Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Quick Wit and A Stiff Neck

Hey all, as you know I've been rather busy lately. Tis the season in my life! ;) Anyway, many of you probably don't even know that I have a totally separate devotional ministry where I send out devotionals and fiction stories from my regular Lovinthearts.com ministry website , so I thought I would post one of them from awhile back. I hope it ministers to you today.

God has gifted me with a quick, dry wit. Constantly, I hear catch phrases that ring in my mind and cause it to answer. It’s a blessing and a curse. Some people are drawn to it; others probably run the other direction as soon as they see me just to avoid it. If you could be inside my mind for one day, I guarantee you would either be greatly entertained or incredibly concerned. Anyway, I’ll get to the point of why I’m mentioning it.

One day recently, I woke up with excruciating pain in my neck. While issues with my neck are common, this day was worse than normal, as it wouldn’t even relent to the pain medicine. Halfway through the day, Wit spoke up: “What a pain in the neck!” I chuckled in my mind. Later in the day, she spoke up again: “You stiff-necked woman!” That one wasn’t quite as funny to me, of course, as it reminded me of the stubborn Israelites.

As I awoke that next morning, the pain woke with me. I couldn’t even move my neck from side to side without a wince. I was thankful for Mrs. Wit’s humor to keep me amused along the way.

What amazes me is that God often uses these little illustrations in life to strike me and remind me of Himself. As I spent time in prayer, the Holy Spirit reminded me of some unconfessed sin in my life. I was quick to deal with it.

Then He brought to my mind some areas of complacency and unbelief. I gave those over.

Then a tucked away verse woke up my memory: “Do not be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” That sent me on a trail of trying to figure out what this means to a Christian, and more importantly, to me:
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’”
Hebrews 3:12-15

Though I’ve read this verse many times before, the Lord showed me this time that it is possible as a mature believer to turn away from Him with sin or unbelief.

Before, when I’ve envisioned “turning away from the living God,” I’ve thought of a BIG turning away, kind of like the prodigal son. I picture a monumental decision to leave the Christian life to seek my own pleasure.

While that is certainly a possibility here, I don’t believe it is the only one. It says, “BUT encourage one another DAILY.” Wow---I can actually deal with a sinful, unbelieving heart on a daily basis?!?!?

One of the things about sin is that it can tiptoe up on us.....it is deceitful. It wants to make us believe that we will be unaffected from the repercussions of a wishy-washy lifestyle, but read on: “We have come to share in Christ IF WE HOLD FIRMLY TILL THE END the confidence we had at first.”

We want to share in Christ, don’t we? Do we still have the confidence IN Him to live rightly BEFORE Him? Micah 6:8 says, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

To walk humbly requires a daily giving over of ourselves. If we’re not careful, sneaky sin can convince us that we don’t have time to do this or that it’s not necessary....we can become a “stiff-necked” people, if you will. So what is the answer for us?

The answer is found in Psalm 95:2-8a:
“Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods; In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. COME—let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. TODAY, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts....”

Let’s stretch our necks out for Him today, noticing His creation on the left, His blessings on the right, and His provision right in front of us. As He shares this with us, may it cause us to look UP, renewing in us the confidence to hold on firmly all the way to the end.

© Copyright 2007 Laura L. Shaw
All scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.

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In the Key of HE,

10 friends shared a comment:

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

I'd probably feel right at home in your mind lol. Scary huh? That is a great reminder my friend. Very thoughtful. I'll ponder on it today.
So what happens when your butt hurts lol. Sorry, couldn't resist. Wouldn't you like to be in my mind for just one day! YIKES!
Love you my sister.

Laurie Ann said...

Awesome devotional with great parallels drawn. Loved it, LauraLee. Thanks for sharing your heart!

Unknown said...

Great reminder!

Patty Wysong said...

Your Mrs. Wit sounds like the birdie that lives on my shoulder! LoL.

I've been getting LauraLee's devotionals for several months now, and I LOVE getting them in my inbox! They're encouraging even while stepping on my toes with truth that I need to hear. I can't recommend these devotionals enough! If you like her blog, you'll love her devotionals!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog; it's a great read. Karyn www.christiancupid.com/blog

Joanne Sher said...

Excellent, EXCELLENT reminder. And I can't believe I never "got around" to subscribing to your edevos. Gonna fix that right now. Love ya, girl!

Blessed Among Women said...

Amen! Great thoughts to go along with your pain in the neck. It's like the song by Casting Crowns, It's a slow fade when you give yourself away. Sin is sneaky,like it's master. Thank you for the reminder!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

OK...allow me a lengthy quote from alicia chole's "anonymous." We just finished the study last night at Bible study, and I shared this quote with the gals. It fits.

"For Jesus in the desert, and for us throughout our lifetimes, there is really only one true temptation in our spiritual lives: to choose against God. Satan's sole goal is to somehow invite us--and in some way entice us--to disobey, even in the smallest way. Our disobedience is his prize, because he knows something that we are often in denial about. He knows that disobedience cannot be confined to one concealed corner of our lives." (pg. 167, "Anonymous).


lori said...

I have to tell you...We'd get along FABULOUSLY if you lived next door..(great minds THINK ALIKE!HA!)I understand the blessing or the curse!:) Some get it and some run when they see me coming:)!

What a WONDERFUL devotional today...you are GIFTED! You got me with these words...
"To walk humbly requires a daily giving over of ourselves. If we’re not careful, sneaky sin can convince us that we don’t have time to do this or that it’s not necessary....we can become a “stiff-necked” people, if you will. So what is the answer for us?"

I'm going to print this one off and stick it in the Good Book...you never know when you'll wake up with a "stiff neck!"

A blessing!!
love you!

Laury said...

Lalee dear -- I always run TO you, never away. Thank you for sharing this devotional. You should do this more often. Maybe one day a week take one of your devos, huh?