The AMI QT Devotionals from September 11-17 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato who serves at OTR in Cincinnati. Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (B.S.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.Div.), is married to Jessica, and they have two young children: Jonah and Lily.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Living in a Fog
Genesis 3:6 (ESV)
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to them eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
During college, I was in a very unhealthy relationship. I knew that God did not approve of it, but I was convinced that He didn’t know what He was talking about—I knew what I needed to be happy and He did not. The relationship ended up being spiritually and emotionally damaging to us both. As it turned out, God was right.
In the Garden of Eden, there was a tree in the midst of the garden. God said that eating of the fruit of that tree would lead to death, but to the woman, it did not look like death; it looked like a tree good for food, a delight to the eyes, and something to be desired to make one wise.
The power of sin is greater than we think. Sin not only fuels our desire for evil, it clouds our thoughts so that evil looks like good. We live in a fog in which we cannot see; worse still, we don’t know that we cannot see. God saw death and the woman saw something delightful and desirable. And as is always true, God was right.
Brothers and sisters, today you and I will disagree with God about many things in our lives. Our thoughts appear to be objective and reasonable, but God always knows what He’s talking about. He aims to lead us away from death and destruction into a life of abundance and joy.
Oftentimes, His truth will make no sense to us. How can dying to ourselves lead to life? How can denying ourselves be freedom? How can all things work out for our good? The honest answer to these questions is that we do not know how, but God is a good Father and He is more than able to figure it out. May we ask for eyes to see the truth clearly, and when we cannot, may we reject our perception and stand on the solid rock of the Word of God.
Prayer: Father, I thank You that You are true and Your Word is truth. My heart and even my mind lead me astray so often. Give me grace to believe You over all others, even myself. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 34
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Samuel 13:8-12 (ESV): He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him.  So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering.  As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him.  Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash,  I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.”
Question to Consider
- Saul knew he was not supposed to present the offerings to God. So why did he do it?
- What is Saul blind to?
- What is blinding Saul’s eyes?
- His army began to scatter and he didn’t want to go to war without having offered the offerings. Saul makes excuses and explains that he had no choice but to disobey God in order to (ironically) seek God’s favor.
- Saul is blind to his sin and his responsibility for his sin. Saul is blind to God’s omnipotence and sovereignty.
- Saul’s ambition, fear of man, and pride blind his eyes.
Reflect upon your day. What things appeared to be life but according to God are death? For the moments you fell to temptation, ask for forgiveness. Ask Jesus for more of His grace that washes away your sin and gives you spiritual eyes to see the truth.