Promotion by Erosion*
- August 5, 2020
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. – Psalm 27:1-3
Ever come to that place in life where you have reached the conclusion that you have had enough? Now let me be careful here – I’m not talking about doing anything dangerous or harmful. I’m thinking about those moments in life where you pause, assess things, and say to yourself, “I don’t like where I am today. It’s time for something else.” And so with that in mind, we begin to ask God for a few things. We seek His blessing, asking Him to provide us with new opportunities, new challenges, and promotion to new levels in our life, our work, and in our ministries. But I wonder if we truly understand what it is we are asking for when we approach the throne with this request.
Change is a word that we often talk about. For many, change is desired but unattained. The reason for this is simple: Change of any type requires work. Change without work is deterioration, but even that requires a certain level of energy to be exerted to cause things to break down. Still don’t get it? Consider rocks in a stream. Even the hardest of rocks in a current will eventually grow smooth because of the water running over them. Think about it – an element as soft as water creates a level of friction strong enough to erode solid rock. The change to the stones will take place over time, but only after they have endured enough friction to effectively change them.
As for the results, they are magnificent! The rocks change from being rough and ugly to something smooth and decorative. So just as a rock will endure enough friction to change it into something more beautiful, we too must face friction to experience the changes we need and desire.
God is the artist who is busy at work creating a masterpiece in each of us. However, by choosing man as His medium, God is working with pieces far more challenging than any stone, clay or canvas. The marble did not tell Michelangelo where to carve. The canvas never ran away from Picasso as he started to paint. But we – a creation given the will to choose our own path – can be incredibly uncooperative when He works to make changes in us. Our stubbornness, sloth, impatience, and distrust will hinder His abilities to work in us. Some of us avoid change. Some desire it but want it to happen without the friction or discomfort. Some are unable to accept it because we are chained to a past that prevents us from embracing the change – no matter how positive it may be. Still others simply know better and reject His changes in favor of making their own choices.
Now remember, allowing the process of change to take place in your life is not easy. Our routines became our routines for a reason. Taking the steps to do what is right, to do what is best, and to do things that we’re not comfortable with can leave us facing some of the most difficult challenges we will ever know. But ask anyone who has ever accomplished what they set out to do and they will probably tell you that reaching their goal was worth the struggle and the pain. Furthermore, success in one area can drive us to work harder to receive the other blessings God has in store for us: the restoration of broken relationships, financial stability, improved health, and success in ministry.
So, here is the plan. Begin by asking God for guidance as you work to change, making known the desires of your heart. Follow up by asking for Him to guide you to the resources needed in each of these areas. Finally, follow up the learning with action – taking the necessary steps to prepare yourself for God to work in your life. When the pieces are in place and the time is right, I believe that God will do what He has promised to do in my life – and in yours. Maintain your hope, build your faith, and act with the power of our great and mighty God working on your behalf.
*Used with permission
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services