Day 20 (October 19)
Inclinations: Genesis 8:13-22
(Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot, Day 6)
1. Center Down
Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe! Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “Holy Spirit…” As you exhale whisper, “…subdue my evil inclination.”
2. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:
(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)
In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water dried up from on the earth. Noah removed the [ark]’s cover and looked: there, the face of the ground was dry. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried out. God spoke to Noah: ‘Get out of the [ark], you, your wife, your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Every living thing that’s with you from all flesh, birds, animals and everything that moves on the earth: get them out with you, so they may teem on the earth and be fruitful and be numerous on the earth.’
So Noah got out, he, his sons, his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every living thing, everything that moves and every bird, everything that moves on the earth got out of the [ark] by their families. Noah built an altar for Yahweh, took some of every pure animal and of every pure bird, and offered up burnt offerings on the altar, and Yahweh smelled the nice smell. Yahweh said to himself, ‘I won’t ever again slight the ground on account of humanity, because the inclination of the human mind is bad from its youth. I won’t ever again strike down everything living, as I did. Never again, for all earth’s days, will seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, stop.’ (Genesis 8:13-22, BfE)
For further exploration: Video: http://b.link/DoesGodCreateEvil
3. Concepts to Consider:
God’s driving inclination is holy love. Humanity’s inclination “is bad from the its youth.” So why does God continue to put up with us and believe something better can emerge? The Hebrew sages talk of humanity’s “evil inclination,” our “yetzer hara” (Genesis 6:5; 8:21). Of course, if there is a “yetzer hara,” then there must also be some remnant of a “yetzer tov,” or “good inclination” that we saw dominant in the Garden of Eden before humanity’s “falling out” with our Creator.
Combating the “yetzer hara” begins with not allowing it to define who we truly are. We are—at our core—made in the image of God, meaning that anything or anyone that may diminish, mar, or impede us from doing our job of reflecting God’s character and design into the cosmos is not for us. Yes, “all those things” are indeed tempting. Yes, that second bowl of ice cream is tempting, yes that scintillating image is tempting to pull up on my phone, yes I can take a little money and they won’t notice. But here’s what “image bearing” helps us remember. That 1. we are not our wrongdoings. 2. We are not our choices. 3. And we are not our emotions. In other words, our true identity is not what we do or feel, but we must stop and remember who we are and Whose we are. Don’t just seek miracles (quick fixes) to overcome your evil
inclination. Dare to do the hard work and seek God’s shalom (wholeness) available through steadily growing our relationship with Christ Jesus empowered by His Spirit. “Overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
4. Reflection Question:
(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries).
- If there are areas of your life where the “yetzer hara” hold sway, now is the time to tell it, “yes, this thing/person/action/idea is tempting… but I bear the image of Almighty God, who loves me, and that thing/person/action/idea is not for me because it/they do(es) not reflect God’s holy, loving ”
Take time to list these things/persons/actions/ideas that have been allowed to come under the control of our “evil inclination,” then lift each to Lord, repent, and seek the help you need to get them under control by the power of His Spirit.
5. Prayer for Today:
A Declaration of Joy
Omniscient Father, as the Body of Christ, we thank You for being our God. We thank You for saving us through the sacrifice of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. We thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to instruct, guide, teach and comfort us. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for empowering us and filling our lives with joy. Hallel YAH! Awesome Father, You are great and greatly to be praised. You are to be feared above all gods. The earth is Yours and everything in it; the world and all its people belong to You. You laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Lord, Your works are wonderful. You are our help and shield. In You, do our hearts rejoice because we trust in Your holy Name. Let Your unfailing love continue to surround us Lord, for our hope is in You alone.
Wonderful Father, we declare as the Body of Christ, that as we keep the Your commands and abide in Your love; Your joy will remain in us and our joy will overflow. Today, we confess that we will count it all joy when we fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. We will let patience have its perfect work in us so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Lord, we confess that instead of shame and dishonor; we will enjoy a double share of honor. We boldly declare that in this land we possess a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy is ours.
These are the three things that I am joyful for:
Righteous Father, we ask You to bless all members of the Body of Christ. Holy Spirit, please instruct us in our relationships, ministries, careers and finances. Make our hearts strong, blameless, and holy as we stand before God, our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His holy people. Remind us daily of the Word which tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Holy Spirit, please help each of us to develop a joyful disposition. Help us all to enjoy life and laugh more.
Loving Father, forgive us for any acts of sinfulness, including strife, discord, jealousy, rivalries, gossip and any abuse of power. Forgive us for at times not being joyful, being that Your joy is our strength. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive; and we will be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Immortal Lord, You are the blessed and only Almighty God. You are the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. You alone can never die. You live in light so brilliant that no human can approach You. No human eye has ever seen You, nor ever will. To You belongs all honor and power forever and ever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.
© Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. ©2019 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved — No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI