Thursday, February 10, 2011

Seek God First

Today is the last day of looking at Charles Stanley’s encouragements for walking in faith:

“Finally, realize obeying the Lord will require courage and full surrender. You must come to the point where you choose to believe in God more than you trust your own abilities and circumstances. This is ultimately the only way to grow in your faith.” Charles Stanley

2 Chronicles 12:14 says that King Rehoboam “did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.”

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (not to be interpreted as “prosperity gospel”).

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

Matthew 7:24 says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”

These are the verses that God has been putting on my heart the last few weeks. He’s been convicting me regarding how often I get in His way by seeing, controlling and planning things my way instead of His. Let’s take choosing a ministry to serve in, for example. God continues to point out to me the areas of pride in my heart and mind by showing me that it isn’t about being flattered or guilted into a ministry. It isn’t about impulsively signing up for something that on its face looks exciting or hip. In fact, it’s not about seeking a ministry at all—it’s about seeking the Lord.

Seeking God first always brings the peace that human “wisdom” never can and always brings answers, even if the answer is to wait and do nothing (something we humans have trouble with). Seeking God first in His Word and prayer, along with just talking to Him, will lead to everything falling into its Godly place.

But, as Stanley mentioned, it takes courage to trust God with everything. When I first went rappelling in college, I did not want to push off from the cliff and entrust my life to a rope. But I found it much more cumbersome and dangerous to try to hang on to the rock and stay close to the cliff. Only when I leaned out with a straightened back, pushed off with my legs and sailed out into the expanse of air around me did I feel ease and freedom and joy. I trusted the rope and it went well with me. And when I got to the bottom, I wanted to go up and do it again. When we seek God through trust--checking ourselves at the door--God tells us in His word, “I will be found by you.”

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37:5-7

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5

“Do not be wise in your own eyes;” Proverbs 3:7

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