Thursday, October 8, 2020
Who do you count on, Yourself?!?
“Who are you counting on?” Isaiah 36:5 NLT
Reader, this is an important question: “Who are you counting on?” Listen to the true Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours. “I am counting on,” says the Christian, “the triune God. I trust the Father, believing that He has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust Him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to His own house, which has many rooms (John 14:2). I trust the Son. He is, as the Nicene creed puts it, ‘very God of very God’—the man Christ Jesus. I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own sacrifice, and to dress me with His perfect righteousness. I trust Him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before His Father’s throne. I also trust Him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust Him for what He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do in the future. And I trust the Holy Spirit—He has begun to save me from my inborn sins; I trust Him to drive them all out. I trust Him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to lift my depression, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust Him to live in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly—spirit, soul, and body—and then take me up to live with the saints in light forever.” Oh, blessed trust! To trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never lessen, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be baffled, and whose perfect goodness can never know decrease! You are happy, dear reader, if this trust is yours! With this trust, you will enjoy sweet peace now and glory later—and the foundation of your trust will never be removed.- C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
In your daily toils who are you relying on? Yourself?
Was reading another devotional that certainly appears to tie into this one...
“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4
From this Bible story, we learn the necessity of human participation in God’s work. The catch of fish was miraculous, but neither the fisherman nor his boat nor his nets were ignored. All were used to bring in the fish. It is the same way in the saving of souls. God works by His own means, but while the present age of grace continues, He is pleased “through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21 ESV). When God works without human instruments, He is certainly glorified—but He has personally selected the plan of human participation as that which most magnifies Him in the earth. Human efforts by themselves are utterly useless. “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!” (Luke 5:5 ESV). Why? Weren’t these fishermen performing their own special calling? Truly, they were no rank amateurs—they understood the work. Had they done the job without skill? No. Had they lacked diligence? No, they had worked. Had they lacked perseverance? No, they had fished all night. Was there a shortage of fish in the sea? Certainly not—for as soon as the Master came, the fish swam to the net in large numbers. What, then, was the reason for the disciples’ failure? Could it be that there is no power in the means themselves, apart from the presence of Jesus? “Apart from me you can do nothing,” He said (John 15:5). But with Christ, we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). Christ’s presence brings success. Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and the Lord’s will, by a mysterious influence, drew fish to the disciples’ net. When Jesus is lifted up in His church, His presence is the church’s power—there is the shout of a king in her midst. “I, when I am lifted up . . . will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Let us go out this morning to our work of fishing for souls, looking up in faith and around us in solemn anxiety. Let us work until the night comes, and we will not labor in vain—for the One who calls us to let down the net will fill it with fish. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Who we count on, who we rely on to get through the day has everything to do with the success or failure within it.
Reading yet a 3rd devotional it was about King Hezekiah. He was told he was about to die. He wept and wept. He begged God to spare him from that fate. In this God appears to change His mind and grants him 15 more years to his life. Had he been willing to accept the will of God, the most evil King ever to be over Israel never would have been born.
God's plan is GOD'S PLAN. In what we believe we only succeed when God is a part of it. I don't leave my room for work without time in my Bible and devotionals. I don't leave for without praying with my Wife. I pray on my way to work. I don't want to enter my day without Jesus.
As the devotional mentions about the Disciples fishing. They did nothing wrong in their efforts to fish. They needed to learn "apart from Me you can do nothing".
Jesus is the difference between hope and hopelessness. He is the difference between success and failure. He has a Plan that includes each of us. Praying that what is to happen is in accordance with God's will is extremely important. You already read of Hezekiah.
We do indeed appear to be living in difficult times. Yet God has not changed nor is there ever a need for Him to change. At no time has Jesus run out of options. At no point has He ever given up because the problem was too great. Scripture says "Whom has He ever sought the counsel of?" People who look to people for salvation in situations will find failure. People who look to Jesus always find a light leading the way.
People have often referred to Christianity as for the weak. Hardly, when you look at the facts of how God has proven Himself over and over through it.
People look at history and claim that much blood was shed by Christians in centuries past. If you know even the basics of Christianity you know that Satan lives to twist and pervert the Word of God among men. So cause people called by His Name to give Him a bad name. Jesus Himself said you will know people by their fruits. A little common sense goes a long way. Look at people and compare them to what the Bible says not what they say or do.
As the opening question asks...who are you counting on? If it's you, you will burn yourself out. If it's a Christian in their own strength they will burn themselves out.
Strength to truly live this life is found only in Christ...living it His way...according to His design and His purpose. If, my dear reader, you attempt it any other way, you will crash and burn.
Start your day with Jesus.
As Scripture says "lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight".