Daily Devotions

Submission

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"Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death."

(Psalm 68:20)

 

The New Interpreter's Bible commentary sums up this verse by stating, "Ultimately, salvation is to be found in submission to God rather than in the assertion of self." Humanity is incredibly powerful. We have accomplished amazing, if not miraculous, things. Yet, humanity makes very weak and unjust gods.

 

There are two key reasons why submission to God is necessary. First, humanity is corrupt. Sin is part of the human condition. No matter what humans touch, without the Holy Spirit's direction, if falls apart. Justice does not last long with human leadership. Second, humanity's power will never extend beyond death. Not only are human being morally and ethically corrupt, but we are powerless over death. Only God can conquer sin and death and bring us life eternal.

 

Psalm 68 calls us to submission before God. In your prayer today, focus on offering God your life. Take a few moments in your prayer and consider your priorities. What gets in the way of worshiping God? What is keeping you from a stronger, more consistent faith? What do you need to do, in order to strengthen your faith? Then close your prayer by calling on the Holy Spirit to guide your priorities. Be intentional, each evening sit down with your calendar and plan the following day, with a time of prayer on the schedule. God will bless your commitment.  

Our Guide

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"Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth." (Psalm 67:4)

 

What in the world does this verse mean? It doesn't feel like God judges the people with equity. While our nation lives with comparative safety, freedom, and many forms of security, the Syrian people are tortured, murdered, while others are now displaced. That is, at least, what is happening in the moment.

 

We have a tendency to put God on trial for war crimes, because it feels as if unfairness is all around us. At the same time, people bristle at the idea of predestination, demanding free will. God gives the world free will, and that free will creates corruption, prejudice, and ultimately, blood shed. If God controlled the world, keeping everyone equal, we would scream that God was some kind of puppet master.

 

The key descriptive word in verse four is "guide." A "guide" encourages, directs and prompts. Yet, the people the guide directs must still respond by following the guide's direction. It is not God's fault if sinful humanity ignores and even defies God's guidance, at least not in the short term. Over the long term, we can take great comfort in the fact that God judges and guides.

 

While in the relative short term, horrors take place, but justice seems to ultimately prevail. The Nazi's were not victorious. The Spanish Inquisition ultimately failed. The very fact that we have yet to nuke our world into oblivion, can only be by the protective hand of God.

 

In your prayers today, offer praise and thanksgiving to God for protecting and preserving our world. Then, offer prayers of intercession for those in present suffering. Finally, pray for God to continue guiding this world. With so many nations with nuclear capability, or close to capability, we need God's care more than ever before. Thank you God, that we are not alone in negotiating  through this nuclear quagmire.   

 

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