Lord I have such an independent spirit. How often I forget that You are the one that leads. I hear your still small voice whisper (1 Kings 19:11-13) instructions and I take off in obedience continually listening for further direction. But somewhere along the path… off I go—in my own strength—pride takes me off course. Admittedly, this is my thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7). Like a child, I imagine myself confidently smiling back at you saying, Lord I’ve got this. No worries. I can do it myself. But then You ask, “Seriously Maggie? What part of I AM don’t you understand?”
I wonder, how many reading this relate? How many like me, take off with great joy and enthusiasm—words like “I’m on a mission from God” race through our thoughts and we smile victoriously. We seem to be so easily satisfied with His first set of instructions. Humbled at first—overwhelmed that He would trust us—but then we shift into our human abilities eventually reaching the end of ourselves. What took us off course? Were we tempted by the enemy? In Genesis we read of the serpent who was said to be cunning, crafty, skilled in deceit and he lied to the woman—the temptation and fall of man (Gen. 3). What lies did we believe? The New Testament (1 Peter 5:8 AMP) warns us to expect it, “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” What would it look like if we stayed intimately close to our Jesus, listening and obeying His instructions, and in return, we would not be tempted to go our own way?
Recently I was talking with a friend—a woman of faith—a very faithful follower of Jesus—one who many seek for spiritual counsel. She had reached the end of herself: spiritually, physically, and mentally exhausted. “Lord I can’t handle much more,” was her cry for help. (A place I confess I’ve been before.) As I write I imagine the Lord answering, “I never asked you to handle it. I’ve got this. Your job is to walk in peace—to trust me. You were never meant to carry this.” We both confessed that we had experienced pockets of depression during this 2020 season. We couldn’t imagine how others who didn’t know the Lord could possibly walk through these uncertain times.
Are you at the end of yourself? Shocked and saddened by what is going on in our nation, in the world? These are difficult times. Impossible for us to solve on our own, but not for God. He assures us in John 16:33 TPT, “And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!”
How do we snap out of it? How do we get over ourselves? I keep hearing, get back in my Word; spend time with Me. It is beyond my comprehension to realize that God loves me no matter what and that He wants to spend time with me. He loves you and is waiting to spend time with you as well. This morning I was listening to a series of encouraging speakers. One of them suggested: Get in a quiet place. Close your eyes and ask: Where are you Jesus? I did that and heard, “I’m right here.”
He’s right here —right now—even as I type and even as you read. What other questions do you have for Him? I’ve been praying that His truth be revealed—there are just too many lies circulating the media. The enemy is having a field day with those that will listen. But God… for those of us that know better, we have the gift of intercession. We can pray like never before. We can let go of our senseless pride and trust Him for our next steps. We can take ownership and responsibility for our actions—God will take care of everyone else. We love anyway and when we aren’t feeling the love, we tap into God’s love. His love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 TPT says, “Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away.It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.”
I can do it myself! Actually, I can’t. You can’t either. We need the Lord and we need each other. I close with this: Love anyway, because God said so!
Photo by Taylor Smith