DD week 1

Day 1

Have you ever seen a child clinging to the leg of their parent? Children act this way when they are scared of something or someone, or when they want to be picked up and held. This imagery is powerful when we think about the things we symbolically cling to, even as adults—things that aren’t as protective and loving as a parent. When we cling to worthless idols, we are settling for less. We aren’t giving ourselves the chance to experience God’s best for us.

What are some of the “worthless idols” in your life that you can turn away from? How would your life look if you chose to turn away from those things, and cling to God instead?

Day 2

This may be one of the familiar verses in the Scripture, but it’s something we all struggle with. We tend to seek first all the things we want and need, then hope God can throw in His kingdom as an added bonus. But that’s not how it works. C.S. Lewis famously said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” This verse communicates something similar. Seeking God takes intentionality and determination. It isn’t something we will default to doing. We need to ask ourselves, what are the things in our lives we are tempted to seek first? For many of us, these things won’t be obvious. But if we think about where we spend our time, how we spend our energy, and what consumes our thoughts, the idols in our lives will become clear.

Spend some time today praying and asking God to reveal to you the ways you seek other things first. Ask Him to show you how to seek Him above all else.

Day 3

Have you ever had to shovel snow off of a sidewalk or driveway? You can only start after you figure out where the sidewalk or driveway actually is. Once you find the sidewalk, you can go from there. And as you work, the sidewalk reveals itself and you know the path to follow. Submitting to God is like trusting Him to tell you where to begin shoveling snow, which would make sense, since He is the Creator and Author of life. Sure, we can try to determine our own steps, or we can trust the One who made us, and the path we are on, to lead us in the way we should go.

What are the ways you’ve tried to find your own “straight path” on your own? How did that work for you? What would look different about your life if you submitted everything to God and trusted Him with the outcome?

Day 4

During the Old Testament the Israelites had a complex sacrificial system. There were ceremonies and rituals to be observed, the right sacrifice needs to be made to God at the right time and in the right way. But Jesus changed all of that. He was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and because of what He did on the cross, we no longer have to make the same offerings Israelites once did, or worry constantly about our standing with God. Instead, God only asks for one sacrifice—our lives. Meaning, He wants our lives to be a reflection of our gratitude for what’s He’s done for us. That’s our act of worship, which isn’t how we typically think of worship, like singing songs before the pastor talks. But what worship really looks like is a faithful and consistent offering of all we have and all we are to God. All of us are offering ourselves to something.

We all worship something, and the object of our worship determines what we believe in. If someone who didn’t know you looks at your life, who or what would they say you worship? What is one way you can offer yourself to God today?

Day 5

It’s tempting to read this verse and think it means if we believe in God enough, we can do anything we set our minds to. But that’s not Paul’s intention. In the verses prior to this one, Paul talks about how he has learned to be content in any and every situation. He talks about how he knows what it feels like to be in need and what it feels like to have plenty—which he definitely did, given his experience as a respected Pharisee to an on-the-run missionary for Jesus. But in all these circumstances, Paul’s dependence on God was constant. God is the one who gives us strength to survive in our circumstances. Paul teaches that our circumstances are temporary, but God is eternal. And when we turn to Him for strength, we’re given everything we needed to endure our circumstances.

What is something you’re having a hard time getting through right now? How can you turn to God for strength today? Pray and tell God about your circumstances, good or bad, and ask Him to be with you through them all.
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