I’ve been reading the devotional book Jesus Calling since the beginning of the year. It is truly the best devotional book I’ve ever read. It seems like every day the message has been written specifically for me. I jokingly tell people that I think the writer, Sarah Young, slips into my house at night, figures out what’s been going on in my life and then writes the devotion that I’ll read the next morning. I can say without a doubt that the Holy Spirit is using this devotional to change the way I do my life as a Christian.
In October the focus of the month has been living in the presence of Christ. In other words, instead of trying to do everything myself I should be calling on Him more often for strength, wisdom and peace. I woke up the other morning and realized that the previous day I’d spent much of my day frustrated and overwhelmed with way too much on my “to-do” list. I couldn’t remember calling on the Lord even one time during that previous day other than during my morning’s devotion. I felt like a failure at this whole “living in the presence of Christ” concept and confessed my sorrow and frustration to God.
I kid you not, when I opened my devotional that morning this was the first line I read: DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. You see what I mean about the author sneaking into my house to write just the perfect thing for me to read the next day? It’s happened time and time again.
It’s easy for me to think that God is always just a tad bit disappointed in me and the way I live my life. I think the Enemy does his best to keep Christians discouraged so we feel unworthy to share the gospel. But, in truth I know that isn’t the case. One of the Bible verses for this day was Romans 8:33-34, “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
God doesn’t want me (or you) living in discouragement and frustration. He wants us living in the freedom of Christ. That is where we find the victory. That is where we find the peace. That is where we find life itself.