Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Most of the struggle of life comes from our wanting to play God ourselves – wanting to be in charge of what happens to us. Today we looked at the words of the Searcher from Ecclesiastes 3:12-22.
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
How different this picture of life under the sovereign lordship of a living God is from what most people think God is like! A popular book for Christians on the topic of sex explains the truth that God has designed sex for pleasure. But it is not merely sex that is designed for pleasure; all things are designed for human pleasure. If you think a certain thing in and of itself is going to produce lasting pleasure, however, you will miss it. The secret is that it is the knowledge of God in that relationship that produces enjoyment. We are not in the grasp of the
Great Cosmic Joy Killer, as many people seem to view God. God delights in human enjoyment.
The Searcher says that all enjoyment must be discovered by realizing that God is in charge, and He will not bend His plan for anyone. God has sovereignly, independently, set up the plan of life in a way with which we cannot interfere. He has done so in order that people should revere Him.
All through the Bible we read,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Until a person recognizes and trusts the superior wisdom of God, he or she has not begun to fear God. This fear is not abject terror of God; it is respect and honor for Him. If you attempt to live your life without the recognition of God, ultimately you will find yourself, as the Searcher found himself; empty, dissatisfied, and restless, feeling that life is miserable and meaningless. The secret of life is the presence of God Himself.
Most of the struggle of life comes from our wanting to play God ourselves, wanting to be in charge of what happens to us. That is true even of Christians. When God refuses to go along, we sulk and pout and get angry with Him. We throw away our faith and say,
What’s the use? I tried it, but it doesn’t work. What a foolish statement! God will not surrender His prerogatives.
Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it—God has made it so in order that men should revere him.
Lord, forgive me for thinking I know what is best for those I love and me. Teach me to trust in Your work, because I know that nothing can be added to it.
Life Application: God has sovereignly, independently, set up the plan of life in a way with which we cannot interfere. Why has He done this and what is the secret of life?
Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.