a light on my path.
By living according to your word.
but the word of our God endures forever.
Living and Powerful
From: Our Daily Journey
“Where will the word / resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.” These words from T. S. Eliot’s haunting poem “Ash Wednesday” lament a world of people so hardened and afraid that they “walk among noise and deny the voice.” The poem echoes the thought of John 1, where the light of Jesus persistently shines in the darkness of a world that will not recognize Him (John 1:5,10).
The picture is a troubling one: Can God’s voice be ineffective and ultimately ignored? Thankfully, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Though people may resist, deny, and avoid God’s voice—always speaking to us through prayer, Scripture, and creation—it is still alive and powerful, “cutting between soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). Whether we acknowledge it or not, His voice is actively shaping and transforming this world. “It always produces fruit” (Isaiah 55:11).
Why do we resist God’s voice? Perhaps we fear it will be too painful to listen to what He has to say. We would rather follow our own ideas about God than to listen for the voice that constantly challenges us.
Or perhaps we secretly believe there’s no hope for us. So, fearing a condemning word, we try to avoid God’s voice speaking into our hearts. But Isaiah 55 reminds us that enjoying God’s kingdom doesn’t depend on us, but on His power and mercy. “Turn to our God, for he will forgive generously,” Isaiah urges. Because His mercy is far above what we can imagine, there is always hope (Isaiah 55:7-11). He is preparing a future of “joy and peace” when the entire world will rejoice (Isaiah 55:12-13).
In Eliot’s poem, the speaker finally surrenders to the voice, ending with a prayer, “Let my cry come unto Thee.” May we too seek His voice today.
Whispers of Rest
From: CBN, and Cindy Sproles, author
“The LORD replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'” Exodus 33:14 (NIV)
“Inanimate objects don’t have human traits!” I still smile when I think of my friend’s adamant opinion.
But last night, the waves whispered to me. I couldn’t see them through the darkness, but the voice of the water called to me from across the sand. “Rest, lull in the wash of the ocean,” they murmured.
It’s been a long three years. Much has happened. Good things — hard decisions — but then nothing good is easy. Is it? Overwork and stress were taking their toll.
I climbed out of the bed, then slipped from the condo onto the beach. A couple stood ankle deep in the foamy wash, flashlights and strainers in hand — their catch, nil. My watch glowed a florescent yellow — 4:00 a.m. A chill surged through me. And I recognized my soul was tired. I needed physical and spiritual rest.
Fatigue has many forms — the physical towers above the spiritual need for rest because we often fail to understand a balance must be struck. As the waves pushed my feet deep into the sand, I knew without a doubt, I was weary.
Satan wasn’t ashamed to use my good attributes to wear me down. He’d attacked me brutally using my work ethic to push more work at me. He knew the ethic insisted I complete the task. But when I said “no,” he lashed out like an angry child and my soul wore away.
Christ understood the agony of a strong work ethic and the repercussion of saying “no” to Satan. He pushed ahead when His body pleaded for rest, sometimes climbing into a boat to get an arm’s length from the crowds who pleaded for His healing words and touch. He worked until He was spent. Still, He’d slip away to seek solitude in His Father. Jesus needed rest and renewal, and He sought both in His alone time — in His prayer life.
God, in all His majesty — rested. He set the pace for a good work ethic. Yet, even as He toiled to form every crevice and crinkle in the universe, He chose a day to rest. In all of God’s infinite wisdom, He earmarked a day, a time that we might follow in His example; seek His peace, take in His restoration and renewal.
The Father knew His children needed respite and when He rested on the seventh day then commanded His children to do the same, there was reason.
“He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD …” Exodus 16:23a NIV
It was to bring our bodies and our minds back to Him.
I dropped to my knees as the ocean whispered its restful coo. Clearly, God had given this inanimate object the voice I needed to hear. The soft gurgle tempted me to lie on the sand, gazing into the stars until their light blurred. Without a doubt, I heard His words and sought my rest in Him.
When fatigue overtakes you, listen to the gentleness of the breeze, the wash of the ocean, the trickle of a stream. It’s God calling you to seek renewal in Him. He’s asking you to obey. Christ longs for you to snuggle into His arms and simply rest. Go to Him where rest is complete.
October 25, 2017
A Christian worker has to learn how to be God’s man or woman of great worth and excellence in the midst of a multitude of meager and worthless things. Never protest by saying, “If only I were somewhere else!” All of God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary by the purpose He has given them. Unless we have the right purpose intellectually in our minds and lovingly in our hearts, we will very quickly be diverted from being useful to God. We are not workers for God by choice. Many people deliberately choose to be workers, but they have no purpose of God’s almighty grace or His mighty Word in them. Paul’s whole heart, mind, and soul were consumed with the great purpose of what Jesus Christ came to do, and he never lost sight of that one thing. We must continually confront ourselves with one central fact— “…Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
“I chose you…” (John 15:16). Keep these words as a wonderful reminder in your theology. It is not that you have gotten God, but that He has gotten you. God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. And why is He doing it? He is doing it for only one purpose— that He may be able to say, “This is My man, and this is My woman.” We have to be in God’s hand so that He can place others on the Rock, Jesus Christ, just as He has placed us.
Never choose to be a worker, but once God has placed His call upon you, woe be to you if you “turn aside…to the right or the left…” (Deuteronomy 28:14). He will do with you what He never did before His call came to you, and He will do with you what He is not doing with other people. Let Him have His way.