We began the week with reading Psalm 19:12-13; Psalm 119:153; Psalm 31:9; and Psalm 119:132. All wonderful verses – the topic? Unintentional sin – those we fall into that weren’t willful or habitual.
In the devotional, the words used to describe God were just beautiful, and powerful:
- “kind and gracious”,
- “the abundance of His mercy”, and
- “the tenderness of His heart”.
And then Priscilla Shirer writes:
“His heart is to get you back on the road, back into serving Him, faithfully setting out on the journey again. Unstuck.” (from Awaken, page 252)
And one word which stood out to me: Unstuck.
Last week, I had a phone conversation in which I said, “So many are feeling stuck right now. With no hope and so discouraged, unsure of how to move forward.”
But with God, we don’t need to feel that way. He sets us back on the right path again, over and over again. His heart is for us not only to journey back on the road today, but to journey back on the road until the very end.
The devotional asks: If you’re stuck in one of those situations you never meant to get into, are you slowing down to receive His grace for a fresh start? If not, what’s keeping you from it? Talk with Him about it today.
If I am honest, sometimes I feel like I should have known better. And I probably should have. But even that is a sense of false pride which will only keep me from the Lord, and from a fresh start.
Let’s not permit the enemy to fool us but humble ourselves and reach for that fresh start.
“Look upon me and be merciful to me, as is Your custom towards those who love Your name.” (Psalm 119:132, NKJV)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” (Isaiah 61:1, NLT)
God’s message bring release and freedom to those who receive Him. But His Word also brings precepts, principles, and guidelines to be followed.
The enemy of our souls would seek to make us believe that these boundaries are because God is holding out on us, that He is restricting us from good things. In actuality, His boundaries are always, always for our good and to keep us from harm.
It is so easy to overlook that this portion in Isaiah was written for those who had rebelled – God’s very own people.
The devotional makes this powerful point:
“This tree alone [the tree of the knowledge of good and evil] was off-limits. But His instructions clearly pointed them toward freedom – potential, opportunity, possibility – toward what they could do.” (page 259)
Obeying the Lord will be the difference between freedom and captivity, life and death, blessing and loss.
The devotional asks: What’s a decision you’re facing, or perhaps just a daily struggle you’re enduring, where you’re focusing on the cost rather than the opportunity? Take time to express gratitude to your kind Father for the freedom He has offered you in Him.
May we remember and embrace that His boundaries always lead to freedom.
We closed the week with prayer; specifically, holding one another up in prayer.
“The prayers of others are like an incubator that help shape a protective environment, one which gives the Enemy a harder time penetrating and troubling you with his temptations, deceptions, and distractions … Fervent petitions by others – friends or even strangers – who want God’s best for you can help usher in and facilitate many holy moments in your life and experience.” (from Awaken, page 268)
That’s what we do for one another when we lift one another up in prayer. The devotional asks: “Who are you being diligent to cover in prayer today?”
“The whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him.” (Luke 1:10-11)
We can reach for that fresh start,
as we embrace His boundaries which lead to freedom.
We never know what will occur when we pray!