September 24, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"For I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight." Isaiah 45:2
What a tremendous covenant promise God has made to those who will dare to turn from their self-imposed ways, exercise child-like faith in Him, and follow Him. So often we fall into the shallow security of the present, by not allowing the sins and failures of our past to help us, and to challenge us for the future. The lessons God has tried to impress upon our hearts from the trials we have endured, should propel us to new ventures of undaunted faith, steadfast reliance on Him, and triumph!
But have we so learned? Do we recognize the impetuous haste in which we respond to life's encounters, when patient perseverance is needed? Is present anxiety and concern causing us to lunge forward with impulsive thoughtlessness? Do we fail to remember how devastating our actions were, when we unconsciously disregarded holy concern, inward inability and weakness, trusting in our resources rather than God?
How rewarding it is to transform this destructive anxiety into constructive thoughtfulness, finding our point of reference in God, His Word, and the Holy Spirit. How destructive it is to rely on our carnal nature, that exalts the sinful resources of SELF. Our strength is found in Christ, our focus is to be fixed on Christ, our hope is secured in HIS faithfulness, not ours!
Satan points his ugly finger at our failures, and delights to see us rush to acknowledge..."Yes, I've failed again, I've been neglectful again, I've fallen into the same trap again!" We are admitting that "I" have failed. GOOD! But we must also recognize that sometimes we act impulsively within the realm of "our" strength, and do not rely upon the ONE who is the SOURCE OF OUR STRENGTH--Jesus Christ. We were "ambushed" by the enemy, forced to engage in warfare, and unknowingly fight the enemy in "our" strength...not HIS. God has promised that we "are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37).
Why do we do this? I think we live in the "UNCONSCIOUS REALITY" of simply not "abiding in Christ." Unconsciously, we rely upon "our" resources, gifts, personality, and ability. We think, "I really don't need to involve God in all of this, I can handle it." But we do so to our own peril. We are living within the walls of our own self-inflicted bondage, rather than "walking in companionship" with Christ. We become engrossed with "our" concerns, "our" involvement, and "our" interest, which all may be good in themselves, BUT we do so, at the expense and exclusion of, unwavering trust and reliance in Christ. Therefore, in the haste of our unfocused actions we forget that "of Him, and through Him, and to Him, ARE ALL THINGS, to whom be glory forever" (Romans 11:36). This is a constant challenge to every believer, not occasionally, but every day! BUT...God has promised to be our refuge and strength, our shield and defense, our sure foundation, the resource for ALL our need as we trust Him!
"I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight." For what purpose? That you may know that "I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, YOU ARE MINE...For I am the Lord, your God" (Isaiah 43:1-3). A provision beyond our comprehension, by the ONE who has made it all possible--Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-09-24
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