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Daily Devotionals

Day 17 – Issue 16

todayMay 1, 2015 4

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Be Still Know

Ephesians 3:16 NLT

‘I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.’

When provoked, I react. Of course the source of the provocation may be entirely unaware of their impact upon me. My reaction is honed by decades of responding the same way in similar circumstances. So much so, I can react even before the provocation has taken shape. This the result of years of ploughing along similar furrows, furrows that have now become trenches out of which I can only step with significant effort. I limit my options through the use and abuse of my response.

This is one reason I find it difficult to associate transformation with the Christian message. My life was not in a bad place when I chose Jesus. It lay outside any acceptance of God’s salvation message, yet I was hardly dangling over a precipice of destruction. I assumed that by osmosis ie spontaneous self-improvement, I would become like Jesus. Only, five decades on and I am still subject to the same provocations and reactions. This is especially painful when responding unkindly and unacceptably to my wife.

The challenge lies in the narrative my brain quickly builds around an attitude, action or statement. It locates it in an historic context, and all the times I’ve sensed it before, the narrative informs me to respond in the same way. However, God wants to support us in establishing a firebreak! Somehow I need to discover a way of self-interruption which centres me on God rather than the distracting thoughts now racing through my head. I feel alone in the moment, God is far away, and every fibre in my being wants to react according to precedent.

For me the journey along the contemplative road has offered the first sign of real help. Having established a practice of silence and watchfulness, I am increasingly sensitised to my own changing mood. I hear the narrative begin; however, I neither ignore it nor fight it. I turn to a breath prayer, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I am conveyed towards God and away from my instinctive reaction.

QUESTION: In what ways has following Christ changed you?

PRAYER: Lord, you say I am a new creation yet so often I feel unchanged. Holy Spirit, renew your image within me today.

Written by: Matt Weet

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