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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunset on Chesapeake Bay with Proverbs 3:5,6
I took today's photo on Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Cove, Maryland.
Click here for a larger image suitable for computer desktop background.

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Note: Today's message was written by Brooksyne and is a followup to our message using this same text we used last Thursday.

"Beyond My Understanding"

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5&6).

Do you ever ever speak to others about an experience with God or share a Scripture that has given you peace, direction, or changed your life around? I'm pretty sure most all our readers have done so because it's the way we bless others while also giving a public witness to the work God is doing in our lives.

Last week we highlighted Proverbs 3:5,6 in our Scripture text and laid out the four phrases point by point. Not a problem since Stephen and I memorized this Scripture years ago. It's enjoyable to comment on familiar Scripture, further explain its meaning, and then wrap up the message with an applicable prayer. As any writer or speaker knows, when you're finally done preparing a message it's a sigh of relief and you step away to do the next thing on your list.  That's just what we did after recording the podcast and performing all the technical stuff required to get the message to our listeners and readers.

But testimonies of victory can sometimes turn into a minefield full of surprise ammunition. Those matters that we thought were "under the blood" or that we had committed to Christ can come back to bite us. That's pretty much what happened to me hours after we wrote the message. Right after I wrote the prayer late Thursday morning I said to myself, "Now this is a message I will apply to my life today!"

No sooner had I said that and I began to be troubled about a matter.  It wasn't one of my own making but it certainly affected me.  I'd had experience with this situation in the past but new developments were freshly brewing again. Circumstances didn't improve throughout the day. In fact they worsened until I found myself all worked up about it (past experience didn't seem to improve my dealing with the matter).  I tried to look at the problem from various viewpoints. I tried to understand the difficulty from the perspective of those involved.  The more I thought about the problem the more desperation was taking hold of my heart.  Before I even realized it I was in panic mode.

I cried out to God and let Him know that I didn't appreciate the way things were working out.  I began to languish in my sorrowful state of mind and became somewhat useless for anything productive.  It was about this time that Proverbs 3 came back to my mind, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart".  Stephen and I had spent the morning preparing this message and here I let its message slip right out of my mind.  I had unintentionally rejected the second phrase, "lean not on your own understanding".  I suddenly realized I had spent most of the day relying on my own understanding, and the truth of the matter is, I really didn't and still don't understand how to fix the problem.

Like a bolt of lightning that ripped through my mind I suddenly became aware of what I had done.  All afternoon into the early evening I had been leaning on my own limited, flawed, and ever-evolving understanding.   I was trusting my judgment instead of trusting God's judgment and His plan for dealing with the matter.  No wonder I was such a mess!  Once I figured it out I began to quote "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart".  I had to say it over and over again so that I would not fall back on my faulty understanding.  Here it is in the early hours of the next morning and I continue to say, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart."  It is the only way sleep will come when I lay my head on the pillow in just a few minutes.

Please do not be troubled about my ordeal though I do enlist prayer warriors to join me in praying for the circumstance.  I share this story only to remind those who might have the same problem as I.  Please don't rely on your understanding – it will drive you nuts, point you in the wrong direction.  It will also drain you emotionally and physically.  Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and He will direct you.

Perhaps you will want to consider this verse, Proverbs 3:5&6, for your theme verse of 2011.  We have prepared a photo desktop with this verse. Memorize it, recite it often, share it with others, and apply it faithfully so that this new year will not be dreadfully frightful but delightfully fruitful!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily Prayer: Father, when I trust in You with all my heart, You are foremost in my thoughts. My attitudes and actions will bear that out. Instead of plotting I will  pray; instead of being fearful I will  be courageous; instead of being weak I will be strong in You. I will not resort to my own understanding for it is faulty, frail, and full of me instead of You.  More of You, less of me is my prayer that I might trust You with all of my heart and acknowledge You in all of my ways.  In the name of Jesus I commit myself to You.  Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Trust"  Video  This is thoughtful video on trust.

"Be Strong In The Lord"  Video  Philipino choir

"More Of You"  Video  

"More Of You And Less Of Me"  Video  Brian Johnson

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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