Duke Ellington: An Uncomfortable Burden

August 28

“My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.” 

~ Duke Ellington

 I often contemplate the balance between free-will, permissive will and perfect will; what can happen and what God ultimately wants to happen. On one hand, we have choices we are allowed to make and yet, the Word says many are the plans of man but God’s Will (or plans) prevail. I don’t believe that’s an inconsistency in the scriptures. But there’s something hidden there which holds the key to a balanced life. It’s easy to say “Just obey God; follow His will.” It’s not that easy. Nothing ever IS, where the human spirit is concerned.

How do you respond to the things that God lays upon your heart? Where do you turn when burdened? How desperate and fervent are your prayers to be heard by God or have they become mere actions of pretenses only uttered to precede your own desires? That is a stinging indictment upon MY own heart by God’s Holy Spirit and personally, well… I am convicted.

When the burdens of The Lord are laid upon your heart, stop immediately what you’re doing and dwell on these things. God has laid His burdens on your heart for a reason and it now becomes our responsibility to discover what it is He needs us to do and how we are to respond. Are you conscious of the burdens He brings to you? Are you meditating on them to the point of weeping and fasting? God has given us the free will to do what we want but when He burdens you pay attention: there is something very specific He needs from us. Listen for His voice and tune your ear carefully to discover precisely what His perfect Will is. He will reveal it and until I obediently follow it, my heart will continue to be burdened. It is meant to make me feel… uncomfortable.

Peace, today. Sean Gutteridge


Today’s Scripture: Nehemiah 1:4-6

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.


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