LORD HAVE MERCY! Please read this and tell me your comments on my twitter (@danniwrites) or here. This is my first devotional and I don’t know what I am doing but I have to do this for my Tuesday class. Does it make sense? Be kind! Danni
Job 14:9-11 (New International Version)
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But man dies and is laid low;
he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As water disappears from the sea
or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
Following God Through Rocky Terrain
A young student was eager was learn the ways of wisdom and decided to visit Socrates to ask him a burning question. After Socrates answered the door to his home, the student asked, “Teacher, how can I gain wisdom and insight, like you?” Without hesitation, Socrates pushed past the boy, through the door, and continued walking down the road toward the local body of water. The student, confused and a bit worried, followed the teacher on this unknown journey. Without pause, Socrates continued to walk into the water until the cool liquid was about waist deep; the loyal student did so as well. Once they both reached this point in the water, Socrates turned to face his student, who was very close behind him, placed his hands on his shoulders, and pushed the young boy down so that his whole body was submerged into the water. The student struggled and struggled, trying to break free from the teacher’s strong grasp. After a few moments, Socrates released the boy. The student sprang to the surface, gasping for breath and looking angry and perplexed. Socrates asked him, “When you were drowning, what was it that you wanted most in that very moment?” Shocked, the student blurted, “I wanted to breathe.” Socrates, with a wry smile proclaimed, “When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you wanted to breath, it is then you shall have it.” The teacher turned, and began to walk toward the shore, leaving his pupil there in the water.
Often time, we seek God’s wisdom for all areas of our lives. We lift up prayers for financial miracles, travelling mercies, guidance, and discernment. We seek and pray and fast and yearn, in hopes of having divine revelations that will shine figurative light on our spiritual path. “Lord, should I take this job?” “Father, is it time for me to move to Atlanta?” “Savior, is this relationship rooted in your will and not my own?” “Heavenly counselor, how do I know this of You and not the enemy?” Like the young student in the Socrates story, we are constantly seeking God’s wisdom in our lives, and the answer is often surprising.
I prayed and fasted for months after the Lord spoke graduate school into my life. I was confused and felt very alone, as I began taking steps to line up close with God’s will. I asked for wisdom, and insight, and discernment on an hourly basis. I sought pastors, Christian counselors, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit constantly and often still felt confused. There were times when I was brought to my knees, just wanting to know if I could get a little glimpse into what God wanted. Through this process, I learned that our faith doesn’t always work that way.
The word tells us in Hebrews 11 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. If this is the faith we are called to have, this blind, un-dying faith, it can also be said that sometimes, God calls us to follow Him through some rocky terrain. Galatians 6:9 says this: 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Why would the word need to make such a bold statement, if faith was so easy? Why would we be constantly reminded of how important it is to hold on to our faith, if there wasn’t a threat of losing it at some point? Do you think Socrates’ student felt all too faithful as he watched his teacher meander through waist deep lake water? I doubt it. Do you think he felt keen about his philosophical leader after he was almost drowned by him? Again, I doubt it. Yet, the wisdom this student gained from his teacher was priceless. The journey was scary, at times seemed as though all hope was lost, but in the end, he was better for it. Do you ever feel this way about your own journey with Christ? Has God ever asked you step so far out in faith that without Him, you would not survive that step? Have you ever felt as though you were drowning while simply trying to seek answers from the Lord?
In Genesis 12, we read about The Call of Abram, whom God renames Abraham. Verse 1, The Lord said to Abram,” Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” With a promise like that, it should have been no hard decision for good old Abe to leave what was familiar to him behind, and walk forward in God’s promises. However, once he reaches the land God sends him to, his first encounter is with a famine. Interestingly enough, we learn from this that you can be smack dab in the will of God, and still face turmoil.
So, our faith is called upon to be finite and unbreakable; our prayers are answered in God’s timing; if we ask for wisdom we will receive the wisdom God knows we need. In short, when we want to follow the will of God as badly as we want breath in our bodies, it is then we shall have it. The road will not always be smooth; road signs might not always be pointing in the right direction; our desires might not line up with God’s will, but in the end if we seek Him and want what He wants, we have to just keep going. We have to just keep praying, believing, and breathing. We are called to follow God through rocky terrain, we are called to want God like we want the breath in our body, we are called; and that’s the blessing in its self.