February 5, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“The MVP We Need”

Psalm 121:1-4 

For I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

When I was in third grade, one of my class’s favorite recess games was Capture the Flag. I was not particularly good at this game, but you know who was? One of my friends, C, who was a Little League baseball star.  He was unbeatable: Whenever he captured the opposing team’s flag, he speedily ran back to his side. Other kids half-heartedly gave chase whenever he ran, because that’s how capable he was compared to the rest of us. Whenever I was the team captain, who did I pick first to be on my team? C, all the way. Having him on my team was an assured victory.The psalmist asks himself who he looks to for help and deliverance. In third grade, I would have looked at my friend to lead our team to victory. But who do I look to on a daily basis for my help? Unfortunately, in my reflection, I find that I often turn first towards the following non-God entities before recognizing that God is my help:

  • Physical strength: The first thing I gauge every morning is whether I am tired. If I am full of energy, I trust that my own stamina, willpower, and happiness to carry me through. 
  • Intellect: When presented with a problem, I launch into a problem-solving mode. I scan through my memory for any similar situations. I often decide that, as long as I concentrate and think about it a little harder, a solution will come to me. 
  • Other people: I rely on the abilities or influence of others to assure me that things will work out. At work, I think about who can advocate for me or will turn to their connections on my behalf if I need something. 

Today, I encourage you to take a look inside to discover who your eyes turn towards. Is it other people? Maybe yourself? (Or, perhaps, you are seeking the Lord first for guidance and strengthening – press on!). The Lord, who loves us, who created the heavens and the earth, who will never tire from doing good and who is always attentive, can be and should be our help. The Psalmist is wise to see that God is the only and best source to receive help from.

Many of us know this truth, but a reflection into our tendencies will reveal who we really turn to first. Let us ask God to give us humility and grace to remember that He is the only One who is worthy of our trust. We are foolish if we trust primarily in our abilities and those of others. Let us train ourselves to seek Him first for help and to see how He will sustain and lead us through all trouble. 

Prayer: Father, I know that You are my greatest help. I confess that I look at other people and myself for the strength and wisdom that I need. Teach me to turn to You first and find that You the One I need. Help me to not trust in my own understanding and ways but rather lean on You to reveal and provide all I need. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 2


Lunch Break Study

Read Job 37:5-13: God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. 6 For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour. 7 He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he made may know it.8 Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens.9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds.10 By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. 11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning.12 They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. 13 Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen.

Questions to Consider

  1. The context for this chapter is that Elihu speaks to Job and his friends about God. What happenings on earth are attributable to God?
  2. From Elihu’s words, what attributes of God can we understand?
  3. Let’s take time to consider the numerous works and actions of God that have surrounded you today (from the world you woke up to or circumstances in life). Spend time praising Him for His hand in all things and remembering how active He is in our world.

Notes

  1. This passage says that many natural phenomena are attributed to God. He dictates snow, rain, lightning. He also dictates our success/progress in work and even affects where animals dwell. 
  2. Much of this passage revolves around God’s vast power and majesty. The reminder that God commands the precipitation and lightning as well as the fact that it is from His hand whether we progress in our work reminds us that He is almighty God. But God does not wield that power aimlessly. He is intentional, desiring to accomplish correction and to show love to His creation in all things.
  3. Personal reflection

Evening Reflection

How was your time today? Did you notice the option to turn towards God or to turn to yourself more? Let’s ask Him to cultivate a greater dependence on Him and ask Him to show us tomorrow how we will find exactly what we need when we approach Him first.

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