Daily D – Jeremiah 10:23-24
I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. JEREMIAH 10:23-24 (NLT)
My bride and I began taking golf lessons this summer. I took lessons thirty years ago when I moved to a town of three thousand residents with two eighteen-hole golf courses.
Soon after moving there, I was asked by an older gentleman, “Do you play golf?” When I responded that I did not, my new friend said, “The pastor of First Baptist Church has to play golf!” Who knew? This fact was not included in my seminary curriculum.
My golf instructor took an interest in me and taught me the best he knew how. After a couple of years of steady play, I stopped playing with any regularity. Now all these years later, I have discovered that almost everything my first instructor taught me was wrong.
If at first you don’t succeed, you’re about average. Trips to the driving range are much more enjoyable these days. I will not be as embarrassed at Top Golf anymore. All it took for me to become more comfortable and to have more fun was a bit of course correction.
Success in any endeavor requires course corrections. No baseball player bats a thousand for long. No one makes all the right decisions all the time. Knowing this to be true, why would we think we could plan our own lives with great precision? Many people act as if they are quite capable of captaining their own ship and are shocked when they end up in the wrong port, or worse.
What Jeremiah says in this text is appropriate for those who seek God’s direction day by day and moment by moment, as well as for those who only occasionally ask him what steps to take.
There are two parts of a good prayer that emerge from this text. First, ask for God’s direction day by day, and not only when you face a major life decision like marriage or a career change.
Second, invite God to provide course corrections as often as necessary. Life is a lot more fun when you know how to play the game. Also, life is more enjoyable when we do not place ourselves in situations where God’s correction is necessarily harsher.
My first golf instructor got one thing absolutely right. He brought a five-gallon bucket of balls to our lessons. He would dump a dozen or so on the ground and ask me to swing away. At one point he stopped me and said, “The object is not to hit all of the balls. The object is to hit each ball right.”
Enjoy your swings today. Swing as right as you know how. Ask God for better intentions and more proper execution.
I will seek God’s direction and correction.
Our Father, show me the way I should go. Correct me as often as necessary. I want to go where you want me to go and to do what you want me to do. You are a much better life planner than am I. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.