Theme of the Week: Stretched by God
Friday, May 2, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: "You cannot serve both God and worldly riches." (Luke 16:13, NCV)
Dig Deeper: Psalm 107
A Christian friend of mine has had trouble making peace with the fact that worldly success has eluded him his entire life. He called recently to say that for six months he has been on a potent antidepressant to counteract the deep sadness he was feeling. Here's what's ironic. He is as depressed that he didn't achieve worldly success as I was depressed when I did.
Don't get me wrong. There is no sin in worldly success. But because worldly success is such a seductive idol, God in his wisdom has made it impossible for worldly success alone to satisfy. When we make anything into an idol, God will deal with us in one of three ways: he will withhold the thing we think we can't live without, he will remove the thing we think we can't live without, or he will give us so much of it that we gag on it.
If you or I could find satisfaction in any worldly success apart from God, we would. So to protect us from our own sinful natures, God in his grace frustrates our ambitions when they would destroy us. God's plan is to use that sense of frustration as a tool to chisel you into the man he wants you to be.
—Patrick Morley in How God Makes Men
My Response: What motivates me? Are my motivations in line with God's will for me, or do they distract me from pursuing a deeper relationship with him?
Thought to Apply: It hurts when God has to pry things out of our hand!—Corrie Ten Boom (Dutch writer, Holocaust survivor)
Adapted from How God Makes Men by Patrick Morley (Multnomah, 2013) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Lord, growth happens most often in times of stretching; please give me the grace to humbly submit myself to your will—even when it hurts—and let you transform me into the man you want me to be.
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