Psalm 57, 2020

(My version – a great psalm for our pandemic situation)

Have mercy on me, God.

Keep me safe.

Every day I come to you and you give me strength and peace.  Please wrap your loving arms around me and hold me close until this pandemic has passed.

I count on you each day, Father, to save me from the growing danger pressing in on me.  You are always loving and faithful.

I am surrounded by invisible, deadly germs.  They are everywhere……waiting.

I praise you, Father, for being in control of everything in heaven and on earth.  Please help all of us to understand how awesome you are – we need it now, more than ever!

This virus is spreading a net over the earth, trying to catch us.  Trying to make us sick.

My heart continues to beat for you, Father.  I will sing your praise for the rest of my life.  As the sun rises this morning, I am reminded once again of your faithfulness.

I will tell everyone about your power and mercy, God!  For great is your love, reaching around the world and beyond.  You always keep your promises.

I praise you, Father, for being in control of everything in heaven and on earth.  Please help all of us to understand how awesome you are – we need it now, more than ever!

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

Psalm 57, 2018

Hold me close, God.

I need to feel the safety of being held by you.  Hold me tightly in your arms while this storm roars through my life.

I cry out to you, Most High God, and you send your angels to save me.  The problems and trials which are overwhelming me are pushed away.  I feel your love and I trust your faithfulness.

People who do not want the best for me surround me.  They desire to take my peace and make me afraid.

But you, Father God, are in control of everything.  With power and love you rule the earth.

People around me try to snare me with their lies and tricks.  They dig pits with their evil mouths and then fall into the pits themselves.

My heart, Oh God, is your’s forever.  I will praise you all day long.  I will sing about your great love which fills the earth.  I will sing about your great faithfulness which reaches endlessly to the skies.

You, Father God, are in control of everything.  With power and love you rule the earth.

Don’t Take the Credit

Sometimes we take too much credit –

for our marriages,

for our children’s accomplishments,

for success in our careers.

We get focused on us and starting thinking we did this – how great are we!?

The truth is, God gives us everything we have and every success we experience is a direct gift from him.

God made a point of teaching the Israelites this through their unusual ‘attack’ on Jericho.

They walked around the city for days, blowing their trumpets.  Really?  That’s not how you conquer a walled city, is it?

On the 7th day, they walked around 7 times and added a loud shout at the end.

And the walls of Jericho crumbled down.

I read an article a long time ago from a scientist who said he could prove that it was actually the pounding of thousands of feet and the piercing sounds of the trumpets which gradually broke down the structure of the walls.  So, when they added that last shout, the walls had become weak and they collapsed.

Possibly.

Our God invented science so he could have used it in this situation.

Either way, he made it happen.

It’s clear that God wanted the Israelites to start their conquest of the Promised Land with an entire week where they didn’t do any fighting.

They just obeyed.

They may have even felt pretty silly – big, strong warriors who had been preparing for this battle for a long time.

All dressed up for war.

Marching around the city.

Not doing anything they usually would do in this situation.

God was in control.

They just needed to do their part by obeying.

And God brought them victory.  He gave them success.

God wants to do the same for us.

He wants to give us victory.  And success.

When we do our part.aaaDSC_0310

Two years ago God have me the privilege of going to the Holy Land and I visited the new Jericho.  According to God’s command, the old Jericho was never rebuilt.  Archeologists have found the old city of Jericho’s ruins only a few miles away from the city that is now Jericho.

It’s a beautiful city – lushly green.  Not far from the Jordan River.  The picture attached shows Dr. Woodrow Kroll who was our tour guide reading to us from the Bible about Jericho as we overlooked the city.

aaDSC_0307The things God did in the Old Testament are very real.  We need to not get hung up on the ‘story’ part.  Jesus talked in parables that were not real in the New Testament but God’s interactions with people in the Old Testament were very real.  This is not folklore.  These places exist and there is tons of evidence which back up the events of the Bible.

God was in control them.

He is still in control.

Most of us have some kind of Jericho fortress in our lives that is keeping us from being everything God created us to be.

These are a wide variety of things.

My Bible study small group talked about perfectionism this week.  A lot of us spend much time and effort focused on trying to be perfect – and never making it.  Because it’s not going to happen this side of heaven.

We can lose sight of our purpose here on earth when we’re loosing sleep over every small detail.  Perfectionism can be a fortress in our minds which God wants to help us conquer.

And he can.

When we ask.

And when he gives us victory, we can give him all the credit.

Please give us victory, Abba Father.

There is a Purpose

I bet you can relate to this – when something bad happens in my life, I often wonder why this is happening?  What’s the purpose?  I have learned to get very close to God during these times and ride out the storm – not knowing why this had to happen to me.  Then 2 years, 5 years, 15 years later, someone walks into my life who needs to hear about that specific time in my life and how God helped me through it.

It happens all the time.dec 4 2014 a purpose

Paul tells us this is going to happen in 2 Corinthians 1.  We receive comfort from God in our troubles so that we can comfort others.

God has a purpose for everything that he permits to happen to us.  Everything flows through his hands into our lives.

As we learn to trust him more, we can be confident in the knowledge that God is in total control.

God’s got this.

We know God.  He loves us.  He has a plan for us.  He wants the best for us.

All is well.

Thank you, dear Father.