Tag Archives: Psalm 63

Search Inward

Many of us are celebrating the Lenten season. It is a season of fasting and renewal, a season that reminds us that we are but dust. Life is fragile. Life is but a breath. It is a season that looks to the Cross. We spend these weeks mindful of the shortness of life, but even more mindful of the One Who poured out His blood at Calvary so that we could have new life—life in Him. As Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the Wilderness, so we spend this time in self-reflection, repentance, and prayer.

Some people are trying to stick diligently to the removal of some item from their life. Some people may have even publicly noted an ongoing battle with trying to stay true to a vow to give up this thing for Lent. It is important to remember some things about Lent and fasting, because many get lost on the journey to the Cross. Lent instructions are not found in the Bible—it’s something that was instituted by the Church. However, with the fasting, one should be mindful that publicly boasting or grumbling is not applauded (see Matthew 6:16). Fasting is personal. The idea of fasting during Lent is to remove something that is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus, and then replace that thing with something that will bring you closer to Jesus Christ.

Remember, Lent is all about Jesus. If you are keeping yourself from drinking soda or eating sweets but that doesn’t interfere with your relationship with Jesus, and you have not supplemented these things with more time in prayer, reading God’s Word, or spending time doing something that brings you closer to Jesus, then you are missing out. This is a time to search inward, a time to repent and renew yourself in Him. Today, whether or not you celebrate the Lenten season, take time to look inward. What is getting in the way of your relationship with Jesus? What has become a stumbling block? Pray for the removal of this from your life. Pray for a closer relationship with Jesus. Seek Him diligently today. Pray for your heart to open and spend time in the Word. Ask Him to speak to you in a new and awesome way.

“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [ESV]

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” – Psalm 42:1 [ESV]

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 [NLT]

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Two Lions

Since my travel route has changed a few months ago, I needed a new shortcut. I tried out this shortcut many people are probably familiar with; however, I’m not good with shortcuts. A few times I missed the right turn and my shortcut turned into a longcut. After a few misses, I focused on my surroundings to find something that would help me remember where to turn. It was then I saw the two lions.

When I saw the two lions, I was in the middle of a worship session, singing along with the radio to “Lion and the Lamb” by Big Daddy Weave as I navigated the route. I considered the Lion as I saw the lions. Then I thought of a series we were doing about chasing a lion—meaning chasing the dream God has placed in our hearts, just as Benaiah chased a lion into a pit. Two lions. The Lion of Judah and the dream He has for you.

Nearly every day this week, I have passed those two lions at least twice a day. I continued to think about the Lion and the path He placed before me, the dream He placed in my heart. I considered the intensity I chase Jesus and the intensity I chase where He leads. We are called to be fierce. We are called to jump into pits. We are called to chase after God. He’s not running from us. He’s not hiding. The chase is all about the heart. It’s all about wanting nothing more than Him. It’s about God being your everything. If He’s your everything, you run toward Him will intensity. You run with full force. You run uninhibited. You run focused. You run, not looking back. Today, consider what or who you are chasing. If you are pursing God, are you doing so with passion, with intensity?

“It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.” – Hebrews 11:27 [NLT]

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [NIV]

Questioning God

All of us likely have questioned God at some point. The question many ask is whether it is okay to question our heavenly Father at all. He is the God of the universe, the Creator of all things. How dare we question Him?!? But there are moments when we can question God, just as Abram did in Genesis 15 and Gideon did in Judges 6 – it’s all about the heart.

In Genesis 15, Abram was questioning the promise of God because he had no children. With his limited human thinking, he could not wrap his mind around the situation. In questioning God, he was trying to better grasp God’s Word to better understand God and to walk faithfully. In Judges 6, Gideon is visited by the angel of the Lord. When the angel begins speaking, Gideon interrupts! Yes, he interrupts! He says, ‘Pardon me, my lord” (see verse 15). He basically says, “WAIT A SECOND.” The Lord answers. He doesn’t say, “How dare you question Me, Gideon!?!” He answers.

It’s not okay to question God when your heart is not repentant, when you are questioning Him because you are proud and you think He is wrong. It is okay to question God when your heart is right with God. Remember, Abram believed and was considered righteous (in right standing with God). Abram and Gideon wanted to get to know God more, to understand what He was commanding, to faithfully walk with God. It is certainly okay to question Him when you simply want to get to know Him more, to seek a deeper understanding, a deeper relationship with God.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1 [NIV]

Right Hand

The Bible often talks about the right hand of God, and yet we don’t read much about His left hand. Many may question this lack of left-handed mentions. It is important to recognize that the right hand was considered the strong hand. It represented strength as we see in Isaiah 41:10, my life verse. But there is something else about the right hand.

The right hand, the place to the right of a person, is a place of honor. The New Living Translation translates the verse from 1 Peter as “the place of honor next to God.” This is the place that people wanted to be. Remember James and John’s mother wanting one of her children sitting in that privileged spot. Consider Who is at the right hand of God. Remember, as Stephen looked up before he was stoned to death, he saw Jesus at the right hand of God. To Him be all the honor, glory, and praise. He gets the highest honor. He is the highest, above all!

Today, as you read your Bible and reflect on His Word, look at where you find His right hand referenced in the Bible. Cling to those promises. Cling to Him Who has made those promises. Remember it is His right hand that upholds you.

“A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” – Psalm 110:1 [ESV]

“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” – Psalm 63:8 [NASB]

“Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority.” – 1 Peter 3:22 [NLT]

Core Exercises

Yesterday’s appointment at the chiropractor wasn’t a fun one. Typically, one of my favorite times of the month is when I go in for my monthly alignment. Last month, something didn’t feel right. As the doctor and I discussed the situation from the previous appointment, he discovered that the other doctor never gave me the next step of exercises. I was faithfully doing the stretch exercises I was given long ago; however, I was supposed to receive core exercises thereafter, exercises that would get me to the next level. Without having the core exercises, my weak joint continues to give me great problems.

Just like I needed to go from the basic stretch exercises to core exercises, so we as followers of Christ, are not to just stay stuck on the basics of our faith. There is a time for spiritual milk, and then there’s a time when we are able to have solid food. If we stay milk drinkers, never attempting to take a bite of the solid food, we will never get to where we are meant to be, nor will we grow into who we are meant to be, because we will be stuck. Solid food is for the mature (Hebrews 5:14).

Remember friends, you are a child of God. By faith in Jesus Christ, not only are you a child of God, but you have the Spirit of God within you. That being said, you have the option to continue drinking the basics of Christianity, or to continue to grow. The Psalmist speaks about a desire for God, as he says, “Earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You” (Psalm 63:1 NIV). This is the thirst we should always have in our walk. In 1 Peter 2:2, we read of the importance to long for, to crave pure spiritual milk. We can note that there is a time for milk, and a time for solid food (1 Corinthians 3:2). Today, consider where you are at with your walk. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you if you need a refreshing of spiritual milk, or if you should be moving on to some solid food. May He continue to break you, mold you, and continue to reveal Himself to you.

Are You Ready for Solid Food?

Are You Ready for Solid Food?

[[Read Hebrews 5:11 – 6:4]]

Main Verse:

“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” – Hebrews 5:12 [NLT]

Hebrews 6:1-4 Breakdown:

  1. Basic Foundation
  • Repentance
  • Faith
  1. Basic Instruction
  • Baptism
  • Holy Spirit
  • Resurrection
  • Judgment
  1. God’s Grace
  • “And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.” (6:3 NLT)
  • God’s Grace allows for Spiritual Maturity

You aren’t meant to stay a child living on milk.

What keeps you a Milk Drinker?

  • Laziness (v. 11) – Where is the passion / desire?
  • Lack of Influence (v.12) – Ought to be teaching but need retaught
  • Dull Discernment (vs. 13-14) – Unable to discern good and evil

From Milk to Solid Food…

  • Drink Milk – “Pure Spiritual Milk” (1 Peter 2:2) – The Gospel
  • Swallow & Digest Milk – Milk produces renewed mind
  • Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Satisfaction Promotes Discernment

Psalm 63:1, 8

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water… my soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. [ESV]

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A Shirt Reminder

The other morning a dear friend told me about an encounter she had wearing a FearNot Ministries t-shirt. While she was at a local store, someone saw her wearing the shirt and revealed that she was struggling. Because of the struggles she was facing, she just that morning turned to the Bible. She read a verse that told her not to fear—that God was with her. When my friend walked into that store, the FearNot immediately caught her eyes and she remembered what God’s Word promised her that morning.

God’s Word has so many promises, more promises than I can list in a short devotion. When we live our life knowing and trusting in these promises—knowing and trusting God and His Word—life is very different. You cannot recognize God at work, you cannot know God, unless you know His Word. It is so very important to open up your Bible and read. Don’t stop reading. Every day read. Then when you are going through struggles, when you are facing a difficult time in your life, when you are not sure which way to go—you will have His Word written on your heart.

The other day three beautiful girls came over with these hearts they made during church service. The heart displayed a verse that spoke of writing God’s Word on your heart. I asked the girls, “How can you write God’s Word on your heart?” The answer is easy – read God’s Word. Read God’s Word. Delight in His Word. Cherish His Word. Eat His Word. Chew upon it. Take it in. Treasure it. Store it up. Embrace it.

“You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary

and beheld your power and your glory.

Because your love is better than life,

my lips will glorify you.

I will praise you as long as I live,

and in your name I will lift up my hands.

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;

I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

your right hand upholds me.”

-Psalm 63:1-8 [NIV]

Here I Am

Times can get very hectic. We often try to take the 24 hours we get in a day and shove as much as we can into that time frame so it feels like we accomplished something. I know too well what happens. A few years ago I was working three jobs plus managing the household. I was tired, overwhelmed, and way off course. I think this is why in Psalm 90, Moses sees that it’s important to number our days. He recognizes the need to have priorities and to use our time wisely. That was something I couldn’t understand when I was so busy.

Sometimes when things come in the between our relationship with God, they get removed. That happened in this situation and I was able to then realize that I didn’t need to work three jobs; I could get by fine with one job if I changed a few things. This solution didn’t solve everything though, because time management is a constant battle we face. I had the same type of situation arise when I was in one of my theology classes and we had long winded discussions.

The point is that God wants to have a relationship with us. That relationship requires two parties. In Isaiah, God says that if we call out to Him, He will answer. He will say, “Here I Am.” At the same time, we need to do the same thing. The only way for us to say that is to be able to listen and spend time with God.

While working three jobs, I wasn’t able to spend much time with God in prayer and in His Word. I can tell you that you can feel the difference when you add more time with God to your schedule. As you start giving yourself more time for silent time, for prayer, for Bible reading, it ends up you want more. You have this thirst that can only be quenched by Him. You want to make more time with Him. You look for ways to spend more time with Him.

When we find more time to say “Here I Am” we get this thirst.

I think that Psalm 63:1-5 says it best (taken from the NASB translation):

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will life up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.”