Lean Not on Your Own Understanding
We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened —Luke 24:21
They thought that the redemption or saving of Israel would look like something other than the death of Jesus on the cross, which was the last thing they thought. They lost hope three days ago when He died.
The disciples shared their hopes and dreams, but their own understanding headed them in a wrong direction. They were leaving Jerusalem (the city of peace) behind and were on their way to Emmaus (the city of warm baths). This is so ironic: they were leaving the city of spiritual peace and comfort, and had headed towards the city of physical comfort and warm baths. They felt dejected and wanted to "lick their wounds."
Anything that has even a hint of dejection, spiritually, is always from drawing the wrong conclusions -- or trusting in our own understanding rather than in trusting that God is in control and knows what He is doing.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Dejection stems from one of two sides of the same coin — I have either satisfied a lust and feel guilty from it, or I have not had it satisfied and feel the desperation that my life depends on it and I can not get it. In either case, dejection is the result of lust. Lust means “I must have 'it' at all costs, to satisfy my desires or my notions” -- no matter what the desire is directed towards, be it actual physical lust, or the desire to fulfill a romantic idea, or something as simple as food or drink -- whatever we have focused on. Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer or a release from God, instead of seeking God, Himself, who gives comfort and release -- and answers, too.
Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
When we seek the kingdom of God... when we seek his righteousness... when we seek to be in the place where God is King .... when we seek after His righteousness and not our own.... THEN he adds to us all the things we need in life... from redemption to salvation and exaltation... from provision and clothing to shelter to friends and family -- ALL of our needs. He knows what we need and He is our Provider. Praise God!!
James 1:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
What have I been hoping and praying that God would do for me? What situation do I want Him to eliminate from my life? We would like God to take us out of the trial, and sometimes He does, but what God very often does is walk with us through the trial. Trials are meant to open our eyes to the evidence of God's Presence in our lives. They are meant to help us learn to be patient until we finally see what He has done for us.
Is today “the third day” and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and let down? Whenever we insist that God should give us the answer we have imagined, we are off track. The purpose of prayer is to get, or strengthen, our hold on God, not to get "the answer we dream of."
1Co 2:9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
It is nearly impossible to be well physically and to be dejected, because dejection is a sign of spiritual sickness. We had an expectation that did not get fulfilled. We had an intention that got thwarted. It may be that we knew there was something we should have said or done, but we did not say it or do it. If we are honest with ourselves we can look for these kinds of things within our dejection and then begin to walk ourselves out of it and head towards God, again.
Spiritual dejection is faithlessness, and it is of our own doing. We look for visions from heaven and for earth-shaking events to see God’s power -- but not Him. We want God to be a showoff for us -- so we can see how big we are. Even the fact that we are dejected is proof that we have done this.
Yet we fail to realize that God is always at work in us and in our daily events and in the people around us. If we will only trust and obey Him with a thankful heart, and do the task that He has placed closest to us, we will see Him. It is about real trust in Him. Trusting Him with ALL of our heart.
If we know that God is always good and only does good, we will trust Him. He never changes. He never casts a shifting shadow. He is always firm, steadfast, and faithful -- that is just how He is.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
One of the most amazing revelations of God comes to us when we get a glimpse of the magnificent deity of Jesus Christ -- let us give thanks for the breath that we breathe in freedom and redemption from sin. We have been redeemed!!
1 Thessalonians 5:16 ¶ Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophecies.
21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 ¶ Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
The proof that faith and dejection are opposites lies in the fact that you cannot rejoice, praise God, and be dejected at the same time!!