Today is Presidents Day here in the United States of America. Although originally we honored the Father of Our Country, George Washington, on this day, another great American was born during this month of February, also. Our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln.
Some historians question Lincoln’s spiritual beliefs. Yet as the Civil War raged during his presidency he admitted, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Perhaps you identify with Lincoln’s need to pray. Maybe you’re burdened by battles within your family, financial hardships, health problems, or heavy concerns for the future of America. You may long for assurance that God cares. He does.
God provided the sacrificial Lamb, His Son Jesus Christ, to pay for the sins and worries that keep you from knowing Him intimately. You can trust that Christ will help you now and that He will come again to reign as the conquering Lamb. Although nations war against Him, His love will have the last word. (Rev. 17:14)
Before today ends, tell God how grateful you are for the loving Sacrifice of His Son and for the promise of His final victory. Then pray that our current president and leaders, like Lincoln, will come to God for direction during these troubled times.
This is part of a devotion that I wrote for the Presidential Prayer Team during February. I invite you to join with millions of other concerned men, women and children who pray daily for the United States.
Check out the different opportunities at www.presidentialprayerteam.org. And consider signing up to receive a daily devotional prayer reminder (similar to this one) by clicking on the box on the home page titled “Sign-up Daily Devotions”. Each month has a theme. February’s theme is: The Loving Attributes of God. See God as The LAMB in this devotion.
After visiting the Presidential Prayer Team website, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.
“Somewhere along the line, I learned that truly loving someone means getting inside his head; trying to make him a better person, attempting to influence his decisions, pushing him toward Christian maturity,” said my friend Leslie as we chatted about her past broken relationships.
“Now with God’s help, I’m learning to love in a more healthy way–standing alongside, supporting, accepting and validating thoughts and emotions instead of trying to change or fix them. I think I tried to over-love and it backfired on me.”
I identify. When I began to grasp this truth about love, God showed me that trying to get inside another’s thoughts or feelings in order to alter reactions and behavior is “breaking and entering.”It’s against God’s moral and spiritual law.
When I attempted to climb inside and change my husband’s beliefs, emotions or perceptions to either match my own or to make them become what I thought they should be, I impersonated the Holy Spirit. At the same time I gave the impression I didn’t think he was capable of taking care of himself. Once I understood this, I felt sad and genuinely remorseful.
So I ran to God, my gracious and loving Heavenly Father. When I admitted my misconceptions about love and my urge to control, He splashed me with forgiveness, joy and relief.
It took a little while longer for Richard and I to talk and renegotiate our relationship. It’s an ongoing journey and we’re in it together–sharing our wonderful (imperfect) love and life. (Hey, that almost sounds like a book title!)
Have you ever tried to over-love or over-help another? Or have you ever felt the smothering effects of over-care or over-control? What was it like?
I’ve been thinking a lot about FAITH lately. I suppose I’ve been berating myself because surrender and relaxed-trust don’t seem to flow effortlessly from me right now.
Hmmm. As I started to write this new blog, a funny (as in “interesting”) thing just happened. I began with a different plan, but then…I had an “Aha!-message” hit me over the head. (Gently, of course!) Here’s the gist of it: Joan, trusting and surrendering yourself and your situation to God rarely, if ever, comes without some angst or pain. Faith is a choice in the midst of confusion and difficulty. And it usually means some kind of spiritual “tug of war.” (Come to think of it, Henry Blackaby and Claude King called it “crisis of faith” in their well-read workbook, Experiencing God.)
Okay, so maybe I’ll let myself off the guilt-hook and just keep trusting God “imperfectly.”
Lord, I don’t have it all to give you, ‘cuz I don’t have nearly the faith, strength, energy, understanding or courage I think I need in order to do it better. So, here’s what I have. Take my frayed faith. I trust You with it–and me.
What’s your “tug of war”?
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.