The background of this area should be an image. Please use Change Background feature to change the background of this area.
(Can be found under DESIGN tab)
DEVOTIONS FOR MEN
I’m sure we all want to live in ways that glorify the Lord. We start the day with that intention, but we often get thrown a curve. Is there a better way to prepare for the day than just good intentions? We would feel more prepared if we could have an agenda all printed up for us showing all the twists and turns so there would be nothing unexpected that would catch us off guard.
But there is a better way to be prepared for whatever we will encounter in our day. Spend quality time with God at the beginning. Let him prepare you for the day that is before you. He knows exactly what each day will have in store for you, whereas we only have vague ideas about it.
God will not show you what is on the road ahead, but he will thoroughly prepare you for the journey. His living presence is your companion each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with him calling on him whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. In this way you can walk through the day with your focus on him. His abiding presence is the best guide available.
In the sixth chapter of Ephesians Paul admonishes us to put on “the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Each piece is important, but for this moment I want us to think about faith.
We should approach each day with the awareness of who is boss: it’s our sovereign Lord. Are we aware of his sovereign presence and his authority to orchestrate the events of our life? We often misinterpret his involvement when our day doesn’t go as we had planned and only consider that Satan is at work. Perhaps that when we need to be looking for God’s involvement. He might be doing something important in our lives that is different from what we wanted or expected.
It’s during those times that we need to pray and seek what God’s purpose may be rather than figuring out why it’s happening on our own. Even if we can’t understand the “why” initially, we need to trust in him and believe that he works for good in all things for his children. If we are to live by faith, don’t you think our Father wants to wean us from depending on ourselves, others, or the right circumstances in life?
We should strive to trust him in more and more areas of our lives. Those things that tend to make us anxious and doubting are growth opportunities. There are blessings hidden in the difficulties. If we believe that hi is sovereign over every aspect of our lives, it should be possible to trust him in all situations.
Let’s look again at Ephesians 3:20. The verse says that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Therefore we should come to God with positive expectations knowing that what he can and wants to accomplish is probably going to exceed our expectations. Satan will always try to cause us to doubt, but we should let the Holy Spirit guide our minds so we can believe and trust for great things.
The more extreme our circumstances, the more likely we are to see God’s power and glory at work in us and in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw us into worrying, doubting, and tempt us to work in our own strength and wisdom, we should try to see them as setting the scene for God’s glorious intervention. How much better it is to walk closely with God, depending on his strength, and trusting him in every situation.
We should not be discouraged by the fact that some of our prayers may not yet be answered. Time is a trainer teaching us to wait in trust that God is anxious to work and glorify his power and love. And as we wait, we must keep our eyes and minds wide open to all that he is doing in our lives as well as in our situation.
Power to Prevail
Our devotional thoughts this month are based in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. There are two portions of that letter that deal with the power that is available to us to live and serve victoriously.
In 1:18-21 Paul tells the church that the eyes of their heart will be enlightened so they would know “his incomparably great power for us who believe” saying it was “like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead . . . “
Then in 3:20 in his benediction to another prayer he says that God “…is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Maybe we’re not sure of and fearful of what that power would be like. Or, are we quenching that power because we neglect God and do too much on our own power without seeking that power. Or do we tend to doubt the potential of great workings of God’s power and expect too little. Are we afraid of the embarrassment it would be to us if God didn’t show up, and no great show of power was experienced? Do we realize how much God wants the opportunity to display his power through us knowing how much more could be accomplished for his glory?
But tying in to our Sunday night’s study “If,” what if through prayer and faith we really believed and expected that power that is available to work in a great, God-glorifying way, and it did?
Will we continue to doubt, or will we start exploring the depths of God’s truth more deeply and exercising prayer and faith to let this power become work in and through us?
New year, new life, or still pretty much the same old me?
Having a close walk with God is a life of continual growth and newness. As we begin this new year, we should not cling to our old ways. It’s important to maintain a teachable spirit and an eagerness to be progressively changed into becoming like our Christ. If we are really seeking God, we should know that it involves being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
God is always trying to prepare us for what lies ahead. How can we be ready for new challenges when were the same we’ve always been? Perhaps the one thing that keeps us from growing and changing is insufficient time with our Father. We must take time to be still in his presence and listen. We may say that we just don’t have the time, but the busier we become, the more we need this time apart with him. To be much for God, we have to be much with God.
Remember that our ultimate goal is living close to God and being responsive to his initiatives. God can communicate with us most readily when our mind is uncluttered and tuned toward him. Seek him continually throughout the day. Let his presence bring priority and order to your thoughts and submit to the changes he wants in your life.