The Response and the Promise

Pastor Wayne Crodeiro

"...If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14)
This verse has to be one of my top choices for a complete package ... one that does three things: it encourages, challenges, and warns. These exhortations come three to a package ... not sold separately.

We firstly need encouragement and affirmation. It gives us strength to go on. But we also need challenge. It gives us added fuel and energy to win, not just to proceed. And we need warnings. Instructions on what do, what to change, and what we need to avoid. These warnings are like harbingers of consequences if not heeded.

Most of us would like to take the first one and disregard the other two. "Encouragement only, please," and we can become addicted to affirmation. Some may risk the first two: "I need lots of encouragement, but once in a while, you can challenge me a little... but not too much! I don't want it to pinch my lifestyle."

But growth and maturity comes three to a package. Not only equal acceptance of all three, but an equal response to all three is required for maturity.

We often respond well to encouragement, we're neutral to challenge, but we are often negative or moody on the third.

Your absorbency, receptivity, and ability to learn will be in large part, determined NOT by how the package is delivered, but how it is received! That receptivity is what positions the heart to hear, the soul to be supple, and the Spirit of God to begin. Otherwise, it is like pouring new wine into an old wineskin.
This is a great challenge for me and for anyone else who wills to grow... and grow strategically. We all want to improve, but the improvement is according to our goals. I want to improve according to God's goals. It will then require challenge and warnings, affirmations and corrections. I will be receptive and open to all three! The second two are not as fun, but they have ALWAYS been more catalytic than the first. It has brought more change, more fruit, and more maturity than anything else. It's lie protein for my spiritual muscles. You don't build champions on junk food.
Dear Father,
Thank you for always reminding about what is best. I seem to be a slow learner. Please forgive me for that, but THANK YOU for staying with me. Through the ebbs and tides of my life, you have been stalwart and true. I will be one of those who humbles himself, who prays and turns from his wicked way. It is an honor to be known as one of the people of God.

Devotions for May 23

2 Chronicles 6,7
Psalms 135
Romans 4

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