Sometimes the Christian life is filled with emotion. In worship, overwhelmed by His tender love. In prayer, our heart is warmed by the nearness of His spirit. In reading scripture, gripped and encouraged by the assurance of the promises He will never leave nor forsake us. And, sometimes in our faith journey, there are no emotions at all. There are seasons when we have to make hard, cold, practical choices to believe, follow and trust God, to just keep on going with nothing more than simple faith. This week's devos are about following Jesus without feelings. Hopefully, these devos will strengthen anything that's shaky in your foundation. Share them with others and seek to follow Him past your feelings.
“. . . Why we were not able to cast it out?” Mark 9:28
You don’t live close enough to God, was Jesus’ answer to the disciples’ question about deliverance. The disciples had asked because they saw only the difficulty and forgot the power they had at their disposal.
And so it is with us, when we fail at getting free of our struggles, or praying for the release of others, we think far too much of the problem and far too little of the person of Jesus, who is waiting to work in our situation. But He can only work through our set-apart and willing lives. We fail because we fall out of communion with Him. Our connection is broken off by being consumed with our own weakness.
There is an ever-present lesson here to be learned and remembered. God gifts us, but unless we maintain close contact with Him, it may shrivel due to lack of power. God gifts His people with many, various gifts – singing, serving, teaching, hospitality and many others, but unless we maintain a connection to Jesus, we are in danger of becoming people of many actions, but no power.
Without maintaining constant contact with God, we forfeit two things:
We lose drive
We lose what some call the plus factor – it’s what makes the mediocre magnificent. We should not forget, it’s the living power of God which creates movement and momentum in ministry. Without the drive of God, all we do becomes performance, instead of an offering to God.
We lose dependence
When what God designed to be used to make His presence visible begins to be used for our own ends, and the essence is drained out of ministry. All the character, faith, excellence, generosity, hope, innocence, love, respectability, worth, value, and respect are lost. What was designed to set God before others, is used to set ourselves before others. Ministry in the flesh asphyxiates all the beauty of serving Him.
We are equipped with power from Jesus, but if it’s not nurtured with prayer, the power vanishes. Whatever gifts God has given us can be lost if we use them for ourselves. We keep them and grow them by maintaining continual contact with the God who gave them.
Think it through: Do you have any right to expect God to use you if you don’t maintain continual contact with Him? Should you expect any demonstration from God if you haven’t given yourself fully to Him?