Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Informing the Soul

We are in danger of forgetting that
we cannot do what God does,

and that God will not do what we can do.

We cannot save ourselves nor

sanctify ourselves,

God does that;

but God will not give us good habits,

He will not give us character,

He will not make us walk aright.

We have to do all that ourselves,

we have to work out the salvation

God has worked in.

Oswald Chambers
The above is a quote from "My Utmost for His Highest" yesterday, May 10. The overriding thought was linked to virtue, but that's not what summoned my notice. Something else gripped me, and that had everything to do with intentionality. What's more, it was the very answer to a prayer I've been praying for many weeks now.

Wringing out the wisdom of God's way versus my own still challenges me. My way would be to allow my feelings to inform my thoughts, and from there craft a decision, or take aggressive action (unless, that is, I take the passive part and do nothing).

His way is that I would permit HIS MIND to inform me. All of me. His thoughts are the filter by which my feelings are brought under His control. I gain perspective and balance, and from there I am able to craft a decision or action that is, hopefully, the most God-honoring - even if it requires a bent neck on my part. Both aggression and passivity are flushed.

This then is the route & way of walking in the light. (Ever notice He never tells us to sit in the light?)

What a HUGE distinction lies between my ways and His! Either my feelings are life's rudder, or His word (His mind, His spirit) is.

This is not new stuff, either for me or you. It's merely (can such be said of anything ordained?) the wisdom we wring from doing life His way in lieu of our own. It's obedience that will, eventually, result in peace.

Unless God has an eye that does not see, neither love nor faith is blind! He will always lead us to the higher ground, and our steps will be intentional - not contrived nor coerced.

My way just might settle for the shadows or a hasty retreat. Worse, they might entail a frontal assault to the jugular.

No thank you.
... as God's chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and
forgive whatever grievances you may
have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together
in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body
you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Colossians 3:12-16



Debbie said...

I've often allowed my emotions to direct my steps. However, my desire is to walk in His ways and not my own.

Yesterday for a time I became overwhelmed with feelings of such fear and anxiety. But then I remembered. I made the choice to replace those emotions with the Truth and began to focus on Scriptures.

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

You are so wise and I appreciate that you share what the Lord is teaching you with us. I for one am listening.

Love you,

Yolanda said...

When my husband and I read this devotion yesterday morning, it really spoke to me as well. Intentional Living.


Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

You bless me. :)

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

This is my biggest struggle as well. I've been known to pray for wisdom and guidance about something then proceed to suggest to the Lord how He might go about it as if I know better than He does. Something He's working on in me. Trust is the issue and with the Lord it needs to be wholehearted trust.

Shirl said...

Good words for today!!! I'm reading a Joyce Meyer book about the mind being a battleground. Every action, every word begins with a thought in our mind. What I have been reading makes this especially relevant to me today. Hugs!

Sonja said...

Oh how I love your gift of esxpression... this is exactly what I would have said... if I could have!! :)

His way is the way of trust... it's an ungoing learning curve for me.



~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Great post Kathleen. Thank You Lord!

Sonja said...

p.s. of course, I DO have the 'gift' of spell check, and seeing my comments above, maybe I should start with that!

Runner Mom said...

Amen, Kathleen!

Heart2Heart said...


This is the perfect reminder of why we need to not only stay rooted in the world of God but to get out there and practice it too. Too many Christians get fat just sitting in church but do nothing with what they have learned. We will win more people to Christ by showing what we've learned than merely praying for them in our homes.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Saleslady371 said...

I've really been targeting living by His Word and not analyzing. And I'm finding it is not passive or active, it is, indeed, obedience! Look forward to tomorrow!

manthano said...

Thanks Kathleen.
The temptation is to allow our
feelings to guide us. That of
course leads to trouble. My we
as you say stay rooted in His
word allowing our mind and
desires to be formed by Him.

RCUBEs said...

Proverbs 3:5,6 -"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." came to mind while reading your post. I always share this with my child followed by Isaiah 55:8,9 -"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

You always have a way of grasping any word and convey a thought provoking meaning. God bless you sister. Thanks for a wonderful post!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Oh, Sassy, friend, I really need you in this season of my life. As you know, we're in the midst of moving--a "feeling" experience if ever there was one, and for the first time today... I felt the weight of my fear, worry, and uncertainty of it all. Top that with the mountaintop experience of having a book published and all the highs and lows of the adventure, well, I'm just about undone over here.

I need the mind of Christ regarding my "next." For the most part, I'm there, but then a moment happens that takes my breath away, and I'm reminded of the fragility of my flesh. Would you pray for me? I'll do the same for you, friend.

Maybe we should write a book about these things...

I certainly think you should. We'd all buy your wisdom via God's heart in spades!


Karen Lange said...

I confess to be a work in progress:) Wise words, thanks so much.

Rita said...

What a very great reminder that we have a God that can do anything, but wants our best for Him! We often find ourselves wanting Him to do everything for us, but He wants the best of us!

Jackie said...

Wonderful teaching Kathleen! I often remind myself that "it's" a faith walk - step by step- not a faith sprint!

I needed this today......You bless me so!

Sweet Blessings!

Diana said...

Thanks for the great words.

Second time TODAY these words have come my way--"God will not do what we can do."

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Someone once said that if you want to know God's will, first walk in His revealed will (His word).

Several years ago, I had to make two major life and death decisions. I sought counsel, weighed the pros and cons, and separated my emotions/personal want to from the equation. Eventually, I followed the peace in my heart even though I didn't like any of my options.

Susan :)

~*Michelle*~ said...

"Either my feelings are life's rudder, or His word (His mind, His spirit) is. "

wow. powerful!