No Hiding

No faking it.

You and I see the outside of people – what they look like, what they wear, where they live and how they act.

God has an entirely different perspective of us – he looks on the inside.  He knows my intentions, my motivations and desires.  He knows what I’m thinking – I don’t have to say anything.

When Samuel was picking who would be king after Saul, God said to him, “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  Knowing this is true challenges me as well as gives me confidence.  I’m glad God sees below my surface – he understands my true feelings.  He knows me better than any human being ever could.

But the fact that God knows my thoughts also challenges me.  Like many of us who have been on this road of faith for a long time, I have gotten better at not saying things I shouldn’t say.  But have I trained my mind to not think them?  Have I let God renew my mind so it doesn’t go where it shouldn’t go?  The honest answer is – sometimes.  There are areas of my life where it is difficult to control my thinking.  There are other situations where I find it pretty easy to leave it all with God.

With the Coronavirus, for example, I am not having a difficult time of ‘letting go and letting God’.   I am so obviously NOT in control of this pandemic that I am finding that I can easily turn any concerns or fears I have about this craziness over to God.  Meanwhile, I’ll do my part, confident that God is in control of everything.

My husband and I have been in the process of selling a home, moving to another state and buying a home this last month in the middle of the pandemic.  For some reason, God decided this was the right time for us to do all this.  Experience tells me that I’ll probably understand this much better in a couple years when I look in the rearview mirror.

For right now, it’s comforting to know that when God looks at my heart today, he can see that I’m trusting him with all of it.  I know that he loves me with a perfect love and is working it all out for my good.

God has promised and he always keeps his promises.

Thank you, Abba Father.

What Does He Want?

What does God want from me?

After being confronted by the prophet Nathan for having Bathsheba’s husband killed so he could marry her, King David pours out his feelings of sorrow and repentance to God in Psalm 51.

If David was sharing his feelings with God in the language of today, they would probably sound something like this –

God, I know your first desire is not that I go to church, although that pleases you.

God, I know your first desire is not that I read your Word, although that pleases you.

God, I know your first desire is not that I’m busy serving you in all kinds of ministries, although that pleases you.

My God, I know what you really desire is my repentant and submitted heart.  Your first desire is to have a close relationship with me each day.  You want to love me and guide me and strengthen me and bless me each day.  When I focus on giving my life to you and submitting my will to your purposes, then all of these other activities please you because they draw me closer to you.

I give you my life and submit my will to you, Abba Father.

My Song Of Praise, 2019

Let’s join with King David in 1 Chronicles and lift this song of praise to God –

I give thanks to you, LORD, for I want the whole world to know how great you are.  I sing praises to you and tell everyone how awesome you are.

I worship you, Father.  I will never stop seeking you and the strength you give me.  I remember your never ending care and love for me.  I celebrate because you have chosen me to be your child.

You are the LORD my God.  Your justice and faithfulness are constant from generation to generation.

I remember how you have provided for me.

I remember that you have never stopped guiding me on the path you have set before me.

I remember all the ways you have kept me safe.

Let everyone sing to our LORD and spread the good news that he saves us.   Let us share our amazing stories of what he has done in our lives.

Great is the LORD!  He is most worthy of praise!

I honor you, LORD!  You are my strength and joy!

Let all nations recognize the glory and strength of the LORD!  Give him the offerings and praise he deserves! 

Worship the LORD, let all the earth tremble before him.  Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

We shout, “The Lord reigns!”  Let all of creation shout his praise!  Let’s sing for joy before the LORD! 

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!  His faithfulness endures forever!

Save us, oh God!  Rescue us!

Praise the LORD, our God, who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

And all of the people shouted, “Amen”, and praised the LORD.

 

Psalm 57, 2019

Hear my prayers, Father, and show me your compassion.  I will hide myself in your shadow until my fears and worries go away.

I ask that you fulfill your purposes for my life.  I know the angels of heaven are fighting my battles and they will give me victory.

Your love and faithfulness never leave me, Father.

I am surrounded by the evil one who is trying to take pieces of me and devour me.

But I still praise you, God.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

My enemy sets traps for me – especially when I am weary and distressed.  The evil one digs deep pits in my path but then he falls into them himself.

I am confident in you, oh God.  My heart sings your praises.  I awake every morning with a song of praise to you.  Thank you for your love and faithfulness which has no end.

I praise you, Father.  May your glorious light shine over all the earth.

They Couldn’t See It

How often am I blind to what’s really going on?

How many situations am I in where I just can’t see the truth?  When do the loud distractions of the world around me keep me focused on the wrong things?  The unimportant things?

These same things seem important…until I stop being concerned about them.  Then they are forgotten – because they aren’t the main things.

The main thing is God.  He’s in charge, he’s in control.  He has a purpose and a plan.  He is working it all out for my good – and for your good.

These thoughts roll through my head as I read about the Israelites begging Samuel to be their king.  Samuel responded with a list of negative things a king usually did like taking their vineyards, making them give him a tenth of the harvest and turning their sons and daughters into his servants.  The Israelites wouldn’t listen – they wanted a king.

Samuel then reminded them that they had a king and his name was God.  Again, they didn’t listen.  They couldn’t see that they already had a heavenly King who didn’t need their vineyards  or their sons and daughters.  Their King just wanted their love and faithfulness.

But they were blind to the truth.

Please open my eyes, Abba Father, to your truth.  You are my King and you love me with a perfect love.  Take away my desire for anything that does not honor you.  Let the distractions of this earth fade away as I fix my eyes on you.  I love you.

Show Me a Sign

Make it black and white.  Can I hear a voice?  I need to know.

There are so many decisions to make and I want to make the right choices.  What should I do?

I’ve had good Christians tell me to ‘throw out a fleece’ like Gideon did.  God sent an angel to tell Gideon that “The LORD is with you” and ” I am sending you”, ” I will be with you”.  But Gideon still wanted a sign to prove that it really was the LORD speaking to him.  So God proceeded to ‘pass’ Gideon’s tests.

I would hope that I would be instantly convinced if an angel came and told me a message from God.  How about you?  When my friend suggested I throw out a fleece, it just didn’t feel right to me.  Gideon lived under the Old Testament covenant – he was not ‘redeemed’ and he didn’t have God’s Spirit living inside of him.  But I do.

The Holy Spirit speaks to me and guides me into truth – if I’m listening.  God’s Word is alive and the Holy Spirit uses it to help me make decisions.  I have God’s Spirit inside of me every moment of every day – why do I need a sign?  I have found that I don’t need fleeces if I’m tuned into God’s voice and spending time with him.

God will also line up circumstances to confirm what the Holy Spirit and God’s Word is saying to me.  I don’t have to ask for something more – I just need to keep my eyes open.

The answer is there.  Every once in a while, I hit a deadline on making a decision and I haven’t discerned God’s answer yet.  I have found that when I totally submit the situation to God – meaning I don’t care what the answer is, I just need to know what he wants me to do – he helps me organize my thoughts and I realize he’s been trying to guide me in the right direction, trying to show me the way.  I’ve just been clueless.

No fleeces involved.

Black and white.

No more questions.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

Count On It

I can be very disappointed.

When someone I counted on drops the ball, forgets a promise or doesn’t come through for me when its important, it’s hard to take.

And it’s hard to trust that person again.

It’s difficult not be become cynical the next time that person says they will do something.

But God always keeps his promises – it’s a characteristic of his that I count on every day of my life.

God is trustworthy – he always has been and he always will be.  Joshua tells us, “Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.”

Everything.

The Bible is filled with promises God has made to his children and he will keep them all.

You and I can count on it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

I Am With You

I never have to feel alone.

You never have to feel alone.

When we are Christ-followers, God is with us – all of the time.

Amazing!

My gratitude to Jesus swells up in my heart as I read God’s words to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31.  While Moses was commissioning Joshua to be the new leader of Israel, he told Joshua over and over again that “the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you”,

“He will be with you”,

“He will neither fail you or abandon you.”

Do you need encouragement today?  I know I do.  This has been a very sad and tough time.  My son, David Glasser, was a Phoenix Police Officer who was murdered in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  Last week another Phoenix Police officer was killed in the line of duty…..and it all comes back.  The shock, the pain, the grief, the hole left by my son’s death – it’s all highlighted again as we bury another police officer.  There are times when I don’t feel strong enough to face the future and figure out how to move forward.

I know God is speaking to me – and to you – today to encourage us just like he encouraged Joshua.

God is with me.

He will personally go ahead of me into the difficult hills and valleys of the journey I am on.

And he will never fail me or abandon me.

Wow – I needed that reminder!

Thank you, Abba Father.

Look Up!

Psalm 19, 2018

Look up and see how awesome our God is!

The never-ending skies above us announce the power and the glory of our Ceator!

Everyday the skies teach me more about you, Father God.  Night after night, they reveal your majesty.  The skies don’t use words but their message stretches out over the whole earth.  Everyone on this planet can know you, Creator God, just by looking up.

You command the sun to rise each day on one horizon and then circle above us until its sets on the other.  People of all nations everywhere feel its warmth.

You reveal your truth to me in your Word and it refreshes my soul by bringing my thinking back in line with your’s.  I can’t trust what people around me say but I can always trust what you say.

When I follow your guidance, God, you make me wise.  Choosing to do what is right brings joy to my heart.

Your Word lights my path.  I will love and respect you forever!

Your Word is my firm foundation.  Thank you for teaching me what is right, Father.  Your Word is more valuable than money and it proves that you only want the best for me.

You warn me of dangers ahead and your Spirit convicts my spirit when I have done something wrong.  Forgive me, Father.  Keep my eyes focused on you so I can avoid bad choices and the evil which presses in all around me.

May my words and my thoughts please you, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.