April 19, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT devotional, first posted on May 20, 2016, is provided by Joanna Tzen who previously attended Grace Covenant Church.  Joanna graduated from U. Penn and currently works in Philadelphia.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Removing God in the Process”

James 4:13

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

My husband and I are hoping to be first-time home buyers. We have been looking for several months, but it sure does feel longer! We waited for a year to be sure our finances were in order, we went through the steps of securing financing and a real estate agent, and thought that we would come across our first home soon. Little did we know that we came to the real estate market at a time when prices are at an all-time high since the recession. We’ve been in several multiple-offer situations where our bid was not high enough and were turned away.

We found ourselves discouraged and wondered why: Could it be that we had unintentionally made it all about making the right steps and removed God from the process? It’s easy to get caught up in the world’s way of thinking—if I just do x, y, z, surely I’ll get the result I want. But when we don’t get the result we want and become upset, it reveals our entitled attitude. It’s times like these where we can evaluate whether our hearts are truly after the gifts or the Giver of those gifts.

James exhorted his audience, the early church, to trust in the Lord and not remove Him from the equation, even in the mundane things of life. That advice is still pertinent to us in the present-day. It’s difficult for us to strike that balance where we live in the present, plan for the future and yet have the humility to submit our future plans to God (Prov. 3:5-6). Do we buy into the lie of self-reliance or do we bring the details of our life our Heavenly Father? Let us entrust our fears, hopes and dream to our Heavenly Father.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we reduce our decisions to our own actions. Let us not be proud but remember, even as we are faithful stewards of our time and talents, that You know what is best for us as your children.

Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 33

Lunch Break Study  

Read 2 Peter 3:8: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the Lord sovereign over in this verse?
  2. Does that give you peace or anxiety? Why?


  1. God is sovereign over time, and His perspective on time is very different than ours. 
  2. Both, depending on your perspective. It can bring peace when you know of God’s character and that He can be trusted. It can bring anxiety when we have held on to our own plans and timeline more tightly than we realized.

Evening Reflection

What area are you having difficulty surrendering to the Lord? Is it an issue of timing? Ask the Lord to give you peace by reminding you of why He is trustworthy. Preach the gospel to yourself to be reminded that if the Lord provided for your greatest need in salvation, He is faithful to provide for all of your other needs.