Divine control in the Christian life

Today’s devotion comes from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest where the concept of divine control is the focus. The text referenced in this devotion is Matthew 7:13 and provides a simplistic recipe in how we look to our Heavenly Father to seek divine help in our lives.

…a disciple must maintain an attitude of perfect trust and an eagerness to ask and to seek

In our own lives, we have specific needs that are necessary for our own existence. According to Maslow, our hierarchy of needs are: Physiological (breathing, food, water, sleep, et. al.), Safety (Security of home, employment and adequate resources for provisions, of morality, family, et. al.), Love/Belonging (family, friends, intimacy), Esteem (respect of others, respect by others, confidence, achievements), Self-Actualization (morality, creativity, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts, spontaneity, and problem solving).

Within the Christian life, we are taught to come to a sense of actualization of who we are in relationship to our Heavenly Father and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Being a Christian is not merely an ideology or a confessional statement, it is a willingness to engage in our lives through the understanding that we are destined for a greater hope beyond this life. This requires us, as disciples, to continually seek, ask and trust in the divine control our Heavenly Father has over our own lives.

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” This will be no effort at all, but will be a natural thing for you when difficulties and uncertainties arise. Before you formed this concept of divine control so powerfully in your mind, you used to go from person to person seeking help, but now you go to God about it. Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Through our own confidence in knowing that we are lead and guided by our Heavenly Father, we are capable of facing our trials and those obstacles that come our way in this life. Many times, Jesus chastised his disciples for their lack of faith:

Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?” (Luke 8:22-25, NASB)

Therefore, the simple recipe is for us to not merely ask, but to ask knowing that when we ask, our Father in Heaven is merciful, loving and kind to help us along the way in order to secure those things that we truly stand in need of.

As disciples, we learn to trust in the divine control our Heavenly Father has in our own lives, and in the lives of others.

 

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