Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Take the initiative

Add to your faith virtue... 2 Peter 1:5

Today's devotional from Oswald Chambers is about taking initiative. It is about developing habits of prayer, Bible study, and devotion. It's crazy that as usual, I am reading in a devotional the exact thing that I am hearing the Lord tell me. I am simply out of the habit of  spending regular time with him. A long time ago, hardly a day went by that I did not do a devotional. I remember filling notebook pages full of notes and thoughts on scripture. I remember writing out lists of names of people I was praying for. I am ashamed that now it is the opposite. Hardly a day goes by where I spend the time I need to with the Lord.

The enemy has been attacking me vigorously and visciously with terrible painful memories. Ones that make me angry and feel resentment. I have trouble sleeping during these times. I will go to bed and fall asleep immediately, and then around three o'clock AM or so, that awful snake will wake me up to torture me. I got to school fairly early two days ago, around 6:45, and I read a devotional book that I have on my desk. It was about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego going through the flames and how the Lord was with them. I know the Lord is with me through the flames...but I know that those three men took initiative every single day to walk closely with the Lord.  They were able to realize his presence with them. I remember thinking to myself that I ought to make a habit of doing a devotional every single morning at work...and yesterday I forgot. Today I forgot at first and then I remembered,...but was immediately distracted by an article that I needed to find for a teacher about language development in children. Later, as I was packing up for the day...I saw my lonely devotional sitting on my desk....Streams in the Desert.

"We need to steep ourselves in scripture, through prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us, reveal truth to us, expose the lies in our hearts and replace them with His Truth." (A quote from my friend Ruth's blog post for today)

Today Oswald says this:

We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him.

So true. So true...and I know it. I've known this forever and I've been ignoring it.  Now I just need to simply act upon that knowledge.

Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. (Chambers)

We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.(Chambers)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. ~Phillipians 2:12 

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