This is the text of today’s Facebook Live devotional from Family Ministries Pastors, Ken & Patricia Earley:
A few years ago Pat and I had the honor of becoming grandparents which gave us the instant joy of buying for little girls! This past Christmas one of the items at the very top of the Christmas list was this LOL Doll.
Now while this LOL doll doesn’t look like much, it is the hottest little toy around. So much so that it became an adventure in finding it. Believe it or not enclosed in this case is a doll with clothes and accessories. Sounds simple enough right? The key is that while there is a doll at that end, each accessory is a different layer preparing you for the ultimate prize – the doll. If you don’t get through the layers, you will never reach the goal of the doll. And that’s what we want to encourage you with today – staying focused.
While achieving the goal of a new doll may not seem like much to you or I, setting goals and staying focused to do what God has called us to do is. Philippians 3:15-16 in the Message translation puts it this way: So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. As we get close to the end of the fast let’s be even more determined to lean in and hear what God is saying — what He is asking us to do — and what we will commit our hands to accomplish for His kingdom.
There is one more thing about this little doll. Each layer leads you closer to the prize. Each step that we take while following God’s direction gets us closer to where He is leading us. But the key is that you can’t skip the layers because in doing so you ruin what’s ahead. There are lessons in the layers. Each layer or step is a moment for us to learn or grow. Sometimes those layers are “wait”, some are “push” and some of those layers can be terribly uncomfortable. But the layers will not destroy us because in each layer God is with us to teach us and instruct us in the way we should go. Layers aren’t permanent – they are meant for us to get instruction, get application and then move to what’s coming next. Layers take discipline. Sometimes its not easy to “wait” or “keep going” or honestly to trust the next steps, but there is a promise waiting for us that do. Proverbs 16:20 puts it like this: Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.
As we begin this year, let’s take time to stay focused, trust the lessons in the layers, and look forward to all God has in store for us in this season.