VERSE: “It is Christ…who also maketh intercession for us.” “The Spirit…maketh intercession for the saints.” Romans 8:34, 27
OSWALD: “Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede. If once the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in the worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls. God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no affinity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to our Lord.”- – (April 1st)
MY THOUGHT: “Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will…” Oh, how often I’ve been guilty of doing that very thing. So certain that I know what God’s wants that I never take the time to actually ask what He would have me do. It has taken me years to realize that the “need” is not necessarily the “call.” And when I insist on doing what seems right to me, I may miss doing what is expedient to Him.
As a result, I end up running on fumes – living out of my own strength, rather than taking time to tap into God’s. I’m feeling the effects of an empty tank right now. Unexpected crises and the ordinary busyness of life have propelled me from one need to another, rather than taking those needs to the Lord in prayer.
I’m so grateful for the grace of God that helps us during times like these. Carrying us and enabling us with a power we don’t deserve. Giving us wisdom and leading us tenderly, like the Gentle Shepherd He is.
And yet, the same grace that empowers me also allows me to come to the end of myself. Wisely stepping back so that I realize I can do nothing on my own. Allowing trying circumstances and difficult people into my life so that I am forced to turn to God for the strength and wisdom I so desperately need.
And oh, how I need Him! For wthout accessing the strength and love of God on a regular basis, “the most natural thing to do is treat [difficult people] heartlessly,” Oswald says, “to give them a text like the jab of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go.”
And that, my friend, is definitely not God’s will…no matter how hard we work or how fast we run. “A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to our Lord.”