Psalm 46 (NKJV)
46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
A couple scriptures have really weighed on my heart over the course of the fire that I just have to write down while they speak so loudly to me.
During the midst of the fire…
Matthew 6:19-21King James Version (KJV)
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
As I considered during the evacuation warning last week, of losing everything yet again… the above scripture kept repeating over in my head..
At the aftermath, seeing how the fires seemed to only destroy buildings and cars, but so many trees and even sometime land went untouched. As I drive by the semi scorched hills on my way to work, I see only blackened grass, but the trees look the same except for some charring at the bottom. If the grass wasn’t burned, you can hardly tell there had ever been a fire??? Never seen anything like it.
It just resonates with Revelation:
Revelation 7:3King James Version (KJV)
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads
It appears Portugal is currently experiencing it too…
I don’t know… it just feels unreal to see fire burn so hot that it melts cars to asphalt but mostly leaves nature untouched around it.
I also am simply heartbroken for those who have lost homes, and loved ones during this tragedy. I do not in my perplexity forget for a moment, the staggering actual devastation these fires are causing in their wake.
And hang on to your hats, it appears a hurricane is developing which appears to grow to the size of the US in the coming days…. It could dissipate, as some have done over the past months, but good to keep an eye out and really keep the heart ready.
Let’s keep our prayers going for all who have been or will be affected by ongoing disasters.
It’s been a tough week for us in California. Where we live, the fire took out all communication for 2 days and seemed to be boxing our town in. We are still without gas for cooking or hot water. But praise the Lord they were able to bring our immediate area somewhat under control. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but I have faith God is in control no matter what happens.
My friend was evacuated a few miles away from us. But they are safe and their home survived. I also have a family friend a few towns away who had to evacuate. It seems everywhere I go this week, so many are personally affected by this fire.
My heart breaks for all who have and continue to loose homes, pets and people close to them in this force of nature. I pray comfort and peace for everyone in the eye of the “storm”. As the Lord continues to allow devastation in one form or another in more and more states… I continue to pray for comfort and peace in the midst of tragedy.
Personally, I am thankful that even if the fire revives once more near me, as it has done a couple times so far…. I know that nothing will separate me from His ever watchful presence… not even death.
So, I continue to be thankful and praise The Lord, come what may.
Some might wonder why God thought so highly of David. Part of the answer is that, in spite of his lapses, David usually wholeheartedly sought God’s will. He didn’t withdraw from the responsibilities of life. The biblical record shows that, the more conditions around David deteriorated, the more he grew in character.
David remained faithful to God throughout his life. His loyalty to His Creator was beyond question. Read about his reliance on God in the psalms of David. He was “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1).
Luke writes in the book of Acts the assessment of the apostle Paul, that David was a man after God’s own heart. God, wrote Paul, “raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will’ ” (Acts 13:22). What a tribute to the former shepherd boy who became king!
Further, a great scripture to meditate on is found in Job. In God’s own words, He makes known His majestic supremeness, worthy of our reverence same as David had….
Job 38 (NKJV)
The Lord Reveals His Omnipotence to Job
38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
2 “Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
3 Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
9 When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
10 When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
11 When I said,
‘This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!’
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your daysbegan,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
And the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It takes on form like clay under a seal,
And stands out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
And the upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered the springs of the sea?
Or have you walked in search of the depths?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
18 Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell Me, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
20 That you may take it to its territory,
That you may know the paths to its home?
21 Do you know it, because you were born then,
Or because the number of your days is great?
22 “Have you entered the treasury of snow,
Or have you seen the treasury of hail,
23 Which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
For the day of battle and war?
24 By what way is light diffused,
Or the east wind scattered over the earth?
25 “Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water,
Or a path for the thunderbolt,
26 To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one,
A wilderness in which there is no man;
27 To satisfy the desolate waste,
And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass?
28 Has the rain a father?
Or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?
30 The waters harden like stone,
And the surface of the deep is frozen.
31 “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades,
Or loose the belt of Orion?
32 Can you bring out Mazzaroth[a] in its season?
Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you set their dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
That an abundance of water may cover you?
35 Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
And say to you, ‘Here we are!’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven,
38 When the dust hardens in clumps,
And the clods cling together?
39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 When they crouch in their dens,
Or lurk in their lairs to lie in wait?
41 Who provides food for the raven,
When its young ones cry to God,
And wander about for lack of food?
Most of us like to see results and we prefer it if they come quickly. When God placed a hold on King David’s proposal to build a temple, David accepted it easily. That is a sign of his humility and wisdom. We’re not talking about a delay of a few months or years; David would never see the temple, an unborn son, Solomon, would build it. David knew better than to pursue a project that God had not anointed.
For David, project evaluation hung on one question. What’s the point of a temple if God’s presence does not fill it? We know that David made God’s presence a priority because one of his first acts as king was to relocate the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. David also listened to God. He understood what his son Solomon expressed later in a Psalm: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps. 127:1). David did not intend to waste time on the empty shell of a religious structure. Unless God blessed the project, the temple would add nothing to anyone’s spiritual life; God already met with His people in the tabernacle.
When God speaks of His dwelling place, he does not point to the temple, and he does not limit Himself to heaven. God dwells with people of humility and contrition:
Thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
“I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.” (Isa. 57:15)
“To this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” (Isa. 66:2)
To be contrite means to acknowledge our limitations and failures (sins) and to turn from them.
Lowliness, or humility, is an acknowledgement of who we are in comparison to God. God is bigger than anything we can understand, better than the best we have experienced. In humility, we pursue Him for more of Himself.
It takes humility to turn from our well-intentioned and noble tasks because God tells us to, with little explanation as to why we should stop. And that is what trembling at God’s word is all about. It means to take Him seriously, to listen with the intention of obeying. David dropped his plans as soon as God said so.
Our buildings and programs need to be seen in perspective. Our ministries might be thoroughly worthwhile and even successful but temples and churches, with all their activities, bear little fruit unless people who cherish the presence of God fill them. People filled with God are used to accomplish His eternal purposes. God promises spiritual revival to those who live in humility and contrition.
When King David laid aside his ambitious dream, he made way for something vastly better; through Solomon, God began building His eternal kingdom on earth (1 Chron. 17:14).
I think I would like to dive deeper into the heart of David. After all he was a man after God’s own heart…
I will start here with a summary and spend each day delving into a bit more of each characteristic.
10 Reasons David is Called “A Man After God’s Own Heart”
The following words describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:
(All verses New International Version)
Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9
Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3
Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9
Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1
Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7
Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1
Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11
Sometimes, people ‘fast’ – that is they go without food or other things – as a spiritual discipline, and it can be a stimulating and moving experience to fast for a day while reflecting on the idea that God feeds His children that goes beyond the physical.
The image of the bread of life can work on different levels, and it should. At it’s simplest, inspire us to think about what we ‘feed’ on in our daily lives, both literally and metaphorically. Are we watching what we eat and treating our bodies as a temple?
What kinds of stories and images do we consume through watching trash-TV ceaselessly? Where are we going to look for our soul food? How does our popular culture make us feel when we have ‘eaten’ too much of it? Where can we go to feed ourselves in such a way as to stop feeling hungry?
Excerpt from the book “Searching 4 Faith” by Brian Draper
Satan’s understanding of who we are in Christ is evidenced by his repeated attempts to get us to submit to fear. When we are fully aware of the truth of who we are in Christ, we will not be afraid. The only thing Satan can do is to distract us from this truth. He does this by attempting to re-direct our focus, from our riches in Christ, onto our seemingly fearful circumstances. Satan knows he can’t rob us of our riches in Christ, so he has no choice but to encourage us to lose sight of all we have and all we are in Christ.
Though we may lose sight of this, at times, God continues to prove Himself faithful in our lives. Remember when the Armenian army surrounded the Israelites camp? (2 Kings 6:15-17) A fear struck servant came to Elisha with the disheartening news. However, Elisha assured the servant. So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16 NKJV) Elisha prayed and instantly the servant’s eyes were opened to see the hills, all around, covered with horses and chariots of fire. The truth was that God had provided the Israelites more than enough protection from the Armenians. Elisha’s eyes were on what was true while the servant’s gaze had been distracted by the surrounding enemy. I wonder if the servant would have seen God’s army from the start had he not allowed the enemy to distract him from what was true.
Though, in Christ, I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), on occasion, I allow intimidating circumstances distract me from this truth, and I submit myself to fear. Just as the turbulent waves of the sea distracted Peter from Jesus’ invitation to walk on water, causing Peter to be consumed by the waves, when I focus on the waves in my life overwhelming feelings of helplessness rob me of doing the impossible through Christ. Like Peter, when I fix my eyes on Jesus I am able to confidently rise above my fears and miraculously walk to Jesus, by faith, on what previously were my fears.
All throughout the Bible, God instructs people to not fear. Though we may feel sometimes this is easier said than done…
Whenever you find yourself overcome by fear, remember that there are more than 365 times the bible says not to…
Many people say, “It’s a nice thought to say that there are 365 ‘Fear not’s in the Bible, but it’s not true.” Indeed, there is not a version of the Bible that 365 times says, quote unquote, ”Fear not.” For instance, the King James Version says “Fear not” or “Be not afraid” 103 times, but not 365 times.
So why do I say that there are more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible?
“Fear” is spoken of over 500 times in the KJV. Furthermore, in addition to the “Fear nots” many times it’s saying “Fear God,” which really means reverence God alone and do not fear anyone or anything else. Expanding the search to look at verses encouraging us not to worry or not to be anxious would add many, many more “Fear not” Scriptures. This is why I say that there are more than 365 “Fear nots” in the Bible.
Perhaps this is God’s way of telling us never will we face a day that we will ever have a valid reason to be afraid. May our faith in Jesus shine so bright, extinguishing all ungodly fears, that those who don’t know Jesus will marvel at our boldness and know, as the Sanhedrin did after witnessing the boldness of Peter and John, that we have been with Jesus. (Acts 4:5-13)
Everyone feels afraid at some point — whether it’s a gnawing, anxious feeling or a paralyzing phobia. Any change, even positive changes like marriage or a promotion, can prompt feelings of fear. The Bible offers powerful alternatives to those voices, reminding readers repeatedly, “Do not be afraid.”
There Is Nothing To Fear
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
The Lord Will Help
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
God Delivers His People
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” (Exodus 14:13)
Be Strong and Courageous
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
God’s Spirit Is Not Of Fear
For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Of Whom Shall We Be Afraid?
The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
We Can Stand In Confidence
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)
There Is Peace When We Turn Our Worries Over To The Lord
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
Psalm 139 (NKJV)
God’s Perfect Knowledge of Man
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O Lord, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
As James 4:10 states, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you..” The following is a list of twelve suggestions from others on how to humble yourself. As you will see, most of them are basics of our Christian faith.
Twelve Ways to Humble Yourself*
Routinely confess your sin to God. (Luke 18:9-14) All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. However, too few of us have a routine practice of rigorous self-honesty examination. Weekly, even daily, review of our heart and behavior, coupled with confession to God, is an essential practice of humility.
Acknowledge your sin to others. (James 3:2, James 5:16) Humility before God is not complete unless there is also humility before man. A true test of our willingness to humble ourselves is being willing to share with others the weaknesses we confess to God. Wisdom, however, dictates that we do so with others that we trust.
Take wrong patiently. (1 Peter 3:8-17) This has been a difficult one for me. When something is unjust I want to react and rectify it. However, patiently responding to the unjust accusations and actions of others demonstrates our strength of godly character and provides an opportunity to put on humility.
Actively submit to authority…the good and the bad! (1 Peter 2:18) Our culture does not value submission; rather it promotes individualism. How purposely and actively do you work on submission to those whom God has placed as authorities in your life? Doing so is a good way to humble yourself.
Receive correction and feedback from others graciously. (Proverbs 10:17, 12:1) In the Phoenix area, a local East valley pastor was noted for graciously receiving any negative feedback or correction offered. He would simply say “thank you for caring enough to share that with me, I will pray about it and get back to you.” Look for the kernel of truth in what people offer you, even if it comes from a dubious source. Always pray, “Lord, what are you trying to show me through this?”
Accept a lowly place. (Proverbs 25:6,7) If you find yourself wanting to sit at the head table, wanting others to recognize your contribution or become offended when others are honored or chosen, then pride is present. Purpose to support others being recognized, rather than you. Accept and look for the lowly place; it is the place of humility.
Purposely associate with people of lower state than you. (Luke 7:36-39) Jesus was derided by the Pharisees for socializing with the poor and those of lowly state. Our culture is very status conscious and people naturally want to socialize upward. Resist the temptation of being partial to those with status or wealth.
Choose to serve others. (Philippians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 23:11) When we serve others, we are serving God’s purposes in their lives. Doing so reduces our focus on ourselves and builds the Kingdom of God instead of the Kingdom of self. When serving another costs us nothing, we should question whether or not it is really servanthood.
Be quick to forgive. (Matthew 18: 21-35) Forgiveness is possibly one of the greatest acts of humility we can do. To forgive is to acknowledge a wrong that has been done us and also to further release our right of repayment for the wrong. Forgiveness is denial of self. Forgiveness is not insisting on our way and our justice.
Cultivate a grateful heart. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) The more we develop an attitude of gratitude for the gift of salvation and life He has given us, the more true our perspective of self. A grateful heart is a humble heart.
Purpose to speak well of others. (Ephesians 4:31-32) Saying negative things about others puts them “one down” and us “one up”…a form of pride. Speaking well of others edifies them and builds them up instead of us. Make sure, however, that what you say is not intended as flattery.
Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross. (Luke 9:23) It is our nature to be proud and it is God’s nature in us that brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to self and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.
A Prayer for Humility
O Father, give us the humility which realizes its ignorance,
Admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice,
Accepts rebuke. Help us always to praise rather than to criticize,
To sympathize rather than to discourage, to build rather than to destroy,
And to think of people at their best rather than at their worst.
This we ask for thy name’s sake. Amen.
– – – Prayer of William Barclay
*Tips found in various websites – unsure where they originated
Psalm 90 (NKJV)
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
-We never have and never could be in a place where we were not totally dependent upon what the Lord God has made.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
–God always was in His greatness. God is above time; He created it for man. God is not dependent upon anyone including ourselves!
3 You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
–We started off as dust and shall return to such. God put us together, but we keep thinking we are more than what God has assembled. Time will tell!
4 For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
–God is beyond time; but we are bound in time. Our lives are as a brief second to Him.
5 You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.
— Man’s hard work will be all washed away like a flood. No more remembrance. Comes and goes like a flower that blooms for one day.
7 For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
–God’s anger is upon us even as we are part of creation and have been cursed. Death chases the life in our bodies. We are frail and keep afloat only by God’s grace. Without it, we would perish in an instant.
8 You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
–We might hide our sin before man but not before God. Each sin, every thought or action is all exposed before our Creator and our rebellion judged.
9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
–We might still be young in spirit but our real age reflects God’s coming judgment upon our bodies. Our systems start malfunctioning. Movement becomes painful rather than exhilarating.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
–Our days are numbered. Long life is a joke. Life only seems long to the young. Those who are older know life is astonishingly brief.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
–We forget, ignore and look for distraction from the signs of God’s judgment upon our lives. We are oblivious to what is so obvious.
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
–Wisdom comes only when we see the value of our days. We can value our days only when we know they are limited in number.
13 Return, O Lord!
And have compassion on Your servants.
–We need relief from God’s judgment. We seek help from Him.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
–True life comes from Him. In the midst of destruction, God brings love and favor all of our days.
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
–Only the Lord can make us glad in the midst of this hard and evil world. Let us ask Him for this thankful heart!
16 Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
–Since our lives are so short, we want to pass our blessing of knowing God and His work on to our children.
17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
–A fulfilling life starts with the Lord’s favor. He alone can make what we do valuable. In a sense, our work is nothing to Him, but He can establish it through His strength.
As I look even more expectantly for My Savior’s return, I want to make my focus on becoming ever more humble before God.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7
God cares for us. He is mighty. He calls us to humble ourselves under Him. Not because He is a controlling God that wants you to bow down to Him because you are nothing, but rather because He wants to exalt us and care for us. As we humble ourselves, that is when we truly worship Him. We’re trusting Him with what’s going on in our lives and believing He is the provider instead of ourselves.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus doesn’t seem to be talking about a life that is full of anxiousness and weariness as we follow Him. He makes a point to state the exact opposite on how we can find rest in Him. He is speaking to those that labor and are heavy laden.
Don’t let culture tell you that putting everything on your shoulders is wisdom. Trust Jesus when He tells you that His burden is light.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Most of the time when we don’t humble ourselves, we are really saying we don’t trust God. There are times as a follower of Christ when we forget God’s character or doubt Him. We’re told in Scripture to think on the things of God. To meditate on anything worthy of praise.
These things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, or excellent are all praiseworthy because God is all these things. You’ll never find an area of the Bible that contradicts God’s character at the end of the day and that should encourage us in those moments of doubt.
Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Out of obedience to His Father, He humbled Himself all the way to the point of death on the cross. The Bible says because of this that God exalted Him just like how it says He will exalt us 1 Peter 5:6-7
“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:8-11
If Jesus practiced humility Himself, then why would we think we don’t need to? Why would we consider this weakness? Even He was dependent on His Father and this was a good thing, in fact, the best thing. It was a God glorifying thing in every way. We couldn’t even have a relationship with God if it wasn’t for what Jesus did for us in the first place (John 14:6). We had to humble ourselves to trust that Jesus is King and to ask Him to be our Lord and Savior. This is no different today whether you’ve been a believer for a week or 50 years.
We still need Him in everything we do. We still need the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom in all matters. We still need help to practice things that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, or anything praiseworthy. We are still not capable of doing anything on our own and will never be. As soon as we begin to live in a way where we are no longer dependent on God to do everything for us, we are forgetting our first love and proclaiming what Christ did for us was not enough.
partial excerpt from https://www.beforethecross.com/biblical-teachings/humble-yourself-before-the-lord/
Had to share!!!… Pastor Steve is hilarious in his spot on message.
Verbiage used below is taken directly from Pastor Steve’s Video description….
This is a Parody about NOTHING HAPPENED after Biblical end time signs. Mockers have waited till the 24th September to make snarky remarks we all anticipated: “NOTHING HAPPENED”. Pastor Steve has been waiting to mock the mockers!
Watch this parody of “Nothing Happened”. It illustrates how smart people continually misunderstand signs since Bible times. This is a DRAMATIZATION. If your funny bone is not working, this is not for you.
Pastor Steve Cioccolanti agrees “nothing has happened,” except for the worst natural disaster in US history, and the first hydrogen bomb testing by rogue regime North Korea, and Iran testing more advanced missiles that will likely be used in the Ezekiel 38 war.
Nothing has taken away from the glorious sign of Revelation 12. It cannot be the sign of the “end of the world” because it is only chapter 12, and there are 22 chapters in the Book of Revelation! Mockers imagine “the end of the world” but Pastor Steve never talked about the world ending on that date. Rather the Bible teaches us to watch and pray as we observe birth pangs preluding the Tribulation and Jesus’ Return. Will you join the MOCKERS or the WATCHERS?
“Nothing Happened” on Sep 23 (26 Minutes)
Overcomer – Mandisa
Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope
Whatever it is you may be going through
I know he’s not gonna let it get the best of you
Chorus You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ’til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when he reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer
Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Ooh, You’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to his promises
He wants you to know
The same Man, the Great I Am
The One who overcame death
Is living inside of you
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing he can’t do
He’s telling you
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Matthew 24:33-34
A question I ponder these past few days in moments of reflection… what if nothing happens at all tomorrow? What if nothing happens this month? What if we are reading everything wrong? He made it so clear in so many ways .. but still…
The answer is…I will wait and watch some more. Till the day He takes me home I will wait and watch.