When Things Aren't as They Should Be

A good indicator of your desire to “walk a path” that will lead you closer to God is that you are reading these scriptures and devotional thoughts. His path will lead you to know and love Him and will transform you into someone who increasingly reflects His goodness.

Monday – Psalm 119.103-106. A map is essential if we desire to arrive at a specific location. The Psalmist tells us that God’s word is the light for our path. Dallas Willard says that of all the spiritual practices, memorizing scripture might be the most important. Because without the scripture, without a map, it is difficult to find our way. Pray and ask your Father to increase your desire for His word. Select a passage of scripture that is especially meaningful to you and set yourself to memorizing it. Some suggestions:
Psalm 23, Philippians 2.5-11, I Corinthians 13.4-7.

Tuesday – I Timothy 6.11-12. If we want to stay on a healthy financial path, we choose to create a budget, or limit time spent shopping. If we want to stay on a healthy living path, we avoid late night treks to the refrigerator. If we want to stay on the path of kingdom living, what do we need to avoid? It’s different for all of us. Perhaps it’s an overcrowded schedule where there is no time to experience God. Or is it comparison – noticing all that others have and being blind to the blessings you have received? Ask God to show you what practices you need to flee from and those which you can embrace that will help shape God’s life in you.

Wednesday – John 4.4-14. One of the keys to staying on the path is to be so satisfied with our life in God that other paths lose their attraction for us. “Those who experience moral failure are those who have failed to live a deeply satisfied life in Christ. If I have a strong temptation, it will be out of my dissatisfaction. The surest guarantee against failure is to be so at peace and satisfied with God that when wrongdoing presents itself it isn’t even interesting. That is the living water” (Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy). Spend some time today simply enjoying God…in nature, with a child, through music. Pray to allow His living water to revive your love for Him.

Thursday – Proverbs 12.26. If the desire of our hearts is to live our lives for Christ, one of the best tools we can have is a group of like-minded travelers. Imagine trying to hike a mountain trail with people who want to play golf or tennis, folks who are just not interested in being on the journey. It would make for a challenging and lonely journey. It is hard to pursue God when influenced only by those who are not interested. If this is a need in your life, ask God to help you find some traveling companions who are walking the same path you’re on…through a small group or just a phone call for coffee. If you have such friends, give thanks.

Friday – James 1.13-16. According to James, we stray to the wrong path “when we are dragged away” by our own evil desire. The key is not to do away with desires, but to transform them. Jonathan Edwards said, “We always do what we most want to do.” As with all matters of transformation, it begins in the heart, not with behavior. Anything we desire more than a life with God has potential for becoming a wayward path for us: success, having our own way, looking good, money, fun, even love. Father, increase my desire for you and your kingdom-life.

Saturday – I Corinthians 12.14-19,27. Dr. Henry Cloud says that in areas where we repeatedly struggle to stay on the right path, we often need an outside structure. Think: Weight-Watchers or Celebrate Recovery. These outside structures act as sign posts to point us in the right direction, encourage us, and celebrate our progress. Invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate any area in your life where you could use a support system to help you navigate your way to a life of greater freedom in Christ.