Links Daily Devotional

The Instruction that Lives

All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom. (Isaiah 28:29, NIV)

If only every golfer were the same.

Walk up and down any practice tee and you’ll quickly recognize the variations in swings. One has a hitch at the top, another a lunge at the bottom. But these are only the readily noticeable differences to the untrained eye. An experienced professional could quickly point out lesser disparities—the toe of the club turned in at impact, the wrist cupped a bit too much in the backswing.

God cares enough to give us the words we need, sometimes right down to the details of our work.Still, there is another realm. For every golfer thinks differently as well. What makes perfect sense to one is a muddle to her partner. How I get my swing initiated is likely not the same as you do.

So just how is it that we come to a working knowledge of the game? Chiefly, experimentation and practice. These produce a sporadic flow of ah-ha moments.

Now let me ask you this: Would you give God credit for the learning you are doing with a club in your hand? Would you dare to say that you understand the game better because you listen to the Lord more willingly than your buddy?

It can be hard sometimes to know the full reach of Scripture’s teaching. Whether God gives us knowledge for our golf game may be in question. But two things are not in question: that God instructs those who are willing to listen, and that his instruction reaches into the practical aspects of living our lives on earth.

In Isaiah 28, we encounter two types of people. First, there are those who would not listen to the teaching of the Lord. For them, the instruction of God became as mindless repetition: “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule” (v. 10). Eugene Peterson renders it is as baby talk to the childish: “Da, da, da, da, blah, blah, blah, blah” (The Message).

But the second person is the farmer who was willing to hear what God had to say—about anything! This diligent worker and receptive learner understood that different seeds are to be sown in different ways and different plants are to be harvested according to their nature. How did he learn these things? “His God instructs him and teaches him the right way” (v. 26).

You are likely familiar with the declaration from Hebrews—referring not only to the Bible but to the ongoing leading of the Lord—that “the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). What makes it so is that God cares enough to give us the words we need, sometimes right down to the details of our work. Don’t hesitate to seek the counsel of the Lord in all things, for he is certainly willing to give it. And who knows? If your conversation is intimate enough, he might even let you in on why you’re pushing all your short irons to the right.

Jeff Hopper
March 16, 2016
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