From all of the devotional entries, for April 27th. In which I begin to see a distinct theme...
What Do You Want?
Do you seek great things for yourself? —Jeremiah 45:5
Are you seeking great things for yourself, instead of seeking to be a great person? God wants you to be in a much closer relationship with Himself than simply receiving His gifts— He wants you to get to know Him. Even some large thing we want is only incidental; it comes and it goes. But God never gives us anything incidental. There is nothing easier than getting into the right relationship with God, unless it is not God you seek, but only what He can give you.
If you have only come as far as asking God for things, you have never come to the point of understanding the least bit of what surrender really means. You have become a Christian based on your own terms. You protest, saying, “I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but He didn’t give me the rest and the peace I expected.” And instantly God puts His finger on the reason– you are not seeking the Lord at all; you are seeking something for yourself. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you…” (Matthew 7:7). Ask God for what you want and do not be concerned about asking for the wrong thing, because as you draw ever closer to Him, you will cease asking for things altogether. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Then why should you ask? So that you may get to know Him.
Are you seeking great things for yourself? Have you said, “Oh, Lord, completely fill me with your Holy Spirit”? If God does not, it is because you are not totally surrendered to Him; there is something you still refuse to do. Are you prepared to ask yourself what it is you want from God and why you want it? God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).
~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
“Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.~ O.Chambers; Disciples Indeed
"God, even our own God."—Psalm 67:6. It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how little use we make of God Himself. Though He is "our own God," we apply ourselves but little to Him, and ask but little of Him. How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business, without seeking His guidance! In our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that He may sustain us!
This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, "I am thine, soul, come and make use of me as thou wilt; thou mayst freely come to my store, and the oftener the more welcome." It is our own fault if we make not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and He invites thee, draw from Him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest—there is all that thou canst want.
Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, He can be to thee instead of all.
Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of Him in prayer. Go to Him often, because He is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to Him, tell Him all thy wants. Use Him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a "sun;" if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a "shield," for He is a sun and shield to His people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use Him as a "guide," for He will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that He can do all thou wantest. ~ C. H. Spurgeon; Morning by Morning
And last but not least, from the female contributor, Hannah Whitehall Smith's wonderful devotional, “God is Enough” - which, if you haven't guessed by now, IS the recurring theme....:
“Wooing, Not Demanding”
The Law (the letter of it) says, “Do this and you will live.”
The Gospel (the heart of the Law) says, “Live this, and then you will do.”
The Law says, “Pay me what you owe me.”
The Gospel says, “I freely forgive you everything.”
The Law says, “Make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”
The Gospel says, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.” . . .
Herein is the stumbling block of religion – that God went to great extremes to enable us to keep His Law, because His Law is not optional. And also because the keeping of it is what brings us back to His character. It is the instruction booklet on how to Love as He does, etc. And thankfully, due to the work of the Sacrificial Lamb, Yeshua, The Anointed One, which God willingly sacrificed on our behalf, neither is it out of our grasp anymore!
His Law is still what we are judged by – BUT – now we have a Champion, who has come to our rescue! His Spirit was left behind as our tutor, to help us ace this test (of life in God on a fallen planet)! But the key is that we must seek Him out! We must depend upon Him as our one vital necessity! He alone must be our be-all-to-end-all! He must.
That is what He meant by, “Choose Life”. That is what He meant by, “All who call upon the LORD will be saved”. It is NOT a one time, “quickie”, kind of deal! Harried, hassled, ultimately meaningless and unsatisfying. It is a life long, devoted, romance. Fulfilling, securely warm and totally satisfying! He is looking for those who will “...worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.” Those are the ones who will not be deceived in the evil times. Those are the ones who will endure to the end without falling away!
Beware of the false doctrines of today, many of them demonic, which would try and convince us that - once we have bought in, by some religious ritual, we need nothing else from God! Poisonous religious mantras - often posing as "Grace" - which lull us into believing that we may live our lives however we see fit, and still be okay with God! That is a devil's lie! The most used, and best crafted one yet, in fact!
The Spirit of God seeks us to redeem us from all sin, not just from hell! So it would follow that, if we are not being transformed into His image, bit by bit, day by day, then there is a serious disconnect somewhere!
My advice to you, in that situation, would be to search your heart, find that disconnect, and bring it to Him so He can fix it! Or just seek Him until He shows it to you, and then ask Him to fix it! We can not fix ourselves through religious works! However, neither can we sit on our mounds of fleshly apathy and just expect to be transformed! As in any real and working relationship the devotion must be returned. His devotion to us is not in question. But how is our devotion to Him?