I have a really bad habit of wanting my day to go the way that I plan or expect it to go. There are things on my list to do on any given day, that I would really like to see happen. I want to finish them and get them off of my to do list so I can add new things to that list.
I am not a superb stickler on having to do the EXACT same things each and every day, but each night I sit down and list several things I would like to accomplish the next day. I do that because I really want or need to see those things be accomplished in that day. In doing this, I can create an expectation or a plan of what I think the next day will bring.
Then when the next day occurs, things never seem to go exactly as I hope. Some days are close. Other days, I never saw it coming in my wildest imaginings. Now this is true in both good and bad ways. Some days are so delightful but I never expected it to be. Other days frustrate me to no end because it feels that every moment is an obstacle or opposition to what I was going to attempt to do.
I was pondering this habit of mine in my prayer time this morning. As I was praying, I asked God if He could help me to really savor this unique and original day that He has made. My God is creative and full of wonder. Why would He need to have days that go exactly as planned, especially exactly as I planned. Ouch…that had me realizing how prideful and self centered I can be, demanding that the day go as I see fit.
If you looked at my track record of sins, selfishness and giving into the desires of my comfort seeking flesh, it is very clear that I am unqualified to determine how any given day should go. But, somehow, that does not stop me from pouring time, treasures and talents into attempting to direct my days and to indirectly direct the days of others as well.
Yesterday, during a reading of a devotional book on prayer, I read this from Joshua 3:5, “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’” I’ve been meditating upon this and pondering it in my heart. I’ve been asking two questions – the same questions I encourage the kids in my Youth Group to ask themselves whenever they read the Bible – God, please show me something about You in this verse and God, please show me something about me in this verse.
God, He is just always so faithful. Here’s what He showed me.
1. Consecrating myself is what I can do.
I’m all about look for what I can do. I’m not very good about being still. I can physically be in one place, but chances are I’m running mile long laps in my mind. I can be so extreme in my task orientation. Oh how I do love accomplishing my to do list.
So if consecrating myself is what I can do, my follow-up questions are “what exactly does that mean” and “how do I do that”? Consecrate means to sanctify, to bless, to make holy or to set apart. I typed in consecrate to the Bible Gateway search bar and voila 93 different verses appeared with the word consecrate in them. What I get out of scanning all of these verses is to be set apart for God alone.
It is a simple phrase, consecrate myself, but it seems more challenging when it comes to real life application. How can I really set myself apart for God alone? What does that look like each day for my thoughts, my actions, my reactions to the people and activities in my day? I’m still working on this one.
2. The Lord will do amazing things among you.
Oh, how often do I try to be the one to do the amazing things?!!! Yes, prideful me wants to be amazing. I do. Yes, me. I WANT to do amazing things. So I suppose that part of consecrating myself is to get out of God’s way, to stand by His side, to open my eyes & ears and to simply witness the amazing things He will do.
As I am writing this, it is becoming clearer and clearer that I frequently try to switch these two things around. I want to do amazing things in hope that God will be the one to set me apart. I try to earn that holiness and sanctification. Even though, I know in my head full well that I can not earn this, I still try to do it. Oh I am a silly woman.
Today is a new day.
Today I am trying to get in better order so that I can set myself apart for God and let Him do the amazing things. More than likely, this day will not go as I have planned or as I expect. But our creative God will bring a new day into being, and it will be good.
“ 4For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NIV)
And I, I will do my best to receive it with thanksgiving, to read & take in the scriptures, to pray and to try to set myself apart for the Lord. Maybe I will be a witness to some of the amazing things that God will do today.
What about you? Did you learn something new? Did you meet someone new? Did you see something in your environment with new eyes today? Did you receive a seemingly out of the blue card, call, email or message? Have you ever thought of these things as being amazing before?
My dear reader, where ever you are and whatever circumstances you are currently facing, I will be praying for you. I hope you are able to let go of your grip on this day, to find even a small way to set yourself apart for the Lord and to just experience the wonders of today that God has provided. May there be a lifting of the burden from your shoulders because you are not responsible for producing amazing things day in and day out.
May you know that what God wants is YOU. God asks us to set ourselves apart because He loves us so very much. May you feel confident today of that love for you. May you love this day that our creative Maker has crafted.
Thank You so much for the creativity and individuality that You use to craft this day. Lord, there have been so many days where I poured so much into doing amazing things that I overlooked consecrating myself to You. Lord, I still need to ask You to help me to know what that means and what that looks like in the chaos of my daily life.
Lord, I’m going to need Your scripture and a good daily dose of prayer to get outside of myself and to really focus on You. Can You please give me the strength to be disciplined in these areas. I want so badly to see amazing things worked by Your hands, not mine, but my prideful selfish self gets in the way. Thank You for Your mercy for me in these manners and for the patient perseverance through all of my days.
Lord, thank You so much for these amazing readers. They are awesome! They are incredible gifts to me and I praise You for them. They give me so much encouragement just by sticking with me, even when I do not make much sense or when I ramble on. Their comments and likes are such treats in my day, quite unexpected ones. Lord, I just ask again that each of them would really be aware of who You are, who You made them to be and how much You delight in them.
In the amazing name of Jesus, amen.