Well, its welcome to the New Year and to new ways of thinking. I know I sure need them. How about you?
Its been said it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Last time, I talked about my friend Judy Seligman teaching women that we do not have receive every thought that comes into our heads. The battle is in our minds.
I was tested on this again the other day. I found myself in deep discouragement. I am in the midst of a huge project that I suddenly thought seemed overwhelming. I allowed this little voice to suggest it was all of my own plans, that God was not in it, it was just me, thinking I could do something. I was all alone.
That day, I had been extremely tired. I had not had my time in the Word as I usually do, so I was an easy target. Nor did I exercise, which helps in these dark, short winter days.
It is amazing that in just the regular habit of reading through the Word, one can find answers for problems without even looking for a special verse. The next morning, when I sat down to read my next portion in the Word, I found my answer, and I wasn't even looking for it.
Jacob had been on the run from his brother Esau after he stole the birthright from him as the story is told us in the book of Genesis. Jacob, whose name meant "supplanter," because he didn't believe God's promise that he would inherit the blessing, deceived his father Isaac by pretending he was Esau and giving him food that Isaac thought Esau prepared. Yet the Lord still went with Jacob. He still gave Jacob, the supplanter, the promised blessing, and changed his name to Israel.
In Genesis 28, he dreams of a ladder reaching all the way to heaven, and God promises him descendants as the dust of the earth, that through them all families of the earth would be blessed (verse 14).
"Then Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.'" (Genesis 28: 16)
Right there, in that verse, I found my answer, "The Lord is this place." He has not forsaken me, He will not abandon me.
The Lord is in this place. The Lord is my Good Shepherd, He doesn't lead me somewhere and then leave me, laughing as He watches me squirm.
The Lord is in this place. He knows I am but dust. He knows how frail I am, how I need His Word to combat the lie that tempts me to quit.
The Lord is in this place. I did not know it. He knows how many breaths I have taken, and how many I have left.
If He has been there with me all along, why would He leave me now?
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU."
So we may boldly say:
The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13: 5-6
Next time you're tempted to quit, ask yourself, like I should have, "Just WHO is telling me this?" If it is a condemning, harsh, critical voice, you can bet it's not God.
"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)