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Cursed is he who trusts in the arm of flesh, Jeremiah lets us know, and further goes on to say blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. As I begin this devotion, are you in the place of God in your life? Or do you let him lead you and guide you?
This question was asked twice in the Bible. It was asked exactly twice by a father and son who we all owe our spiritual heritage to. Both were tested, and both passed. Both had the chance of being in the place of God, but instead they deferred this role to God alone.
Jacob in Genesis 30 was asked to do the natural. Rachel wanted a child and she cried in desperation to Jacob to give her a child. Jacob in utter frustration exclaimed “Am I in the place of God”, and then urges her to seek God and not him. In answering her this way, Jacob acknowledged he was only human. That he and Rachel needed divine enablement to do what she required, for God alone opens closed wombs. Further Jacob urges Rachel to trust in God, and God alone. As the story goes, Rachel failed this test and instead leaned on the arm of flesh by going the route of self. She asked Jacob to impregnate her maid which would have been culturally acceptable at the time. This to Rachel was much easier than waiting for the time of God.
Joseph likewise, asked the same question, when his brothers fearfully sought peace with him. Am I in the place of God he asked? Do I have the power to take your lives out of revenge?
Joseph essentially chose the way of the spirit. Instead of taking out his vengeance on his violent brothers, he said only God repays. I will not judge. For I am not in the place of God.
Joseph then further re-affirms his commitment to them and embraces them as family.
Are you in the place of God? Do you take the way of flesh to handle situations or the way of the Spirit? Even so called ministerial activities can fall prey to the way of the flesh which inherently is placing ourselves as God. Today forsake the way of the flesh. Choose to be led by the Spirit. Don’t tackle issues, problems or life’s realities just as everyone else would. Put God in his place. Let him be the key factor in every decision you make. Join with me in saying “cursed is the way of the flesh”, and “blessed is the way of the spirit – the way of God”.
– Pastor Olu Jegede