Tag Archives: disobedience

With…or Against the Grain

sanding

Father, what a busy day this has been. Driving today to be with family during my nieces bridal shower made for a lot of driving but it was well worth the effort to spend time together. Those times are too few and far apart. Thank You for the blessing of family.

Hebrews 5:1-10 (<<click here)

Obedience – it is sort of like sanding wood. I don’t have a lot of experience with sanding wood but I do know that sanding with the grain of the wood gives you a much better, more beautiful result. I suppose You could get rid of some of the rough spots going against the grain but it is more difficult and you don’t end up with the best results

Lord, You know that I am Yours to sand. Rough spots need to be eliminated and who better to do that than the Master Carpenter! What I pray for is that I would be obedient even if it is difficult – when I do so I let You “sand with the grain” of my life. The end result is beautiful. So I need You to help me listen and act when You direct me.

Disobedience causes unnecessary scuffing. In the end it causes me much more discomfort, when You have to “sand against the grain”, and quite often it interferes with Your work – things don’t get done as smoothly as when I cooperate. Lord, I truly want You to do with me as You will for You know best. Thank You for Your love and patience.

Mar 12th, Sat, 9:11 pm

Hard Hearts

Thank You, Father, for a productive week! Even with it being very full, You enabled me to get everything together for worship this morning. Even with my personal ups and downs You patiently were able to use me. Today, as is my goal every day, I give myself over to You. Use me as You will. Amen.

And before I move on, I want to thank You for Your love and watch care over Karen as she recovers from her surgery. You continued to answer our prayers and all the credit for her well-being goes to You.

Hebrews 3:7-19 (<<click here)

“Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts…”

A lesson we learn from the Israelites is certainly applicable today as well. Just as heart disease is not something that develops in a day, or a week, or a month but is an accumulation of plaque in our arteries over a lengthy period of time, so is the hardening of our hearts to God.

Lord, I truly don’t believe that we set out to harden our hearts towards You. But as the passage alludes to, we must continue to strive to hear Your voice. Hearing Your voice of guidance in our lives is what prevents “things” from blocking our interaction with You. You direct us to avoid something and we choose to do it anyway – everyone else is doing it!  – and a blockage occurs. I may only be small deposit of plaque in the cavity of our relationship with You but if we leave it unchecked they have this awful tendency to multiply. And before we know it, we have a problem. With proper spiritual exercise of heartfelt prayer and the consistent reading of Your Word, that “plaque” can be removed. But that takes discipline and that’s not easy.

The bad thing is if we don’t address it, little by little – disobedience on top of disobedience – our “artery” of connection with You becomes blocked and our hearts begin to harden. And when that happens our hearts begin to die because what sustains us for the long haul is the continual flow of love from You. And hard hearts cut off the flow and death is just around the corner.

But even at this stage, if we will but ask, You can intervene. Ezekiel 36:26 tells us,

“…I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Lord, please help me to keep those “arteries” of love open and clear. Continue to enable me to maintain a heart that is tender and responsive to You. Amen

Feb 28th, Sun, 6:29 am

Boundaries

Some days are more challenging than others, Father, and this day is a toughie! I’ve already been awake for over two hours and still trying to corral my mind. Help my attention to be drawn to You and to set other things (of less importance) aside.

Hebrews 2:2-4 (<<click here)

Now there is a word we don’t care for – punished. On any front – Biblical or personal – we want to avoid being punished. In the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, punishment is meted out for “violation of the law” and “disobedience” but in today’s mindset many, myself included, tend to avoid the topic. It’s uncomfortable. It goes against the grain. Lord, we speak of You as being a God of love – and you are that – more than we could ever fully comprehend. But tough love must factor in. We need corrected for we all fall – we are all “prone to wander.” You give us boundaries and we must abide by them – if we do not, there are dire consequences. We can hurt ourselves and others – physical, emotionally and spiritually. As in all parent/child relationships, boundaries let us know that we are loved. Many of the issues we see in our world today are because we have removed many boundaries in a very poor attempt to set ourselves “free”. But instead we are drowning in the dire consequences of our disobedience. Anger, violence, disrespect for others, rampant selfishness overwhelms us every day. Just read the headlines! Our punishment seems to be of our own making – we are paying for our own insolence and pride. We have brought it upon ourselves and the payments are due.

Our only means of escape is to not ignore “this great salvation that was first announced by [You] Lord Jesus.” You are the only way out. All of our clever ideas and “solutions” are absolutely worthless. Only a diligently pursued relationship with You can really enable us to get to the core issue of sin in our lives. Only You can eradicate it. Only You can enable us to be the conquerors You have called us to be.

Lord, help me! I so want to be what You have called me to be but things that shouldn’t tempt me do! I am weak – but not in You! I am fearful – but not in You! Please, Lord, help me to be – in You.

You are more active in my life today than ever. I feel You working. I hear Your voice. Help me to abide in You! Amen.

Feb 16th, Tues, 6:22 am