The following devotional was submitted by a member of MuncieFBC.
Kaleidoscopes have always been something that fascinated me as they combine colors and images that morph in front of your eyes into something new. All the while, it seems as if time stands still. Life takes on those qualities for many of us. There are many tugs on us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It feels like sensory overload with seemingly less time to find our footing and a focal point. An extravagant amount of time and energy are spent on trying to keep up, and the idea of getting ahead is almost comical. It would be funny if not so overwhelming. How do we stop the merry-go-round of chaos that has become our new normal? The answer is actually simple: give. Yes! Give in, give up and give over.
Give in or submit to the Lord and His plan. “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit (). The Lord is the only One that can make the rain fall; the sun to shine; the earth to spin. No amount of toil will give us the power to do what belongs only to the Lord. We first have to follow and obey (give in). If we are faithful in our intentional pursuit of the Father and His plan, the Father is faithful in fulfilling His promise to be our Bread of Life.
Give up or surrender the death grip we have on those things we think we can control. Unfortunately, when our fists are clenched and our hands full in that desperate state, we are unable to fully release thing into the Father’s hands. “But Jeremiah said, ‘You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. But if you refuse to surrender, this is the vision which the Lord has shown to me ( see also ; ; ). Just as Zedekiah in the passage from Jeremiah was struggling with the idea of surrender of self, pride and control to the Babylonians, we struggle with those same things today. There is fear in the unknown but God does not operate in fear. God’s love for us is such that He has already paved our way. We have to trust Him enough to open our hands and realize we don’t control what we think we do anyway and then take hold of His hand and be led.
Give over (relinquish) the tendency or the fight to stay in the familiar. It may not be the best situation but it is mine. I have heard this from others in the midst of a struggle. They have their blanket of familiarity and pull it ever tighter around them trying to create a comfort zone. All the while knowing that the very thing they cling to may actually be suffocating them instead. Somehow that seems to be the better option than facing the unknown features of change. “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net” (). Often we are able to look at the snares crippling those around us, but unable to see the snares in our own lives. In the animal kingdom we see the tendency to fight when trapped or injured. We often are the same but all of the flailing will inevitably make the situation worse and only make us exhausted. Our Father is waiting for the opportunity to remove the snares; release our feet and set us free!
We have to be intentional if we want our focus to change from the false perceptions we bring to the circumstance to the reality of what the Father brings. The God the made the heavens and earth and everything in them, loves us, died for us, wants us, and provides for us. There is no picture more amazing! Focus on Him and give. Give in, give up and give over!
May you be blessed today in your pursuit of Jesus and may the balm of His love and the Spirit of God heal your wounds and give you rest.
3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. (ESV)
20 Jeremiah said, “You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. 21 But if you refuse to surrender, this is the vision which the Lord has shown to me: (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones. (ESV)
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (ESV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
1 Peter 5:7
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (ESV)
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net. (ESV)