by Angie Thomas

I am so weak.  Seriously, so very, very weak and so easily distracted and derailed from walking in a manner worthy of the calling we have received, as Paul urges us in Ephesians 4.  In a recent Seeds of Spring lecture, Laurie provided a list of things that can pull at us during the day and take our focus off God and what He has done for us and given to us.  I could relate to practically every one:

  • Trial
  • Wealth/Comfort
  • Fame/Success
  • Expectations
  • Comparing
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Feeling Like a Failure
  • Doubt
  • Achievements
  • Relationships

So, I have been talking to the Lord a lot about this problem this past week.  Why am I so easily taken off course by the enemy and my flesh?  I desire so desperately for my life to reflect God’s humility, gentleness, patience, and love, but I daily fall so far short.

As I have cried out to Him in frustration, He has been so kind and gracious to provide insight into this struggle.  Pride is really at the root of all my weakness and sin patterns.  I often don’t see it or don’t want to admit it, but even my fear and worry are rooted in egotism and conceit. This quote from John MacArthur threw light on my wrong-thinking: “The individual who is devastated by the reality of personal failure, this is actually self-love. He is simply shocked at seeing himself as he really is.”

Ouch. So how do we combat pride? In order to rightly war against it, it seems helpful to be reminded of its origin.  It was the root of the first sin in the Garden of Eden.  The serpent came and caused Adam and Eve to question and doubt God’s perfect love for them, and it doesn’t take much for them to fall. Genesis 3:6 says, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  The bite was taken and the rest of humanity forever would struggle under the weight of the same vanity and egotism that blinded Adam and Eve.

So, what’s the antidote?  How do we fight against a sin struggle that is part of our very nature and core, apart from Christ?  Is the answer trying harder…self-loathing? Been there, done that and those methods seem to only tighten the strangle of pride.  Could it possibly be an ever increasing and deeper understanding of God’s love for us in Christ?  Listen to what Paul says in Ephesians 3: “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (vv.15-19).

Wow, only God could provide a way out of the darkness of pride through the light of His love.  You see, when we are filled with the fullness of God, we no longer need to be full of ourselves.  Our identity can rest solely in Christ and then we will no longer be taken off track by the circumstance in our days that threaten only our perceived image.  Our true identity as a child of God can never be shaken by our failures, doubts, or trials.  It was sealed with Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf.  In Christ we are permanently loved, forgiven, and awaiting our inheritance.  This truth has the power to cut down every root of pride in our hearts.  May we have the strength to comprehend it and the grace and faith to believe it and walk in it!

Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:57-62 ESV

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 And Jesus said to him,
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said,
“Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead
to bury their own dead. But as for you,
go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”
62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow
and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”


How dearly do we hold our family in our hearts?
More dearly than the Lord Jesus?
How dear are our friends to us?
How attached are we to our worldly affairs and concerns?
How immersed are we in the things of this world?

One man said that he needed to take care of his father and
then once he had passed on he would follow.
If he were to follow Jesus immediately, what might it cost him?
Might it cost him his relationship? Might it cost him his inheritance?
Another says he will follow Jesus, but first he must make sure that
he has made arrangements and said goodbye to his family.
If he were to follow Jesus right now what would it cost him?

For these men their families
were on the forefront of their minds
and in the center of their hearts.

What is on the forefront of your mind?
Who holds the position of prominence
and preeminence in your heart?

What would you do if today the Lord said to you,
“Follow me.”

Would you look back?


You may not feel as though the seemingly secondary
things are preeminent,
but if Jesus were to ask you to follow Him
right now, no matter where, would you follow Him?

Jesus said,
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back
is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

Are you willing to follow?
Or are you looking back?


Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.


Lord, help us to be willing and able to follow you
wherever you send us when you send us.

In His hands for His glory,


A Thistlebend Ministries eMoment devotion. To have eMoments emailed to your inbox, subscribe on the bottom right of our Home page.

by Susan Sampson

I had thought that I lived with a beautiful family of five,
Until I realized there was another living inside.
He’s here, he’s real, and he is rather large;
Taking up way too much space in my mind, my heart, and even my garage.
He was tricky, I have to say. I did not see him coming my way.
He masquerades as light and fun, but the reality is he steals my attention.

His name is Clutter. And he is not pretty.
I did not ask him to join our family.
When did he arrive? How did I let this happen?
Why did I not realize what was going on? How
could I have been so blind for so very long?

Well, it’s time for Clutter to leave.
It’s time to make room for Another.
Because He is the one who deserves my time, not Clutter.
How can I get rid of him? Do I ask him nicely?
“I never wanted you here, so now you’ve got to go,” I say politely.

Now I’ve tried to be nice, but it just isn’t working;
For this is a battle and I must do some fighting.
The good news is I am not alone;
My King is sitting on His throne.
And He is simply waiting for me;
To ask Him for His help to set me free.

Can I let go of Clutter? Do I want to be free?
How badly do I want to live my life abundantly?
Clutter has been with us for so very long;
But now it’s time my heart sang a brand new song.

I am ready; it is time. My King has waited so patiently.
He knows where I’ve been and exactly what I’ve done
And yet, He still loves me and forgives me. He is the One.
He is the light and He wants my all in all.

He wants my strength, my heart, my mind and my soul.
You see, He’s my creator and He made me with a goal.
To give Him all the glory and to tell others of His story.

Goodbye Clutter, you’ve had your run.
For now it’s time to usher in the One.
The one true God, who is full of light and life.
He wants my best, my all in all.
He wants my life, for that is His call.

And so, here we are, and I can finally say, Welcome
home Lord Jesus, please show me the way. Please
come and take your place as King of my heart
So that others may see your grace and receive a brand new start.


This poem appears in the Thistlebend Discipleship Study Falling in Love Again with Your Lord available here.