Purpose Through Process

Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. (2 Kings 5:12) 

Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a “mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.” Naaman wanted to be healed of his leprosy.

Through the words of an Israelite servant that was in the service of his wife, Naaman heard about the prophet Elisha and was told that Elisha would cleanse his leprosy.

With a letter from his king as well as his blessing, Naaman sets off for Israel to seek healing. The letter does not reveal that Naaman is looking for Elisha, it just states that he is seeking to be clean.

Naaman arrives in Israel and hands the king the letter. The king of Israel is greatly distressed, tearing his own clothes he says, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me”. (Verse 7)

Fortunately for the king, Elisha catches word of what has happened. Elisha instructs the king to send Naaman to the prophets house. Naaman expects to be healed by Elisha himself.

Imagine yourself in this situation. You’ve had a crippling disease for your entire life. You’ve finally arrived at the place where you know you can find healing! All you need is for the prophet to come speak it over you.

Your excitement builds as you anxiously await the prophets arrival.

There’s noise on the other side of Elisha’s door. Your moment to meet the man of God has come! Good health is about to be yours.

And what happens next? The prophet is a no-show! The person standing before you: the messenger of Elisha. He doesn’t bring word that the prophet will be arriving soon. No, he brings instructions.

“Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” (Verse 10)

Naaman is angry! The Jordan is a dirty river; the waters of his own home are much cleaner than it. If all Naaman wanted was to be clean, he could have just as easily stayed home and bathed. In a rage, Naaman starts to turn away, unwilling to heed the words of the messenger.

Fortunately, Naaman’s servants spoke boldly to their master. They encouraged him to follow the messenger’s instructions, and so he did.

“Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (Verse 14)

Naaman had certain expectations of how this story was going to begin, continue, and end. He probably thought that it would be pretty simple: head to Israel, see the prophet, get healed, return to Syria in time for dinner.

But God’s process was quite different. Instead of sending Naaman to the prophet, God sends him to the king, who sends him to Elisha, who sends the messenger in his place, who sends instructions.

And even then, the instructions weren’t what Naaman expected.

But look at how the story still ends: with Naaman being healed. I would suppose that Naaman would have died a leper had he not been obedient to wash himself in the Jordan.

God’s purpose was brought about by God’s process. Oftentimes, God’s process looks much differently than we expect.

Despite his rage at the situation, Naaman still obeyed and was cured of his leprosy. He obeyed despite his lack of understanding.

Will you obey God and seek his purpose, even when his process is beyond your understanding? Read 2 Kings 5:1-14 today.

What a powerful devotion. I felt it had to be shared today. I pray after reading this devotion you are left with this thought, don’t reject God’s purpose just because you don’t like or understand His process.

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Colossians 3:17



But I Really Want This, God . . .

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6) 
 
On paper, everything seemed to make perfect sense. There was an opportunity I’d wanted for a long time. In my best estimation, this seemed to line up perfectly with my ministry, my calling and my desires.
 
The only problem was the deep-down knowing it wasn’t my assignment.
 
I’d asked God for this opportunity, but then I had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure I’d get it. This opportunity was the product of my trying really hard, not truly trusting God. And I felt the weight of all my hustle. I was anxious, exhausted and weighed down by an emotion I couldn’t quite understand — dread.
 
It felt so right. It seemed like such a good fit. It made perfect sense when I’d said yes. But the closer the due date came for this opportunity, the more regret I felt. Instead of running in the freedom of being assured God had called me to this, so He’d definitely lead me through it, I felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill.
 
There is a weight to our every want. 
 
And when God says no or not yet, it’s often because He can see what the weight of this want will do. Make no mistake, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us. 

The truth is, God has expectations for how humanity, whom He created in His image, is to live and act. Yet, sadly, humanity is prone to wander, and this is the repetitive story we see throughout Scripture. Yes, God is in control. But He doesn’t control our choices. God has given responsibility and freedom to humans to choose Him, His way and His best.
 
As I said before, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us. And that moment of realization leads us right back to what God tried to tell us before we ever made those choices. There isn’t ever a time when God has been wrong.
 
Not ever. And how gracious of God to be patient with us as we learn that lesson over and over. God is trustworthy. Our obedience to God is an indication of whether or not we trust Him.
 
We see this tension between obedience and trust played out with God’s people and the first king who ruled them — Saul. 
 
Saul certainly looked the part of a king. Scripture describes him as both taller and more handsome than any of the other Israelite men. (1 Samuel 9:2
 
The prophet Samuel tried to warn the people of Israel about what they were losing by establishing a human king instead of following God as their one true King. They were displacing God’s best for the weight of their own choice. (1 Samuel 10:17-19; 1 Samuel 12:14-19) They would be held accountable for the choice of a king they would not be able to control. When this king went astray, the people would suffer.
 
And not only would the people suffer, but God would also eventually have to tear the kingdom from Saul’s hands. This king who looked the part would end up letting fear and distrust lead him to walk in disobedience to God. (1 Samuel 15) Because of Saul’s disobedience, God would find another king who was more suited than Saul to lead His people — David. This king was a man after God’s own heart, and his throne would be established forever.
 
How much suffering would the Israelites have avoided if only they had trusted and waited on God? Where are we signing up for suffering, all because we are too often “wise in our own eyes”? (Proverbs 3:7)
 
Oh, sweet friend. I know what it’s like to want something so badly that you feel you would do just about anything to have it. But I also know that sometimes, God lets us push past His better plan to experience the consequences of our headstrong attitude. I have lived with the burden of extreme stress, fear, anxiety and an overwhelming sense of regret … all because I refused to trust God’s timing and His ways.
 
I don’t want that for you. 
 
Let’s trust that God’s plans truly are best. Let’s remember there is a weight to our every want. And let’s choose to live out the easy-to-quote-but-sometimes-hard-to-live reminder of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 
 
Dear Lord, I am so grateful for Your everlasting love and vision for my life. Help me embrace the fact that Your plans are so much greater than mine. Humble my heart in the moments when I try to maintain control so I can fully serve You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me and I felt it needed to be shared. We all need to be reminded of this today.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!
Today’s Reading is Psalm 119:143


Doing Things God’s Way

And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. (Joshua 6:14) 

I am a planner. A problem-solver.

So when I bring my struggles to the Lord in prayer, I tend to also bring my carefully thought-out ideas and suggestions He can choose from. 
 
Here’s what I think will work, Lord. I just need You to sign off on one of these, OK? 

But the longer I walk with Him, the more I’m discovering that simply isn’t the way God works. His ways? They aren’t our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) 
In the sixth chapter of the book of Joshua, we find Joshua and the Israelites getting to experience this truth firsthand as they encounter a problem of epic proportions. A problem that showed up in the form of a massive wall preventing them from moving forward into their promised land.
 
 
I can’t help but wonder what murmurs circled through the camp as they looked at the towering walls of Jericho. I’m sure there was no shortage of ideas or opinions on how they should tackle the problem before them.
 

But God didn’t ask anyone for their opinion. Not even Joshua. Instead, He asked for their complete and unwavering obedience. Obedience in the face of a battle plan that would make no sense to their rational minds. A plan that actually involved no “battle” whatsoever.

 

All God wanted them to do was march. For six days straight, they were to march around the walls of Jericho. Then, on the seventh day of marching, they were to end with trumpet blasts and a great shout. God declared this mighty sound would bring the walls down.

 

What moves me most about the Israelites’ part in this story isn’t so much their willingness to take that first crazy step of obedience. It’s how they kept taking steps of obedience. Step after step after step. Even though nothing appeared to change … even though there wasn’t a single sign of cracking or crumbling in those massive walls … they kept marching.

 

What if they’d stopped after day two? Or day three? Or even day six?

 

Think of all they would have missed. They would have cheated themselves out of certain victory from God.

 

I don’t say any of this casually — as if it’s easy to keep going when there’s no evidence of our situation changing. It’s hard to continue marching when we don’t see God move the way we thought He would. It’s sometimes difficult to trust that He’s working behind the scenes.

 

So what do we do when He asks us to move in ways that don’t make sense to us? How do we keep “marching” when the situation still looks hopeless?

 

We make the same choice the Israelites made. We choose to walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) We take God at His Word and hold fiercely to His promises. (Hebrews 10:23)

 

God had promised Joshua that He would deliver Jericho, its king and army into his hands. (Joshua 6:2) And that is exactly what He did. When they marched around the city on that seventh day and gave their great shout with the blare of the trumpets, the walls fell down flat. Flat! The city was theirs for the taking. (Joshua 6:20)

 

Their victory never hinged on their ability or any of their well-thought-out plans. It was solely dependent on their unwavering obedience offered to a loving and mighty God.

 

I don’t know what seemingly impossible situation is staring you in the face today, sweet friend. I don’t know what crazy steps of obedience God is currently calling you to take. But let me be the gentle whisper in your ear encouraging you to keep going. Keep trusting. Keep taking step after step after obedient step.

 

We don’t have to understand the “why” of God’s ways. But we do have to keep choosing to follow them.

 

Let’s not stop short of our victory with God. He is working things out. He is present. His plan is still good, and He can still be trusted. These are certainties even when life feels so very uncertain.

 

Lord, I confess that at times my heart feels discouraged when I don’t see immediate results from my steps of obedience. Thank You for reminding me today that just because I can’t see You moving, it doesn’t mean You aren’t moving. Thank You for the good plans I know You have for my life. And thank You for always leading me toward victory. Please help me as I walk by faith not sight. Day after day. Step by step. Choosing Your way above my own. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

I pray this devotion blessed someone today as much as it blessed me and more. I needed this reminder today, I pray today you remember He is always leading you toward victory. Trust Him as you march around whatever wall your facing. Just keep marching. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 

 

Today’s Reading is Psalm 63:1 



Walking God’s Way

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21) 
 
“We’re going this way,” I said as I touched my son’s shoulder and redirected him through the crowd to follow his mom and sisters in front of us. I’d done this more often as the day wore on at the amusement park our family was visiting. He was getting tired and more easily distracted. Why can’t he just follow them? I wondered. 
 
Then it hit me: How often do I do exactly the same thing? How often do I veer from obediently walking with God, enchanted by the temptations to pursue what I want instead of seeking His ways? 
 
Think of Isaiah’s words from God for Israel: “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21). Earlier in that chapter, God had rebuked His people for their rebelliousness. But if they would trust His strength instead of their own ways (v. 15), He promised to show His graciousness and compassion (v. 18). 
 
One expression of God’s graciousness is His promise to guide us by His Spirit. That happens as we talk to Him about our desires and ask in prayer what He has for us. I’m thankful God patiently directs us, day-by-day, step-by-step, as we trust Him and listen for His voice. 
 
Father, You’ve promised to guide us through the ups and downs and decisions we face in life. Help us to trust and follow You, and to actively listen for Your guiding voice. Amen. 
 
As I was preparing to post a devotion for today  I thought I had what I wanted to post but I quickly realized it wasn’t what God intended for today. I deleted what I had planned to post and went back to the drawing board, aka His word and I chose to be still and wait for His guidance and within moments He directed me to this devotion. It couldn’t have been more appropriate for what I needed to hear today and my prayer is this devotion touches someone in such a way that they find peace in there situation. Trust Him today, be still and listen for His voice and remember Isaiah 55:8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalms 119:11 


Consider Your Ways

Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. (Haggai 1:3-6)

The prophet Haggai was sent to speak to the group who had come back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of the Lord. The Book of Ezra explains how the first group came back to begin the rebuilding process. Due to great opposition, the work came to a stop over the course of time. Haggai was sent by the Lord to re-start the work and get the people going again. The Lord was telling them to get their priorities straight. They had settled into their lives and homes but the temple was still not finished. They lived in paneled houses while God’s house lay in ruins (Haggai 1:4). If they took a close look at their lives, they would see how their efforts had produced little.

Do you ever feel as though you work really hard, try to do the right things, yet nothing seems to come from it? Are you blessed? Do you see the Lord’s hand in your work? If you feel as though you work to put your wages in a bag with holes, then maybe you need to “consider your ways.” Check your priorities. Are you giving your first fruits unto the Lord? It is not just about your work for God that matters, it is about your heart before the Lord. Is He truly first in your life? Do you do things for Him because you love Him, or is it for other reasons?

These are the questions that we all must ask ourselves. Sometimes we get so focused on our own lives that we lose God’s perspective. When that happens, we often begin to sense that things are not quite right. We do not see the blessings as we would expect or hope to see. As the Lord continued to tell His people through the prophets, “Repent and Return.” The message is the same for us today. Maybe it is time to put some new priorities in your life. Pray about what the Lord wants you to re-prioritize and ask Him to help you to make the changes He wants. Instead of pockets with holes, you will see storehouses that overflow with His blessings.

When I first read this I was hesitant about posting it because I didn’t feel it was the typical uplifting and encouraging devotion I felt was necessary but God nudged me on so here it is. It’s truth, therefor it needs to be shared with someone out there and even if it touches but a few, it’s done what it was set forth to do. Let us live out our lives, each and every day with God’s perspective. If there are thing in your life that you are so focused on that your loosing God’s perspective and your not seeing the blessings right in front of you then you need to stop, pray and ask God to show you and help you make the changes He wants in your life. Instead of pockets with holes, let us see storehouses that overflow with His blessings. We must be willing.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Galatians 5:22-23



Which Way Do I Go?

One of the biggest questions every follower of Jesus asks is: “What is God’s will for my life?”

Today’s devotional verses speak directly to this question:

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:6-9)

We can be reassured from Isaiah 55 that as we seek God, he wants to be found and he wants us to know his path.

We are also challenged that our desires may be radically different from God’s. This Scripture has several implications.

Our perspective is limited. We cannot see anything beyond our five senses. We cannot see into people’s hearts around us. We don’t know what the future holds—not even 10 minutes from now. At any given time, we only see a small part of the big picture.

Our perspective is broken. Due to selfishness, pride, and sin’s impact on us, we have a skewed perspective concerning ourselves and the surrounding world. Our inner compass points toward what we want. The problem is that what we want may not be what is right and best.

God’s perspective is perfect. God can see everything going on in the world right now. He sees everything going on in every person’s mind and heart. He views everything from eternity past and in eternity future with one glimpse. Additionally, his path is set on everything that is right and best.

As you pray about God’s direction for your life, do you let go of what you think you know? Have you offered to God your mind and heart as a blank slate?

As I read this I couldn’t help but be reminded of the very thing God has been speaking to my heart over the past few days. In fact Isaiah 55 has been resounding back to me every day, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. We must never underestimate God, we must let go of what we think we know and trust Him to lead and guide our every footstep. Allow His word to be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Isaiah 55:6-9