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This Week's Journeys
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God but me. I will strengthen you, though you do not know me, 6 so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is no one but me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
Prayer Journal Entry
Lord Jesus Christ, what sweetness is experienced and known by learning Your name, by dwelling on your truth, by discovering who You truly are as You faithfully walk beside me. You didn’t choose Elijah because he maintained perfect faith, he clearly didn’t.
You didn’t choose him as Your mouthpiece because of his courage, which he lacked at certain points. Stunningly, You chose Elijah because You wanted him to know You, and You desired to be known through him to both Jew and Gentile. I’m so emboldened and comforted to sit with this reality, Abba.
Like Elijah, like the nation of Israel, I don’t follow You perfectly. I show lack-luster courage and faith that looks a lot more like doubt than trust, still You have placed Your hand upon me (Psalm 139:5), You continue drawing me close to You, strengthening me and making Yourself known to me and through me. Lord, may it ever be so! Such sweetness to know You more and more until Eternity begins and the knowing continues forever!
Worship Through Song
Sometimes, well, often, our expectations do us an incredibly big disservice. Whether it’s a marriage, a friendship, or work, when expectations aren’t met, something happens inside. We can lose trust in someone, we feel varying levels of disappointment, we grieve for loss, or we can become angry and take out our frustration on others.
Sometimes expectations are benign and morally neutral. Usually, they sneak in without us even being aware they are powerfully stirring in us. Sometimes, however, when we courageously hold expectations up to the light of Scripture, we realize they are sinful.
We expect God to have worked in a certain way or time because we deserved it or we believe our understanding of what is good is superior to the Lord’s. Nearly always, expectations are fertile ground for nourishing idolatry in our hearts. If we love our expectation more than we love the truths of Scripture and the God who wrote them, we will fall prey, not only to disappointment, but to sin.
Elijah expected his life to be better, to not be on the run to stay alive, and to have more supporting prophets who worshipped God. When his expectations weren’t met, his faith corroded and desperation ruled.
What expectations do you need to re-examine in the Light of Christ? Are you willing to open your hand and remove the idol-power they hold?
Elijah and Elisha waited for God’s justice. They saw the horrible leadership of Israel’s King Ahab and they compassionately saw the people who were being led astray by Ahab’s evil. Where can you relate with similar scenarios?
Watching wickedness prosper is painful. Perhaps you’ve witnessed a loved one make continuous foolish choices, or you’ve watched a nation erode over time, or perhaps a beloved pastor fell into sin and loved it instead of turning from it.
The psalmist and king, David, cried out regarding the Lord’s waiting justice, “How long, Lord? Will You forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1) David brought the pains of injustice to the Lord with an attitude of worshipful surrender, which increased His trust. He confidently knew the Lord’s faithful love could be trusted to do what was right, in the right time, even if he couldn’t see it yet. (Psalm 13:5-6)
The Lord brought justice to Ahab, and it was gruesome because of his active sinful rebellion. The Lord will bring His justice, we can be sure of that. If we desire His mercy, we must surrender in waiting trust for the Lord to move.
In what area of justice do you need to unclench your hands in surrender to the Lord?
Becoming narrow focused and putting on blinders is so easy! Zooming out for a broad picture view requires consistent practice and prayerful pleas for help to adjust our perspective.
When challenges arise, learning to consider others’ feelings or experiences of the same event stretches us. Remembering that the Lord is sovereign and rules over all of time and space is absolutely essential to properly re-aligning our viewpoint on our triumph or pain, but holding onto this vantage point is slippery!
Where can you recognize in recent days that you’ve had a difficult time remembering the Lord is the Ruler and Author and He can be trusted?
The full weight of trusting God’s goodness and Love and Perfect Justice provides the benefit of peace that surpasses all understanding as we rest in knowing His character and His ability to bring good from all things for His glory.
Getting to this place of trust takes practice. It requires moment-by-moment surrender and a determined heart that says, “I will keep on following the Lord’s ways by trusting Him instead of me.”
How would you like to remind yourself to keep on following and trusting Jesus this week? Maybe it’s a sticky note on your mirror, or alarms set on your phone throughout the day with the simple message “trust” or “follow”. Or maybe you’ll scroll one of those words on your forearm with a marker to remind you to remain determined in trusting Christ alone! Share what you’re choosing for a reminder in the comments!
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