For those of you who want to get right to work, here is today’s challenge: http://www.praise.com/devotions/day-2-30-day-praise-challenge
So how did yesterday’s challenge go for you? The whole day centered on WISDOM. Needing wisdom resonated with me!! How about you? There are so many questions swarming around my life right now. I’m feeling the crunch of time against me and, being a planner who likes to know what’s ahead, I’m wringing my hands because I still don’t have the answers I need. Yesterday reminded me that I don’t have to do anything other than seek God and praise Him that HE is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. Even though I still fell into old habits of worrying instead of praising, yesterday was sweet for me.
On July 23rd, I was going through my Beth Moore Bible Study, “Children of the Day”. In my lesson, I read something I had never come across before. Jesus was talking to Paul on the road to Damascus and He told him, “It’s hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts26:14)
Excerpt from “Children of the Day”, page 142
“In the many instances where the proverb occurs in Greek literature, it always has the meaning of resisting one’s destiny or fighting the will of the gods. That meaning fit Paul’s situation. In persecuting Christ, Paul was fighting the will of the One who had set him apart from birth (Gal. 1:15). Like a beast of burden kicking against his master’s goads, he would only find the blows more severe with each successive kick. He was fighting the will of God (Acts 5:39). It was a futile task.
“We kick against the goads too when we resist our God-ordained destinies. The more we ignore His will for our works, the more discontented and out of sorts we’ll be.”
Bang! The epiphany came!! For several years, my soul has been unsettled. I have been out of sorts, knowing something was off. I look back and see God’s voice and how we didn’t obey His will for our lives. There were at least two specific instances I know we turned the wrong way. Now as our daughter struggles with severe anxiety and insomnia [again…] I can’t help feeling that the “the blows [are] more severe”. God certainly isn’t punishing us, but He’s allowing these circumstances to put us back on the right course.
Yearning for more, yesterday I reflected back on the last three years like a scientist looking under a microscope. In 2011, I did Beth Moore’s “Esther” Bible study. “Esther” was all about one’s destiny and being created for such a time as this. I remember continuously thinking throughout that Bible study what our destiny was and what God was prompting us to do. The answers were clear in 2011, but we didn’t obey. In 2012, we prayed fervently for answers and asked God to speak through our counselor. God used her to give us an answer and… we didn’t obey. The year of 2013 was one of just maintaining, but 2014 has brought back a wrestling in my soul I can’t ignore.
Becky encouraged us in the Journal portion of yesterday’s challenge to think about specific areas we needed wisdom. I did just that and then prayed fervently throughout the day for wisdom. Last night, God gave me a sacred echo in my Bible study time with my husband, just in case I had forgotten what He told me the day before.
Excerpt from Max Lucado's, "Grace", Bible study in Session 1:
“Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14).
There it was again! Two times in two days I read something I had never read before. God lovingly pointed out just what I needed to know. I knew what I knew deep in my heart as the Spirit spoke to me. My family and I have been kicking against the goads. It’s time to repent and ask God for the courage to get back on course.
Thank you, Jesus, that YOU are the source and giver of all knowledge and wisdom!
Even though yesterday went fairly well, I found myself falling back into old habits. Instead of praising, I would wrestle thoughts in my mind to plan and figure things out on my own. Old habits don’t die easy. Practice makes perfect. Thankfully God doesn’t expect perfection – He just wants more of you and me. The fact that we’re on this 30-Day Praise Challenge shows we want more of Him. Seek Him and you will find Him. I’m seeking and I’m finding!
I’d love to hear how God used Day 1 to bless you. Please, post a comment, a prayer request, or anything God lays on your heart. Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless YOU! Break of Dawn
In an effort to invite more people on our challenge and because I need to nail down Days 1 and 2, I’ll hold off posting another challenge until Monday.