December 5, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Ephesians 1:16-20

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

I was always amazed by the power of a child’s imagination. Anything and everything can turn into some great fantasy for a child. Take for example a broomstick: For us, it is used for cleaning purposes only; for children, it can become anything—a flying magical stick or maybe even a great sword. They may even spend hours flying around in their imagination. But as we get older, we start to see how such naïve and childish imaginations have no place in the real world. Yet some of the greatest breakthroughs in history came from a person’s imagination. Nelson Mandela once said that “the power of imagination created the illusion that my vision went much farther than the naked eye could actually see.” It was his imagination that allowed Mandela to see a completely different world driven by peace that was so outside of reality.  

And this is Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus—that the eyes of their hearts may be enlightened to the immeasurable greatness of his power given to us as believers. Why is this so crucial? It’s because if we’re not careful, there exists a danger in which we may lose our sense of awe and wonder towards God. Our faith is constantly threatened by our own familiarity and can become limited by what we deem as possible. As a result, “we limit God’s help to our own ideas and we do not dare promise ourselves more than we conceive in our minds” (John Calvin). Faith was never supposed to be limited by our own means. It was always supposed to be grounded in His immeasurable power.

It may seem a little naïve at times, but may we never lose our wonder of God. He can take some of the most common and ordinary things in our lives and use them for His glory. May we continue to walk by faith and not by sight—believing God will do more than we can imagine!

Prayer: God, we confess our lack of faith in You. Forgive us that we turn to our own ways and limit what You can do in our lives. Restore us back to a place of wonder that is grounded in Your truth. Increase our faith so that we may experience You in a new and fresh way. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 5


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Kings 6:15-19: When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Questions to Consider

  1. Notice the different reactions between the servant and Elisha. What can we learn from this?
  2. How can we fix our eyes upon the Lord?
  3. Considering this passage, how should this change us?

Notes

  1. The servant, seeing with his physical eyes, naturally sees the enemy coming upon them. This results in both fear and anxiety that leads the servant to panic. The servant focuses on his own ability, while Elisha’s eyes are focused on the Lord. While the servant turns to man, Elisha turns to God.
  2. Rather than looking at their situation, Elisha deliberately turns to prayer. Because the servant is focused on the physical world, he cannot see God’s power. As Elisha prays for him, the servant’s eyes are then opened, and he finds both peace and confidence. It is in prayer where we can find the faith to fight.  
  3. Personal response. May our first instinct be to turn to prayer and to Him. May we have the discernment to see how God sees things, rather than what we see with our physical eyes.

Evening Reflection

Mark 9 speaks of a situation in which a father asks Jesus to come and heal his dying son. Jesus condemns their lack of faith, to which the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” In this interaction we see that Jesus responds to the man’s desperation and honesty. Sometimes, faith begins with an honest confession of how much we can fall short. But take hope—even the faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Spend some time asking God to help you in your areas of unbelief and to give you a little more faith.

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