Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013 … Relational Closeness Requires Intentionality

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 134

Passage of the Day: Isaiah 50: 4-5 [Now that’s attitude which produces relationship! ] [NLT]  
4 The Sovereign LORD has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will. 5 The Sovereign LORD has spoken to me, and I have listened. I do not rebel or turn away. 
Contextual Study for today’s passage: Isaiah, Chapter 50 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6 : [Trusting takes intentionality.] … [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: Luke 9: 23 : [Discipleship begins with self-denial and daily discipline.] …[NLT] … 
 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Me. …”

My Journal for Today: The Prophet Isaiah had a deep and abiding relationship with His Lord; and the key to that relationship can be found in the short passage from Isaiah’s journal which Os Hillman quoted in his devotional entry for today. And it doesn’t take a rocket-scientist or a Ph.D. in Hebrew Studies to see that Isaiah was close to God because the Prophet chose to be close to God.

Now, I know that reads like circular logic and in some respects it is; but that circle began with Isaiah’s CHOICE to spend quality time daily with His God and to CHOOSE to be open to understanding God’s will and following the word of his God. And taking some time to meditate on Isaiah 50: 4-5, copied above, the two passages which I quote most often in my DAILY devotional time each morning, Luke 9: 23 and Proverbs 3: 5-6, bubbled up into my consciousness again. Hence, I’ve copied them above … yes, AGAIN; but I hope you have these two memorized and internalized.

Do you want to have a deeply close and intimately abiding relationship with God?

Well, if you answer that one, “NO,” then you’re in the wrong place, being here with this, humble, disciple of Christ. I CHOOSE to be here every day, CHOOSING to pray to my God to give me more of Himself for me to know Him though His word. I CHOOSE to be here, every morning, not because of legalism; but because I trust that my God wants me to know Him more intimately, to seek Him more diligently, and to follow Him more closely than I did yesterday. I CHOOSE to be here DAILY because I know that the closeness of my relationship with my God depends on my intentional will to pursue that relationship and glean as much from my chosen time with my Lord as I can each day that you find me here, trusting that my God, through His word, will reveal His will to me so that I can follow Him more closely in His ways.

Again, I ask: Do you want to have a deeply close and intimately abiding relationship with God?

Because if you do, it begins with your CHOOSING to spend time with God; and that time will have to be deeply invested in prayer, begging for God to show Himself to you and abidingly choosing to delve deeply into God’s word, the primary source of His willingness to reveal Himself to you. And when you do that, willingly and intentionally, God will do His part in being closer and closer to you each day.

So, it’s up to our own will, isn’t it; … to CHOOSE to trust Him to be there for us in His word so that we can be closer and closer in our relationship with Him daily. And so, if you know me well enough; … I’ll be here tomorrow, … CHOOSING to get to know my God more intimately than I did today by being in His word.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, thank You for revealing more of Yourself to me today in Your word. … Amen

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