Saturday, February 20 Devotion

from Lynda Lindsey

Reading: Matthew 23:37-39; Deuteronomy 32:10b-11

Lent: A Journey to the Cross

The King Is Coming; Prepare Ye the Way

Be Willing to be Cared for on the Journey

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:37-39

Moses, speaking of God’s care for His people:

…He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. Deuteronomy 32:10b-11

A mindset is a set of assumptions held by one person or a group of people so fixed that it creates a powerful incentive to continue those assumptions, often to the point of resisting change, even if the assumptions are proved to be false. A mindset of rugged individualism, being self-reliant and self sufficient, with the ability to stand alone, independent of anyone else is often portrayed as an exemplary achievement. After all, who among us doesn’t want to be thought capable of taking care of ourselves? Yet this I-am-the-master-of-my-own-fate mindset has caused trouble since creation.

At creation God’s Spirit was hovering over the waters, protectively encircling all He created. The image evoked is that of a bird protectively encircling her brood of babies. Adam and Eve, who were created to live in total dependence on and in perfect relationship with God, made a grievous and sinful choice to be independent. In their unwillingness to obey God they spoiled their relationship with holy God. Throughout the whole of Scripture, God yearned to hover lovingly over His people, shielding them under His outstretched wings. But they were not willing to obey God.

A willingness to obey God indicates a presupposition to be ready and prepared, ahead of time, to act on a godly code of conduct. While a mindset of rugged independence is contrary to successfully following God, a mindset that leads to obeying God is an excellent ambition. Indeed our situation is desolate should we reject a mindset of obeying God. When we miss the mark and attempt to live independently of God, He is gracious and merciful, offering us forgiveness upon our repentance and confession.

The King is coming; make preparations. Be willing. Choose a godly mindset. Be singleminded. Resolve, in advance, to live in total dependence upon God. Obey. Be willing to accept God’s care on the journey, because God eagerly longs to shield, guard, care for and protect us. In life’s calm seas or stormy waters depend on God’s goodness and graciousness, kindness and mercy. You won’t be disappointed…Jesus awaits!