Choose the better part!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 10:38-42 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

So often in ministry, the Lord deals with my own spirit, saying – "You need to step back and get refocused!" And we all know how hard it is at times when we get so busy with the normal every day stresses of life tugging at our limited time.

This morning I was re-reading the story of Mary and Martha, and how Mary chose the better part, while Martha was doing the housework. Now let's not deny the real importance of housework and practical matters; let's face it, with nobody doing that stuff, what would get done? Life would be a mess! But according to Jesus, something was wrong, and Martha had her priorities out of line. And He made it very clear, Mary had chosen the better part! Mary preferred and chose relationship and intimacy with the Lord over the physical preparations and housework associated with His visit. And Jesus blessed and protected her choice.

And so the Lord has had to remind me, over and again of the importance of intimacy with Him…before getting down to the work!

It's a constant temptation to slip into an emphasis on DOING the work at hand; and even in our own personal prayer time, to be mainly focused on those "urgent ministry needs"…and completely forgetting the most important thing, the "better part"- intimacy, personal communication, just BEING with Him.

Let's resolve to choose intimacy with Jesus! Let's choose the better part! Let's resolve to spend time with the Lord and develop that intimate relationship He so wants with us. That way we will constantly experience how deep and awesome His love for us is. And it will make the work we're called to do — so much easier!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

Let's Go Deeper!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

James 4:7-10 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Why is it that some believers seem to go much deeper in their walk with God than others? I believe it has to do with a desire to pursue God and not to stop until they feel His very presence in their lives. These believers decide not to settle for anything less than a growing, vibrant relationship with God, and God honors that desire for those who seek it.

Much of our walk is determined by how we desire Him. In James, the Lord promises that if you draw near to Him — He will draw near to you. Our enemy, Satan, uses everything in his power to prevent that vibrant relationship from forming – but press through – press on – because God wants this relationship very much.

I want more! God's heart and mind are infinitely deep and there's nothing more precious than knowing Him better and better. So I'm pushing through every obstacle to really show Him how much he means to me. Let's do it together.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

Don't get too comfortable!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Exodus 5:18-23 Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quota of bricks." The Israelite foremen realized they were in trouble when they were told, "You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day." When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, "May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us." Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O LORD, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."

The story of the Exodus is a story of miracles – yet in the beginning when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh to deliver the children of Israel from 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were severely tempted and became angry because of the initial hardships that were laid upon them.

They leveled their anger at Moses because suddenly they were told that they would have to gather their own straw for making bricks. They were concerned about offending their slave-masters, fearing that they would slay them.

The Israelites were so accustomed to their slavery that they didn’t want their lives disrupted despite the fact that freedom was at hand. Resigned to this miserable life, they utterly failed to apprehend or appreciate the freedom that was soon approaching. Yes, there was a temporary price: increased hardship and great pressure would set the stage for their final deliverance.

The same can happen to us. It has often been said "The darkest night is just before the dawn"…

Perhaps the enemy senses his impending defeat and pulls out all the stops to prevent it. Perhaps the Lord loves a good story with a really dramatic and climactic ending and great glory for His Name…in any case —

Don't let yourself remain accustomed to any form of bondage – seek and believe for the freedom that God has given us through His Son. Expect a life of great victory over sin and demonic oppression – Why? Because that is His promise to us!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

We have crossed over, now let's hold on!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise.

This amazing passage defines all true believers in Messiah as "Abraham's seed and heirs according to God's promise". Abraham was known as the first Hebrew — literally, "one who crosses over!" Before he crossed over into the promised land, we know from the scriptures that Abraham lived in a deeply idolatrous society and that even his own father was an idol worshiper. (Joshua 24:2) But one remarkable day, a call came to Abraham….a call from the Most High God — and he became one who "crossed over" from idolatrous polytheism into a personal knowledge of the one true Creator God. So leaving his past behind, he entered a new life of spiritual truth and holiness and a new land of promise; a profound transformation, and for us, a beautiful picture of our own "crossing over" into the new life of Yeshua the Messiah.

Now looking at Abraham's story, do we see that his life was free of obstacles and troubles once he reached his destination in Caanan? No way! Here are a few major events: he felt forced to go into Egypt to escape a famine, where his wife, Sarah, was held captive in Pharoah's harem for an undisclosed amount of time; after being liberated, Sarah continued barren until old age; then, Abraham was required by his own deep loyalty, to rescue his worldly nephew Lot and his family, risking his own life and the lives of his men; again he was tested when following Sarah's advice, Abraham conceived a son with Hagar, whom he deeply loved but was required to send into the desert with his Egyptian wife/mother. And of course, he probably faced the greatest test of faith when God asked Abraham to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac, Sarah's only son, for whom they both had waited all their lives!

Isn't it interesting that we know nothing of Abraham's life trials before he crossed over into Caanan? Only after he crossed over do we read of the successive testings of this great man of faith — and in fact, because of those tests Abraham is considered the "father" of faith. (Romans 4:16)

We are called to bear our crosses daily, and also to respond with faith to whatever may come our way. And, praise God that when we do, we also will be known as those who "crossed over" and overcame every obstacle and trial of faith…having held firm to every great promise of God!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

Learn to Wait!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Today, Europeans are bracing for electrical outages today as a solar eclipse visible today will disrupt solar generated power straining its electrical grid and teens in Europe are preparing to live without any electricity, and (can you even imagine) – without a cell phone! For the first time in their lives they enjoyed the privilege of experiencing what life was like decades ago.  Forced to slow down, unable to text or "Facebook", everyone who lost power entered a "moment" of technological communication silence, and they waited anxiously for the powers that be to restore their normal life patterns. How many actually enjoyed this, or found some kind of relief from the tyranny of communication technology, I wonder? How many actually took any time out to “wait on the Lord”? I have to wonder if the Almighty had much more company than He was used to during this time. I kind of hope so…

The above passage speaks of "losing heart" except for the expectation of faith in the goodness of YHVH. How long could you go without electrical power before you might begin to "lose heart"? At what point would "waiting on the Lord" become your only source of hope or encouragement? How much, really, do we depend on earthly power? And how much on the power of God? Webster’s definition of "wait", is “to stay or rest in". It's a quiet place of abiding. And this kind of waiting is expectant, because in it you are awakening your conscious relationship with the God of Creation, and you have every reason to expect His comfort, love, and restorative power to flow from your communion with Him.

But for many of us, it's hard to enter silence, isn't it? So when the power goes off, we fidget until it's restored.

Is your heart weak and your earthly strength just about dried up? The word says, "Be of good courage, and wait on the Lord"; there is power and courage to be received simply by waiting on Him. Having experienced it countless times I can tell you confidently, He will renew your strength, encourage and prepare you for whatever comes next. So I say, again, “Wait on the Lord!”

Worthy Christian Devotions » Breakthrough