Listening to Yourself | Daily Devotional | Ellel Ministries UK
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Listening to Yourself

by Peter Brokaar

Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
Matthew 20:32, NIV

Today’s devotional is about the value of listening to ourselves. Imagine if we were to consistently ignore, dismiss or negate another person. We all know that wouldn’t be a very nice thing to do. Yet sometimes we can adopt this attitude to the one person we always have with us (so to speak): ourselves. Surely this is not the kind of attitude that’s in line with God’s heart or will for us. He’s so much kinder than that!

Living God’s way means having balance in our lives. The enemy seeks to bring us into the extremes. Of course it’s right for us to prefer others above ourselves, and to yield to the desires of God’s Spirit rather than to our own sinful desires, but this doesn’t mean we should completely ignore the things we truly long for.

When the Lord made us, He created us all with many in-built desires. For example: the longing for fulfilling relationships, the desire to express ourselves, the compelling urge to grow, develop, mature, and indeed to live a full and fulfilling life. All these things (and more) have been put into our hearts by the Lord Himself.

Many Christians have come to believe that the most spiritual thing to do is to ignore these God-given desires and to devote oneself to ‘more spiritual’ things. Yet when we go this way, we’re in danger of shutting down elements of our God-given humanity, and we’ll struggle to receive God’s love and nurture in our spirits. We may even get a sense of losing touch with our own identity!

The ironic thing is that this sort of ‘super-spiritual’ approach can easily lead to feelings of self-pity, self-righteousness and a desire for false comfort, possibly leading us into sin. Though we may have tried to shut down our own needs, they never truly go away, since they were put into us by our heavenly Father.

Something from the inside will be crying out for these needs to be met, one way or another. Somewhere down the line we may have lost some balance in our lives. Perhaps we’ve become overly pre-occupied with ourselves. In this case we need to repent.

But if we’ve gone the other way, then perhaps we need to ask the Lord to help us find space and time for the valid expression of our God-given humanity.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I want to say thank You for making me ‘me!’ Today I want to ask You to help me be myself in the way You’ve always intended. If I have overridden myself in a wrong way please help me find a right balance in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Co-Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

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