March 1 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Lord God, there are so many times and so many places in my heart and life where I am still resistant to you and unwilling to let you have your way with me. I am unwilling to follow you to uncomfortable or unknown places. I am unwilling to set aside my own convenience and comfort to embrace your desire and direction for my life. I am unwilling to let go of the many things, patterns, and agendas I am constantly pursuing in order to fully pursue you. O Lord, forgive me for my unwillingness. Change my heart. Lord, have mercy! Amen.

Scripture Reading: Luke 13:34-35

Journal: What word best describes your spirit these days, as far as life with God is concerned, willing or unwilling? Why and how is that true? Where in your life with God are you unwilling these days? How might God desire to gather you under his wings? Are you willing?

Reflection: I have come to the conclusion that I live a lot of my spiritual life in simple unwillingness. There are so many beautiful things that God wants to do with me, and within me, that, for some strange reason, I am just down right resistant to. The reason for that resistance seems to be that I am simply too full of myself: my needs, my wants, my agendas, my plans, my pursuits, or, in other words, my will. Somehow instead of “Thy will be done,” my mantra has become “My will be done.” So maybe a better word than unwilling is willful - as in being full of my own will.

The bottom line seems to be that I am simply too full of myself; for when I am willful I am unwilling to follow anyone’s agenda or direction but my own. It is a dark and ugly truth that I typically come face to face with during this time of year. The time of year when we hear a weeping Jesus, heading toward the cross, asking us why we would not be willing to let him gather us under his loving and protective wings. Lord, have mercy.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Eric and Beth Yodis are facilitating church planting in eastern Ukraine. Because of the war there, Eric and Beth have recently be staying in the U.S. but are planning to return to the Ukraine soon. Pray today for them while they are in Knoxville attending the Global Mission Conference. Make sure to meet them and ask about how you can pray for their work.

In community with the local church, World Relief envisions the most vulnerable people transformed economically, socially, and spiritually. World Relief is on the ground in South Sudan working with families internally displaced by the current violence. Pray today for the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, capture my heart during this season with the depths of your love and mercy. Empty me of all my unwillingness and make me wholly yours. Have mercy on me, O Lord. Amen.