Don’t Be Devoted to Convictions

“But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemingway
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is puckish, which means, “mischievous; impish.”

Today is Hug An Australian Day. If I could find one, I would!

Christi is packing for her trip. Her plane leaves at approximately 9:00 this morning. Last night, we enjoyed a couple episodes of 11-22-63 on Hulu, while eating too much pizza. I mean, seriously, I’m still full this morning. Bleah. And I always say I’ll never do that again. Hah! It’s too easy to say that after the fact, isn’t it?

I’m somewhat sad that she is leaving for this trip, but, as they say, “This, too, shall pass.” I don’t like sleeping by myself, even in our own bed. It’s just not right. I also know that she’s going to be exhausted when she gets back. The schedule for this convention is grueling. She has to be up for breakfast by 6:00 every morning, and events don’t stop until 10:00 at night.

The Red Sox squeaked out a 1-0 victory over the Braves, last night, while the Rangers flirted with being no-hit by a Yankees pitcher. The Rangers finally managed to get a hit in the 7th, and a run in the 8th, but still lost 3-1. The Sox are in second, only a 1.5 behind Baltimore, and the Rangers are tied for second with Oakland, .5 behind Seattle. The Mariners have quietly sneaked into first place!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57

Note the contrasts in this prayer. On the one hand, we have “storms of destruction” and lions, fiery beasts, and people with sharp swords for tongues, and on the other hand, the steadfast love and faithfulness of God. “There is no contest.” All of the things that threaten the Psalmist, in the end give way to songs of praise!

“O God, wake me out of the nightmare fantasies of sin and temptation that threaten my peace with you, that I may live in the daylight of your purpose and be alert and attentive to your love for me in Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“The Supreme Climb”

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Genesis 22:2

Abraham was ready to do anything for God, even to the point of killing the only promised son, Isaac. “Character determines how a man interprets God’s will.” We must obey what God tells us, “according to our sincere belief,” so that God can break us from “traditions that misrepresent him.” If we stay true to him, “God will take us through an ordeal which will bring us out into a better knowledge of himself.”

But we must always be ready to break from traditions and convictions. We cannot be devotees to our convictions. This is the mindset of fanatics. If Abraham had been thinking this way, he would have gone ahead and killed Isaac, claiming that “the voice of the angel was the voice of the devil.” Ponder this for a while. Our convictions sometimes get in our way, and God will tear those down in order to bring us into a deeper, more intimate knowledge of himself.

Father, there have been times in my life when I have been devoted to convictions, rather than to gaining deeper knowledge of you. You have brought me a long way in this regard, but let me not fool myself; there is still far to go. I desire to be brought into that deeper, better knowledge of you. Keep drawing me in, Father, by the continued knowledge and learning of Jesus Christ and his ways. May I put his words into practice in my life and find them to be true.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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