Weekly Devotional 042224

A Rudder for Life

by Bob Gaudi

Come near to God and He will come near to you.” –James 4:8

Have you ever felt like you were lacking something in your relationship with the Lord? Perhaps you are going down the right path but feel like there can and should be more to the relationship. That feeling can give you the sense of being aboard a rudderless boat, drifting on the sea with no direction or control. 

I had such a feeling recently and after time spent in prayer, reflection, and studying scripture, I decided I needed to focus more on God and less on myself. By focus I mean thinking more about where and how God is working in my life. I needed to include God more frequently in my normal daily and always-wandering thoughts. I needed to think more about Him rather than me. I needed to think less about what was happening in my life and more about God IN my life.  

To move in this new direction I added the plea to my morning prayer for the Lord to help me better focus on Him and to show me additional opportunities to do so. For example: How is He working in my life? Where does He want me to go? What does He want me to do? Eventually, the central question emerged as a simple one: How can I serve Him?

I needed a rudder, and I found it by remembering who God is. He is the architect and creator of the universe and everything in it. He created us and we are His. He is our sovereign King. His power and magnificence is beyond our wildest dreams. His reach is limitless as is His love and mercy. Jesus, His son, loves us so much He gave His life so that we may live. That’s who God is. There is no other.

That being said, look around and if you really try you will see God in every part of the world we live in. I cannot imagine any of this world without our God having made it. He made this world for us. Why? Because He loves us and wants us to come to Him. Adam and Eve failed, but we have been given another chance.  

In wanting us to come to Him, God demands three things: love, obedience, and faith in Jesus Christ. In Mark 12:30, Jesus says it all: we must love the Lord with our entire beings and love our neighbors as ourselves. Loving the Lord involves obedience and faith; they form an endless circle. If you love the Lord you will be obedient to Him, have faith in Him, and trust Him. And in doing these things you will focus on Him. And if you focus on Him, your love, obedience, and faith will strengthen and increase. Ultimately we come back to our theme in James 4:8: “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” 

Need a rudder and more focus in your life? Our God will be your rudder; we just have to ask. Seek Him and focus on Him—He WILL come close and guide you through the good and not-so-good times of life. Most of all, He will guide you toward Himself that is ultimately where we as believers wish to go. Proverbs 3:4-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you do, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” I’m pretty sure that making your paths straight is like that rudder with the Holy Spirit eager to place His hand on the tiller in your life.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for all that You do in our lives and for serving as our guide to a closer relationship with You. Fill us with your Holy Spirit to keep us on the correct course until that glorious day when we come ashore to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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