Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
Psalm 46:8-10 "Everyone look! Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God. For he brings both ruin and revival. He’s the one who makes conflicts end throughout the earth, breaking and burning every weapon of war. Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.” (The Passion Translation)
The Authority that Sets Us Free
Control. It’s a power that almost everyone longs for, but rarely admits that they crave it. While outwardly many of us are critical of the control freaks we know, secretly we all struggle with it on some level in various areas of our lives. For some, the desire for control over a situation, a person, or the future, manifests itself as worry. For others, it masquerades as pride or even anger. Perhaps most dangerous is when our need for control is concealed under a positive, and culturally-acceptable veneer like achievement, fitness, organization, planning, and a host of other double-edged values, skills, and talents. No matter how you look at it, we all have a problem.
Thankfully, God offers us a solution to that problem -- it's just not a comfortable one. It is one we have to wrestle with and eventually learn to embrace to find the joy, peace, and freedom that Jesus died to give us. In Scripture, the words control, authority, and ownership always refer to God as the One with supremacy over everything… words like the landlord, the king, the master, or the vintner. You may hear some Christians use the word sovereignty, which is just a fancy term that encompasses the concept of God having unlimited power and divine control over everything, down to the tiniest of details. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says, "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion, people are made great and given strength.”
The truth of this verse is both offensive and frightening when we contemplate it without understanding the pure and limitless love that cannot be separated from it. It’s completely natural to want to control the circumstances and people impacting our lives. It’s also normal to be uncomfortable with not knowing what’s going to happen next or to accept that you don’t have any say in the matter. But because of the price Jesus paid on the cross, our natural and sinful inclinations are covered by His outpouring of love and expressed through the indwelling of His Spirit in our hearts. When we humble ourselves and recognize that God’s ways are better than ours — even if we don’t know what those ways might bring us — the Spirit empowers us to rest and trust in God’s governance of our lives. His power and control will always be administered with the mercy and grace of His boundless love for us.
For each day of the coming week, start your day by honestly searching your heart for one thing that you wish you could have complete control over. Then bring it to the feet of Jesus and ask Him to fill you with the humility and trust necessary to fully release it to Him. Then praise Him for doing just that, whether you necessarily feel the immediate results or not. To be still before God requires a willing surrender of control, and the daily readings and prayer prompts below will help guide you through that process.
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday - Read Romans 8:31-32. As you meditate on this passage, spend some time confronting any thoughts that you have of disbelief when it comes to surrendering your control of specific situations, people, or aspects of the future. Pray this verse over anything that you’ve had trouble releasing to God’s control. Is it because you doubt that He will do what you want Him to do?
Tuesday - Read 1 Corinthians 6:20. It’s human nature to feel less and less impacted by something that happened a long time ago. If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you may not spend much time contemplating the sacrifice that Jesus made to cover you in His love before a powerful, unstoppable, and justice-seeking God. Spend time meditating on this verse and ask the Holy Spirit to bring fresh awareness of the sacrifice paid to set you free and the love lavishly given to make you whole.
Wednesday - Read Luke 12:6-8. Never doubt that your loving Father cares about the tiniest details of your life. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the seemingly tiny things in your life that are not really so small, especially when you add them up over time. Ask for forgiveness of any of these things that you have not surrendered to His guidance and praise Him for the small blessings in life. Nothing in your life is insignificant or unredeemable to God.
Thursday - Read Isaiah 55:8-9. Many people don’t want to yield control to God because they are offended that He makes decisions regardless of human input. Others struggle with His sovereignty because they don’t believe in anything they don’t understand. In either case, believing in a supreme being who can fit into the box of human understanding or the bounds of human approval would not be a god at all. Re-read this passage from Isaiah again and ask the Holy Spirit to slay any pride you have in your own intellect and remove any sense of ownership that you have in your future.
Friday - Read Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 131:2. Peace, joy, and stillness are not action steps we take, but a state of being we arrive at because of resting, trusting, and loving God’s power and authority over our lives. Charles Spurgeon once said, "Men will allow God to be everywhere but on his throne.” As you spend time with God today, ask Him to reveal areas of your life where you are not letting Him be on His throne. Open your heart up in praise to Him for both His right to control you and His pleasure to love you.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore the Psalms.
Want to Go Even Further?
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SERMON STUDY GUIDE - PSALMS - WEEK 5
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