Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 27, 2018
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
I like living a “with” life. For example, “I’m so glad you’re taking this class with me.” “It’s going to be awesome having you start this new exercise routine with me.” “I love that you’re partnering with me on this new project.”
With is wonderful, but there are times when “with” just doesn’t work—especially when God has an assignment for you that requires you to walk alone.
You may have to walk the path of launching an organization or ministry alone. You may need to start a new health plan alone, or work to be a change maker at work alone. And, because you’ll be forging a new path, and perhaps shaking things up for Jesus, the people around you—and maybe even those you love the most—may not join you in your new endeavor. In fact, they may not support you because they may not believe that what you are doing is wise, prudent, or possible.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Let me encourage you. Don’t let anyone hold you back from getting free, stepping up, moving forward, moving on, or moving out. Don’t let anyone stop you from fulfilling God’s plans, obeying Him, and glorifying Him. Don’t give others permission to define what is and isn’t possible. If God says you can, you can.
I’m not talking about pumping yourself up with the false doctrine of “I can and the power is in me.” I’m talking about embracing the power that God has given you in the Holy Spirit and the power He will provide when you agree with Him and begin your journey. Your new journey is about agreeing with what God has said about you, and what He says about Himself.
The good news is that sometimes you just need to start walking down the path He has designed for you—and others may start to follow. But in the beginning, it may just be you and the Lord.
You may need to grieve that those you love and admire won’t walk with you. Make sure you don’t allow pride or unforgiveness to become your companion as you move into God’s purposes. Instead, continue to extend grace to others. Becoming more like Him isn’t just fulfilling the purposes He has set before you. Most importantly, it’s about loving when loving is hard. It’s about extending grace toward those who don’t support you.
There may be times when others may feel threatened by your courage and new change. And because they feel threatened, new tensions may arise in your relationships. Keep walking with Jesus. Consult God about your journey. And keep extending grace.
Also remember that you don’t need to be threatened by the differences between yourself and those you love. Love can reveal its finest self when the adversity of differences shines. This is your moment to allow your calling to be the catalyst to transform you into a more loving person. Let God refine you while you walk the path alone.
There are times when even those who are closest to you won’t want to walk with you. You will walk the path into fulfilling your desires alone. But you won’t truly be alone. The Lord is with you. You can do it.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
PrayerLord, what an awesome privilege it is to obey you and walk with you, even if I have to do it alone. Thank you that you are always with me, empowering and strengthening me to do your will. Amen.
ApplicationTake five minutes to talk with the Lord about how to rest in His approval and not strive to please other noisy voices.
Related ReadingJoshua 1:9; Jeremiah 1:7-8; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
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