2009 – Day 180.June 30 – Times of Searching
Passage of the Day: 2nd Kings 2: 1 – 14 … Linked here for study …
My Journal for Today: As his readers take in the highlight passage today of Elijah’s journey with Elisha, it was for Swindoll a reminder of what our life of belief has been like. And Swindoll is right, we, along the steps of life, must learn self denial as a believer. Elijah certainly learned that lesson; and for it, we see that he was ushered, by God, directly into heaven.
I don’t know about any reader who might be taking this in; but today’s passage and devotional did take me back to the time when I first confronted the Lord and received His saving grace. It was that Spirit-led occasion on April 13th, 1983, when I surrendered my life in faith and received God’s Spirit into my life. And I was such a babe of belief back then; but God was merciful and led me on the journey He has used to get me to this stage in my walk with Him.
Perhaps you can remember – and I hope you can – when God became real for you; … when you started your quest for Godliness; … when you let God’s Spirit become your guide in life; … and when you first realized that your life was not your own. It was God’s … for His glory! It was the beginning of your surrender of self into the Savior’s hands. It was the initiation of your Luke 9: 23 walk, where you really, for the first time, denied yourself, began to take up the crosses of life every day, and you began to follow Christ – really follow Him.
Then there was the period of development and discipleship in your life, where God began to pour His grace into your humble search for direction and strength. Perhaps you are in that stage of your walk right now. Many of us are; … where we have decided that the only way to be truly used by God is to accept self denial and to let God, in surrender to His will, have His way … in His time. And that may take a long time in our life – some longer than others. But it is the time when we spend time in the wilderness of life, learning God’s lessons through the trials of life.
Then, before we are taken into glory, there is the time of life, when we become God’s instrument of mission or ministry. And this is the time of fruitfulness of life. It is the time when God can and does use us in life for His glory. It is the Matt. 5: 16 time of life, when our lives shine the light of Christ and we can share our faith with others or minister to them, following Christ and taking up His cross daily; and in this time others can see Christ’s robes of righteousness rather than our native sinfulness.
Perhaps some of you are experiencing this latter phase; and you’ve come to see that God can take you anytime; because you are ready to be ushered into glory. But maybe you’re not there yet; and you desire to go into full surrender mode, as did Elijah. And I hope that you do find your place of self denial as Elijah had found. But if you haven’t, I encourage you to give your self up and to fully receive the mantle of leadership from Christ so that He can shape you as He has promised in Phil. 1: 6 into more of the completeness of Christlikeness just this side of heaven. If you’re not there yet, keep on keeping on in self denial; and God will lead you there.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I’m learning to surrender completely to the molding of your grace so that I can be used more fully for Your glory. Shape me, Lord. Amen