It's hard to not look for our own way out of things. Our first response is usually, "What can I do within my ability to fix this situation that I am in?" If an answer can't be found within our own purview of life, we may struggle through nights of worry and concern. Our most common trait is to reach out to a friend or acquaintance for advice. We call family members for help. Most often, we wait until all those resources are depleted or unable to assist before we get down to the truth. All of our help comes from God.
No matter what resource we search for, that resource depends on the one true source, God. Jesus tried to explain that to us over and over. He even said the same of himself "Now they know that everything I have is a gift from You." (John 17:7 NLT).
It's difficult to focus on God first because that means giving up control. Our first thought is to use what we have been given to solve the problems of the day, yet our true intent is to be so wrapped up in God that we would seek His desires before we start focusing on our own plan. That doesn't mean we will not have to work or that we will become mindless droids who never think for themselves. What it does mean is that our hearts and minds should be so wrapped up in God's word that His plan lays out the blueprint of how our mind operates.
No matter how you were brought up, you have developed patterns of actions that you do everyday. Those patterns came from the people you interacted with the most and from those who influenced you. In His love for each of us, God created a yearning within us for a relationship with him. Even though we often try to replace it with other people, things or activities, our primary purpose is to interact with God through prayer, worship and through His word. We should be so influenced by our relationship with Him that we follow his pattern when we think and when we react to life. It should be our first thought to seek His righteousness so when the difficulties of living on this earth challenge us, we are answering them not from our own plan but directly from the primary source, Jesus.
I am sharing this because for me, it is one the biggest challenges of my life. Remembering to start with God is not something we can do ourselves, it only comes when we have the Holy Spirit within us. When our own thoughts, will and emotions have been broken enough to allow God's spirit to guide us, we will search for Jesus first.
March 12: Cry Out Like the Psalmist
We often read the very bold psalms of the Bible without really reading them. We’re used to their cadence, their cries, and their requests. They seem appropriate in contexts where war, death, and enemies or mutinous friends were a daily reality. For that reason, these cries don’t always resound off the pages and fill our own lips, even when they should.
“How long, O Yahweh? Will you forget me forever?” says the psalmist (Psa 13:1). “Consider and answer me, O Yahweh my God” (Psa 13:3).
Often, when going through the difficulties of life, these cries should be our own. Instead, we try to lean on our own strength. We rely on the bravery and wisdom that we think rests deep inside us. We try to muster courage. We engage the fear. The psalmist acknowledges that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be: “How long must I take counsel in my soul, and sorrow in my heart all the day?” (Psa 13:2).
Instead, we should be crying out with the helplessness that is closer to our true reality. The next time you feel anxious, stop and pray. Turn over your cries to the one who can do something about them. When you do so, acknowledge that God is your God (Psa 13:3). Acknowledge His steadfast love (Psa 13:3). He will hear you and answer you. And, as the psalm states, He will deal bountifully with you (Psa 13:6).
How are you trying to resolve the problems of your life? How can you turn to God in these moments? - Rebecca Van Noord
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.