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Deceptive currents

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READ: Deuteronomy 8:11-20

In his book The Hidden Brain, science writer Shankar Vedantam describes the day he went for a leisurely swim. The water was calm and clear, and he felt strong and proud for covering a long distance so easily. He decided to swim out of the bay and into open water. But when he tried to return he couldn’t make any progress. He had been deceived by the current. The ease of swimming had been due to his strength but to the movement of the water.

In our relationship with God something similar can happen. “Going with the flow” can lead us to believe we’re stronger than we are. When life is easy, our minds tell us that it’s due to our own strength. We become proud and self-confident. But when trouble hits, we realize how little strength we have and how helpless we are.

This happened with the Israelites. God would bless them with military success, peace and prosperity, But thinking they had achieved it on their own, they would then become proud and self-sufficient (Deut. 8:11-12). Assuming that they no longer needed God, they would go their own way until an enemy attacked and they would realize how powerless they were without God’s help.

When life is going well we too need to beware of self-deception. Pride will take us where we do not want to go. Only humility will keep us where we ought to be – grateful to God and dependent on His strength. — Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, we don’t dare trust in our own strength

to do our tasks today. You are the Giver of our talents and opportunities. Help us use them not

for our own advancement, but to help others.

True humility credits God for every success.

©2017 ODB Ministries, 3000, Kraft Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49555-0001, USA. Used by permission. For this and other materials contact ODB Ministries at 322 P. Guevarra, San Juan City (Phils.); Tel.: 722-2010.

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