October 27, 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 God has made to those who will dare to turn from their self-imposed ways, exercise child-like faith in God, and follow His ways. So often we fall into the shallow security of the present by not allowing the sins and failures of our past to minister to us, and 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 upon 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 the present anxiety and concern accompanied with unremembered delight, which causes 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's? How beneficial it is to transform this destructive anxiety into constructive thoughtfulness that finds its point of reference in God and His Word.
It is a constant challenge for us to "look within" and evaluate our relationship with the Lord. How destructive it is to rely upon our old nature that exalts the sinful resources of SELF. Satan points his ugly finger at our failures, and delights to see us hasten to acknowledge, "Yes, I've failed again...I've been neglectful again...I've fallen into the same trap again!" We are admitting that "we" 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.
Why do we do this? Because we live in the UNCONSCIOUS REALITY of not walking and living in His companionship. Unconsciously, we rely upon our own 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 so engrossed with our concerns, our involvement, and our interest, which all may be good...BUT we do so at the expense and exclusion of unwavering trust and reliance in Christ. God is not in the equation of our considerations.
Therefore, in the haste of our unfocused actions we forget that it is 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...every day! BUT, God has promised to be our refuge, our strength, our shield, our defense, our sure foundation and the resource for ALL our need...as WE TRUST HIM!
"I will go before you, making the crooked ways straight." For what purpose? "That you may know that I, the Lord, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel" (Isaiah 45:3). What a blessed relationship is ours in Christ! This is true when we walk in surrender and resignation to His lordship. A provision beyond our comprehension, by the ONE who has made it all possible...Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. "In all these things we are more than conquerors through him" (Romans 8:37). HOW GLORIOUS!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-27
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