Monday, January 12, 2009

Devotional 120109

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I am taking a day off from my busy schedule ever since I came back from my last trip. There are so much I need to follow up at work that I need to rest in Him in order to recharge my inner strength. We all need to take a break in order to regain focus and energy. Otherwise, we will easily fall into Satan's temptation while we are in auto-pilot mode.

The Bible says, "He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything" (Mark 4:34). Our Solitude with Christ is essential to our well being as His disciples. Jesus does not take us alone and explain things to us all the time; He explains things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been harboring before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in our own characters with courage?

We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves; it is the last arrogance to go. The only One who really understands us is God. The greatest curse in spiritual life is arrogance or pride. If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we shall never say - "Oh, I am so unworthy," because we shall know we are, beyond the possibility of stating it. As long as we are not quite sure that we are unworthy, God will keep narrowing us in until He gets us alone. Wherever there is any element of pride or arrogance, Jesus cannot explain a thing. He will take us through the disappointment of a wounded pride of intellect, through disappointment of heart. He will reveal excessive affection - things over which we never thought He would have to get us alone. We listen to many things in sermon or Bible classes, but they are not an exposition to us yet. They will be when God gets us alone over them.

Satan will do whatever to distract us from spending solitude time with God. He will give us all kinds of excuse or justification not to do so. We believe our own justification: “I really don’t have time to do so…even if I do, I can’t focus or get anything out of it. I am a doer but not a thinker. I don’t like to read books. I will fall asleep when I start meditating. I think I receive enough spiritual feeding by attending church service and fellowship. I don’t need to spend time to be alone with God. It is kind of scary and uncomfortable to do so anyway…” If those justifications sound familiar to you, they are the temptations of Satan that nurture your pride as though you know what you need better than what God says you need. The more you surrender to those excuses, the more you are yielding your soul to Satan and suffer in his endless manipulations. Moreover, he will use you to stumble other believers and pre-Christian friends as a result; young Christians will follow your bad example and pre-Christians will not see the work of Christ in your life. Have mercy on us O Lord! Strengthen our daily walk with you so that we are enlightened to see who we are and what you desire for us to be today.

Love you because of the stubborn love of God,

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