Verse for the Day – Isaiah 26:8

The words of this verse have been running through my head the last day or two.

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8 (NIV)

I’ve been thinking a lot about those two things. Walking in His ways, and His Name and renown.

In our culture, it can be hard to walk in His ways. So many things conspire against us. Some days you can almost feel the tidal wave sucking you under with the lies of our world. So many things that are against God are actually celebrated in our culture. It can come at you from every direction, and you must fight against it to believe otherwise.

We really can’t walk in the ways of the Lord if we don’t know truth and what those ways are. And we can’t know truth and His ways if we don’t know His Word. So stay in the Word.

Then what is the desire of our hearts? That’s a big question, isn’t it? Even if we think we know, we might not. Is the Lord’s name and renown (fame, widespread repute) our heart’s desire?

I think one of the most natural tendencies we have as humans is to be concerned with ourselves, to be self-absorbed, to think about our wants and needs and desires, to crave to be known, to matter, to have attention on us. I see it in myself often – pride and selfishness.

Yet the Lord can radically redirect that when we submit to Him. Rather than my own desires being first in my mind, He can become first in my mind. And as I seek Him and His ways, He redirects my passions and desires to those that truly satisfy and bring joy. Those are all found in Him! And somewhere along that path, walking in His ways, looking at Him, we see He is everything, and His Name and renown become the desire of our hearts. He will be at the center of our lives, on the throne.

You will often get mixed messages about these things, but look to God and His ways, and watch as He becomes your heart’s greatest desire – to make Him known – all for His great glory and your incredible satisfaction and joy.

PRAYER: Lord, may we walk in your ways by knowing them through your Word and following You in the power of Your Spirit. May we resist what isn’t true and give up selfish desires to see You, Your Name and renown, indeed become the desire of our hearts. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Verse for the Day – Matthew 14:29-31

Our family went to see the movie Son of God last night. Today’s verses are selected as I considered my favorite scene from the movie: Jesus walking on the water and Peter coming out to Him.The verses then that I picked today are from Matthew 14:29-31:

“He [Jesus] said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ (ESV)

I loved this picture because I think so often when Jesus calls us to Himself or to something He has for us, we can be like Peter and jump out of the boat enthusiastically to follow Jesus. But when adversity comes (like the storm and waves), if we don’t keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and believe what we know to be true about Him, we will fall.

We see this all throughout the Bible. John the Baptist, born to make the way for Jesus, baptized Him and was obediently and joyfully fulfilling the call on his life, but when he was arrested (adversity came), he asks of Jesus, “Are you the One?” (Matthew 11:3)  Suddenly, things don’t seem as clear.

We saw it in the movie. People would follow Jesus, but when other people would question whether He was really the Messiah, it was easy to doubt and wonder: “Wait, is he really the Messiah?” We saw Thomas doubt and Peter deny Jesus.

Perhaps the same people who said on Palm Sunday, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” would later cry out, “Crucify Him!”

We are human, and we can be fickle and easily swayed by the difficult circumstances or opinions around us.

In our own day, I see people (or sometimes myself) who enthusiastically follow a call Jesus gives them, and then when that call turns out to be really hard and costly (which we should expect), they (or I) wonder, “Wait, were we really supposed to do that?”

But let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and ask Him to increase our faith. Then when the waves come and we feel tossed about, we actually will stand firm in Christ who will steady and uphold us and prove Himself faithful, that He is indeed the One!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please increase our faith. Make us ones who believe You and who don’t doubt, even when life’s storms come and our circumstances are hard. Help us to fix our eyes on You and not the things around us. And may we find You faithful, as you fully are. We love You, Lord Jesus, and thank and praise You that you would die a cruel death so that we might live. Let us then live for You, in full faith, believing You are the One and looking to you each day. In Jesus Name, Amen.