Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18

“Don’t be afraid to face the truth about your present spiritual condition; and don’t admit the thought that you have been carried captive too far and too long for restoration to be possible.  For in the swift transitions of our spiritual life, the very time that reveals a failure may reveal the remedy also, and at once that remedy may be applied and the soul delivered.  That which took years for the children of Israel may be accomplished for you in a divine moment.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 12/8

The difference is we have the Holy Spirit.  I struggle with an unresolved issue in my life for which Hannah’s words are a soothing balm.  In my attempt to be obedient in this matter I have found myself taking two steps backwards.  It would seem it better for me to do nothing rather than do something and end up sinning further.  She says that the “very time that reveals a failure may reveal the remedy also.”   It is clear to me that what has been happening is that I’ve attempted to be obedient in my own strength.  What I must do instead is to call upon the Holy Spirit at that moment--confessing my weakness and asking for His help to do what is right.  This also means, though, I must capture any thought that precedes this that may cause me not to seek out the Holy Spirit.  These thoughts generally keep me preoccupied with my “rights”.  Thomas Chalkley (1675-1741) says, “Mercy will lessen, and not magnify weakness.”  Having mercy on the person I perceive to be stepping on my rights will lessen my own weakness in being obedient.  In fact, my obedience may even require that I confront that person, but by my obedience to mercy I will also have the required love.

“But love your enemies, and do good....Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.  Luke 6:35, 36

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