The Secret Of Usefulness

A daily devotion for October 29th

Read the Scripture: Psalm 84
Psalm 84

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Selah

9 Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

12 O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

New International Version
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Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage (Psalm 84:5).

Here the secret of usefulness is set forth. Blessed are those whose strength is in you.

Many of you have been Christians for a long time. When you get in difficulties or troubles or pressures, where is your strength? Have you found that your strength is in God, that He is the One who makes a difference?

One Saturday night I came home after a day away from my church responsibilities, and I was very tired. My wife told me some of the things that had been happening, some of the pressures that had come that day from the church and from the family. They were the kind of things I would normally want to lay before the Lord and pray about. But I didn't feel like praying. I was tired, and I wanted to go to bed. I thought to myself, What's the use of praying, anyway? I'm so tired that my prayers wouldn't have any power.

Then it struck me: What a thing to say! What difference does it make how I feel? My reliance isn't upon my prayers but upon God's power. It always bothers me to hear Christians talk about the power of prayer. There isn't any power in prayer. There is power in the God who answers prayer. I was rebuked in my own spirit by the remembrance that it makes no difference how tired I happen to be. So I prayed--very briefly, because the power of prayer doesn't lie in the length of it, either. Charles Spurgeon used to speak of those who had the idea that the power of the ministry lay in the lungs of the preacher. But it doesn't lie there, either. Power lies in the God who is behind prayer. Blessed are those whose strength is in you.

Some time ago I was trying to sell my car. Intending to put an ad in the paper, I read through several car ads to learn how to phrase it. I noticed a phrase that appeared again and again throughout the ads. It said, Power all around. At first I didn't know what that meant, and then I realized it meant power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, power windows, power seats, and, in the case of a convertible, a power top. Power all around! All this power is designed to take the terrible strain out of driving so that all you need to do is sit there and push little buttons and things will happen. What a tremendous description of the Christian life! Power all around!

Lord, You are the strength of my life. When I am weak and weary, let me turn to You for the power I need.

Life Application: Are we missing the wonder of the divine invasion, which is Christ-in-you? Do we place the full weight of our weakness and weariness on that powerful Resource?

We hope you were blessed by this daily devotion.

From your friends at www.RayStedman.org