Sword Fighting Class – Victory is Ours

We are having a great journey through Proverbs 2 as we memorize it together.  The journey is slow when we’re memorizing – each word is gradually etched upon our minds and our hearts.  Eventually, the first couple of verses get relatively easy because we’ve said them so many times.  And then the next couple of verses get easier as we say them over and over.

And then, suddenly, we are memorizing verse 7!  Yeah!  And we know it’s not about how good we are at memorizing anything.  If this was just us, we wouldn’t be working on verse 7 or 8 or 9.  We wouldn’t have gotten this far.

God is doing this.  He is rewarding our faithfulness of going through our memory cards  every day several times a day or writing these verses out several times a day.  As we are consistent and faithful, he is writing them on our hearts.

And we find the hidden treasure.  As we memorize, we ponder the words.  We meditate on the message.  We absorb the truth.  And God changes our hearts.  He renews our minds.

If you haven’t gotten on this memorizing journey yet with us, you can still catch up.  We’ve been adding one verse a week.  I don’t post these Sword Fighting Class blogs on Facebook so, you can sign up for an email (on the right of my blog page) if you want to receive this weekly email..Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

A group of my friends are memorizing Proverbs 2 with me and its such a great encouragement to me to hear these words coming from all kinds of people around me.  Several of them are ahead of where we are here – this can get kind of addicting because it feels so right and good.  Who doesn’t need more wisdom?

Proverbs 2:  “My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and you will find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth come knowledge and understanding”

And we add the next verse:

“He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.”

I love the thought of God holding a shield over my life.  I’m not blameless but he sees me as blameless because I’ve accepted his gift of grace which Jesus made possible through his sacrifice on the cross for me.

And I want victory in my life.

Victory over the things that weigh me down.  The things that hold me back.  Any ‘smallness’ in my character.  Any  habits or behaviors that don’t bring honor to God.

Victory has been one of the driving factors to me in my quest to eat well and exercise this last year.  After a lifetime of struggling with old habits in this area, I want victory.  As I’ve been calling out for insight into living a more healthy life and I’ve been looking for wisdom about food like it was silver, God has been giving me victory in using food as a source of nutrition, not as a source of comfort or reward.   God has opened my eyes to his numerous commands regarding food and how I need to treat my body like a temple of his Holy Spirit.  He has opened my heart to my need to obey in this part of my life.  And he is giving my victory!

God holds victory in store for the upright- to those who are doing the right things….who obey.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Audio file of what I have memorized so far of Proverbs 2:

 

Why?

Why does God tell us so often in his word to avoid wicked people and to keep away from those who would lead us away from him?  In the last verse of James 1, God tells us that true religion is to keep from being polluted by this world.

Why?May 27 2015 Why

Because it happens all of the time.  It happens before we realize it.  The rotten culture that surrounds us sucks us in and we end up somewhere we don’t want to go.

Far from God.

Focused on worthless things as we deal with all of the negative consequences that come with our disobedience.

We read King Solomon’s sad story in 1 Kings of turning away from the One True God in order to serve various detestable idols.

Why?

Where did all of that magnificent wisdom we read in Proverbs go?  We are memorizing Proverbs 2 where God tells us through King Solomon that wisdom will save us from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse.  Why didn’t King Solomon follow his own directions?

I don’t know how you feel, but it’s a little frightening to see how far he wandered.  He had it all.  And he gave it up.  For idols made by men.

Why?

To make his wives happy.  He obviously thought that would make him happy.

How could he do this?  He knew the truth and yet, he turned away from it.

Why?

Because the lure of this world we live in has an extremely strong effect on us if we don’t keep our eyes focused on God.  Satan and his team work night and day to distract us from God in any way possible.  They know that if they can get us to wander even a little bit, they’ve got us.  Because everything of the world calls out to our sinful desires.  And we are enticed.  And our eyes shift off of God onto ourselves.  Onto what we want.  Onto what we think will make us happy.

That’s what happened to King Solomon.  The wisest man who ever lived.

Please hold us very close, dear Father and help us keep our eyes on you.

Proverbs 30, 2015

Every word of God is flawless.

He has promised to be a shield to his faithful ones and he always keeps his promises.

We need know his truth so that we don’t become liars by adding or subtracting anything from his word.

Two things I ask of you, Lord;May 25 2015 flawless

keep me far away from the lies of the world around me.

And give me your perfect provision for each day.

I don’t want to be rich – then I might forget how much I need you each day.

And I don’t want to be poor because that could distract me from focusing on you as well.

Help me live my life in a way that honors you, my God.

The Search

She was searching for wisdom.  She was looking for the truth like it was silver and searching for it like it was hidden treasure.

The Queen of Sheba took a dangerous journey of 1200 miles on camels through a hot desert to check out the wisdom of King Solomon.  She came prepared with some hard questions.  And she was awed by the wisdom in his answers.

As we read and memorize Proverbs, we are being presented with this same wisdom.May 15 b The search 2015

Wisdom about:

dealing with fools,

patience,

the value of wise advice,

discipline,

love and compassion,

pride and humility,

selfishness,

jeolousy,

self-control,

patience,

wise and foolish talking,

flattery,

slander and gossip,

meddling,

wealth and poverty,

patience,

generosity

and more. (Did you notice one that I mentioned more than once? :))

We know that all of Solomon’s wisdom came from God.

And that wisdom is available to us as we cry aloud for it, as we store it up in our minds and as we apply it to our hearts.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class – Where Do We Get Wisdom?

“My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and you will find the knowledge of God.”Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

Awesome!   It’s it amazing how God partners with us as memorize his word?  The vast majority of us could never do this on our own so it’s a special blessing to be able to see this how obviously God is working in our minds as he helps us memorize verse after verse….after verse.  I have started attaching an audio recording (below) of me as I repeat my verses – it’s not perfect.  But it’s close!  That’s what counts :)

And we hit treasure in our next verse!

‘For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.’

Do we want wisdom?

Knowledge?

Understanding?

Well, we know where to go to get it.  The Lord gives it.  It comes from him.

Do you feel his wisdom and understanding growing in you as you etch his words on your heart and mind?

I do.  It’s subtle…..but steady.

I meditate on the words as I memorize them.  And I apply them to my life right now.

I’m amazed at how often I get to use them in my conversations.

God is good!  All the time!

Thank you, Abba Father.

Audio file of Proverbs 2:1-12:

 

Filled Up

Solomon built a magnificent temple for the Lord and, as he was finishing the dedication of it, fire came down from heaven to consume the burnt offerings and sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

We are told several times in the New Testament that our body is the temple of God.May 15 2015 filled up

The redeeming grace of Jesus changed our relationship with God.

Now his spirit lives within us.

And God wants to fill us with his fire and with his passion – just like he filled Solomon’s temple.

God wants to fill us with his glory – so that his love and light can shine out of us.

God wants to fill us with his power, his goodness, his peace.

We just need to let him.

In Proverbs 2, God tells us to store up his truth within us.  He tells us to call out for insight and to search for his truth like it was hidden treasure.

When we do this, we will understand the knowledge of God and we will know every good path that God wants us to take.

We want to be filled with your spirit, dear Father.

 

He Wasn’t There

Judy Glasser:

As we read about King David’s death, it reminds me of one of my favorite blogs from last year right after I got back from my pilgrimage to Israel.  King David’s tomb was there with whatever remains of him.  Jesus’ remains weren’t there – because he’s alive!

Originally posted on Come with me on a Journey through the Bible:

eeeeeecDSC_0443On my recent trip to Israel, we visited King David’s Tomb.

There were women there, praying as they leaned on the cover of his tomb.  The atmosphere was very quiet and respectful.  It was a dark, somber place.

Men covered their heads aseeeeeecDSC_0446 they went down the other side of the hall which led to the tomb and the women walked down the other side behind the divider.

Whatever remains of King David after these thousands of years was there.

ftdDSC_0558What a sharp contrast our visit to the Garden Tomb which is believed to be where Jesus was buried.  We saw the beautiful garden which is mentioned in John 19 and we saw the empty tomb.

The garden was sunny. The flowers bloomed. It was an oasis of peace and calm in the center of noisy, crowded, tension-filled Jerusalem.

And there were no remains of Jesus there – because he…

View original 40 more words

It Shows

As we read 1 Kings, we find out that King David is now old and his health is failing.  David has already announced that his son, Solomon, will be the next king.  But his other son, Adonijah, has decided that he is going to be king.  So he starts rounding up people who will support him in this effort.  Against the wishes of his father.  Why would he do this?

We read that “His father had never rebuked him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?”.May 11 2015 It Shows.

David had not disciplined Adonijah.  He had not corrected him when Adonijah’s behavior was out of line.

The result is behavior like this from David’s own son.  No obedience to his father’s wishes.  No respect for his father’s decisions.

We get an insight into another side of David. He was a great king but it looks like he wasn’t as good of a parent.  We have already read about a couple of other exploits of David’s children when they misbehaved.  Adonijah doesn’t appear to be the only child that was not disciplined.

And David paid the consequences for this lack of discipline as he now deals with his grown child’s bad choices.

Parental discipline – and the lack of it – shows.  It shows in our young children and it continues to show up in our grown children.

Dear Father, please help us be great parents who discipline our children well.

Sword Fighting Class – Knowing God

My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,Proverbs 2 1st page - this one

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure….”

We’re memorizing Proverbs 2 and we’ve got a great line this

then you will understand the fear of the Lord and  you will find the knowledge of God.

The fear of the Lord – when we have the correct understanding and respect for his omnipotence.  His eternity.

The knowledge of God – transformed to the point where we love the things God loves and we hate the things God hates.

Yes, dear Father, we are searching for these things.

Audio file of Proverbs 2:1-6

 

Psalm 27, 2015

The Lord shines his light on the path I’m supposed to take.

He has saved me.  I have nothing to fear.May 9 Psalm 27 2015

The Lord holds me in his strong, loving hands.

Why should I be afraid of anything?

When problems and situations arise on every side me, trying to overwhelm me, I know that God is here.  He helps me have victory in my life.  Even when everything seems to be stacked against me, I am confident that God will work all of this out for my good.  He has promised.

In spite of all the mess and frustrations and pain of this life, my eyes stay focused on God because I know the end of this story.  When my time is over here on earth, I will go to live with my Abba Father forever.

How is that for a ‘happily ever after’ ending?

He will keep me safe.  He will hold me close to him.

Forever.

My life in heaven is going to be one really long joyfest!

Lord, I know you hear my voice when I call out to you!

I want to know all about you, God.

You have always helped me….I know you won’t stop now.

When everyone else rejects me, you are always there.

I want to learn everything you teach me, Lord, so  I can avoid getting lost in sin and rebellion.  Please help me stay away from the snares and traps of the world that could draw me away from you.

I am confident of this – I will continue to experience your love, goodness, patience and grace here on earth.  And I will discover more of who you are when I come to live with you in heaven.

More of you.

I’m waiting and watching expectantly, Abba Father.