Friday, March 08, 2013

March 8, 2013 … Running Ahead of God

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 67

Passage of the Day: Genesis 16: 2b [in the context of verses 1-3] [NLT] …  
1 But Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children. So Sarai took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar, 2and gave her to Abram so she could bear his children. “The LORD has kept me from having any children,” Sarai said to Abram. “Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram first arrived in the land of Canaan.) 
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Genesis 2 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6 : [Guarding against presumption.] …[NLT] …  
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. 
Reference Passage #2: Proverbs 11: 14: [God’s prescription for the disease of assumption.] …[NLT] …  
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls; with many counselors, there is safety. 

My Journal for Today: Have you heard it said, “The road to hell is paved by assumptions”? Well, not only have I heard it; … I’ve experienced it. And in my Os Hillman devotional today, he takes his readings back to a great Old Testament illustration of this old adage; and it’s the story of Abram and his wife hearing, but not heeding God’s promise. And Sarah yields to the temptation of trying to run ahead of God’s promise by yielding to a cultural practice of the day – when a wife was seemingly barren – to give her husband over to a maid-servant as a surrogate to have a son; and as we know, that’s what Abram and Sarah did with Haggar. And we also know,… our world is still dealing with the historical outcomes of Abram and Sarah running out ahead of God’s promise and presumptuously doing life their own way.

 I think, all too often, we really know – in our spirit from God’s Spirit – that we should be patient, following the advice of Proverbs 3: 5-6 (which I seem to quote very often in my devotionals); but oh so often we fall prey to human presumption and we take over the course where God is leading (see Deut. 31: 8) and we try to decide what is best on our own, … rather than to be the follower God has commanded us to be (see Christ’s command of discipleship in Luke 9: 23). As disciples of Christ, are to seek God’s will and His way for our walk through the minefields of life. And as Abram discovered, it’s dangerous to let our own presumptions and assumptions take us off into the minefield, … especially when we’ve gotten direction from God’s word.

So, how do we move ahead in life to avoid such self-inflicted presumptuousness? Well, first we look to the word of God for HIS direction. When Joshua was getting his marching orders from God, after Moses had died, the Lord gave him clear directions about staying in and following His word, as Joshua was taking God’s people into the promised-land. Go back and mediate on Joshua 1: 8 (linked here)  to see God’s #1 prescription to be able to stay in a safe-zone and to avoid self-induced misdirection in life.

Then it’s always wise, when we want God’s direction – especially when we are thinking of following our own human leaning (always remember the truth of Jeremiah 17: 9), to activate God’s prescription against the dangers of human assumption by following the truth of Proverbs 11: 14, quoted above. And if you’re married, it is good to get feedback and advice from your wife; but as we can see with Abram, he should’ve sought the advice of other Godly counselors as well.

And finally, I think it’s also God’s wisdom to seek God’s way in prayer, taking our human leanings – after we’ve received advice from human counselors – and in the wisdom of God’s word in James 1: 5-6 and Phil. 4: 6-7, going before Gods’ throne of grace in prayer and seeking His peace to corroborate our own feelings about the direction we seek to walk. And if we get good advice from Godly counselors, and we have a peace that goes way beyond human reason [see Phil. 4: 7], we should move ahead, following God’s will.

 But if after we’ve gone through this process above, and we still have a cautionary pause in our spirit, we should WAIT until we can clearly know that we’re moving ahead, crossing over our Jordan, and moving into the promised land with God’s leading and not just our own leaning. When we do that, we’ll avoid our own presumption and the assumptions of the world; and we’ll follow God’s promised way from His word.

And then we just … GO FOR IT!!!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I seek Your will today – as all days – by seeking Your way from Your word … and then, getting Godly counsel before I move ahead on the road in life. … Amen

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