We often determine a person’s–or our own–value and worth by the role they play in different situations. A byproduct of our fallen human nature and the influence of our culture pushes us to think this way whether we realize it or not, even when we know the truth.
Leaders are seen as more important than followers, the one who gives the orders is above the one receiving, and the bottom person on the organizational chart is the least important.
“Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:23-27
The idea of guarding our heart from corrupting influences and fixing our gaze on the correct path are often closely linked. Jesus instructs us that our eyes are the gateway to our souls.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” – Matthew 21:22
We know that when we pray we are to pray with faith, confident that God will act, but sometimes our faith as we pray gets shaken because we also know that we are supposed to pray “according to His will”. We sometimes wonder if we are praying according to God’s will and can become unsure in our prayers because of this.
Continuing with the short series of devotionals on John 11.
“When he heard this, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” – John 11:4
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – John 11:25-26
There aren’t really any specific directives or strategies put forth in this piece. Nor am I making any definitive statements on whether the way we currently do things is correct or not in my opinion. Much of that would be matters of the heart and personal convictions. My only goal is to put forth a few observations that hopefully make us think. Where it goes from there I don’t know. In all likelihood it would be impossible to set forth any more of a directive than to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in each situation guided by the Word.