Do We Seek God, Or Only His Gifts?

“How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.” ― Gore Vidal, Julian
(Goodreads)

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is amanuensis, which means, “a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another; secretary.”

Today is Prime Rib Day. Great. Now I’m hungry.

I didn’t sleep very well, last night, but didn’t expect to. Combined with the fact that Christi is in Vegas, we had some storms roll through between 9:30 and 10:30 last night. Nothing severe, it turns out, even though the possibility was there. We just got a lot of thunder and rain, and some wind. The plus side is I don’t have to water the yard, this morning.

Not much else going on around here. We have our bi-monthly . . . no, wait. I think it’s semi-monthly. Twice a month . . . prayer meeting tonight, meeting a the house of some of our members. This usually turns out to be a good time of prayer and fellowship.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth.

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter.
O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!
Let them vanish like water that runs away; when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns, whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Psalm 58

In this context, Peterson says, “you gods” refers to unjust leaders. The Psalmist is calling them out for “their reeking injustice.” As is normally the case, he moves from indignation to faith and hope in the righteous judgments of God.

“‘Judge eternal, throned in splendor, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, with Thy living fire of judgment purge our land of bitter things; solace all its wide dominion with the healing of Thy wings.’ (Henry Scott Holland, ‘Judge Eternal’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“What Do You Want?”

And do you seek great things for yourself?
Jeremiah 45:5

Good question: “What do you want?” Are we seeking great things for ourselves? God desires that we be in a closer relationship with him than just receiving his gifts. He wants us to know him. “There is nothing easier than getting into a right relationship with God except when it is not God Whom you want but only what He gives.”

If we have only gotten to where we are asking God for things, we “have never come to the first strand of abandonment.” If we ask God for the fullness of the Spirit, and do not get it, God will point out the reason, “you are not seeking the Lord at all, you are seeking something for yourself.” When we draw near to God, we will cease from asking for things.” There is an errant theology out there that says that God is only interested in blessing us and making us happy. God is not interested in making me happy. God wants me to have the ultimate joy, however, and that joy comes only when I know him and desire him rather than the gifts he gives.

Father, I do not desire happiness. I desire joy, and I desire for that joy to be found only in you. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. Show me your ways, that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Help me to abide in you and in the words of Jesus Christ.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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