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Seeing What Isn’t There

Today’s verse is a lovely encouragement, but I wonder how many of us read something that isn’t actually there? Perhaps we read it like this: “The eyes of the Lord range to and fro throughout the earth to strengthen only those perfect people whose hearts are fully committed to Him and, of course, you’re very imperfect, and couldn’t possibly be described as a person fully committed to God. If you were fully committed, you wouldn’t sin or make mistakes, would you? Oh no, you can’t expect the Lord to be looking for you, just to strengthen you. If He’s looking at you, it’s probably just to add some more criticisms to His already very long list”.

OK, I admit you and I probably don`t say that sort of thing out loud. But I wonder how often we subconsciously brush off the promises and encouragements of the Scriptures with unspoken objections like these. Does anyone else do that, or is it just me?

Do you know something? A perfect person, who was fully committed every moment of their life and never slipped up, wouldn’t really need to be strengthened by the Lord, would they? They would be doing a marvellous job already. No, the person who needs to be strengthened is the person who has some area of weakness. Isn’t that right? As Jesus said, it isn’t the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick (Luke 5:31).

In the passage today’s verse comes from, the prophet was telling King Asa that he had made a foolish mistake by buying in foreign troops, rather than relying on God to get him out of trouble. In other words, the king had recognised he was weak, but had tried to fix the problem himself, in the usual way, with his own resources. The prophet pointed out that the Lord is always looking for opportunities to strengthen people who will trust their problem into His hands.

However, most of us are like King Asa. When we have a problem, we try to solve it with our own ideas and our own resources. And we go about it in the same way that everyone else in the world does. As we do that, we are unfortunately excluding God, and pushing Him away, however much we might deny that.

I think that the phrase ‘fully committed’ to the Lord, isn’t about our perfection, but about our willingness to trust ourselves wholly into God’s hands. We commit ourselves, our weakness, our problem, our mess and trouble, all into God’s hands and we’re willing to wait for Him to help us in His way and His time. Then we make time each day to listen to Him, to ask for His wisdom, read His word, be totally honest with Him and with ourselves, and do whatever He highlights for us to do next. He might speak from His word, through mature believers, through His peace settling into our hearts as we consider a particular course of action, or in numerous other ways. As we spend time with Him, we’re strengthened and gradually built up on the inside.

Of course, we won’t be perfect. We all have many areas of weakness in our characters, our families and our lives. That’s exactly why the Lord needs to strengthen us! The good news is that He’s actively looking all the time for people He can help and strengthen. People like us. Weak people, but those who will fully commit their situation to him, then listen to Him and act on whatever He says. And let’s remember not to subconsciously brush aside things that He does say, as I mentioned earlier. That’s so easy to do.

So, it seems to me that this verse says it is OK to have weak points. It’s OK to be imperfect. The Lord is looking for people to strengthen today. Would you like Him to strengthen you?

Prayer: Almighty loving Father God, thank You for Your immense strength. Nothing whatsoever is too difficult for You. And thank You so very much that You don’t look around to find fault, but to look for people You can help. I feel so weak today. I ask you to strengthen me. I choose to commit into Your strong loving caring hands all my worries, my guilt, my faults and weaknesses. I would love to leave these with You and ask You to sort them out. Please help me to do that. And help me to listen to You and to give You a chance to speak to me through the Bible each day. I know I make mistakes, but I would be so grateful if You would strengthen me as I put my wobbly trust in You. Thank You. Amen.


 

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Scripture

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
2 Chronicles 16:9a, NLT

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Today's Writer

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

Grace Bull


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