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Day 27

GOD’S INITIATIVE

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us …

EPHESIANS 3:20

At times we feel as if we could impress God with all we’re trying to do for Him and His church. Yet God isn’t impressed with even the most grandiose human aspirations (see Ps. 8:3-4). You’ll never set a goal so big or attempt a task so significant that God doesn’t have something far greater that He could do in and through your life. Saul of Tarsus worked harder than anyone else to impress God with his efforts, only to discover that his greatest achievements were just garbage compared to God’s will for his life (see Phil. 3:7-8).

Our problem is that we become too easily enamored with our own plans. If we’re attempting to do noble or difficult things, we assume that we must be experiencing the maximum potential for our lives and that God, therefore, must be pleased with us. But until we’ve heard from God, we can’t even imagine all our lives could become or all God could accomplish through us.

The most dramatic changes in your life will come from God’s initiative, not yours. The people God used mightily in Scripture were all ordinary people to whom He gave divine assignments they never could have initiated. The Lord often took them by surprise, for they weren’t seeking significant mandates from God. Even so, He saw their hearts, and He knew they were trustworthy.

The Lord spoke to Abram when He was beginning to build a nation dedicated to His purposes. Through this nation would come the Savior. God appeared to Moses at the very time He had purposed to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt. God found in Jesse’s youngest son, David, a godly man who could lead His people. God surprised Mary when He told her she’d be the mother of the Messiah. God’s Son selected the twelve disciples—all ordinary, uneducated men—when He was ready to take the good news of His salvation to the world. Through the ages God has taken the initiative in the everyday lives of people to accomplish things through them that they never could have imagined.

The Lord may be initiating some new things in your life. When He tells you what His plans are, trust Him and walk closely with Him. Don’t let the busyness of your present activity keep you from experiencing all God has in store for you. You’ll see Him accomplish things through your life that you never dreamed possible (see Eph. 3:20).

We need to remind ourselves that the Father sees the big picture, that His power far exceeds our limited imagination. We must set aside our own agenda, no matter how lofty. We must never become satisfied with our own dreams, for they are finite at best. When we follow God’s direction, we’ll witness things happening in our lives that can be explained only by His powerful presence. How could we be satisfied with anything less?

What plans of your own do you honestly feel should impress God or deserve His blessing?

What area of your life would be the easiest to adjust to God’s will? What area would be the most difficult or significant to adjust if God required change?

What will you do to completely open yourself up to God’s initiative?

What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?

Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.

What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]

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