Thursday, August 13th

Thursday, August 13th

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Genesis 4:3

There is a wide-opened door for a great work here, although many oppose me. 1 Corinthians 16:9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

It was pointed out yesterday that we can so strongly desire to go in a certain direction (door) with our lives that we equate the strength of that desire with God's will. Cain wanted what he wanted and the strong desire of his heart moved him beyond God and his ways. Cain's crop gift was not a part of the worship plan that God had put in place for mankind and yet he went with it anyway thinking that what he so strongly wanted would somehow be alright with God.

Cain went with a crop gift for another reason as well. Other than the fact that it was harvest time, we don't know why the moment was right for Cain and Abel to come before God with their gifts in an act of worship. But, evidently, it was time and it seems that Cain succumbed to the pressure of the moment.  His circumstance of needing an immediate gift contributed to Cain's poor choice. His succumbing to the pressure of the moment was very likely due to a lack of preparation. Cain could have raised some sheep on the side or he could have made arrangements with his brother, Abel. Either way he needed to be prepared for this moment and he wasn't. Cain's circumstances contributed to his making the choice of a gift that was unacceptable to God.

How often the pressure of the moment leads to our choosing the available doors before us in the hope that somehow our choices will be acceptable to God and will work out to be his will for our lives. It is vital that we cultivate a heart and life aligned with God and his ways. This preparation will help us become ones who are able to rise above the pressure of the moment and consistently choose doors that are acceptable to God. More often than not, the doors that are acceptable to God are not acceptable to us because they may lead to rough and tough circumstances. We want to keep our circumstances smooth and easy. This is another way that circumstances influence our choice of doors. Open doors for us are only those that will maintain our smooth and easy circumstances or get us out of ones that are rougher and tougher than we would like.

In our 1 Corinthians passage we see that the Apostle Paul viewed a door that would lead to rough and tough circumstance as an open door. He was able to do this because his heart and life were aligned with God and his ways. In the words of Proverbs, the Apostle Paul was able to trust in the Lord with all his heart; not depend on his own understanding. Seek his will in all he did, and be shown which path to take (over and over again).

Lord, teach me what it means to be one whose heart and life are aligned with you and your ways. Show me ways that my decision making process is flawed. Help me to trust you with all my heart and truly not depend on my own understanding. I choose to seek your will in all I do and I believe you will show me the paths that are acceptable to you. Amen!

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