Monthly Archives: October, 2016

Right Path

I love having the luxury of a GPS. I do not know how I would cope without having this driving assistance for great distances and unfamiliar roads. The machine tells me the best path to take, the shortest path, the path without tolls. I love all of that information at my fingertips.

In Psalm 25, the Psalmist asks that God show him the right path, the road to follow. To think that we actually have a GPS for our life. It’s amazing! God can show us the right path. We don’t have to wander around wondering if we are on the right road. We don’t have to question if there is a better path. We don’t have to seek out for ourselves the path that would be best. We can trust He knows the right path.

Today, ask God to reveal to you the right path. Ask Him to continue to open your eyes to the road to follow. His path is the narrow path. It is the path least traveled. But trust that He is with you every step of the way.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” – Psalm 25:4 [NLT]

My Life

The Psalmist begins Psalm 25, “O LORD, I give my life to You.” This is such a simple statement. It can be translated as “I put my trust” (NIV), or “I lift up my soul” (ESV), or “I turn to You” (HCSB), or “I’m looking to You” (MSG). As we review what this verse says, we can also review what it does not say.

In this verse, the Psalmist is saying he is coming to God. He has put his trust in God. He is lifting up his prayer to God alone. He is looking to God for everything. He has turned to God. The Psalmist continues his prayer, asking that the Lord show His ways and teach him His path (v. 4). He requests that God lead him in His truth (v. 5). He asks for his sins to be forgiven (v. 7, 12).

This passage is written by a humble servant seeking God, lifting his soul to Him. There is no mention of anyone else involved. The focus is all on the Psalmist fixing his eyes on God. The focus is completely on Him. To Him alone do we lift up our souls. To Him alone do we put our trust. To Him alone, the giver of life, do we lift up our lives.

“O LORD, I give my life to you.” – Psalm 25:1 [NLT]

Right Relationship

The Psalmist speaks about the people with pure hearts, who never worship idols, and never lie. Those people are the blessed ones, the ones with a right relationship with God. When you read this and think about how everyone falls short of the glory of God, it is difficult to swallow. Our hearts aren’t pure. We each have a degree of evil in our hearts. Thought we do not like to admit it, we will often worship something or someone. That’s idolatry. Lies? They usually leave our lips from time to time.

When we consider a “right relationship” with God, we must remember that Jesus Christ came, was crucified, and rose from the grave, so that we could have a right relationship with God. The only way for a right relationship was for Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for all of sin. Because of His sacrifice, we are able to have a right relationship with God through faith alone in Him.

Today, consider where you are at with your relationship status. Do not be living like the veil is still blocking you from a holy God. The veil has been torn. The debt has been paid. Live with the freedom Christ has given you. The greatest relationship is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.” – Psalm 24:4-5 [NLT]

Pursued

The Psalmist writes in Psalm 23, that God’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue him all the days of his life. The word pursue in Hebrew is “radaph.” This word translates to mean “chase,” “pursue,” or “follow.”

When I think of this verse, I consider the way God constantly pursues us. He loves us so much that He continues to chase after us, reaching for us, desiring to have a relationship with us. Pursing is not simply following, but following with the objective to catch. This kind of love is like nothing we can describe. It is amazing. It is intense. It is unfailing. Because of His unfailing love, He keeps seeking us.

God’s goodness also is said to pursue all of the days too. Why? Because God is good. Along with His unfailing love, He pours out His goodness. This is the favor of God. As we read in the previous verse, his cup overflows.

Today, consider the pursuit of God. Consider how God’s love has been chasing you down, wanting nothing more than to grip you up. Consider the favor of God, the goodness that He pours out. You are being pursued.

“Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.” – Psalm 23:6 [NLT]

All That I Need

One of the most known psalms is Psalm 23. Even people who have never read the Bible have likely seen a passage from this psalm somewhere. When we read the first verse, it declares that the Lord is our shepherd. Then it says, “I have all that I need.” If the Lord is your Shepherd, you do have all that you need.

This is something that we all struggle with because we confuse wants and needs. We take on avoidable debt because of this confusion. We live in discontentment because of this confusion. As the Psalmist continues, he notes that the Shepherd makes us lie down in green pastures. I love this visual. If you know anything about sheep, you know that they will not just lay down. The sheep need to be without fear to lie down. The sheep need to be without annoying parasites to lie down. The sheep need to be free of hunger to lie down. Here the Psalmist is declaring that the Lord is our Shepherd and with Him we have all that we need. As His sheep, we are able to lie down because we have all that we need, because we are without fear, because we are at peace, because we are fed and satisfied.

Are you content today? Do you recognize that you have all that you need—that with Jesus alone you are satisfied? This is a struggle for many people. We see people around us. We think we need more. We see a lack in an area of our lives and we think we are suffering. Remember, God has provided all that we need. If you don’t have it, you don’t need it. Remember, if you have Jesus, you have ALL that you need. With Him alone comes satisfaction. May He be your everything!

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” – Psalm 23:1 [NLT]

Cannot See

The Psalmist asks God how he could know all the sins that were lurking about in his heart. He understood that we cannot see everything. We are blind to some of the things lurking in our heart. We try not to acknowledge some things that are happening. We disregard some of the sins. We turn a blind eye. But God, He sees everything. He sees everything on our heart. He knows us more than we know ourselves. All the hidden faults, all of the bad thoughts, all of the things we deny or turn our eyes from—He sees.

The Psalmist asks that God cleanse him from these hidden faults. He does not want to have this sin in his heart. He knows he cannot see it, but he knows there’s something there. God sees it. God alone can cleanse him from it. This is a great prayer we can lift to Him. Those sins that are hiding deep within—He can purify us from them.

It’s amazing to consider how awesome our God is, isn’t it? He has unfailing love for us. He pours out grace upon grace. His mercy is unending. Even though we have these sins, even these ones we deny or cannot see, He loves us. He forgives us. He calls us His own. Today, rejoice in His love. Rejoice in the freedom from sin that He alone provides. Rejoice, rejoice that He makes all things new!

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” – Psalm 19:12 [NLT]

The Lord Will Answer

One of the easiest things to do is pray. We make it complicated. I often consider how my prayers have changed since I was little. When I was a little child, I remember the simplicity of my prayers. I was praying what was on my heart. I was pouring out my heart to God. I believed that He heard. I believed that He would answer. I didn’t try to use grand words, nor did I think a lot to attempt to say what would be good to include in a prayer. I didn’t have instructions on how to pray. I spoke to God. It was simple. And I knew He heard.

As I got older, I started to hear people pray using such perfect words. It was like poetry. The prayers they offered seemed to be exactly what I should pray. It sounded good. So I wanted to try to pray like that—I wanted to pray the way these people prayed. I thought that was the way God wanted me to pray. Oh, how long it took to realize that my lips were speaking a different language than my heart.

I have changed the way I prayed a lot over these past years. I am starting to follow the lead of this little girl I used to know—someone who has grown, but still has a lot to unlearn about prayer. One thing that hasn’t changed is my confidence that the Lord will answer my prayers. I know that when I pray what is on my heart, when I lift my heart to Him, He will answer. He is faithful. Today, give Him your heart. Don’t pray the prayer of someone else. Pray what is on your heart. Lay everything before Him. He will hear. He will answer.

“The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.” – Psalm 6:9 [NLT]

No One Else

When we are small, we try to help ourselves. I remember my kids trying to do some things for themselves and making a mess because they did not know yet how to accomplish the task. It is cute. You might find toothpaste all over the bathroom sink. You may find milk all over the kitchen counter. But this behavior continues as we get older. Though we have a God Who is ever-present and loves us with an unfailing love, we try to fix every situation. We think we have the answers. We think we can make it work.

It is only when we are brought to our knees that we usually realize we cannot do life alone. We then give up control and ask God to help. We accept that we are frail. We accept that we cannot do everything. We accept that we are not in control. The Psalmist asked that God not be far from him. He understood that trouble was lurking around. He knew that no one else could help. When we understand this—when we accept that we cannot do life alone, and only God can help—then we are more apt to give everything to Him.

Today, recognize that trouble is always near. Evil is all around us. God alone can help us. Whatever we are going through, He alone can see us through. Invite Him to stay near. Seek His presence. Fix your eyes on Him. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord—the Maker of heaven and earth!

“Do not stay so far from me, for trouble is near, and no one else can help me.” – Psalm 22:11 [NLT]

Reliability

I have always tried to be a reliable person, but I’ve failed like everyone does from time to time. We cannot always do what we desire to do in life. The Bible says for our yes to be yes, for our no to be no. This makes things very black and white. This is something that helps us to be a person of integrity. People see our consistency. People trust our reliability. We are a better witness to Christ Jesus when we let our yes be yes, and our no be no. Our word is trusted.

The Bible tells us that when we are given much, much is then required. We have a responsibility. It is not always an easy responsibility, but we can rest in these black and white boundaries. If we are a people who do our best to have our yes mean yes and our no mean no, we are not setting ourselves up for failure. We will be seen as someone with reliability. Our words and deeds will be more likely be trusted. We will glorify the Father more by the consistency in our lives.

Don’t grieve over your past failures. I have said “yes” many times and something came up that shook things up. Take time to respond with wisdom and truth when asked to serve in a new ministry. Will you have the time? Is this where God is leading you? With the responsibility you have been given, understand you will have to say yes to some things, and no to others. There is no allowance for a yes man in ministry. When you zero in and say yes to the things God is leading you to do, you will find that serving is a joy, and there will be fruit from the reliability of your word. Remember it is not the yes or the no that matters. It all comes down to giving God the glory He alone deserves. It all comes down to pointing to Him.

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48 [NLT]

 

Paths Crossed

Recently, I had to travel through my old stomping grounds. As I drove on by, I remembered some things of old. It was nice to reminisce a little; however, as I continued onward, I rejoiced in the now. There are moments that our paths will cross over our past. We may find ourselves seeing those we once spent a lot of time with in school, or perhaps we head back home to where we “grew up.” When we do this, it doesn’t mean we return to the past. Paths cross, but we can never return to the way things once were.

When I look around, I often see people trying to get back something they lost—something they once had in the past that is now missed. Consider how much money is spent on hair loss treatments and facelifts. Many people try to get back their youth. Others try to live in their high school glory days. But visiting your old high school doesn’t mean you are to return to that time. We look back and remember what God has done. The paths cross for us to see what He has done. To remember. To give Him glory.

Today, we recognize that He is doing a new thing. He is creative and He is making all things new. As He is leading you to something new, don’t cling to the past. If you are grabbing for something from the “good ‘ole days,” you will miss what God has for you now! Today, embrace the right now! Remember, you have been changed. You have been pruned. You have been made new. You cannot return to the old days. Seek His will for this day.

“Do not say, ‘Why is it that the former days were better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” – Ecclesiastes 7:10 [NASB]