Archive for the ‘Self-sustaining’ Category


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Day 200

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength
of my heart and my portion forever”
Psalm 73:26

Tribulations are part of life. From physical to mental, many things can assault us in the course of a day. For many, relationships are an area of suffering. These affect our family, work, social, and life in general. Surprisingly, being a Christian does not exempt us from these life’s difficulties.

What most of us do, how we react under these circumstances, is to draw on our strength. Human nature has an amazing capacity to handle adversity in life. The problem is it is self-strength. The reaction is to the self. Asaph, the psalmist, said that when his flesh and heart failed, God was His strength. In his weakness, it was God who empowered and kept him. When all else had failed, he came to understand that he could only live in God’s strength. When He is our strength, we can trust Him. When we trust ourselves it is self-strength,.

When Joshua attacked Ai (in his own strength), he suffered a great defeat. He turned to the Lord and repented. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,” and Joshua became victorious so that not one man was left in Ai. When David was assaulted by His enemies, He turned to the Lord who delivered him from all his enemies. David declared, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (2 Samuel 22:33). Our Father desires to deliver us today from all our enemies and take us through adversity in victory. Self-strength will bring discouragement, fear and defeat. His strength makes our way perfect.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth
give way and the mountains fall into the sea, though
its waters roar and foam and the mountain quake
with their surging . . . The Lord Almighty is
with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46


Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Day 197

“I have come here to oppose you because
your path before me is a reckless one”
Numbers 22:33

Sometimes God opposes us.

God will not permit us to be consumed by our own devices. In our self-sufficiency and independence we often are blinded by our own thoughts, desires and plans. Balaam had that problem. Even though he sought the Lord, his motives in carrying out the Lord’s direction were wrong. Balaam was occupied with the honor and riches he was promised instead of exactly heeding God’s direction. This is a great danger.

How many of us are eager to do God’s will. We pray to get direction. We fulfill scriptural commands. Yet, in the process our motives and desires are of the flesh. Our earthliness is mixed in with God’s labor and purposes. An evangelist once announced he prayed and had a plan to convert everyone in the world. All we needed to do now was pray and get God interested! Sadly, many hearing him believed in what he said.

God loved Balaam and because He loved him, he stood in His way and opposed him. Three times he attempted to stop Balaam. Yet, Balaam resisted, blinded by his own thoughts. The donkey had served him all his life and yet Balaam didn’t see his behavior as a sign. He got very angry. Finally the Lord caused the donkey to speak! When the Lord opened his eyes, he then knew how blind he was. Yes, God’s love compelled Him to stop Balaam before he was destroyed.


Father help us to be pure of heart in all our
labor before you so that our motives
and desires are for You only. Amen.


Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Day 42

“Children, you haven’t anything to eat, do you?”
John 21:5

As a Christian, have you ever been in a place where it seems that there is no fruit in your life? Maybe you have labored in the Lord’s work and it seems to be going to nowhere. Peter started in the ministry with no fruit. He and the other disciples were at the Sea of Tiberias when Peter said he was going fishing. All the others joined him and they fished all night. But they caught no fish, even though they were skilled fishermen.

Peter had returned to the old and familiar. And this is what we often do as Christians – we feel ‘safe’ with the old. We feel ‘comfortable’ with the familiar. The disciples were fishermen; they went and did what was familiar to them, but they caught nothing. And when Jesus came to them, they did not recognize Him. He asked if they had any caught anything – whether they had any fruit. And they were empty handed.

They didn’t recognize Jesus or know His voice because they were laboring in the old and familiar. They had not waited on the Lord, they did not step out in faith. So when He came, they didn’t know Him, and they were empty handed. But in His mercy, Jesus had cooked breakfast for them, and provision was made. He broke bread with them, and then restored Peter to His calling.

“Follow Me”
John 21:19b

HIS MANNA – Part 1

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Day 21

“Feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your
fathers had known, to teach you that man does
not live on bread alone, but on every word
that comes from the mouth of the Lord”
Deuteronomy 8:17

The Israelites came out of Egypt to a new land God had prepared for them. He freed them from bondage in the world and brought them into freedom and His kingdom. However, coming out of Egypt did not make them righteous. They had yet to learn righteousness.

Put another way, receiving God’s salvation may take you out of the world, but to possess your new freedom, the world needs to be taken out of your heart. Although the Israelites saw a series of great miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea, they still did not rely on God. They were like children – as soon as they needed something and did not get it, they forgot God’s provision for them. They complained and grumbled.

Many Christians are this way. They rely on their understanding, skills and ways to accomplish what they need and want in life. But, God is our provider. It is His provision that sustains us. God sent manna from heaven so Israel would know it was He who provided. He sent only enough for that day, so we would know to seek His provision every day. Moreover, tomorrow we must seek for new provision. Didn’t Jesus teach us to pray, “give us today our daily bread?”

“Praise the Lord, O my soul.
He makes . . . bread that sustains the heart”
Psalm 104:1,14-15