Day 65: Choices & Seasons (Deuteronomy 1-2; Mark 11:1-19

The guidance of God overwhelms me. The fact that He carries us from place to place and He is in control of all of our circumstances is infinitely impossible for me to wrap my feeble mind around.

In Deuteronomy 1 and 2, Moses is doing a recap of their past journeys. To see the journey unfolding through his words is quite something. The back and forth of their faith and whishy-washy obedience is a sad sight to behold. But, on the other hand is God’s faithfulness. His word is always fulfilled. No matter the stumbling, staggering and tripping that the Israelites do, God always guided them, protecting them and going before them.

God gave them clear instructions and yet they still ignored him. I fear that this is a reflection of my own heart. I am one of strong conviction and I still choose to ignore the nudging from the Holy Spirit on some things. “Eh, I’ll watch this movie, it can’t be that bad…Ha, I’ll laugh at this joke because what difference is it going to make… Meh, I’ll respond in this way because I will feel better, I can apologize later…”

Sound familiar? But in the midst of my stubborn, selfish ways, God is still guiding my steps. Even when I choose to make the wrong choice or when something bad happens in life, we need to keep our focus on Him.

In our New Testament reading today, the part that totally stuck out to me was this:

“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.” -Mark 11:13-14

This passage seems so out of place for the Bible, but after I thought more about it I began thinking about seasons. My husband lost his job just before Christmas and over the last couple of months we were in a season of total reliance on God’s provision. While Jesus wasn’t cursing the tree out of anger, hatred or revenge, He just knew that it wasn’t the right season for the tree. It wasn’t right for the tree to produce fruit.

What season are you in?

What choices are you making today?

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Day 36: Exodus 37-38; Matthew 23:23-39

“Don’t judge a book by the cover.”

As a designer, I’m majorly at fault of this. I judge books by their covers. My philosophy is this: if it has a good title and a pretty cover, then it has to be good.

This is such flawed thinking though. I recently received a devotional and I was so excited because it’s popular among the people I follow on Social Media (and it. is. so. pretty!!!). But when I began reading it, I was disappointed because what was on the inside did not fully support what I anticipated from the outside. The messages were more shallow than I expected.

In the Old Testament, the beginning of the relational journey with God, the time and effort put into following God’s detailed instructions must have been exhausting. Everything was hammered, intricately detailed and exact to God’s perfect standards.

When we get further into time and look at the New Testament though, we begin to see a loss of reverence for thorough care. We went from intricate details to a false front: dirty on the inside with a shiny outside. The Pharisees and Sadducees were extremely legalistic and concerned about appearances, but Jesus often called them out on their hypocritical behavior because their hearts were actually far from God (Mat. 23:25, Luke 11:39). Similarly, today you can find a lot of Christians – in fact, most people would classify themselves as believers – but very few people actually live set apart, holy lives as instructed by the Bible.

How are you living? Is your faith genuine or a front for a soul far from God?