Strong Heart, Weak Mind

Psalm 56:10 & 11 

In God, whose word I praise,

         in the Lord, whose word I praise—

in God I trust; I will not be afraid,

         What can man do to me?

I read Psalm 56 in my quiet time this morning.  I have been embarking on a journey through Psalms for the past month, because their earnest cries to God seemed to fit my life right now. 

These two verses jumped out at me this morning.  It struck me that David had to repeat himself three times.  He had to keep reminding himself:  I trust God, I praise God, God has me in His hands, God is watching over me…

I wonder if we would do the same?

As I read the Psalms I am reminded why God and David had special bond.  David was gut-wrenchingly honest with God.  Are we that way? 

I like this Psalm because David is not afraid of trying to not be afraid.  He reminds himself over and over that he is in God and His words are worthy of praise. 

I find myself needing to be strong all the time.  What David shows me is that I am not strong, I am weak.  However, what he also shows me is that as long as I am in the Lord, I need have no fear of circumstances in my life. 

After all, What can man do to me?

My salvation is assured, my walk is in Christ, my final destination is decided, my treasures in Heaven are being stored up, and my Savior is waiting for me!

 

What In The World Is Happening?

This is just a quick observation…

Yesterday as I was driving between jobs I had on an AM news station.  In just a 5 minute update they mentioned that the stock market had fallen 150 points, the country of Libya is in shambles as a their Dictator attempts to cling to power, oil jumped to over $100 per barrel for the first time in two years (which explains $3.15/gallon gas) and finally President Obama told the attorney general not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage as the institution between a man and a woman.)  

In just a few short minutes of listening to the news updates I had the thought, 

…our once great nation is going down in flames fast…

I know that sounds like an extremely pessimistic attitude, but as I see and hear about each of these things, I can’t help but wonder when Jesus is coming back.  

Furthermore, I realized that as we lose hope in everything we see around us: our government, our citizens, our very way of life–it forces us to believe in and hope in the only One that is constant and unchanging.

I know that regardless of the situation in the world, my Jesus loves me.  My Jesus is preparing a place for me right now.  Regardless of the decay of this country from within as we move further and further away from a strong moral belief system, God is still in control.  Even though it is getting increasingly difficult to stay afloat financially with limited work and depressed wages, I know that my future is secure.

I know things are incredibly difficult right now.  All you have to do is look around to see that. But know that all is not hopeless.  As our hope fades in the things that have always been constant and sustained us, remember that this world is not our home.  We are preparing for eternity.  

Jesus is still Lord. 

 You still have a home in Heaven.  

Don’t lose hope.  

Keep pushing on.

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PS…for what it’s worth, here is a link to a website that Mike Huckabee has set up that is urging us to sign a petition to defend marriage as a sacred union between a man and a woman.  I’ve done it, so should you.

http://www.huckpac.com/?Fuseaction=Newsroom.Article&ID=228

 

Preparing As We Wait…

God may give us transition periods and times of waiting to help us depend on him and trust his timing.  If we patiently do his will during the transition times, we will be better prepared to serve him as we should when he calls us.

(Note from Genesis 11:31—Life Application Study Bible)

I am not by nature a very patient person.  I don’t like being behind slow drivers when I am in a hurry.  I hate choosing the wrong line at the grocery store.  I get frustrated when things don’t always go as I think they should. 

All of which makes life very interesting when you are waiting on God’s timing and direction 

These last few years have been an extended period of waiting for me.  I have waited on God’s provision for my family as my work dried up.  I have waited to find the place that God wants me to serve.  I have tried to be obedient to him and wait for his calling. 

Now things are starting to move and I can see how these last few years have prepared me to step out in faith and obedience to him now.  Just as the note above states, my transition periods and times of waiting have helped me depend solely on him and trust in his perfect timing.

It now appears that his timing is near and he is calling me on to new and exciting things.  This push he is giving me has drawn me even closer to him as I earnestly seek him in prayer and make sure I am going where he wants to lead me.

If you find yourself stuck, waiting, and impatient to move on, I would encourage you to continue to seek his face.  Be content to wait on the one that knows you best.  Look for ways to worship Him and serve Him as he holds you for a time.  His timing is perfect and when he calls you, you can be sure that when he has you move forward it will be to the exact place he needs you to be.

 

Stronger On My Knees

Stronger on My Knees

God brings us things sometimes that drive us to our knees.

It’s tough being the type of Christian that God wants me to be.  I don’t know why I am surprised at this.  Jesus said that the way to follow Him was narrow and that many would not be able to make it.  He said that I would have to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him.  Being a disciple of Christ is so much more than being baptized or being a church member or simply saying the sinner’s prayer.  Being a disciple of Christ is hard work. 

I am convinced that there are two types of Christians:  the ones who know just enough to be saved and the ones who have an earnest desire to be remade into the image of Christ.  The first group has accepted Jesus and then goes forward with their life trying to do the best they can to live like it.  The second group realizes that they can’t be like Christ without some radical remaking taking place. 

Therein lies the difficulty.  When Jimmy said that God brings us things sometimes that drive us to our knees, it resonated with me this week.  I once heard a preacher say that you are either in a storm, coming out of a storm or heading into a storm.  Right now I am in the midst of a storm that has put holes in my jeans and calluses on my knees.  This time, however, I am not despairing.

This time, there is a change in me.  I know that my present storm is necessary, even good for me.  This storm is there because God is using it to reshape me, yet again.  This storm is driving me to my knees because I have exhausted every option in my feeble mind.  I know that all I can do is fall down before my Creator and raise my hands and wait for His voice. 

Would I rather be standing on my own two feet?  Absolutely!  But I also know that I am most able to be shaped by God’s hand when I kneel and submit at His feet.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I urge you to allow God to shape you into the image of Jesus.  Allow the circumstances that drive you to your knees to be the catalyst that drives you closer to God.  Allow His gentle and to smooth away anything that is of you and replace it with all of Him.  Be willing to be remade and be ready for where He leads you.  When your time of struggle is finished and He picks you up from your knees, know that you will be a little bit closer to where He wants you to be.

Father, help me to recognize that you should be the first place I should turn to, not the last.  Help me to rely on you for my strength and my peace.  Give me direction through the storms that life throws at me and help me to be obedient to you when the rain blows away.  In Jesus Name, Amen.