Every Other Thing – A Devotion

Every Other Thing

Psalm 27:4-6 (NLT)

The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

 

The one thing I ask of the Lord and the one thing that I seek the most is to live in the House of the Lord all the days of my life. This is my aspiration. The House of the Lord or His Presence is the place where I go to rise above the noise and chaos of life to not be overcome but overcome every situation. Chaos comes in a moment. Arriving home from work each day is a transition from one list of responsibilities and tasks stepping straight into another. I love being a wife and mother. When I walk in the door greeted by my children and fur babies, nothing brings me greater joy. In my mind, the to-do list is already set and by the time I hit the door its show time. Hug my babies, cook dinner, start some laundry and feed the dogs along with listening to the stories of the day and helping with homework along the way. It’s a well-oiled machine from years of practice, but there are still those occasions when a monkey wrench causes a grinding halt. Our daughter had been ill all weekend but really wanted me to dye her hair. I agreed as it seemed easy enough to apply, rinse and be done. I had about 45 minutes while dinner was in the oven. As she wandered through the house, I called out don’t get that dye on anything. When I saw her plop down on our leather sofa, I reminded her that it would stain the furniture. She disregarded my warning completely. When the timer went off and she came to get her hair rinsed out to my absolute and utter horror – there was hair dye all over the towel that was across her shoulders. Rushing to the sofa, hoping I was wrong only finding that I was right, dark brown almost black hair dye covered the back of the couch. I was mortified. I rinsed her hair and then rushed to the aid of the furniture. I tried everything “Google” could offer until finally settling on some leather furniture cleaner hidden in the linen closet. Meanwhile, the timer for dinner went off so I thrust it on the stove to cool. Barking orders to the others like “set the table” and “fix some drinks”, I had various cleaners strewn across the counter. There were dishes from the preparation of dinner. Time became a jumbled mess. Teenager fled to the bathroom. Little one was left hoping my head would not spin until I exploded. My husband quietly and cautiously not saying a word. Chaos, clutter, confusion released in a moment. I am happy to report that I got most of the dye out of the couch and what’s left is covered by my husband when he watches television in his favorite seat. Dinner was good. I made it to the gym which probably saved everyone from extra heartache. Oh and my daughter loves her new color – God I hope so!

Life is sometimes unpredictable. There are many days that I do not understand how it can go from good to bad and bad to worse so quickly. The only hope that I have of overcoming overwhelming situations is to live in the Presence of the Lord. Our family has had a great awakening and shaking that I hope no one ever has to endure. But through our experience in battling cancer with our son, certain things in our life have gained a new perspective. There was a day not too long ago that such an event would have resulted in a lot of yelling, screaming and complete overreacting to the potential damage that was done. But we are not the same people who withstood the horrible diagnosis years ago, we are new people who live in the promise of Christ that no matter what happens – God works every detail out for our good. Although I have no idea what good will come from my stained sofa, I am proud to report no children were harmed in this story.

Psalm 3:3-4 (NLT)

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord and he answered me from his holy mountain. 

 

When I pray for others especially my husband and children, I ask the Lord to wrap them in “bubble wrap” of His Love and Protection. Bubble wrap is a wonderful invention and will protect just about anything that is wrapped in it. Jesus promises to be our shield. He will wrap us for protection not only in body but in Spirit. This is very, very important. The outcome last night of our couch would have probably been about the same, but the attitude of my heart would have been very different just a few short years ago. I would have been mad that my daughter disregarded my warning. I would have been frustrated by her disobedience. There would most definitely have been some yelling and screaming which changes the environment of our home completely. But in that moment, I bit my lip – both of them. I focused on the task at hand which was to clean up the mess. The Lord will wrap even our ordinary life in His Glory. We overcome when we can maintain our thoughts and hope when all hell breaks loose in our life. This would be classified as a minor – but this is true even in the majors of our life.

Isaiah 55:8-11 (NLT)

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

 

The Word of God shows us His Will for our life. It is the greatest stepping stone that we will ever find to take us to that higher level of thinking where we discover God’s Will and our true potential in life. I generally listen to Praise and Worship or Christian music all the time. Truth is driving back and forth to work in my car, I am not intently listening but find that as the artists sing the Word of God and His Promises to me that my thoughts wander back to Him. We must know God’s Word for our life. We must think about God’s Word and how it applies to us. We must intentionally choose to do what it says and wait for the results. God has given us the promise that His Word will accomplish all that it sets out to do. It will produce His Goodness and Glory in our life.

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT)

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

God’s Word is always working. It never stops moving through the atmosphere of our life as the Lord tries to accomplish His Will for us. We decide whether it catches up to us or not. Will I align my heart and mind with the Word of God? Well, the Lord knew we needed some help here so He gave us His Spirit so that we could understand the true potential and purpose of His Word for our life. He wants us to have all the promises that He set forth from the beginning. God has glorious and unlimited resources for our life that are hidden by the empty philosophies of the world in which we live. If we could only comprehend the true width, length, height and depth of God’s Love for us then we would see it is impossible to escape it. We can live wrapped up in that love like bubble wrap and nothing will stop us from the complete fullness of life that Jesus promised in abundant life.

Colossians 2:7-9 (NLT)

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.

 

We have the promise (His Word) and the potential (His Spirit) to live in the grace and glory every single day of our life. It is a choice to choose “one thing” over every other thing that presents itself. Christ descended before He ascended so that He knows every weakness as well as the plight of His People. (Ephesians 4:9-10) The only descent I must make is to humbly surrender my life to Jesus Christ. From that point on, the Lord elevates my thinking to assert and claim all that He promises rather than settling for lesser things. I am a bit miffed that my couch bears the mark of shame. But I am so thankful that I did not destroy my teenager in the process or totally disrupt the peace in my household over a piece of furniture. Those who are honest enough will admit that it does happen from time to time. We do not have to live in bondage to empty philosophies or high-sounding nonsense but are empowered by the Lord to rise above such foolish thinking and live in the shield of His Love. As we surrender more and more of our heart and mind to Jesus, He because the fullness of our life rather than the things that fill our life. He becomes the Center of it all.

As we increase the investment of our life in the Lord, we attach more roots by faith into what He promises. These roots allow us to rise above our circumstances and stand strong in situations so that we will see His Goodness and Glory every day of our life even in the smallest victories like not losing out temper with a child. I love her more than my furniture. I had to remember that when one careless act left a nasty mark.

Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

Each new day, I believe the Lord sets my feet on solid ground offering to steady me as I walk with Him. I make the choice whether or not I will stay with Him or walk alone. The choice we make in that moment determines the outcomes of each moment. Patience are a process. It takes time to bear such fruit. Those whose submit this process to God’s Timing and Faithfulness will not be disappointed as it will change the atmosphere of our life. Chaos is just around the corner. The unexpected may be found in just one more step but those who choose one thing over everything else will never be let down. God holds us head and shoulders above those who will try to pull us down today. He gives us a new song with words of victory that comfort and encourage us until we cross that line. Will you trust the Lord today? To do so is the discover of the one thing that will change every other thing in our life.

Psalm 73:28 (NLT)
But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

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