Daily Lent Devotional #4 (March 12, 2011)

Isaiah 51: 12-16

12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Who are you that you fear mortal men,
the sons of men, who are but grass,
13 that you forget the LORD your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror every day
because of the wrath of the oppressor,
who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;
they will not die in their dungeon,
nor will they lack bread.
15 For I am the LORD your God,
who churns up the sea so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name.
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.’”

We can get pretty skittish and distracted sometimes, huh?

Despite earnest desires to keep our hearts, minds, and focus on God and His Ways; we get lost.  Anxiety, frustration, comparing ourselves to others…all of these things and many more can lead us away from Him on a daily basis.  We know better.  If you have faith in Christ, you believe that this life (as beautiful and important as it is) is but a “blip” on the radar of eternity.  Sure, there are things that do and should matter to us…but what should matter most?

I love ping-pong. 🙂 Whenever I hang out with our Youth Group at NBFMC, I love to play ping-pong with the teens and show them how to actually play the game.  They’ll often get silly and stop trying to learn the rules, but occasionally they’ll listen to me.  One of the most basic skills that I’ll try to impart to them is eye contact and body position.  In ping-pong (and many other sports), what you’re looking at and how your body is facing will determine where the ball goes.  You can’t expect to keep the ball on the table if your vision is off to the side and your posture is crooked.  It’s the same way in our walk with God.  When we become distracted by other things in our life, our eyes start to shift towards those things and the posture of our heart follows.  We can’t expect to stay on-target with God’s Plans if we’re not watching Him and learning His Ways from Scripture.

Someone that I’ll refer to on-and-off during these devotionals will be Henri Nouwen.  Nouwen was a brilliant author and teacher, whose reflections on the Lent season are very valuable to me.  I will close today with some thoughts from him that deal with our Scripture passage and message today:

“Lent is a time of returning to God. It is a time to confess how we keep looking for joy, peace, and satisfaction in the many people and things surrounding us, without really finding what we desire. Only God can give us what we want…Lent is a time of re-focusing, of re-entering the place of truth, of reclaiming our true identity.”

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 5:25 AM  Leave a Comment  
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