I need God.
If you are ever to find true and lasting change, it must start with this principle. If it starts with you or something you are committed to doing, you are in serious trouble before you even begin. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” God has been preparing for this moment in your life since your very birth. Everything that has come before, every bad decision, every moment that has shaken your faith to the core has been in preparation of this moment.
Too many of us have bought into the “I have to be independent and strong/I have to stand on my own two feet” lie. The truth is on our own, we are weak and we are vulnerable to forces beyond our control. But those same forces are under God’s control. He can shape circumstances to our ultimate good. And that is what He is absolutely doing. God wants our Ultimate Good more than we even do, and He is willing to move Heaven and Earth to get us there, but He will not do it until we give Him permission to begin the work and to let Him do it His way.
The journey will be joyous, and it will be painful. Both are required to convince us deeper and deeper that our lives with God are bountiful and abundant no matter what is going on around us. And that separated from God, we are at the mercy of the twisting wind, waves, and evil forces that are bent on taking us out of the game.
This was the central drama in the trek of the Israelites through the desert. Like many of us, they understood their need for God while in Egypt. Egypt was painful. They were slaves at the mercy of masters they could not control. So they cried out for God, and God came to their aid. But then, once they were out of Egypt in the desert, the Israelites over and over did not believe God for His provision. They chose to do it on their own, and so they walked for 40 miserable years, around and around the same dumb mountain.
If that describes you, it’s time to fall on the mercy of God, to admit your deep need for Him, and to stop trying to do it on your own. So that’s where we start with this day.
God, I need You. I can’t do this on my own. I do not know how. I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. To be honest, I don’t even know what needs to change, or how to change those things I know, and to be really honest, I’m afraid of what that change might require of me; what it might require me to give up, to do, to admit to. Lord, I can’t do this alone. I need You. Please be with me as I begin this journey and every step along the way. Amen.
Please write your thoughts at the beginning of this journey.
God is bigger than me and far bigger than my problems.
While Jesus was on the Mount at the Transfiguration, nine of the disciples were down the mountain, trying on their own strength to be like Jesus. They had been confronted with a man who had a son plagued by a demon. The disciples tried, but they could not cast the demon out. When Jesus showed up, He dispatched the demon in short-order. The disciples asked why they couldn’t do that, and Jesus said, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Be thou removed and cast into the sea’ and it would obey you.”
The central problem of our lives is that we have more faith in our mountains than we have in God. We look at the mountains and see them as impossible to move or even to get around. Oh, we try because we’re supposed to, but we never really believe in our hearts that it’s going to happen. But our faith in the immovability of the mountain is misplaced and will only get us another meaningless trip around said mountain like the Israelites.
You see, even when they came to the Promised Land, the Israelites sent scouts to see what the land looked like. The scouts came back. Some with one report; some with another. Those who were looking at the mountain said: “It is impossible. There are giants that make us look like grasshoppers. It will take too much and be too hard. I think we should just stay where we are.”
But there were two scouts who did not see themselves in relation to the mountain of the problem. They saw the mountain in relation to their God. Thus, their report was much different, “True there are giants, but the land is a land flowing with milk and honey. It is beautiful to behold, and God has already given it into our hands. Let’s go.”
Another story with this theme that you probably remember is David and Goliath. David was a small boy with five stones who accepted the call to pick a fight with a 10-foot giant who had armor and battle skills. It didn’t seem like a fair fight, but David knew what the giant could not. David was not comparing the giant to himself; he was comparing the giant to God. It was no contest.
The question is: How do you make such a comparison? Do you see your problems in relation to your ability, your strength, your understanding, what you can do (or not do)? Or do you see the problem in relation to God? Today, vow to see your problems like David did, like the smart scouts did, and like Jesus did. Don’t ask what you can do in a situation, ask God what He wants to do in the situation and then be willing to simply take the steps He asks you to take.
Dear Lord, On my own I am nothing, but I’m not at the mercy of this mountain. Rather it is at Your mercy. Lord, move this mountain for me, work through me, show Your power in this situation not so that I may believe but so that I may stand in absolute amazement at You and all You have done. I love You, Lord. Amen.
My Thoughts for today:
Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008