was right there. When my doctor told me the extra testing she did, because of my family history of cancer, saved my life, God was right there. He moved mountains, to make sure I was right where I needed to be, to be healed. Three months before my doctor made her discovery, my husband was just about guaranteed a promotion–after a year of extra work towards it- and a transfer that would have taken us from the West coast, where my doctor was, to the East coast, where no one knew my family history. Thank God He didn’t give us our hearts desire at that time!
Remember, God and God alone is the only one that truly knows all that you are going through and has the best plans for you and how to get you through it.
When God moved mountains to keep me in the West coast, it was literally life changing and eye-opening for me. I realized He has all of my days. I want God’s plans, not my plans. If a trip is cancelled, He knows what’s best. A job that fell through, He knows what’s best. A missed promotion, well you already know that one. I’m sure you recognize the pattern here. Trust me, I know it isn’t easy. I just take it one day at a time, leave it all at the altar, and know He keeps His promises.
We will end our conversation with the final thoughts from Oswald’s July 4th devotional. “Set all your opinions and speculations aside and “abide under the shadow of the almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God” (Chambers).
Are you resting under the shadow of the Almighty? I pray that you are! His arms are stretched out wide to give you love, comfort, and rest for your weary souls. He is waiting, rest in the arms of your Lord.
May God bless you,
Chambers. Oswald. “My Utmost For His Highest.” July 4th, One of God’s Great Dont’s. Discovery House Publishing. Updated edition, 1992.
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
Images: Yongsong Kim. “Rest in the arms of your Lord”.
4th of July from Pinterest.
“For I know the plans…” http://www.facebook.com/MYBIBLEVERSES.