Today is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. 30 days until Galveston!
“But what do we know of the heart nearest to our own? What do we know of our own heart?” – Amelia Barr
Today is Eat A Hoagie Day. We just might do that, too.
The reason we might do that is that tonight is our semi-monthly Anchor prayer gathering. We don’t try to cook anything at home on those night, as the gathering starts at 7:00, and I don’t normally get home until right around 6:00. So we might stop at Subway, either before or after. That may not technically be a “hoagie,” but it’s the closest thing we have around here.
Nothing much else going on. Yesterday was a pretty normal day, work-wise. The Rangers continued their beat-down of the Astros, winning in the ninth inning, 3-2. They are still 9.5 up on the second place Mariners, who have won seven consecutive games. That’s not much of a threat, however, as the Rangers’ magic number is now 8. I saw an interesting statistic, yesterday, tweeted by Buster Olney, with ESPN. He said that, if the Rangers and Astros don’t play each other, the Astros are 72-55 and the Rangers are 72-56. However, after last night, the Rangers are 15-3 against the Astros. Olney said that the Rangers have singlehandedly wrecked the Astros’ season. The Rangers are now 87-59. They have sixteen games left. They need to win half of those games to clinch the division.
The Red Sox lost to the Orioles, 6-3. The Boo Jays lost, which put them in a tie with the Orioles for second place, both two games behind the Sox. With 18 games left, the Red Sox’s magic number is 17. That’s too close.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! Psalm 113
When we feel condemned or in despair, God enters into our emotions and circumstances and “then lifts us into his purposes in Jesus Christ. The story of every soul in Christ has an upward thrust and a joyous goal.”
“I search my own heart, O God, and find cause only for humiliation and despair. I look around at the world and see only degradation and defeat. And then I lift my eyes to you and see redemption and love. Praise the Lord! Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3
This is a rather complicated reading, but, on reflection, I believe it does make sense.
“Simplicity is the secret of seeing things clearly.” To help clarify, the KJV of the verse above says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (Emphasis mine.) When we get into a spiritual muddle, Chambers says, we have to “obey it clear.” We cannot think it through, but we must make it clear by obedience. The more we think and rationalize, the more muddled it will get. “If there is something upon which God has put His pressure, obey in the matter, bring your imagination into captivity to the obedience of Christ with regard to it and everything will become as clear as daylight.” Does it seem overly simplistic? Perhaps, but remember that Jesus told us that we need to become as little children in our attitudes about the Kingdom.
“The tiniest thing we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is quite sufficient to account for spiritual muddle, and all the thinking we like to spend on it will never make it clear.” It will only be made clear by obedience. As intellectual beings, we tend to find this humiliating, and perhaps that is what makes it so difficult. We want to think it through. We want to use our minds to solve the problem. But then, once we reach our wits’ end, we finally give in and obey God, and suddenly, all is clear. At that point, we feel stupid, thinking, “Why didn’t I just do that first?”
Simplicity is the key. Obedience.
Father, teach me this simplicity of obedience. I seem to be in spiritual muddle a lot, these days. However, that doesn’t discourage me. I’m actually encouraged, because I see it as a sign of you working in my life. Now, teach me the simplicity of obedience to clear up my spiritual vision. Help me to take that imagination captive and simply obey what I know you want me to do. And if that isn’t clear to me, then I pray that you help me to see what it is that I need to obey.
Come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.