Today my soul literally feels hungry for the words of God. I am so thankful for scripture, God's words to me. I'm thankful to have them in a language I can read and understand- many in the world still do not have this gift. I'm thankful that God's word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). I am thankful that I have been given the Holy Spirit that will guide me into all truth (John 16:13). In my intense hunger today the Spirit led me to Psalms. David often was hungry for God. He pleas with God through out the book to come close to Him. Grateful that this was the Spirit's guiding. I gobbled up the first 19 chapters of the book and am OVERFLOWING with what I read. There are 150 chapters in Pslams alone- He is so gracious in the amount of Himself that He has revealed to us! I just wanted to share a few of the highlights of my reading so as to hopefully encourage you in the same way I was encouraged. To be obedient to what I read in 8:11, "Declare among the peoples His deeds." This will not have much flow to it- other than that God is good, just, loving, abundant in kindness...and the list could go on.
9:9- The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble
The term oppressed can be applied to so many different people. There are many that are oppressed. I know that the orphans are oppressed. He is a stronghold (a well fortified place) for our next child- even though I do not know them yet. Even when trouble comes to them that I am not aware of, and am helpless to do anything about- God is a stronghold for them. God is a stronghold for the 27 million in our world this very day that are trapped in slavery. They are oppressed. They need a stronghold. They are in times of trouble at each moment of their lives. I am grateful that in the overwhelmingness of all the evil in the world, God is a stronghold for the oppressed.
9:15- The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; in the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
America. This country provides us with a lot of freedoms. But it is clearly also a country in a state of decay (as any country on planet earth is), and it makes me very disheartened at times. We have stepped in the trap we ourselves set. Decisions are always followed by consequences. I need to pray for America more. I need to pray at LEAST equal to the amount I complain about it. If I am not begging the Lord to work in a powerful way more than I am complaining about the officials that run this country then I should be more than prepared to know that nothing will change. We need to petition the Lord before (and MORE than) we petition the government. (Proverbs 21:1)
12:5- "Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, now I will arise, " says the Lord; "I will set him in the safety for which he longs."
Grateful that the Lord knows an orphans desire and groaning for family and community. Thankful that he will set them in the safety for which they long. Praying for many other families to travel the road of adoption, and be a safe place for orphans.
15:1-3- O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes reproach against his friend;...
I want to abide in God's tent with Him and to live on His holy hill. So I must walk with integrity (soundness of moral character, honesty). I must work righteousness. Act in a way that is right according to God. I must speak truth in my heart. I must know truth and dedicate myself to learning what that is according to God's word so that I will speak that to myself instead of the lies of the enemy. We are given the Holy Spirit at salvation, but He guides us into all truth- it is a leading and a following- not a one time deposit of all truth and we must no longer read God's word to know what that truth is. I will not slander (defame someone, lie about someone) with my tongue. I will choose to use words that build others up and give them a good reputation and standing with others. I will not do evil to my neighbor. This is a hard one with the grumpy neighborhood association that prowls around our complex. I will choose to do good for others, not to just NOT do evil to them. I will make cookies for them on Thursday mornings because I know that's when they walk the campus. I will bless them in a proactive way. I will not take reproach against my friend. I will not discredit or destroy the reputation of my friend. This often happens in anger. I will choose to build my friends up and not to tear them down. This is not even the full list in the chapter, but these need to be descriptors of me if I am to dwell in the tent of the Lord.
17:5- My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped.
If we fall away from the Lord it is because we have not held fast to HIS paths. We have wandered to our own which lead us away from Him. Obedience to Him does not result in slipping. It will result in standing firm. A good gauge on where I see myself and how I think I have been following.
18:19- ...He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
God delights in me. In my insecurities and lies of the world I can hold to this truth that God delights in me. And He delights in me to the point of action. He rescued me. A heroic, messy, complicated rescuing that I deserved no part in! Praise be to God.
18:28-29- For You light my lamp; The Lord my God illumines my darkness. For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall.
When darkness goes before me God has promised to make the path clear. And the path will involve great acts that on my own I would never be able to accomplish. He will enable me, and I must choose obedience.
19:1-4 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world.
No one is without excuse. God's glory stretches to every corner of the earth. There may not be people in those places that declare His glory yet, but His works do- and they do so day and night. Taking the gospel to those who have never heard is of utmost importance. I heard someone say the other day that, "Faith is the work of the Holy Spirit that is made known by the preaching of the Gospel." The Gospel must be preached and declared verbally so that people will know the name of Jesus and call upon Him for their salvation! I read recently about a family that got the chance to proclaim the name of Jesus for the first time in a place that has not known who He is yet. What an awesome honor! It reenergizes me to prayer for their ministry and for those that need Jesus and now know of the name to call on!
19:7,8,11- The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes... Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
So grateful for my time with Jesus today. Thankful that His law is perfect and did restore my soul. I'm so grateful that He gives me what I need for my heart to rejoice-His words. I'm thankful for my eyes that were enlightened through my time in His word. And I pray that I will keep these words, because with that comes great reward.
I am so grateful that my earthen vessel, my dixie cup, was filled with HIS treasure today. And I pray that what you encountered in this blog post was the surpassing greatness of the power of God, and not just me.