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Thursday, July 24, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
Not Quite Black & White

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But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is  the evil thereof (Mt.6:33-34).

The ultimate question is, and should always remain, "What does God want?' It is not unheard of for a church to ask this question from time to time, but it seems that many churches are asking it far less than they should. Most situations are confronted with the consolidation of our collective wit and human reasoning. And only if and when we find that we have run out of answers do we, as one united group, ask God what He wants.
And there are those times where we do come together and ask God what He wants. As it is within a group, it is often done formally--led by one, while some may be praying in their hearts along with him. But let the unity be lacking and the direction be intellectually derived and we will see no awe-inspiring movements of God. For we will as before tackle our troubles with human ingenuity, and the results are as would be expected without any supernatural intervention.
Throughout the Bible, God used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary doings. God's hand often moved a person beyond their limitations, using that person in such ways as to demonstrate His purpose, power and love. God's desire for the church is no different. He wants to take us beyond our abilities and reasoning and limitations, and use us in such a way that all who witness cannot help but see the movement of God's hand within it.
But when the church is governed by majority rule, what will be seen is the opinion of the majority. And anyone who stands up and declares, "We need to seek God more fully," will be looked at like they are fanatical. Someone might even explain to them that their faith is a little unrealistic. Perhaps they might respond, "Why does it seem unrealistic to you? You believe in a God you cannot see--don't you?"
Why would such a faith seem unrealistic? Possibly because there are many who walk not by faith but by sight. They are those who place their stake in the bottom line and limit the operations of the church within the confines of budgets and bylaws. For it is truly easier to let written words and numbers be our Lord than a God we cannot see.
Nevertheless, it is not the church collectively who suffers vision impairment due to the cataracts of the bottom line, it is also the individuals in their personal lives. And it is everyone of us from one time to another. For as we are faced with a difficulty our first response is often to venture out to solve the problems on our own, with what we have and within the confines of our limitations. Why do we do this rather than coming to God first? Is it some sort of frantic search for answers that leads us to mentally scroll through a list of options; which once we come to the end of our list we look at it again or pick the best choice even if it does not really solve anything? A sad but true statement for most of us much of the time is that there are times where God is not even on the list of possibilities. Though not because we do not want Him there--we just simply forget about Him.
It is truly God's desire to work within our life situations, bringing us peace and resolution before, during and after our storms. We often frantically search our minds for answers. We might even pray first and then, praying aside, we begin to search our minds for the answers. But we should keep in mind that there are many times that we have no answers on our own, and when we reach the end of our list of possibilities we will become worried and frustrated--and worried and scared--and worried. . . You get the idea. Yet rather than finding comfort once we have found an answer, God would have us find our comfort and then find the answer. For as we seek Him first, we find His peace and comfort and we release worry and anxiety, and then our eyes are open to see His answers for our situations.
God cannot find room in our hearts to bring peace when our hearts are full of worry, and He cannot find room to speak the answer into our minds when our minds are filled with human reasoning.

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