daily devotional

Could the struggles in your life be the result of a priority issue? When we elevate certain things and people to a level of importance above God, we subject them to removal from our lives.

Did you know the 10 plagues on Egypt were a direct response to 10 different gods and goddesses the Egyptians worshiped? They suffered the plague of flies, the plague of lice, plague of frogs, plague of locusts, plague of sores and boils, of water turning to blood, of all their cattle and livestock dying, of losing their firstborn, the plague of hail and the plague of darkness and each were a direct result of gods and goddesses they worshiped. Good things came under attack because their priorities were wrong.

I wonder how many good things we will lose as a result of a priority issue. I wonder how long God has been trying to get your attention and your trust as you cling to all the things that are falling apart instead of the one who holds the whole world in his hand? God knows we often won’t fall to our knees without first being knocked there.

Lord, convict us of anything or anyone we have put in your place. Convict us of priorities that are out of alignment. Help us to get this right without the trouble. But if it requires trouble, then give us the strength and courage to make those changes.

As we read in Exodus chapters 7 through 12 about the plagues on Egypt and their struggles through boils and frogs and flies, we see each time God would give them an opportunity to turn to him. Each time God would wait for them to change. We see there would sometimes be moments of surrender and moments of seeking God first, but then they would go right back to their old ways. Aren’t we the same? We get sick and we’re all up in the business of being healthy. Oh God, if you’ll heal me I’ll eat healthy. I’ll get up and exercise. I’ll do it right this time God if you’ll give me another chance. We make big commitments and promises in exchange for another chance to have our health. And how long does that last? We’re 3 days in and the aches and pains have subsided and we’re already bargaining with a bag of chips and a stack of Oreos. Don’t you know God must be shaking his head here. “God, save me! If you do, I’ll change.” He does his part and we quickly fall back.

What are your sores and boils? What are you plagued with at this moment as a result of placing other things in front of God? Where have your priorities been out of line and created a mess in your life? What will you do about it today?

God will stop at nothing to get our attention. If it takes frogs, then he will bring the frogs. If it takes darkness, then darkness it is. Not because he doesn’t love you, but because he loves you relentlessly. His relentless love will stop at nothing to reach you. He will work through chaos and calamity, disaster and diagnosis, setbacks and sidetracks, hurt and heartbreak, delays and detours to get to your heart.

He wants you. He wants the best for you. Don’t you know he has the absolute best in his hand for you? His plans and his ways are so far above yours you can’t even fathom what he has available for you. And you have to trust that what he has is better than what you have. When will we get to a place in our lives when we say with confidence, “God if it isn’t from you, then I don’t want it anyway!”

When will we fully trust that if God closes the door, it’s to get us to keep moving forward? God knew the Egyptians would never turn to him without the plagues, and God knows we would never step into the life he created us for if all the doors were always open. We wander off and get sidetracked. We start knocking on doors we were never meant to knock on. We stumble around in the darkness, wondering why life is so hard and it’s a result of going down a hallway we were never meant to be in. So God closes doors, redirects and realigns not because he doesn’t care, but because he cares so much he can’t stand to see us settling for less in our lives, not when he has something so much better for us.

The king of Egypt was Pharaoh. He had a hardened heart towards God. He refused God’s work in his life and as a result he brought destruction on everyone and everything around him. Let our hearts not be hardened towards God. Let our eyes be open to what God is trying to do in our lives. Let us fully surrender to his great plans for our lives. Let us put him first and keep him first. Let us see where he has closed doors so that we keep moving. Let us see where he has opened doors so that we go in the right direction. Let us not become complacent and comfortable in a place we are never meant to be stuck. Let us see what God is doing and let us follow his lead.