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.

This is the Key

Some people spend their whole lives searching for the key to life.  And many of them never find it.

It’s extremely sad that a growing number of people are choosing suicide as an alternative to living an empty and hopeless life.

And yet the key to having a full and meaningful life is readily available.

It’s soooo awesome that Moses said it thousands of years ago and it’s still the answer today.

“Oh, that you would choose life…  You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him and committing yourself firmly to him.  This is the key to your life.”

This is the key to my life.  I know that.  I have tried filling my life with other stuff as I moved through different phases of my life.  I know the lack of contentment that comes from chasing after material belongings like cars and houses.

I know how it feels to being consumed by meaningless rounds of parties and partying friends, trying to fill the void.

I also know the ache that comes from putting my career first before everything else in my life.  When I achieved success and recognition at work, my reaction was, “Is this all there is?  Why do I feel so empty when my career is going so well?”

All of these worthless, meaningless, empty feelings went away when I committed to put God first in my life.  My experience matches up 100% with the advice Moses gives us – God is the key.

I’m so glad I found the key.

I hope you have, too.

I choose you, Abba Father.

I’ll Never Know

I’ll never know all of the things God has done for me.

I’ll never know all of the ways he has protected me and guided me.

I don’t see it all and I don’t always recognize what he is doing.  Much of what he does is subtle – a whisper here and there in my ear…

I try to stay aware of his movements but the cacophony of the world around me so easily drowns God out.

While preparing the Israelites to enter the Promised Land without him, Moses said, “For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister or swell.”

Looking back on their last forty years, the Israelites could see how faithful God had been.  Forty years and their clothes didn’t wear out?  What an obvious act of God – and very practical.  As they continued to move across the desert, replacing clothes would have been difficult.  So God took care of their clothes as well as their feet.  A massive crowd of people walked through the dry, hot desert for 40 years and didn’t have problems with their feet?  Only God could do that.

As I read this, I am comforted to know that God is taking care of issues like this in my life as well.   Every once in while, God gives me a glimpse of a potential problem that he has taken care of in my life and it reminds me of how much more he blesses me and watches over me each day.

When I look back, the distractions of today drop away and I can clearly see God’s faithfulness in my life from before I was born.  I can come up with a very long list of  little problems and huge issues that God has handled – caring for me and loving me through it all.

And he hasn’t stopped.

Thank you, Abba Father.

It’s Amazing!

Hard to explain,

but easy to see.

I’m talking about the supernatural power of God.

Moses was forbidden to enter the Promised Land with the Israelites so, before his death, he spoke to all of them to remind them of everything God had already done for them.  (This reminds me of how easily I forget all the things God has already done for me.)

Moses say to his people, “Do not be afraid of the nations there (in the Promised Land), for the LORD your God will fight for you.”

God was fighting for them –

and he is fighting for you and me right now.

Today God has my back.  He is orchestrating good things for me.  He is arranging circumstances to help me move in the right direction.  God is fulfilling his purposes on earth through me – today.

The same can be said of you if you are a Christ-follower.

Right now, God is saying to us,

___________, (fill in the blank with your name) ‘ Do not be afraid of __________(fill in the blank with what keeps you awake at night) for I, the LORD your God am fighting for you.’

Thank you, Father God.

Fear

It makes me anxious.

It makes me worry.

It makes me focus on ‘what if?”

My fears usually center around situations that I have no control over.  There is nothing I can do to get rid of these thoughts that fill my mind with dread –

except trust God.

He is in control.  He loves me and wants the best for me.  I believe that with all of my heart and soul.  He has proven it over and over.

When I remember to trust God with all of it, the fear goes away.  Confidence in my Good Father wipes out the anxiety and worry.  I say to myself, “What if I just let God handle this?” and the dread of what could happen disappears.  I know that, no matter what, God is going to walk beside me through it.  He has always been faithful in the past, he will always be faithful in the future.

The spies who Moses sent into the Promised land seriously missed this trusting in God idea.  They were scared – the people living in the Promised land were big and powerful.  Their towns were large with high walls around them.

The spies spread their fear through the rest of the Israelites until they became so scared that God tells us in the Bible that they cried all night.

Caleb and Joshua were two of the spies and their report was much different from the rest.  “Let’s go at once to take the land.  We can surely conquer it.”

What?  The people of Israel were trembling in fear and Caleb is saying they must go ‘at once to take the land’?  How could the response of Caleb and Joshua be the opposite of what the rest of the spies were saying?

The difference was that Caleb and Joshua trusted God.  It was not about the Israelites doing this on their own.  God had promised to give them the land, so God was going to do it.

They trusted God so they were willing to obey him in spite of how the situation looked.

How good am I at trusting God in those kinds of situations?

How trusting are you?  Have you been anxious or fearful lately?

Please help us trust you with all things, Abba Father.  Take away our fears and anxiety.

There is Light

Look around – do you see the darkness?  Evil lurks.  Hate grows.  Sin is encouraged.  Violence moves closer.

It’s dark.

But God’s people live in the light because God is light.  The presence of God’s Spirit in my soul brings light.

I love the visual picture I get in my mind as I read Exodus 10:21-29.  The LORD made a plague of darkness cover the entire land of Egypt because Pharoah would not let the Israelites leave.  It was so dark that the Egyptians could not move because they could not see their next step.

“But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.”  Can you see it?  Light shining on the people of God while everywhere around them was pitch black.

That’s our whole world today.  God’s light of love and grace and forgiveness shines down on us – his children – while the rest of our world lives in darkness.   God still loves the rest of our world – that’s why he sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins so every one has the opportunity to believe and be saved  That’s why God asks us to share our stories, our “God experiences” with those who are living in darkness – so they can put their faith in Christ and be saved.

Because we are followers of Christ, God shines his light into my life and into yours.

I feel it.  Do you?

If you don’t feel his light, the best answer I know is to get closer to him.  And then closer.  And even more close.  You’ll start to feel it.

If you”re like me and feel God’s light in your life today and every day, please join me in praising and thanking him –

You are an awesome father, God.  Thank you for shining your light into our lives and saving us from the darkness.  We love you!