Monday, June 14, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Way

My Way or The “Most High” Way?
A devotional by Cyndi Staudt

“This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing Him and what he does.”— Romans 4:16 (MSG)

I keep a journal where I write down what I study in the Bible, how God speaks to me, prayer requests and sometimes even my prayers themselves. Sometimes I like to go back to my journal and read the things I've written, specifically the prayers I've prayed to see if and how God has answered.

Do you ever read back through your journal and see a pattern of you asking God for things for yourself and others? Do you see yourself asking God to bless your plans and ideas? I would be lying if I said I didn't. How often do we ask God what His plans are for us? If I were to read back over the last couple months of entries, I might be disappointed in myself to see how few times I asked God what He had planned for me or what Kingdom work He had going on that He wanted me to be a part of.

While God wants us to be productive, He is far more concerned with whether we are walking in our purpose. He places passions and desires in us, but their main purpose is to be used to further His kingdom and bring Him glory. God created us for a purpose, and we will be happiest and feel most fulfilled when we are pursuing that purpose. Our job is to get on board with what God wants us to be doing and how He wants us to be doing it. Our best efforts are useless if they are not aligned with the will of the Father. And God (our Father) tells us this, more than once, in His Word.

Have you heard the saying, “It’s my way or the highway” yet? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:12 (NLT) as well as in Proverbs 16:25 (NLT), “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” All of a sudden “my way” doesn’t sound so appealing, does it? 

I have known God to repeat a recurring theme or topic to emphasize its importance. I have even seen in the Gospels where exact words are repeated as different writers recounted the same story. But I don’t recall many times where the exact same words are repeated in two different places within God’s Word (The Holy Bible), were completely unrelated to each other. Seeing these two verses that read exactly the same makes it pretty clear God doesn’t want us to miss this. I’m also pretty sure He knew we’d need to hear those words more than once.

One of the many things I love about God is that He doesn’t place expectations on us without giving us the means to fulfill them and usually examples of how to carry them out. This topic is no different. Romans 4:2-3 (MSG) states, “If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”

We see here that “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him” instead of asking God to enter into what Abraham was doing. How many times have I tried to write a “Cyndi story” with God’s stamp of approval on it? Far too many times, I can assure you. And I love that we see here that “God was doing something for Abraham”. When we align our plans with God, He will not only work with us but also for us. That’s when we tap into the full power of the living God.

This verse also tells us Abraham "trusted God to be right" and set him straight "instead of trying to be right on his own". Does that feel like a Holy Spirit punch to anyone else? 

So often I think I know what’s best for me and my life only to find out over and over again that God’s ways are not only higher than mine, but far better (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Often, I think I am working so hard to accomplish something for God and yet it feels like I’m swimming against the current. Usually, I discover I am trying to bring God on board with my plans, plans I wasn’t called by God to carry out. Instead, I should be trying to do something with God and then He will do something for and with me.

Romans 4:16 (MSG) above makes it clear that if we want to experience fulfillment of God’s promises then we have to trust Him entirely and then embrace Him and what He does. We have to decide, daily, that even when things seem hopeless, we are going to live on the basis of what we know to be true about God, rather than what we see or feel in the natural. This is the “Most High way” and it’s so much better than our own way! 

Let’s Pray: Gracious God, we know Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts and Your ways are higher than our ways. Yet we still often try to take control of our lives usually leaving a mess in our wake. You are always faithfully waiting to pick up our pieces and lead us back into Your will and Your ways. Help us to more consistently seek You first and to always be on the lookout for the Kingdom work going around us that You prepared in advance for us to be a part of. It's our heart’s desire to walk confidently in the path and purpose You created us for. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Cyndi Staudt is a Jesus-loving, adrenaline junkie who is devoted to living her life for Jesus Christ until the day she is living with Him. 

With a passion for cultivating a craving for God’s Word, her devotions and Bible studies are saturated with faith and hope to stir your soul to connect with God in deeper, more intimate ways.

Through her writing she hopes to ignite your desire to read God’s Word, invite your heart to experience God’s love, and inspire you to live your live life “souled out” to the One whose love has no limits.

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