Monday, March 2, 2020

All You’ve Got To Do Is Act Naturally

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” — John 14:21

Who or what decides what you think, say and do? The inspiration for what I decide to write in these devotions comes from mediation on the Word, observations I make during the day, and Biblical teaching that I hear – which is the case today – specifically the sermon at church yesterday. What we do – how we live is in the context of what rules our thinking and doing.  The Bible says there are only two options – the spiritual and the natural. The natural can manifest in a number of ways; our personal choices, the influences of our upbringing, the culture we live in – but most probably a combination of all three.  For Christians – who have been saved to a new – spiritual life – most of us struggle with the influence of the natural.

It can be like paddling a boat against the wind.  When I was in flight school, I would go fishing on Saturday mornings as a way of relaxing after the stress of learning to fly something that did not want to fly on its own, helicopters.  On one of those days, I took my, then pregnant, wife with me.  We were fishing in a small john boat with a trolling motor.  We fished our way around to the far side of the lake.  When we decided to call it a day, I turned the boat back toward the car only to discover there was a 20 knot wind coming from that direction. Try as I might – the trolling motor and my paddling were not enough to overcome the force of the wind. I was concerned.  I had to protect my wife and our unborn baby. But, no matter how hard I tried, the wind was more than a match for me. We had to beach the boat and walk back around the lake.  I carried the battery, motor and most of the gear. Martie carried what she could, given her condition. Oh, it gets better, I had to make a path through brambles to protect her.  My jeans were torn to shreds.

Fighting against the natural influences in our lives can be like fighting that wind.  It can just be too much for us – too strong – so we just give in. But we don’t have to. Unlike Martie and me in that boat, we have a greater source of power at our disposal – the power of God is with us.

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’” – Luke 8:22-25

What natural influences in your life have you decided are just too strong for you to resist? The title to this devotion is actually a title to an old country song by Buck Owens.  If you have never heard of him, no worries. He is not the point.  You can just give in, lose hope, decide it is just too difficult – or you can look to Jesus, who is with you in the “boat”.  Think about it.  Pray about it.  If you are going to yield to anything, yield to the power of God. 

And He [Jesus] said to me [Paul], ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

No comments: