As you seek to draw closer to God, may these devotions help you on your journey.
Each week a new devotion will be posted for your personal prayer time.
Week of June 16, 2013 – Sundays after Pentecost/Ordinary Time
Ahab went home resentful and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him; for he had said, “I will not give you my ancestral inheritance.”…His wife Jezebel said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” I Kings 21:4, 7
If you have a Bible handy, you might stop and read more of this story (I Kings 21:1-16). In it Ahab wants a certain field and when Naboth, the man who owns it, won’t give it away, Jezebel concocts a plan to murder him so that Ahab can have what he wants.
This story may feel extreme, after all most people don’t murder others to get something they want. Most people don’t have the power of a king that allows them to do so. And when we hear a news story that does involve murder for such reasons, we are quickly horrified.
However, this story asks us to stop and consider how far we will go to get our own way. This story asks us not to let ourselves off the hook just because we don’t murder. There are many other ways in which we can use our power and influence unjustly to get our way.
Spend some time doing an honest evaluation of your life this week. When are the times when you force your own way? What tools do you use to get it – emotions, power, coercion? Think of some examples of times when you have done this and consider if what you got was worth the damage you did to people or relationships.
In the book The Shack, one of the characters says, “Relationships are never about power, and one way to avoid the will to power is to choose to limit oneself – to serve” (Wm. Paul Young, Los Angeles: Windblown Media, 2007, p. 106).
What power are you willing to give up to create healthy relationships?
Prayer: God, help me to choose to serve rather than force my own way. Amen.