Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Steadfast Spirit

Today, I am posting this devotion instead of the usual "Saturation Saturday" article. It is a word in due season for me as I hope it will be for you. I had written it a few months ago and it now ministers to me in a very special way. Funny how God can take my own words to teach me something. Maybe they weren't my own words at all, Huh?

Isaiah 51:16- "I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand- I Who set the heavens in place, Who laid the foundations of the earth, and Who say to Zion, 'You are my people.' "

You may do a word study on "Steadfast" and "Endurance" to enhance your understanding of what God wants us all to learn; The same God Who covers us under His protecting hand...Who leads us through change safely...Who guides us every step of the way...Who grants us the faith to have endurance. He Who put the heavens in place loves us and wants the best for us. Enjoy!

Read: By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls.
(Luke 21:19 AMP)

Have you ever had a dream? Not the kind that slips into your mind at night as you sleep; I mean a true vision for your life. A mission from God.

I have those dreams. Lots of them. Our children are full of those dreams, too. But, they look at them in an entirely different way than we parents do. They see them as something they can actually accomplish. They see them as a challenge and they are eager to conquer!

I saw a perfect example of that childlike perseverance while I was lying on the beach the other day. When I had arrived a couple hours earlier, the surface of the sand was pristine. Beautiful and white. I set up my "spot", greased up with sunscreen, and positioned myself for a nice relaxing afternoon. I must have zoned out for a while, because when I opened my eyes, the clean pristine beach had been covered over with mounds and mounds of seaweed. It went on endlessly as far as my eyes could see in both directions.

My mom and I noticed a little girl. As we watched her, we realized she was on one of those missions only accomplished through childlike faith. She meticulously picked up armload after armload of seaweed and ran to the water's edge to toss it back in. She had a vision of depositing every last piece of that messy stuff right back into the ocean where it belonged. She did not see it as impossible, though to onlookers, it seemed a daunting task beyond any hope of completion. In her mind, she saw the end result: a nice clean beach that she could be proud of! She had hope! She had endurance! She had perseverance! She had a vision!

I don't think you would ever see an adult trying to do what that determined little girl was doing. We would see it as useless. Why even try to take on something so tedious, so impossible.

You see, kids look at something like that with possibility thinking; Nothing is beyond their accomplishment as far as they are concerned. They are born with a natural faith. If they have an idea, you can bet they are going for it; full speed ahead! They don't ever think of the obstacles.

God created us to be dream-catchers! Who do you think He gives us all those great ideas? Even those little 'inklings" that tell us to bless someone, give away some money, or speak to that stranger. I know me. I am too eager to second-guess those little "inklings", not to mention the big dreams. I tend to focus on the obstacles and the seeming unlikeliest of those big dreams ever coming true. Most adults do.

God is willing to provide us with all we need to carry out His plans for us. But, we usually want to see the whole blueprint before we even get started. That's not really how He works. In Genesis 12, God told Abraham to pick up and go to a land that He would show him. Abraham went. He didn't ask how, when or where. He just went. He just had faith he would get to the land God had set aside for him. He didn't have the slightest idea where he was headed in a physical sense. He just knew in his heart what wonderful blessings were waiting for him there. (Wherever "there" turned out to be.) He certainly faced obstacles on the journey, but he just kept trudging through the mire to complete the mission the Lord had given him.

Go ahead. Write down those dreams. Write down the awesome possibilities and blessings that await you when you get there. Don't ignore those "inklings". And, DO NOT focus on the obstacles. Instead of seeing the endless piles of seaweed, envision the pristine, white beach. Work hard and be patient. Your perseverance will pay off! You will get to that land, that true life, the Lord has waiting for you!

Prayer: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and give me the faith of a child, that I may have a persevering and steadfast spirit within me.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Love and Blessings,