This devotional first appeared in https://www.truthforlife.org
The reed is spongy and hollow, and so is a hypocrite; there is no substance or stability in him. It is shaken back and forth in every wind, just as the outwardly religious yield to every influence; for this reason the reed is not broken by the storm, neither are hypocrites called to face persecution. I would not willingly be a deceiver or be deceived; perhaps the text for today may help me to test myself to see whether I am a hypocrite or not.
The reed by nature lives in water and owes its very existence to the mire and moisture in which it has taken root; let the water drain away, and the reed withers very quickly. Its greenness is absolutely dependent upon circumstances; a continuous supply of water makes it flourish, and a drought destroys it at once.
Is this my case? Do I only serve God when I am in good company or when faith is profitable and respectable? Do I love the Lord only when I am enjoying comforts from His hands? If so I am just a hypocrite, and like the withering reed, I will perish when death deprives me of outward joys.
But can I honestly maintain that when there have been few bodily comforts, and my surroundings have been adverse to grace rather than at all helpful to it, I have still maintained my integrity? Then I have hope that there is genuine vital godliness in me.
The reed cannot grow without water, but the Lord’s plants can and do flourish even when there is a drought. A godly man often grows best when his worldly circumstances are daunting. He who follows Christ for money is a Judas; those who follow for loaves and fishes are children of the devil; but those who stay close out of love to Himself are His own beloved ones. Lord, let me find my life in You, and not in the shifting sands of this world’s favor or gain.