Writing these devotionals is so enjoyable and such a blessing to me in so many ways. One aspect is the comments and feedback we get from you, which are so powerfully encouraging and exciting. Why? Because we get to see, daily, what God is doing through us in your lives. That God would choose to partner with us is so exhilarating and purpose-giving. I am still amazed He would want to use us when He is so powerfully able to do it all, perfectly, on His own. Stepping Stones has also been incredibly enriching to me because it pushes me to dig deeply into God’s word regularly so I can articulate His truth to someone else.
Unfortunately, like all gifts and provisions from God in this world, there is a down side. Because of Satan’s schemes and my flesh (or me-centered nature), what God meant for good can easily get corrupted.
You see, I want to say so much in each Transformational Thought, so it’s more than a feel-good message, one that inspires you to change what you need to change to Iive the life God wants for you, that very day. Being a psychiatrist, I want to equip you with very practical tips to actually do something that day to change the faulty life patterns we all fall into and improve the strategies you use to fight against Satan’s strategies. Then I need to re-package 4 to 5 pages of content into a couple paragraphs, because people don’t read it when it gets too long!
Well, being an engineer, I am a perfectionist, and Satan uses that character flaw to try and suck the joy and excitement out of the blessing of being used by God to impact others. I’ve already written this one a couple times, wanting to be precise, impact, catchy, brief, and practical. Why? Unfortunately, at times, it’s about my issues, and not about seeking God and serving Him well. I really have to be intentional to not fall into that trap. It’s important to remember that we live in a fallen world, a world that is far from normal because it is tainted by sin. So much failure and frustration result from needing or seeking perfection in this life.
Today, remember that yearning for perfection is not a bad thing in and of itself. Know that God placed that yearning in your heart so you would search for Him. When you push for perfection, is it for your image and driven by the opinions of others, or is it really for God? Most of the time, God would be fine if you gave just 20% of your efforts to most areas of life and spent the other 80% of your time with Him. Remember Mary and Martha … which one are you? Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, I know, Father, that my heart and soul contains many ill effects of the fall. As a result of this, I often try and achieve perfection apart from You. This sets me down a path of frustration, insecurity, inadequacy, and failure. I sadly admit, Father, that this wrong path also includes some form of idolatry in worshipping myself, other’s opinions, or even the task itself. I want to return to You Lord … to the path that leads me to You. I will do this, Lord, by seeking You first and foremost. As I seek You, Father, I know You will set my feet on the right Stepping Stone … that You will give me a firm place to stand and the guidance to take the right next step. Help my search for perfection by pointing me to You. I pray in Jesus’ perfect name; and all God’s people say – AMEN!
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”