God Had Another Idea

Friday, May 13, 2022
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James 4:8a – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (NKJV)

My friend gave me a series of Lenten devotionals this year, and I observed Lent for the first time since I became a Christian many years ago. I learned that it is never too late to journey with Christ to the cross. As I read the Scriptures leading into each successive devotional, the more real and personal Christ's suffering became to me. I was drawn into a deeper humility and reverence toward my Saviour. My soul was being transformed, making more room for the Holy Spirit to work in and through me with the power, love, and discipline of God.

In the beginning of my journey into Lent, I had struggled with what thing to give up during this time of prayer and penitence. Finally, I realized that for this year, Christ had other plans. He didn't need external things from me, currently, but He wanted me to have a more deeply surrendered heart. Through this journey, as I acquiesced my will to Him, I became an even more willing vessel. I drew closer to God, and He drew closer to me. With that newfound immediacy with Christ, I can better fulfill the purpose that He has for me to His honour, as the fulfillment of His work is done by Christ alone.

As I drew nearer to the cross with Christ, I could sense the pain that my own sin had caused Him and the price that He paid for my freedom from it. I grieved about that. As I read and prayed, I embraced who I am in Christ. The blessing of salvation gives me confidence that only in Christ can I be sure of the forgiveness of my sins. That assurance allows me to live without guilt and to look forward with the hope of eternal life, because He is the worthy Lamb Who was slain.

If you have never prepared your heart as a sanctuary to spend time alone with Christ as He journeyed to the cross, as I had not, I gently suggest that you try it. We can participate in this activity at any time of the year. Marvel at the grace of God, as He chose His only begotten Son to pay the penalty of death for the sins of the world. You will find how personal His sufferings, His death, and His resurrection become as you meld into the gospel. See how your gratitude, empathy, and compassion grow. Keep a written, digital, or audio journal to refer to. As we get to know Him better, the more ties to this world will fall away, and the more closely we will draw near to Him.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us draw closer to You with every breath we take, knowing that what You have in mind for us is much better than anything that we can come up with. May our thoughts be according to Your will as You come near to us, and may Your desires be the will of our hearts. Amen.

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About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks Karen, blessings.

    Thanks, Karen, for the inspirational thoughts.

    Thank you, Karen, for this encouraging devotional. Blessings.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and understanding today, Karen. Helps me.

    Greetings Karen and many thanks for sharing your experience of travelling to the cross and feeling the depth of what Jesus went through giving up His life for us. Many blessings to you for this very heart touching writing.

    Karen, your words are so true. I liked that you said it’s never too late to journey with Jesus to the cross. As I am now in my elder years, I am encouraged so often with the writings of Henri Nouwen who emphasizes the inner life of our hearts in the present presence with Jesus. At the cross is where we meet!

    Hello Karen, I subscribed to the daily readings a few months ago. While they are all excellent, I found yours today particularly personal and inspiring. I’ve saved it and plan to supplement my readings with it daily going forward.
    Thank you for taking the time to write and share this beautiful devotion.

    Good morning, Karen,
    You are blessed by being open to new approaches in your faith. You are blessed having a friend who gave you Lenten devotionals. We are blessed because you share your experiences of your faith journey.
    Let us all pray that “may God’s desires be the will of our hearts”. Thank you and may you have many more enriching faith experiences.

    Dear Karen, I couldn’t help thinking how frank and honest of you to admit as a long time Christian you had not observed lent, and then share your experience with all the company of online believers in Christ Jesus.
    So often today we keep hidden anything that might make us look less than we should be in the eyes of fellow believers. I just wanted you to know that I deeply appreciate what you have shared with us.
    It is a gift when someone points out to us to grow ever closer in our walk with the Lord and the celebration of special Christian Events during the passage of time.
    Thank you again, and may God continue to Bless you and yours in your inspiring relationship with him. In Christian Fellowship,
    (On. Canada)

    Thank you for this suggestion. it never occurred to me.

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