The 9-12 Project: Day 3 & 4

Day 3

God’s will is perfect and is always focused on bringing about my Ultimate Good.

One of the ways we have gotten so off-track is an off-shoot of the lesson of Day 1.  We have come to believe that we are on our own and that we are supposed to be independent and strong, and thus we believe that we should know what is for our ultimate good.  We set goals to attain it, work for it, strive for it, make decisions toward it, but what we so often find is what we thought would bring us peace and joy and happiness is just an illusion.

When we get there, and that thing we sold our families down the river to get, that thing that we lusted after, gave our heart and sold our soul for was never what we really wanted at all.  I’ve seen it over and over:  people who got what they thought they wanted and it took the rug right out from under them.  They had made that thing their idol, and when it proved to be an illusion, they became disillusioned, discouraged, and disappointed.

I believe God allows this because if getting that thing brought us happiness, we would forget all about Him.  The truth is our ultimate good is found only in Him.  Until we learn this, we will be forever seeking, forever striving, forever grasping for things that will never satisfy.

That is why I did not have you start with setting a goal.  The truth is, from our small perspective, we cannot know the goal.  We cannot see the goal.  What we must reorient our focus to is not setting our own goals but to being surrendered to taking the step God is asking us to take today—whether we see where that will lead or not.

The Bible says “your days are ordered by the Lord.”  Today, I want you to breathe and to sink into a deep understanding that each of your steps today was ordered by God.  If you are caught in traffic, ask what He wants to teach you through that.  If you are inundated with work or have no work, ask what He’s trying to teach you.  And the answer is always, “I want you to come close to Me.”  Put the frantic moments into His hands by breathing and taking a moment to remember Him.  Put the unfocused moments into His hands by breathing and asking to be shown the lesson.

God is ever-creative, and He will show you Him in ways you would never have expected, and if you are watching, you might just see something you never would have believed otherwise.  Let God be God in your life.  Let His will come into your life in a powerful, peaceful way.  Step back and watch Him work.  You will be amazed.

God, I do not see the whole picture, but You do.  I ask as I surrender my will to Yours that You come into my life today.  I ask, Lord, that those things in my life which do not support who I am or who You want me to be will drop away, and that those things which support who I am becoming in You to come into my life.  And, Lord, I ask that You give me the grace to recognize which is which.

Now sit for a moment and listen to God and what He wants to say to you.

Record your thoughts for today’s journey.

Day 4

God loves me.

One of the most fundamental ways we go wrong is to stop believing in God’s love for us.  We view the Bible as an old book about some guys and gals who are dead now.  I mean, they’re nice stories and all, but they have no connection to today.  Right?

John Eldredge says that this way of thinking puts us into chains because it’s like we view the Bible as a book of exceptions rather than a book of examples.  As “exceptions,” the stories can only take us so far.  We say, “Well, yeah, but he was Moses…” or David, or Solomon, or Noah.  After all, God has never asked me to build an ark or save a people or become a father to all of His people.  I’m just little Joe-Schmoe over here with a little job and a little house and a little family.  God could never use someone like me in a really powerful way.

To look at the Bible as a book of exceptions is to limit the real message of God, and that is that God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies those who believe in Him and His love enough to be willing to step up when He calls them.  The truth is Moses had a speech impediment and begged that God send someone else.  David was but a boy when he was called.  Abraham was an old man. They each could have used those as excuses (and they tried!), but God saw past the excuses into what He could do through their lives if they simply trusted Him enough to take the steps (sometimes steps that looked crazy or dangerous) and to let Him work through them.

In these examples, we see that God doesn’t care about your excuse.  He cares about your heart. His ultimate goal is to help you get your heart right. Is your heart in the right place?  That’s all He asks.  He can and will take care of everything else.

And your heart being in the right place starts with a rock-solid, absolute, unconditional belief that God loves you.  I want you to do the following, slowly.  You can do it fast, reading the words without letting them go deep, and it will do you no good.  That’s not the point.  I want you to read these words slowly, like a mediation, and then close your eyes and let them sink deeply into you.  They will change your life if you ever learn to truly believe them.

God loves me.

God. Loves. Me.

GOD LOVES ME!

God loves me.

That is your prayer for today.

Feel free to record your thoughts.

Copyright Staci Stallings, 2008

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About Staci Stallings

Staci Stallings shares her heart for God with her novels, articles, and conversations. She loves making new friends, writing, and playing piano and guitar.
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