Mission Devotional - July 30, 2019

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"Proactive"

Opening Prayer: O Lord, how I long to be different. How I long to turn from my twisted and dysfunctional patterns and habits, in order to be more whole and holy. I long to be set free from my own self-consumed ways of being and seeing, and to become more and more like you. I long to be more loving instead of self-centered. I long to be more compassionate rather than competitive. And I long to care more about your will and your work than I do about my own. Continue, O God, to transform my heart. Grow your grace in me and let it flow freely and effortlessly from my heart and life. Change me from deep within. Give me more peace and less frustration. Make me more rooted and less reactive. Help me to be more caring and less annoyed. O Jesus, fill me so full of your love that there will be no room in me for anything else. - Room to Flourish by Jim Branch

Scripture: Psalm 1:1-6

Journal: What typically describes your way of being, proactive or reactive? What does this psalm have to say about that? How can you be planted rather than blown around?

Reflection: Well, it happened again - I reacted. I let my fears and my anxieties and my insecurities get the best of me - and turn me into the worst possible version of myself - and I reacted. It seems like at some point I would learn. At some point I would stop living a reactive life and start living a more proactive one. The kind of life Psalm 1 encourages me to live. Oh, I do get it right from time to time, or from season to season, but I still get it wrong so often.

When will I ever learn that I cannot stop delighting in his law and meditating on it night and day or this will be the end result? I cannot grow tired or lazy or lax in my practice, or I will quickly turn into someone that I really do not like at all. I will suddenly be at the mercy of the winds and waves of circumstance and emotion and be blown like chaff once again. Maybe that’s why the psalm includes the words day and night as it talks about our meditation on the law, because the psalmist knows the relentlessly ongoing nature of this battle - the battle between being proactive and being reactive.

And it is never very hard to see who is winning this battle at any given moment, all you have to do is look at the fruit. If the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then all I have to do is see if those things are present in my life to know whether I am living a proactive life of being planted by streams, or a reactive life of being blown like chaff.

Luckily, there is repentance. Luckily, each and every minute of every day we have the opportunity to choose to return to God, to plant ourselves by the stream of Living Water. Even after we have, once again, forgotten to do that and allowed emotion or busyness or insecurity or circumstances to blow us away. That is the beauty of repentance. Blessed is the man who practices it regularly.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Global Partner Focus: Europe

Pete and Ruth Mitchell are church planters in France with Mission to the World (MTW) and in collaboration with the Eglise Réformée Evangélique de France (French Reformed Evangelical Church). Pete's role is that of team leader. The Mitchells are living in Toulouse planting a new church in Tournefeuille. Pray today for summer outreach programs to children that are happening in July - a Kid's Bible Club at the church plant and the Aquarium Choral Camp in the mountains.

Homes of Love creates families for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk children in Southeast Asia and Africa by identifying, training and supporting in-country Christian parents who will raise these children as their own. With access to education, healthcare, and a loving family, Homes of Love children escape the dangers of poverty, abuse, neglect, and sexual exploitation and are freed to pursue healthy, vibrant futures. Pray today for the HOL children to know who they are in Christ. Pray that God will help them know their true identity and that they will be God's instruments, ready to speak out for Him.

Closing Prayer: Turn us away, O God, from our self-centered patterns, agendas, and plans. Turn us away from our pride and arrogance and control. Turn us away from all of the attitudes and behaviors that ultimately lead to sin and death. And turn us back towards you once again, our good and holy God; that we might be conformed to the image of your Son more and more each day. Amen. - Room to Flourish by Jim Branch