Tuesday, November 7

Everything that comes is by His ordination or permission

One of the most influential writers for me personally is Elisabeth Elliot. I have read most of her books, even those no longer in print. I have also kept past articles and speeches as I have had access to them over the years.

Back in August of this year I was delighted to learn that Back to the Bible offers a free daily devotional from Elisabeth Elliot. I have yet to discard a single email, they are all that good!

One of the threads that is woven into much of her writing that has been such a blessing to me over the years is simply this: nothing happens in the life of a child of God unless God himself ordains it so, or permits it.

One of her recent devotionals expressed this thought with the following words...
Never mind whether things come from God Himself or from people-- everything comes by His ordination or permission. If I mean to be obedient and submissive to the Lord because He is my Lord, I must not forget that whatever He allows to happen becomes, for me, His will at that moment. Perhaps it is someone else's sinful action, but if God allows it to affect me, He wills it for my learning... (Oct.30, "Waiting")
As my own world becomes seemingly...
  • more chaotic,
  • less personal,
  • more busy,
  • less friendly,
  • more frustrating,
  • fewer victories,
  • more lonely,
  • fewer answers
...it has been refreshing to realize the truth of the Psalmist words, "Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure." (Psalm 16:5).
I know of no greater simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned. Does the intellect balk at that? Can we say that there are things which happen to us which do not belong to our lovingly assigned "portion" (this belongs to it, that does not)? Are some things, then, out of the control of the Almighty? Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled...my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter. (Sept.17, "A Quiet Heart")
It is indeed the LORD who assigns us or portion and our cup. Nothing that happens in our day to day toiling is an accident. Everything comes to us either by His ordination or permission.

Click here to see subscription options for Back to the Bible's daily deovtionals, including Elisabeth Elliot's Daily Devotions.


antonio said...

That God does allow bad things to happen to us is one of the hardest things for us to accept.

GuyMuse said...

ANTONIO--Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. This truth has been such a blessing to me personally. Yes it is hard to understand how even the bad things are part of His will, but He permits those things in our lives to use them to work His good and perfect will.

Debbie said...

I too enjoy Elisabeth Elliot. I have heard her speak and have read her books for many years. Thank you for this reminder Guy. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the Back to the Bible devotionals. Great post on an often overlooked and under-read witness to on the most astounding stories in Christian history.

GuyMuse said...

Debbie and Milton,

Thanks for stopping by with your comments. If you haven't already I'd encourage you to sign up for the daily devotions at Back to the Bible (info included in post.) Today's devotional about seeking Godly counsel from those who are submitted to the Lord, rather than from so-called experts, was excellent.

Debbie said...

Thank you Guy. I plan to do just that as I am seeking personal answers in my role as a woman in the church; the body of Christ and have been doing that very thing. Not because I am so smart but because that way just kind of fell into my lap so to speak. :)

Donna said...

Thank you Guy, I feel as if you reported this just for Bill and I. It has been five years this week that our Ben died. Every year I "look" for Ben. It is a month long process that begins with Mothers Day and continues on through June. It is a torturous experience. It is not that I lack faith. I live by faith alone. It is through this process that once again I let go of Ben and find God. And when I find God I know that I was looking for him in my grief all along.

J. Guy Muse said...


Linda and I remember those days too as we shared them with you via Bill's staying with us those six weeks here in Guayaquil. We think of you guys often and have regretted that it hasn't worked out to see you guys and hear how things are with you. I am glad these thoughts by EE have been a comfort to you too. As you might know, she lost 2 husbands herself, the first murdered here in Ecuador, and the second to disease, and was thus somebody who can speak authoritatively on the subject of loss and pain. Tell Bill we miss his migas for breakfast. Tell him to get up tomorrow and make you some!