comfort in confusion

It’s not the lack of openings and opportunities that trouble me, but the presence and abundance of.

Multiple openings show up at different times, and seem to test my loyalty to a commitment made prior to it.

The Lord is sovereign, and His thoughts and His ways are higher, beyond all comprehension.

In this time, the Holy Spirit calls to mind different prophetic pictures at different times. Right now, it is of the white snowy mountain top, where all signs of trails and tracks are covered by layers upon layers of snow, and He says, I’m free to walk where I want to walk and He is right there with me.

Dignity of usefulness

So, I’ve always wanted to be a useful person wherever I am. When I don’t feel useful, I have a tendency to quit since there is no point of me to stay and be a bum. 

But I’ve never realised that there is a spiritual dimension to this. Gained a new revelation through this morning’s devotion about “Sanctification”. 

The author writes, 

When you were first connected to Jesus Christ and received the amazing outpouring of his gifts to you, the gifts of love, forgiveness, hope, and promise of immortality, it was the best thing that ever happened to you. But that isn’t the end. You are not merely existing here on earth. This planet is not a huge station where you are just killing time waiting for the train to take you to heaven. 

You were saved for a purpose now, not just for your later passage into heaven. The day you became a believer, the Holy Spirit took up residence in your brain and heart and the personal transformation began. The Spirit has a double agenda: 

1) to change your thoughts, words, and behaviors to be more like Christ, and 

2) to make you useful to God’s agenda to help and convert other people. This process is called sanctification, saint-making. St. Paul knew that he had been converted not just for himself, but so that he could in turn become a blessing to many others: God “gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:16). 

The sanctification process (i.e., transforming you to act like a saint instead of a sinner) is gradual and incomplete. Not until heaven will you be 100 percent free from sin. But in the meantime you can enjoy the Spirit’s power, renewing you constantly and giving you the dignity of usefulness.

They stirred up the devout and honourable women against them. They could not make any considerable interest themselves, but they applied to some ladies of quality in the city, that were well affected to the Jewish religion, and were proselytes of the gate, therefore called devout women. These, according to the genius of their sex, were zealous in their way, and bigoted; and it was easy, by false stories and misrepresentations, to incense them against the gospel of Christ, as if it had been destructive of all religion, of which really it is perfective. It is good to see honourable women devout, and well affected to religious worship: The less they have to do in the world, the more they should do for their souls, and the more time they should spend in communion with God; but it is sad when, under colour of devotion to God, they conceive an enmity to Christ, as those here mentioned. What! women persecutors! Can they forget the tenderness and compassion of their sex? What! honourable women! Can they thus stain their honour, and disgrace themselves, and do so mean a thing? But, which is strangest of all, devout women! Will they kill Christ’s servants, and think therein they do God service? Let those therefore that have zeal see that it be according to knowledge. By these devout and honourable women they stirred up likewise the chief men of the city, the magistrates and the rulers, who had power in their hands and set them against the apostles, and they had so little consideration as to suffer themselves to be made the tools of this ill-natured party, who would neither go into the kingdom of heaven themselves nor suffer those who were entering to go in.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

on Psalm 119 Verses 59-60

David had said he would keep God’s word (Ps. 119:57), and it was well said; now here he tells us how and in what method he pursued that resolution.

1. He thought on his ways. He thought beforehand what he should do, pondering the path of his feet (Prov. 4:26), that he might walk surely, and not at all adventures. He thought after what he had done, reflected upon his life past, and recollected the paths he had walked in and the steps he had taken. The word signifies a fixed abiding thought. Some make it an allusion to those who work embroidery, who are very exact and careful to cover the least flaw, or to those who cast up their accounts, who reckon with themselves, What do I owe? What am I worth? “I thought not on my wealth (as the covetous man, Ps. 49:11) but on my ways, not on what I have, but what I do:” for what we do will follow us into another world when what we have must be left behind. Many are critical enough in their remarks upon other people’s ways who never think of their own: but let every man prove his own work.

2. He turned his feet to God’s testimonies. He determined to make the word of God his rule, and to walk by that rule. He turned from the by-paths to which he had turned aside, and returned to God’s testimonies. He turned not only his eye to them, but his feet, his affections to the love of God’s word and his conversation to the practice of it. The bent and inclinations of his soul were towards God’s testimonies and his conversation was governed by them Penitent reflections must produce pious resolutions.

3. He did this immediately and without demur (Ps. 119:60): I made haste and delayed not. When we are under convictions of si 8000 n we must strike while the iron is hot, and not think to defer the prosecution of them, as Felix did, to a more convenient season. When we are called to duty we must lose no time, but set about it to-day, while it is called to-day. Now this account which David here gives of himself may refer either to his constant practice every day (he reflected on his ways at night, directed his feet to God’s testimonies in the morning, and what his hand found to do that was good he did it without delay), or it may refer to his first acquaintance with God and religion, when he began to throw off the vanity of childhood and youth, and to remember his Creator; that blessed change was, by the grace of God, thus wrought.

Note, (1.) Conversion begins in serious consideration, Ezek. 18:28Luke 15:17. (2.) Consideration must end in a sound conversion. To what purpose have we thought on our ways if we do not turn our feet with all speed to God’s testimonies?

Walk in step with Jesus

We must never be afraid of those stresses that accompany obedience to Christ. We may be afflicted, but we will not be crushed; perplexed but never in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; knocked down but never knocked out (2 Cor 4:8-9). The yoke we are called to carry is designed to alleviate burdens, not to augment them. It teaches us to walk in step with a Jesus who is lowly in heart so we can be released from needless internal tensions of arrogance and pride (Mt 11:28-30).

—John White, Excellence in Leadership