Wednesday, November 21, 2012
"Now devote your heart and soul to seeking your God." -- 1 Chronicles 22:19
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever." -- Psalm 107:1
My Bible study lesson this morning led me to read Joshua 24:22-27. It always seems to go back to those silly Israelites who have seen the miracles of the Lord, have been saved by the Lord countless times, but they STILL refuse to rely solely on Him and create their own gods to worship. I get so frustrated at those Israelites! Don't they see God in everything???? But, maybe their stories are the mirror I need to hold up against my own life. Maybe there are many stories about them forgetting the power and love of God in order to remind me of the many times I have forgotten God's power and love in my life.
Joshua tells the people to "throw away their foreign gods and yield your hearts to the Lord." (Joshua 24:23)
The word yield has many meanings. It can be used to talk about a harvest: to be fruitful and productive. Or it can mean to give up, or give way to influence or pressure. In my estimation, the way it is used in Joshua COULD mean both! If we give our hearts TO God and give up our own selfish desires and needs...give in to God's influence in our lives, then God will see to it that we bear fruit...that our hearts are warmed to others and others will see God through us and be drawn to him, producing more people who then yield their hearts to God as well.
Even Jesus yielded to God's plan. In the garden before his long trial and painful death, Jesus cries out to God. He knows what is coming. He knows what he will suffer. He asked that God take it away. The story could have stopped right there. God COULD have called Jesus back to heaven in that instant. But, Jesus didn't stop by asking God to take it away. He immediately went on to say, "yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)
Dear Lord, this morning, I yield my heart to you. Help me to make again and keep the commitment I have made to you. Remind me of the times you have done wonders in my life and saved me again and again. Help me to see the times in my life when I have turned away from you and created my own "gods" to take your place. Help me today to devote my heart and soul to seeking you. I thank you for being a good and forgiving and saving God who does endure forever! Amen