Sunday, November 17, 2013
The Devil Made Me Do It
The Devil Made Me Do It
October 6, 2013
Last July I had two separate conversations with friends from the Golden Isles of Georgia and both mentioned how they loved the book, Jesus Calling written by Sarah Young.
Within that same week I was buying groceries at my favorite coupon honoring, low discount, specials of the week grocery store. Heaven knows how much I love to stretch my budget and loathe paying full price for a steak when I could keep two dollars in my pocket if I wait for steaks to go on sale. I attribute that totally to our mother who loved spreading out the Wednesday newspaper on the dining room table and circling items on sale. She would build her weekly menu by those sale items and then add whatever else she needed to complete each meal. She could maneuver ads, coupons and a grocery list with great ease and satisfaction and I thank her so much for those lessons which leads me to say this.
It was totally out of my character to pause at the "Gospel" book shelf in the grocery store where my eyes went directly to a soft, faux leather bound copy of Jesus Calling. My budgetary mind drew my hand back at first, but I allowed myself to thumb through the pages. At one point I turned the book over, saw the price of $14.95 and began putting it back on the shelf. I never buy books in a grocery store and certainly not with $15.00 I could be using to save money on groceries. Then my hand reached out and I picked it up, again. This is another example of so many God moments in my life. They are like little nudges. You know the ones where a voice inside your heart whispers, "Pick it up." At that moment, it is a tussle between the gentle voice of the heart and the frugal grocery shopper. This time, the small voice won and I proudly unpacked it with my bags of bargains and set it aside.
The next morning, I faithfully followed my new promise to begin my quiet morning with meditation and prayer and excitedly opened Jesus Calling. Over time it has come to be my second go to source for enlightenment. The first will always be the Bible because God speaks to us through others who have written those books and through God's own words from Christ. This book, Jesus Calling, is an amazing gift from Sarah Young. She shares her deep faith through what she senses are messages God wants us to hear along with prayer and Bible verses which are her basis for writing. If you find a copy be certain to read her story at the beginning of the book. Most of us skip the author's introduction, I know, but this time it is so precious and so important.
Within the next week, I received a message from Sandy Williams whom I know through working on a songwriter's site. She was going to send me a copy of, you guessed it, Jesus Calling. God wanted to make certain, I suppose, that I had not only bought it but was using it. The book appears to be a blessing to so many. I believe Sarah Young's book is so valuable because it has a daily message by dates and can be used day after day, year after year. And with each new year, depending on where our lives and faith walk lead us, we will be enlightened in new and different ways. It is not a read cover to cover and put on the shelf kind of book but will be a wonderful source to have in your collection of devotional sources.
I love being acutely aware of opportunities and God "nudges". Of course, I am also aware that our soul is in a constant tug of war with another voice. It is the voice I call the "I deserve it!" voice. That one often whispers to me when I pass the fresh made salt water taffy candy store at Broadway at the Beach. I remember in the 70s a comedian named Flip Wilson whose favorite character was Geraldine. She was an old church lady all dressed in a floral dress with lacy colar wearing white gloves and carrying a Bible. Every now and then she would justify her misbehavior by saying, "The devil made me do it!!" Well, I am saying that when I go near that candy store this little voice nudges me and says things like: "You deserve it! It won't hurt you! You know you want to go in here! You are going in there to buy some for others! You'll only buy a small amount!" Just the other day I posted a picture on Facebook of a Dunkin Doughnuts ad and my high school buddy, Sandi, said and why did you eat doughnuts?" And I proudly giggled and typed back, "Because I can and I wanted to!" That afternoon the doctor told Bill he needs to lose weight and get control of his sugar intake. We were doing so well but the last blood work caught us misbehaving. So while I admit I am telling my secrets to the world, it is for the purpose of stating, "Beware of what you think you deserve" and do not attribute those whispers to God. He speaks to the heart and not to our stomachs. Go on, laugh. God loves a cheerful heart.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for gently nudging us to find positive ways to walk in faith. You leave it up to us to answer those callings and to discern between those and temptation. Give us the wisdom to know the difference.
In Jesus' Name,