Chasing After Your Sweet Spot?

Today I’m starting a new direction for my Monday posts that will continue at least until I finish radiation treatment. I’ve found it hard to keep up my usual blogging schedule, so I’ll be sharing something from my daily devotional time on this day each week instead.

My habit is to read a passage and then prayerfully write out my thoughts. Right now, I’m reading through three different spots – Job, Isaiah and Luke. I usually don’t read something from all three of these places each day, but I take one section or chapter from one of these books, rotating where I read with each passing day. This keeps it interesting and fresh each day for me. Today’s thoughts are from a section in Isaiah.

BTW, I will be continuing my series on forgiveness on my Wednesday posts, so I hope you’ll join me then as well.

Focused Devotion Isaiah 446-23

Isaiah 44:6-23

Thoughts –
This is a love letter from God to His chosen people, His children. He reminds us that He is preeminent and the only One who can redeem us and be our sure foundation or Rock.

It is assumed in this part of the chapter that God’s children have strayed and committed idolatry. God is still trying to open their eyes to that reality, because idolatry brings with it a certain myopathy. We cannot see the sinfulness of our actions when we worship other people or things in life. We lose our point of reference—God. He’s the only One who brings perspective into our lives—truth into our lives. Everything and everyone else—when set up as our foundation or point of reference—will distort our view.

We will see our big sins as little or as not even there. We will see our small sins as “ambition,” “persistence,” or even as our “strength” simply expressed “outside the box.”

But that “box,” however we want to redefine it (so that we feel better) represents the boundary lines that God’s given us. And it’s only within those boundaries that we find our sweet spot.

Despite that truth, we go looking for that sweet spot outside the box or boundary lines of God—convincing ourselves that the sweet spot “is surely somewhere else!” We soon discover that it’s not somewhere else. Or we may continue to believe the lie that we just haven’t wandered far enough yet … that our “sweet spot” is just beyond the horizon. But the further we run toward the sun, the darker and more desperate our lives become, because we’ve moved further and further away from the Son—the true Source of life and light.

I’m grateful for the way this section of the chapter draws to a conclusion. God reminds us that He has already swept away our sins like a cloud or morning mist is chased away by the sun. They are all gone in His grace! God has already provided the way out of our shame-filled fog, if we’ll just return to Him.

Also God reminds us near the end of this section, that He has redeemed us. What a beautiful word, because it tells us that He didn’t just save us, even though that would be more than enough! He “redeems” us and all our messes, our sins, and our failures.

We’re given a second chance and that second chance is more beautiful than our first chance because we have surrendered it to the masterful and artful hand of our Creator and Lord!

 

“’Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.’” -Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV)

 

So what is it that you’re clinging to or running after that you believe will give you what you want?

 

What are some insights you’ve gleaned from you daily devotional time? Please share!

 

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Linking up with – Marriage MondaysMaking Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Monday’s Musings, Red Hot Matrimony and Playdates with God

  • FOCUSED devotion. That’s the key you’re giving me today, Beth. There’s a choice I must make. I get to choose what to zero in on, what to invest my energy in, who to spend my waning time with.
    FOCUSED. Yes.
    Thank you, friend …

  • I always have to laugh at myself, because when I read about the Israelites I often think, “DUH, guys! How could you be this dumb?” but then… that’s me. My idols might not be dressed up in molten gold, but they’re there and I chase after them just as stubbornly and foolishly. Oh, how great is God for second chances!

  • “God has already provided the way out of our shame-filled fog, if we’ll just return to Him.”

    I love that, Beth. He’s already won the victory if we’ll just step into it. It’s hard to stay in that mind frame when we see destructive things around us and in us still, but I want to believe it more and more deeply in my soul.

  • Praying for your energy levels and recovery, Beth, but loving that you are giving us a peek at your devotional writings. Thanks very much. God always works something good, doesn’t He?! And it’s only within God’s boundaries that we find our sweet spot. YES…we are happiest when we are holiest!! Sending you my love and lots of hugs, dear Beth. You are doing such a great job on the blog while pursuing your health and healing. Much love to you…xxxooo

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Interesting synergy with my weekend.

    On Friday evening, I’d picked up my wife from the commuter rail station and we were driving home – when we saw, illuminated in the headlights on a rural road, a young Pit Bull running desperately right down the centerline.

    Experience tells me that she was probably just dumped, and was chasing her erstwhile owner. We scooped her up, and brought her home. No microchip, and no ‘lost dog’ posters around, so she’s here to stay, I think.

    I could produce some theological gas about what we chase…but in the end it’s all about the Hands that come out of the night to calm us, and the Voice that says, “I won’t let anything bad happen to you, ever again.”

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/

  • Elizabetht

    Thanks for sharing this! Really special to be a part of your Devotions! We are each challenged to discern what we are chasing . . .

    Prayng God’s healing for you and strength and peace!!

  • I run up against this wall regularly, especially with my writing. I get excited or worried about my website numbers, and then—wham!—the fog clears, and I remember for whom and why I am ultimately writing.