“But look at this: You are still holding my right hand;
You have been all along.” Psalm 73:23 The Voice
God is so faithful. So faithful I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. I am so thankful that He will never leave me or forsake me. I am so thankful that He will always be there holding my hand. What an incredible visual!
I can picture a large warm strong hand holding mine. It feels so secure. If I stumble the grip is strong enough to steady my feet. If I’m afraid, I’ll feel protected. I won’t be alone. Never alone.
Sometimes I forget that He’s always with me. Sometimes I act as though I have to handle everything on my own. That is a big lie! That is not what God has promised. Satan wants us to feel alone and isolated in order to deceive us. It’s a smooth move until we figure it out. Once we realize the power and authority we have in Our Father that is always holding our hand, the gig is up. God is our refuge. Our Shepherd. Our Rock and our salvation. Of whom shall we be afraid?
Father, thank you for Your love that abides with us and in us!
“Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am. Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.” Psalm 139:23 The Voice
I read this verse today and thought “Why in the world would I ask for this?” Search my heart and mind and soul and desires and put them all to the test. Huh. I really have to think about that.
Then I read the entire Psalm, verses 1-24. What I saw was all the beauty of intimacy and unconditional love and reliance on God. I am foolish to think that I can hide anything from Him. I am also foolish not to realize that He decided to love me long ago… anyway. He knew about every bad decision I was going to make before I did. All of them. And He loves me anyway. He still showers me with love and compassion and His tender mercy. There are days that I feel like I can wrap my head around a small piece of His love for me but I always know that it’s so much bigger than I can even imagine. It makes me thankful and gives me encouragement to continue to stretch into the person that He designed me to be. It also gives me courage and strength to love others the way He loves me….anyway.
Father thank you for Your immense unconditional love. Help me grasp the depth and breadth of Your love that began before time.
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
As I read these verses, I started to imagine putting each of these characteristics on as if they were articles of clothing. A beautiful gown of compassion with a robe or jacket of kindness over it. Gorgeous custom boots of humility. Dazzling ear rings of gentleness and a necklace of patience. Then my make-up would look flawless with a foundation of forgiveness. I really had to sit with that for a while. It sounded regal and beautiful in such a stately and timeless way. It made me think of all the money I invest in clothes, shoes, the latest face creams and moisturizers. Closets of clothes are all over my house! But God’s garments are timeless, ageless classics. They never go out of style and their beauty never fades.
Lord, help me dress in these beautiful characteristics that reflect You. Help me wear each of them daily and with joy. Thank you for teaching me a new way to dress for success!
“ 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NASB
What does it mean that we are chosen? Well, as God’s chosen ones we are called to a higher standard of behavior. His standard. We have to come to know Him and know His ways. His ways are very different. They are a reflection of His heart: compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient. Forgiving. It’s a beautiful and tall order. So I give thanks. I thank God for the light yoke that He has for us. He never intended us to take the world on by ourselves. I ask Him to show me how to rest in Him. Trust Him. Trust His desires for me. Trust His love for me.
Lord, thank you for Your faithfulness and for Your Presence in my life. Please instill Your heart in mine. Fill me with humility, patience and gentleness in all things.
“17But the unfailing love of the Eternal is always and eternal for those who reverently run after Him. He extends His justice on and on to future generations, 18 To those who will keep His bond of love and remember to walk in the guidance of His commands.” Psalm 103:17-18 The Voice
“He extends His justice on and on to future generations” are powerful words. As I grew older and returned to the teachings of my youth, I have been very thankful for the prayer that my Mom and her friends wrapped me in growing up. It wasn’t until I was reading this verse recently that I realized they were wrapping the next generation in prayer too. Now I realize that I too am positioned to pray for my children’s children “on and on to future generations.”
Father, I ask that Your hand will be on my children and my children’s children’s lives, and on and on for generations. Knit them together for safekeeping. I pray they will become Mighty Warriors seeking Your Heart at all times.
“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2: 5 NIV
We are being built into a spiritual house. Jesus was the first living stone and the cornerstone of the house we are building. So what are the spiritual sacrifices that we are to offer? Our bodies, souls, affections, prayers, praises, tithes and offerings and service. All with a joyful heart!
God is not asking anything of us that His Son was not willing to give Himself. It humbles me to think of the heart of Jesus. Such a beautiful and perfect example for us to follow.
There are times that I get all wound up in a frenzy of busyness. When I begin to rush and push and force things, it’s a good indicator that I need to pause. I need to check in with the Holy Spirit to see if I’m on track or not. Most often there is a more efficient and elegant solution than my own.
The beautiful thing about being a living stone is that we have a constant spiritual guide present, the Holy Spirit. He can get me back in alignment. Get me back in the headset of listening for direction and offering every moment up in surrender to a better way. Surrender. Obedience. Sacrifice.
Lord, thank you for Your perpetual living water that washes over me and flows through me. Thank you for Your constant love.