Psalm 2:1 asks the question, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain against the Lord?” It’s because within the cunning imagination of man is that prideful idea that we can control our own destiny…but this all just vanity. For God’s Will prevails over all… and He will carry out His plan and purpose for His glory. We may think we know the answers…but only God can see from beginning to end and around every corner of life.
Paul was more than just encouraging his fellow Believers here…he was beseeching and imploring them to take that decisive and dedicated step called sanctification. Why? When we first become a Christian we tend to hold on to parts of us that are comfortable, easy, or allow us to cope. But as we journey along with the Lord, He starts to demand we separate ourselves from those things. This process can be painful, but necessary for us to fully become God’s. Holiness or sanctification is being totally His…with nothing withheld…and Paul recognized that this was not only God’s Will but the very least thing we could do in view of the Lord’s sacrifice for us. (I Corinthians 6:20)
If you get nothing else from this devotional today…please grasp this concept – nothing is too hard for the Lord. Job’s personal relationship with God helped him understand that nothing could hinder or stop God’s plan and purpose. Ephesians 1:11 says, “According to the plan of Him Who works everything in conformity with the purpose of His Will.” There is nothing that can prevent God’s Will from being fulfilled, for all power and might are in His hands. So if you’re facing impossible challenges today…take heart, nothing is too hard for the Lord.
It tells us in John 12:25 that, “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Everyday is a struggle, where our affections are pulled one way or the other. The glitter and lure of the world is great, with its promises of immediate gratification and unending ecstasy. But the cold hard truth is that our excessive fondness for things of the world will only lead us down a path to self-destruction and death. For the world tells us to live today to the fullest… to eat, drink, and be merry, with no regard for tomorrow. But the Lord tells us that there is life beyond the grave, and that the world is blinding us from this truth. If I want to save my life, I must lose it in the person of Jesus Christ…I must turn my focus and affections from the temporal to the eternal…from the fleeting to the everlasting.
Living for Christ is hard…there’s no way around it. The moment you say “Yes” to Jesus, the world labels you as “One of those crazy religious people”. But it’s by those troubles we encounter that we learn perseverance and are forged into a willing vessel for God . And with each difficulty, we go from wounded to winner. As Oswald Chambers once said, “Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His Highest – our best for His glory?” Yes, the way is narrow and filled with difficulties, but just look where it leads.
Make no bones about it – Satan would like you dead…and He’s out to kill you by any means he can. He’d love to get you entangled in an addiction that would take your life, or get you to compromise and make bad choices that would lead to your demise. You see, Satan doesn’t have an ounce of compassion or regard for you. He’d rather take your joy…ruin your life…and ravage your body than watch you grow strong in the Lord. But in Jesus Christ…you are stronger than any threat Satan can throw your way…you are more powerful than any addiction that holds you bound…and you are tougher than you could ever imagine yourself.
Job recognized and understood that the plans and purposes of the Lord couldn’t be stopped. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus made the statement that, “with God all things are possible.” This wasn’t a qualifying statement. Rather, when He said all, He meant all. Oh that we could have the same kind of discernment that Job had…the same kind of boldness, that when God says all things are possible, we know He means it. For God is a promise-making God…but more importantly, He’s a promise fulfilling God.