Month of Prayer, Day 9

Lord, let Your mercies come to me.  Let Your Word be alive in me.  Let my life show that You and Your Word are true.  Let those around me see that trusting in Your Word is wise.

Lord, do not allow me to be clamorous, simple, or deceitful.  Let Your Word be what my mouth brings forth, and not folly.  My hope is in You, Lord.  Let my life prove that is so.  Let my actions, my words, my reactions, and my exclamations all prove that my hope is indeed in You.

Increase my faith.  Oh, God, I know when I ask You to increase my faith that a situation will likely arise where I will have to make the choice of whether or not to place my faith solely in You.  I have been through this before, and I’m sorry to say that it’s not always easy, but Lord, I trust You.

You have never forsaken me.  I trust that Your plans for my life and my family are good.  I trust that Your wisdom will be with me, helping me to forsake foolishness.  Your Word of truth will not utterly leave my mouth.  Your Holy Spirit will bring to my remembrance the truths I know of You.  I believe Your Word which tells me that You go before me and behind me, guiding me along the way.

Lord, help me go in the way of understanding all the days of my life.  Help my children to receive my teachings that bring them closer and closer to You.  Help my life to be a living testimony of Your goodness and Your faithfulness.  Empower me, through Your Holy Spirit, to be a light.

I love You, Lord.  I thank You for Your Word, and for Your faithfulness.  I thank You for Your mercies and for salvation.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

 

The well-established counselor

Pr. 8:22-23:  “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old.  I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”

Why do we fight against wisdom?  Why is it that we push wisdom to the back of our minds and makes our own choices?  Why wouldn’t we choose to trust what was possessed and established before there was ever an earth?

The Lord gave us free choice from the very beginning and satan does everything he can to keep us from the Lord.  He makes the choices that conflict against wisdom look so enticing, and look as though they hold the possibility of success.  The only thing we can be assured that those choices hold are things that will help him steal, kill, and destroy in our lives.

Wisdom was possessed by the Lord before His works of old.  It was established from everlasting…before there was ever an earth.

Why wouldn’t we choose wisdom above all else?  When we feel ourselves pushing back against wisdom, we need to remind ourselves that the Lord had wisdom beside Him as a master craftsman when He marked out the foundations of the earth.  She was daily His delight.

That which was possessed at the beginning of God’s way is free to us, crying out to us, and loves those who diligently seek her.  Let’s embrace all wisdom has to offer.

Listening,

jamie

 

Learning even more

Pr. 9:9:  “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” 

So, the reason I’ve been MIA for a few days is that I fractured my tibial plateau on Tuesday night.  (the top of my shin bone)  Everything has been taking 3 times as long to do, so I’m just starting to adjust.

For the next 6 weeks I cannot put Any weight on my leg.  Here on day 3 (only 5 weeks and 4 days to go!!), I am noticing something beautiful taking place.  Although I have casually taught my children how to do laundry, sweep, etc., they are now going to get a deeper experience with it as they help out around the house.

This morning my son not only cleaned up his mess, but put everything exactly where it should be without me reminding him to do so.

My children are wise.  They know how to do quite a bit.  What I am witnessing and realizing now, however, is that by the end of this 6 weeks, they will be much wiser and much more capable of taking care of themselves and our house.  They are going to grow in ways they otherwise would not have.

This is how it is with the Lord.  No matter how much we know about the Lord, His word, and His precepts, the more we dig and study the more we will learn.  His wisdom will continue to fill us throughout our lives.  When we are willing to be taught, we will continue to learn.

Maybe we have read the parable of the wicked vinedressers 84 times.  We may have read the book of Galatians through every few months for the last 20 years of our lives.  There may be times when we find ourselves mindlessly speed-reading through them, but the truth is…we can always learn more from the Word of God.  Because His Word does not return to Him void, there is always something to glean from it.

If we find ourselves casually reading the Word, we can ask the Lord to help us give a deeper experience by taking more responsibility upon ourselves for what we’re learning.  Perhaps we need to find someone who needs to be instructed.  That may cause us to look for more wisdom as we read.  Things we never noticed in those scriptures will suddenly have new meaning.

Maybe there is some kind of ministry for which we need to become responsible.  Learning God’s word to ensure we are filled with Him in order to pour Him out onto others will cause our study time to become more intentional.

Maybe our light has just grown a bit dim.  Reading with the goal of raising the wattage in our light that shines for Him may help us to take on a bit more responsibility with our study time.

Like my kids, maybe it’s the time in our lives when we need to learn more, dig deeper, and grow in ways we didn’t realize we were ready for.  Perhaps now is the time when God has something even more for you…and for me.

Growing with you,

jamie

Turn to God

Pr. 9:4:  Wisdom cries, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

Wisdom has been prepared for us.  Pr. 9 tells of the preparations that have gone into the instructions that are available to us from wisdom.

I read Psalm 143 this morning, which is entitled:  An earnest appeal for guidance and deliverance.  In this Psalm, David is crying out to the Lord for wisdom, understanding, and guidance.  Here is a snippet of that Psalm:

My heart within me is distressed.  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.  I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land.  Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails!  …cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.  …teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good.  Lead me in the land of uprightness.

If our hearts become distressed, when darkness looms around us, or as sin seeks to lure us, we must not allow ourselves to feel ‘simple.’  A simple person is defined as ignorant, foolish, or gullible.  We who trust in the Lord are not simple.  Yet, Satan would have us believe that we are.  He puts thoughts into our minds that confuse us and bring us low.

Satan wants us to believe gullible things such as, “It’s harmless,”  “It’s not That big a deal,” “It only affects me,”  “I will never get past this.”  He wants us to believe foolish things like, “I have to take care of this myself,”  “I just need to man up,”  “God has more to do than worry about this.”  Ignorant thoughts he feeds us sound something like, “There is no way out of this,”  “God could never forgive something like this,”  “If I’ve sinned, there is no hope of stopping,”  “It’s too late to turn back now,”  “My life will never get any better.”

We must not give in to satan and his lies.  He is the father of lies.  He wants nothing more than to destroy our souls.  We are Not simple.  We have the truth available to us through the Word of God.  His Word reminds us of the days of old, the works God has done, and the works of His hands.

If His Word is not getting through, we also have something else even more wonderful:  access to the Holy of Holies.  We have been personally invited by the Lord to boldly approach His throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need, just as David did.

When ‘simple’ thoughts begin to creep into our minds, we must turn toward the throne.  We have a Lord whose wisdom is perpetually available to us.  He has not left us.  He will never forsake us.  He is with us always.  We simply need to turn to Him.  He is waiting with everything we need.

Seeking His guidance,

jamie

Continuing with God

You’ve heard that pride comes before the fall.  In my reading today I saw more than one example of this.  In Ps. 73, Asaph is confessing how he began envying sinners.  “Pride served as their necklace,” he said.  They were successful, prosperous, glamorous.  He was thinking that if they have it so easy and have such abundance, then surely he had cleansed his heart in vain, giving His life over to God.

Then, however, he went into the sanctuary of God and understood their end.  God’s Word is true, and those who trust in the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life are trusting in the world and not in the Father.  “This world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:17.  Surely they will receive their reward.

Likewise, in Pr. 9:13-18 there is a foolish and prideful woman who is so bold in her pride that she sits at the highest place of the city calling out to those who pass, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”  Isn’t this just was sin and lust do?  They are bold, crying out to us that they are pleasant…just as they did to Asaph.

Asaph questioned if it would just be better to give in, act like the world, turn His back on His suffering for Christ.   For every man who gave into the clamorous woman; however, we are told, “he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”  That is the truth of giving in to sin.  It may seem pleasant, it may sound delightful, it may even promise wonderful things, but the truth is that it leads to hell.

Asaph, upon realizing this same truth, said, “For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.  But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”

Serving and trusting in the Lord means we are submitting our lives to the One about which Asaph said, “You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”  We have a great reward awaiting us.  Lusts and pride of this world tempts us to give in, but we must remember that its end is death.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Asaph.  “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.  If what you heard abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.”  1 John 2:24-25

Keep trusting in God,

jamie

Food for the heavy heart

Pr. 9:5:  “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed,”  says wisdom.

I am tired this morning.  There has been a sad disconnect in one part of my extended family for the last 3 or 4 years, and the last few nights I have had wonderful dreams where that no longer existed.  In the mornings; however, I awake to the weight of reality upon realizing that things are not actually so wonderful.

Over the years, this issue is one that I have allowed to cause me to cry, agonize, and even have panic attacks.  I have been able to grow in the understanding that the only thing that can truly help is prayer.  I have known that I had to turn my family over to God and ask that He be the One to comfort and protect them, and if possible, change their minds.  I have also had to turn my own emotions over to Him and learn to truly draw my strength from Him.

Decisions that are out of our control can sometimes be overwhelming and we can feel a range of emotions, from disappointment to anger to devastation.  The beauty of having the Lord in our lives; however, is that we have the understanding that the Lord is the One who truly supplies our joy, peace, and strength.  After awaking this morning, I was so thankful that God’s Word was waiting for me, to give me what I needed in my moment of heaviness.  I am so thankful that I am able to come eat and drink of the goodness of God, His precepts, His love, His guidance, and His wisdom.

What would I do if I didn’t have a Savior upon which I can call?  How would I get through this without a High Priest who understands all that I am going through, and is willing and able to give aid when I call upon Him?  This situation is beyond me, and without a loving Comforter to come along and walk with me, I would not have any hope of peace within myself, or reconciliation with those that I love so much.

Eating of God’s Word fuels me with the reminder that with God all things are possible.  Drinking in His hope, I am refreshed in the fact that He does not lie.  I am devouring the promise that the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.  The fact that The Lord is my sun and shield satisfies me like nothing else ever will.

I am thankful for a forgiving God, who made me fearfully and wonderfully.  In Him alone am I complete.  My Creator made me exactly the way He need me to be and He loves me so much that He sent His Son to die in my place.  What an amazing gift!  What an awesome God we serve!  His faithfulness proves that He will not leave me nor forsake me.  In that, I can rest and find true peace.

Feeling much more awake,

jamie

Forsake foolishness

Pr. 9:6:  “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.”

The Word also tells us in Pr. 14:1 that, “the fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Creation screams out the existence of God.  Science points us to the Creator, as well.  The Holy Spirit tugs at our hearts to remind us that there is One God who holds this world in His hands and who wants communion with us.  Satan loves to deceive and get our eyes off the Lord, even to the point that we would deny His existence.

Romans 1:18-32 talks about how people suppress the truth and become futile in their thoughts, allowing their foolish hearts to be hardened.  It says that people exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator.  “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like a corruptible man.”  (vs.22-23)

Doesn’t this sound just like our world?  So many people profess their “wise” opinions that point away from the Lord, the Creator of all things, and are exchanging the truth of God for a lie.  We don’t naturally want to be outsiders, so occasionally we go with the flow of the thoughts, opinions, or lifestyles around us.

The word of God tells us that understanding is knowledge of the Holy One, but Ro. 1:28 says, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…”  If we deny the Lord or His power and insist on continuing in that way, God will allow us to have what we want and we become fools who are headed toward destruction.

David said, in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord always before me.”  This sounds like what we all should do.  If we want true understanding, we must know more about the Lord.  Fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, points us away from the things not fitting, as described in Romans 1:29-32; and points us straight to the Creator and to eternal life.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”  1Tim. 4:1-3.

Sounds like these latter times are upon us.  Don’t be swept up by futile thoughts, lies, and deceiving spirits.  Stand firm on the solid foundation that is Jesus Christ.  Go in the way of understanding.  Know the Lord and His word and have life!

Cramming,

jamie