June 18 Do the Next Thing

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1 Kings 19:1-21;  Acts 12:1-23;  Psalm 136:1-26;  Proverbs 17:14-15

The Prophet Elijah was “spent”, worn out from death threats, tired of hiding, “wasted” from running for his life.  He felt all “used up” like he had nothing left to give.

Elijah told God so, too:  “I have been very zealous for the Lord Almighty.  The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword.  I am the only one left, an now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:14

Have you ever felt like Elijah?  Weary from your efforts to bring God’s truth, live God’s truth in this day and age?  I know that I have.  And I marvel at God’s gracious approach to my weariness, my lamenting, my complaining.  He does not chastise me, just like He did not chastise or make light of Elijah’s weakness.  He gave Elijah a task to do–He gave him the “next thing to do” and the strength to carry it out.

God puts us into action and helps us in our weakness.

A poem I learned from Elizabeth Eliot helps me keep my eyes on Him and the encouragement to “Do The Next Thing”.

From an old English parsonage,

Down by the sea

There came in the twilight

A message to me,

Teaching from Heaven.

And on through the hours

The quiet words ring

Like a low inspiration–

DO THE NEXT THING.

 

Many a questioning, many a fear,

Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment

Let down from Heaven,

Time, opportunity,

Guidance are given,

Fear not tomorrows,

Child of the King,

Trust them with Jesus,

DO THE NEXT THING.

 

Do it immediately;

Do it with prayer;

Do it reliantly, casting all care;

Do it with reverence,

Tracing His Hand

Who placed it before thee with

Earnest command.

Stayed on omnipotence,

Safe ‘neath His wing

Leave all resultings

DO THE NEXT THING.

 

Looking to Jesus, ever serener

(Working or suffering)

Be thy demeanor

In His dear presence

The rest of His calm,

The light of His countenance

Be thy psalm,

Strong in His faithfulness,

Praise and sing,

Then as He beckons thee,

DO THE NEXT THING.

                                               –author unknown

Lord God, help us this day to do the next thing with your strength, your guidance, your love.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

“Give thanks to the Lord, for

He is good.  His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,

His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,

His love endures forever.”  Psalm 136:1-3

 

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