While studying the 9th Chapter of Acts and seeing the before and after of Saul, I am amazed as Ananias listens to God. Saul had long been a persecutor of the Christians until he was blinded by the Truth on his way to Damascus. Ananias was told by God to go and heal Saul of his blindness, but in the 13th verse of Acts:9 he says “Lord, I have heard from many about this man how much harm he did to your saints at Jerusalem;”.
This reminds me of different times I have felt humanly justified in not listening to God. Maybe it was a fear of an upcoming event or a dislike of another person. Whenever I feel a struggle within, I know I am trying to humanly outline rather than listen to God. In the story of Saul before he was transformed into Paul, it would have been easy for Ananias to know he was justified in his feelings toward this man, who had caused so much heart-ache to many, but he had put his personal fears and opinions aside and obeyed God. With the healing of Saul, Paul became invaluable to the Christian movement. We are constantly reminded in our study of the Bible to replace fear with God’s Love and let His purpose unfold. Today, I will watch even closer and replace my human will with His will.
As I ponder this today, I think of when I am struggling, it is because human will is attempting to be in control. Then, when I turn to God and release human will, it is like the morning mist and distorted images that it contains dissolving in the presence of the sunlight. Humanly, we often think of “turning to God” as a state of passiveness, when actually, it is a very active exercise.
Praying with Colossians 3:15 bring peace as it states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Each of us in entertaining either thoughts from God, Love or thoughts from the carnal mind, which is world thought; fearful, anxious, bitter, vengeful, envious, etc. thoughts. By recognizing and paying attention to these thoughts one can know if a thought is kind, loving, intelligent, etc., God is governing them. On the other hand, when one worries and is angry he is buying into world thought and this is the God he is serving.
Our free will is choosing who we are serving. Error or sin is never in the present but either in the past or the future. No need to go to either of those places because our every human need is provided by Divine Love every minute.
Exodus 16:15-16,19 states “Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: Each one is to gather as much as he needs….No one is to keep any of it until morning.'”
Today I will watch my thoughts and if it is not loving, I will refute it and reject it and replace it by knowing God is the only power there is.
This morning as I read the book of Nehemiah and study the building of the wall, the relentless pleading of his friends for him to come down is so apparent. While translating this to modern day challenges, I soon recognize the more my desire to do God’s will, the more seductive my friends become in the guise of doubt, dismay, judgment, criticism and discouragement. By putting God first, error or evil becomes a bald imposition.
James 4:7 and the first line of 8, reads, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.”
When experiencing a challenge of whatever nature, it is easy to want to work it out through force and human will. By humbly turning to God and becoming grateful in knowing God is working it out, we release the fear and chaos in our thinking. Then, and only then, can we begin to see perfection and harmony right where the upset was! Psalm 112:7 states, “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
With God’s help and guidance, I will do this today!