Matthew 10:29-31 ~
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
and yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave and notice?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear Not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Sometimes I operate in the spirit of fear. That realm of uncertainty where I allow my own ideas to take precedence over the truth of what God’s Word assures to me. It frustrates me that I succumb to that temptation to trust what I SEE against what I KNOW. The concept of perceiving truth and knowing truth is a very fine line.
I know that Truth, itself, begins, exists and ends in Christ. He declared, ” I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”(John 14:16) All knowledge and understanding is subject to the Truth of who He is and the evidence of God’s Word as testimony to what His will is.
I know the word. I can recount scripture in volumes that would give an answer for every situation, but my heart doesn’t always connect with the memory bank in my brain. My heart holds on to the emotion and the feeling and yes… the fear. That hidden sliver that steals my faith which becomes that little bit of leaven which can ruin it all.( Galations 5:9)
That small doubting and coveting or whatever it may be that has taken the root of rejecting truth in our lives, can get a foothold in our hearts and root itself deep, embedding and entangling our concept of what is true and what is a lie. That little misconception that perhaps we believed to be real, or hoped for. Or maybe that small offense that could have been easily rectified, except for the pride that is holding us back. Now that offense is more of a plank in our eye, quickly growing into a log. What about the preconceived ideas or unrealistic expectations that we have not only for others, but for God, too?
I was not really bowing with empty hands, but clenched fists. Holding tight to the hopes,dreams and passions of a heart who thought she was following the Sovereign One. Oh, yes , following and loving, serving and worshiping ..but still holding back. Still holding on to those broken dreams, those carnal hopes, those empty promises which can never manifest into the beautiful reality of God’s hope, His will for my life.
And then when the vicissitudes of life break in, and remember that the Lord promised they would, what happens to our fragile faith. Do we have mustard seed faith? Do we immediately rail at the Father, crying for mercy in one breath and condemning in the next? What a scary possibility, but I can attest to the confirmation of being both one who blesses and one who rails at injustice. That injustice, while truly an imposition of unfair circumstance, is not the fault of the Almighty. Yet, in my crying, I ask… can’t you fix this? Can’t you change this?
Here is the stark reality. Either I choose to trust Him, or I don’t. It is black and white. I can’t bless in one breath and cry out in adversity in the next. Either I trust Him with my life, or I don’t. There is no other standard. God is not man that He should lie, His ways are not our ways.(Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 55:9) The standard is set and the bar has been raised and God does not change with the swaying of the tides, as man can.(Rom 11:29) As I, ultimately, can.
But for His grace and favor. The unmerited blessing of God, who is working out all things for HIS glory ( Rom 8;28). ( whose?? not mine, but His.) See, my heart needs to bow in humility before the Only One who is worthy of admiration. True humility doesn’t seek for me, but for the one who sent me.
Psalm 10 starts out with a cry unto the Lord, ” Why do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in the time of distress?” It continues with a lamentation of woe from the heart of one who is seeking the heart of the King. Then in verse 17 we read, ” O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear.”
He has never failed… not one precious promise in His Word has failed. ( Hebrews 10:23, 1 Kings 8:56) So, why do I fail to believe that He hears me when I am crying out? Why do I doubt His deliverance when the trial is weighing in?
Just as a storm that approaches can surround you or it can move right beside you, it is the perspective which you have that gives you the advantage. Can you praise him as the storm passes by? Can you praise Him as it hovers near? Can you praise Him when it takes you unaware? Can you praise him, raising Holy hands with tears of admiration and a heart of faith, when the windows are shaking and the door is busting open? Can you praise him right int he middle, when the calm is there and you know what is coming?
It is then, my friend, that your faith takes the step of action. It is then, that we choose to say like the father of the sick young boy, “Help me in my unbelief, Lord.”(Mark 9:24) He is not expecting perfection. No.. He is sanctifying you day in and day out. (Phil 1:6) Some days there is a testing and a trying of our souls but without that,often, our faith does not grow. Those trials are lonely, sometimes painful, and usually overwhelming; yet we are not alone because we can go back to the promise in Matthew chapter 10. His eye is on the Sparrow, but His heart is on you.( Matt 10:29-31)
Jesus, in Chapter 10 of Matthew is preparing His disciples for their ministry. He is getting ready to send them out but he has to remind them to look to Creation. To look to the birds because they do not fret and carry on in fear or worry. They go about the day doing the work for today in faithful humility.
My prayer today is that you would take the garment of praise upon your shoulders with the mantle of humility upon your heart and bow low with opened hands. Release to God all that is holding you back from believing and receiving. He has so much for us, if we would only believe. The moments where life throws us a curve ball, while real and frightening as they can sometimes be, are moments that we have an opportunity to look back and consider. Do I remember the loss, the hurt and the pain, or do I see the strength, hope and promise of God’s goodness displayed once again. I want to hold onto hope… to get to the end of the journey and be able to hand someone that glass of encouragement. ( Matt 10:42)
Take time to look through some of the scripture references I included in this devotional today. Be encouraged as you draw near to God, for he will draw near to you. ( James 4:8) I have included a journal page for you to walk through your day in prayer and contemplation remembering His promises as you meditate on His Word.
Click Here for the Eye on the Sparrow Journal Page