WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 18, 2021
TOPIC: SIX THINGS YOU SHOULD DO WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD IS DOING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his Servant? If such men walk in darkness, without one ray of light, let them trust the Lord, let them rely upon their God” (Isaiah 50:10 The Living Bible).
It is not every time that we understand what the Lord is doing in our lives or in the lives of other people. Sometimes, we don’t have the faintest idea about what the Lord is doing. How can the Lord lead you to do something only for it to fail? It doesn’t make sense.
Let’s even assume that you missed His leading. But in Judges 20:18-24, He told the other tribes of Israel to go and fight the erring tribe of Benjamin. They went to the battle but were defeated two times. They lost 40,000 soldiers. Could that be God? Yes.
He asked them to go the third time. They did, and they were victorious. But why did He allow them to be defeated two times with heavy causalities? I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t state the reason.
Isaiah 50:10 says, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his Servant? If such men walk in darkness, without one ray of light, let them trust the Lord, let them rely upon their God” (The Living Bible).
I didn’t get that. I thought if someone fears the Lord and obeys His Servant, he should enjoy the best, walk in the light, not in darkness. But that’s not always the reality. Neither is it also usually the end.
Take a look at this: Zecharias, a Jewish priest, and Elizabeth, his wife, were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. Yet, they had no children. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. They were both very old (Luke 1:6-7). Should they have been barren considering their good record? But the Lord later gave them a child, John the Baptist, the forerunner of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Children of God must not be discouraged or become envious of sinners. We must not make our own light; we must wait for His light. “But see here, you who live in your own light and warm yourselves from your own fires and not from God’s; you will live among sorrows” (Isaiah 50:11 The Living Bible).
The New King James Version says, “Look, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with sparks: Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled — This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”
We may find ourselves in situations where we are experiencing some contradictions. The explanations some people offer may even complicate rather than simplify issues. Nevertheless, as children of God, we must continue our walk with Him. We may not understand what He is doing but we should never doubt His love for us.
Doing the following six things will be very helpful at such a time.
1. Hold on to the promises of God. Don’t listen to the lies of the devil; don’t let him confuse you. Keep reminding yourself of God’s promises. According to Paul, the yes to all of God’s promises is in Christ and through Christ, we say yes to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 1:20).
In Jeremiah 20:7, Jeremiah said the LORD had deceived him and he was deceived (King James Version). The New King James Version says you induced me, and I was persuaded. God doesn’t deceive or mislead anyone.
Jeremiah felt like that because the message God gave him to deliver to the people had not been fulfilled and it made him unpopular. He was being mocked by the people.
But Jeremiah knew more than what his feeling was telling him. In Jeremiah 20:11, he said, “But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten” (King James Version).
Jeremiah’s emotional distress becomes obvious as he slid from praising God to cursing the day of his birth, the man who delivered the news to his father, and so forth, making him sound like Job! (Verses 14-18). This is not the right thing to do. It’s useless.
Hold on to God’s promises; don’t query Him. Put His promises in your mouth. The psalmist says, “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him I will trust’” (Psalm 91:2 New King James Version).
2. Continue to encourage yourself in the Lord. Judges 20:22 says the defeated tribes of Israel encouraged themselves and assembled at the same place they had fought the previous day.
In 1 Samuel 30:6, David was greatly distressed because he and his men had suffered a heavy loss and they wanted to stone him. But he strengthened himself in the LORD his God. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
3. Remain focused; don’t look for alternatives to God. Don’t lose your focus by concentrating on the undesirable turn of events or setbacks.
Don’t pursue another course different from what God has asked you to do that appears not to be working. Don’t replace God with a god; wait for God. Don’t go down to Egypt for help (Isaiah 31:1). Don’t become weary; wait for the Lord (Psalm 130:5-6). The Lord never fails those who wait for Him.
4. Persist in doing what the Lord has asked you to do despite any previous failure. It is better to fail temporarily in what will eventually succeed than to succeed temporarily in what will eventually fail.
In 1 Kings 18, after Elijah had gone to pray for the abundance of rain, which he had prophesied, he kept telling his servant to go up to look toward the sea. He asked him to go again and again. It was the seventh time that the servant reported seeing, arising out of the sea, a cloud as small as a man’s hand, which delivered an abundance of rain (1 Kings 18:41-44). Elijah never gave up until he got the desired result.
If you persist in doing the will of God, no matter the initial setback, God’s will shall be done. Don’t be a quitter. “And now, you men of Judah, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15:7 New Living Translation).
Galatians 6:9 says, “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time” (New Living Translation).
5. Be joyful, keep praying, and keep praising God. Paul and Silas were cast into prison for doing the will of God – preaching the gospel. But did they lament, blame God and curse Him? No.
Acts 16:25 says, at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God; and the prisoners heard them. God set them free later.
No matter the situation, don’t let Satan steal your joy. “Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy” (James 1:2 New Living Translation).
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (New Living Translation).
Going about looking sad, won’t profit you. Express your emotions, but don’t let them control you. Don’t let grief kill you; don’t allow sadness to shorten your years (Psalm 31:10). Keep praising God instead of being very sad and complaining, “Lord, why me? Lord, why are you doing this to me?” With joy draw water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
6. Follow any additional instruction the Lord may give you. Don’t try to protect your reputation by being afraid to act because of past failure (s).
Philippians 2:7 says Jesus made Himself of no reputation – He made Himself nothing; He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22b). If you’re willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall wait for Your light; I shall not kindle a fire for myself. I won’t encircle myself with sparks. Even when I don’t understand what You’re doing, I will trust in You and wait for You.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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