Psalm 56- Believe it or not!

I read the news…..a lot. I have to know. Need the info. But too much information makes me feel like that character from the “Green Mile.” I wrote about here it the other day. And it was happening again. There are scenes out of a horror flick, playing out in somebody’s reality, displayed on the news for all to see. And then, like most of America, I wonder, what if it were me? Fear and doubt creep in. And I get that thirst for the word. It’s like when you go into a run already dehydrated, and finally get home and wonder what you were thinking? That kind of thirsty. So I open my reading plan to find I am still in Psalms. I really would rather get back to David’s story in Samuel. But reading through the Bible chronologically has taken me back and forth between reading the account of David’s life, and reading the Psalms he wrote in the middle of it. For some reason, even though I know the ending, I hate leaving him hiding in the caves. I need him to get out and get him on the throne. So I would rather read 1 Samuel. But…because I like rules, I open Psalms. Psalms 56.
Now I have to back track for a second. Earlier that day, my girls put on a little CD of Bible verse songs that we worked on together. This past summer, my sweet friend Robyn wrote a Bible study for tweens and asked me to put some of the Bible verses to music for them to memorize. So I did. And all these months later, my girls decided to pop it in their CD player. I found myself singing along, and thinking that we need more of this. Then I had this crazy idea. I have been wanting to do a little giveaway on the blog, because that is what bloggers do. So I thought, hey, I could give away the downloads for the scripture songs for those readers that sign up through email. Sounds easy enough. And fun. And purposeful. Yes. I like it. 🙂 (STAY TUNED) 😉
Ok, so where was I, oh yes, a bit scared, a bit uneasy in my spirit, needing a drink of living water. Sitting down I reluctantly open the Psalms, (“reluctantly” because, yes,  I am that prideful that I literally thought I have read enough Psalms to get the gist of it) And then it happened. Again. I really don’t blame you if you don’t believe me. I wouldn’t believe me if it wasn’t happening to me. I mean, who am I that God is mindful of me? But He is! And He minded me. Right through my ugly, prideful, know-it-all, heart. Right here in Psalms 56:3-4

3.Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
4.In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?

But wait, you don’t even know the half of it! Yes, I was feeling afraid, and yes, my reading schedule took me to a verse reminding me not to be afraid because my spirit is eternally forever safe with Him, and yes, that is just what I needed. But that verse, out of every verse I could have read, is one of the songs I was singing earlier that day, from the scripture song CD, the song that I was thinking of giving away as a free download.
Are. You. Kidding. Me????
Let’s recap: I am feeling afraid. My girls, not knowing this, put on a song of a Bible verse I put to music reminding me to trust God when I am afraid. Then I open up my Bible reading to read the verse that I put to music reminding me not to be afraid. Yes. This happened.
My Pastor, preached this weekend saying the words of Jesus to the disciples…”Who do you say I am?”
And with every single solitary fiber of my being I know. I know my answer. I know Who He is! Because this happens all.the.time. All the time! I could really bust out all caps, because I am having church right now people. And I am not the only one. Because I hear these stories all the time from friends that are being cared for by the God they love.
Then this:
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
So many of my tears over my life have come from wandering, and yet, He holds them still.
So today, this is my prayer. And I pray it for you too.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
If you can relate, tell us how has God been mindful of you.

Psalm 52: Even When Truth Is Ignored, God’s Love still Endures.

Read Psalm 52 here.

 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The loving kindness of God endures all day long.
2 Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
Falsehood more than speaking what is right. [c]Selah.
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

Feeling a bit frustrated this morning as I read through the headlines.
Just how? How can lies be passed off as truth, over and over and over? And then even when lies are exposed, no one cares. So I put down my newspaper ( metaphorically speaking of course, who holds a newspaper anymore?? ) Finally, I flip open the Bible, (which I clearly should have opened first) to the assigned reading, as I go through the Bible chronologically and I am reminded that there is nothing new under the sun. Those that love deceitful and destructive words have been around for thousands of years. They are blinded by pride and a lust for power.
Yet, the loving kindness of God endures.
And this was my assigned reading for the day. Seriously? I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate passage if I had googled “passage in the Bible that will encourage me after feeling defeated by the lies perpetrated in our world.”  There is no greater proof for the veracity and power of God’s word, then reading through it for yourself, and realizing the relevance and power God has to meet you exactly where you are!
One of my favorite things about the Psalms is that over and over again, David airs his grievances before the Lord, unashamedly and unfiltered. Yet by the end, he is encouraging himself, and us, thousands of years later, in the Lord. So if you, like me, can feel discouraged by this uphill fight, read on.

8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

I know, as David did, that although God’s loving kindness endures all day long, be not deceived, God will not be mocked. And whatever a man sows, that will he reap. (Gal. 6:7) I trust in His loving Kindness and give Him thanks. Mostly I am thankful that His loving kindness endures for my own failings and sins as much as the sins of anyone else. I pray that I would wait on His name, for it is good. So good. And remembering this “in the presence of Your godly ones.” Don’t forget the importance of the fellowship of believers. Aka church! We will wait on His name, together. And trust.

Psalms 34- A love that delivers.

Psalm 34 (click here to read the whole chapter)
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2.My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3.O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

4.I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5.They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6.This poor man cried, and the
Lordheard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7.The angel of the
Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

8.O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9.O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10.The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

Those ten verses are like a salve to my soul.  When I was little, I was regularly lulled to sleep by the guitar stylings of Ben Ferrell. You either love this guy or don’t love this guy. But man his music invited such peace into my little life way back when and even on into my college years, where I subjected, I mean, introduced my roomates to his music, and now to my own children. If they want to get on mommy’s good side, they will ask to listen to Ben as they fall asleep, knowing how special his music is to me. On his cd, or cassette in those days, he sang and spoke scripture much like a modern day David. Specifically, he quotes  ten verses which I have heard so many times, I could probably read them with his exact intonation and cadence. They so minister to me that I had Paul read them to me when I was in labor with Lizzie. Then ten years later I read them to that same daughter in the hospital with her broken arm, while she waited painfully for the night to end so her surgery could begin.
Those ten verses.
It makes me wonder, how many people since David penned those words, have been helped through the night, through the day, through the years, from the hope filled words he expressed all while he lived a nightmare.
I have seen such sadness over the last few days on facebook. Two different families, two different states, both saying goodbye to a newborn. Yet the words flowing from their hearts are not those of anger or bitterness, but insight and faithfulness. Like David, in their darkest moments, of unthinkable pain, they praise. 
This chapter goes on to say  
:Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers
 him out of them all.
And then,
The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18.The Lord is
 near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
He is near to the brokenhearted. If you are feeling brokenhearted, downtrodden, or crushed, turn your face to heaven, and magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt His name together. None of us are immune to the struggles that plague our world.  But I pray that in those moments, we would not turn to the quick fix through regular distractions: phone, tv, internet and even alcohol. But that we would take refuge in Him. And let His praise continually be in our mouth! If you didn’t  watch the video before, take a listen now. His second song, at about minute 4, has been a favorite of mine for over 25 years.

Psalm 31- Choosing to Trust

To read Psalm 31 Click Here.

Who do you trust?
I have to be honest here. My brain is tired. Admittedly, most of me is usually tired, but on the whole, my daily routine does not require a lot of deep thinking. It is rushed, it is hectic, it is lovely, but it does not require or provide a lot of rigorous mental stimulation. This last week has been different. If you missed all the hubbub, my little 50 view per post blog, jumped up to over 1200 with a little post, apparently controversial, about the Ken Ham/ Bill Nye debate.  Wednesday and Thursday was filled with discussing, debating and defending. Then Friday and Saturday consisted of ingesting and inspecting information at a Creation Experience conference.

Pumping adrenaline on and off throughout most of this week has my mind, spirit, and body a bit more worn out than usual. I have been reading Psalm 31 for a few days now, and I am finally sitting down to process it through my fingertips to the keyboard.  Reading the Bible to me, means looking for the Character of God and allowing it to shape me. When I look at this passage, this is what I see:

In You, O Lord, I put my trust;

 For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.

 But I trust in the Lord.

 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in Your hand;

 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!

 Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

God is trustworthy. I trust Him. But in a world with so much noise, so much distraction, sometimes it becomes a choice, more than a reflex. Yet, I don’t choose to trust with ignorance. I choose to trust because I have been here before. And I have seen His hand. I have felt His heart. I have heard His voice. And I say with Job:

Job 42:5

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
I remember His goodness and His faithfulness, and I trust.  If you have only ever heard of God, but do not know him in this personal way, if you haven’t seen Him move on your behalf in an amazing and supernatural way, He promises that if you call to Him, He will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know. And if you seek Him, you will find Him, when you seek Him with your whole heart. (Jeremiah 3:33, Jeremiah 29:11) So many of you have had those moments, those time with God where you have seen Him move on your behalf. And when uncertainty comes, we must go back to those moments, and remember. And choose to trust. 
 

God predicted my future…..Does that count Bill Nye?

Wow! What a morning. And all this drama on “Clean Sheet Wednesday”? How would I get it all done? Rest assured, the sheets (and you all know there are a lot of them) are cleaned and back on the beds. Phew. But really, how was I ever going to reply to Peter So and So on facebook?? He was getting impatient! He waited 30 whole seconds on  before giving me the ol’ “A-HA! I knew you couldn’t answer!” Simmer down now Peter! I have beds to change!
After teaching, and cleaning, and lunching, and witnessing unprecedented activity on my blog good and bad, I had to go for a run. Clear my head. Pray for direction. This is what I wanted right? A platform to tell others about Jesus? But man, people are angry and mean. Look, I am a big girl, and have a knack for disregarding crazy and bitter. Nevertheless, angry people can wear on anyone. I don’t know if this is the road I want to go down. In fact from my very first post, (click here to read) you can see my struggle with God.
It started when I was a teenager and would enjoy explaining math problems to any that were confused around me. It went like this. They couldn’t understand it. I explained it. They were happy. It was then that I decided to become a math teacher, although I didn’t particularly like math. It was a bit much work for my taste. And that was in just in high school! Ha! I had no idea what I was in for pursuing a pure math degree along with teacher certification. Over and over I prayed for permission from God to drop out of my math major. Biblical counseling sounds like fun! This is too hard! But God refused. “I am not calling you into ministry because you don’t want to work hard,” he whispered into my soul. Fine. I trudged through. And I finished.

Then I taught in a public school where over and over I heard from students that I taught who used to hate math, but now loved it! Yes! This is what any good teacher strives for and lots can achieve. However it was not all sunshine and roses. It was also at this school where I learned another important lesson I can use today. Consider the source. After a particularly difficult lesson, a student known for being a regular consumer of marijuana, raised his hand and proclaimed, “I understood this last year when Mr. Hanley taught it, but I don’t understand the way you are teaching it.” Wow. The ultimate blow. The opposite of what every good teacher strives for. But this was Tony. So I was unfazed. “Tony,” I began, “do you think that maybe this was easier last year because you had more brain cells then?” And his response confirmed my theory. He looked around, laughed, and admitted “You might be right.” So there’s that. Consider the source.

And then there was last night. I was too tired to watch the debate, until I had to, but I definitely wasn’t going to write about it. I couldn’t. My brain was mush. It was three o’clock in the morning after my hardest day of the week. Fine. I would start writing, but there was no way I would finish. But I did. So for those that were so wholeheartedly offended by my less than perfect grammar, I had been up 24 hours. Give a girl a break. Although, truth be told, even on a good night of sleep, I would never ever claim to be a perfect writer. Ever. So if that is your thing, we should amicably part ways. I don’t see our relationship going anywhere.
So back to my run. I called a friend and downloaded, and she advised, and I hung up to pray some more. But for a faith having, God loving Christian, I have to admit I really wasn’t expecting an answer. I didn’t see anything God could show me that would give me peace one way or the other. Until he did. He reminded me of what we have been studying in Psalms that I did not relate to at all when I read it. In fact, in the blog, I either didn’t even mention said verses, or didn’t comment on them because I just couldn’t relate. Until today. But because I was storing them in my heart. They were there, today, when I needed them. You see, over the last 6 hours or so, because of a blog post I wrote here, I have been “yelled” at, mocked, called names, “laughed” at. And on and on.
Here are the previous studies:

Psalm 27: Wait!

Here are the verse I didn’t relate to before today:
Psalm 7:  O Lord my God, in You I put my trust;
Save me from all those who persecute me;
And deliver me,
2 Lest they tear me like a lion,
Rending mein pieces, while there is none to deliver.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this:
If there is iniquity in my hands,
4 If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me,
Or have plundered my enemy without cause,
5 Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me;
Yes, let him trample my life to the earth,
And lay my honor in the dust. Selah

9 Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end,
But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds.
10 My defense is of God,Who saves the upright in heart.

14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.
Psalm 27:


3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I
will beconfident.

4 One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the
Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the
Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
Today I am thankful for a God who sees the future. And longs to prepare us for it! And that, Dear Impatient Peter from facebook, is something of which I could never be convinced otherwise. And above all, I pray that you would find that too.

Why Bill Nye lost the debate last night.

 

 

I LOVE debates!! Ask my poor husband!
 I vow one day to go to law school, because in my humble opinion, there is no one that would make a better lawyer then someone with a math degree. Logic, problem solving, proofs, yes, yes and yes! So when I heard about this debate my head was spinning. These types of debates are typically “below” all the evolution big wigs, so this was our chance! I wondered what Ken Ham would say, which smoking gun he would bring up. Would he use Darwin’s own words to damn Bill Nye’s ideas? Which proofs would he bring out? The anticipation was almost too much. I was praying for Ken Ham, telling others to pray for Ken Ham.
I could not wait to watch this debate.
And then, two days before the debate I realized I wouldn’t even be able to watch the it live. Weeks ago I had received free tickets to a NHL Panthers hockey game for our whole family. And it was the same night!!
 I gladly went to the game, and enjoyed the family time. But I couldn’t help but wonder how the debate was going. That’s when I started checking twitter. And my heart began sinking!
NO!! What? Why? Even my Christian friends were disappointed.
 I literally felt sick. I was desperate to know what had happened. I really wanted to watch it online. Like now.
When we got home from the game exhaustion was setting in. The debate was over. The vote was in. It felt like November 2012 all over again. Should I even watch it? What was the point?
Yeah right! Of course I had to watch it.
So with the kids and husband asleep, I clicked on the archived event with incredible anxiety and began watching. The truth is that I was riveted from start to finish. But I had one question. Was I watching the same debate?
Ken Ham started off strong with the grammar stage. Undoubtedly, we have to define our terms if we are going to employ them throughout the discussion. However, despite Ham’s rigorous and through explanations of the vocabulary they would be using, Bill Nye refused to adhere to said logical constraints and  instead used demeaning innuendos and labeled  belief in a created universe as “Ken Ham’s view” as if Ken Ham invented the theory of creation. The reality is, however, that Bill Nye could have just as easily and accurately said “Francis Bacon’s view” or “Galileo’s view” or “Isaac Newton’s view,” but that would have ended the whole debate right then and there as I will explain later.
There were little things stylistically that I thought Ham could have done differently, or points on which Ham could have challenged Nye, throughout, but for the sake of time and my sanity, I am just going to go over the fundamental fallacies that in essence caused a big loss for Nye.
First of all, Bill Nye made the claim that he, and all scientists since the beginning of time, welcome new theories! (Wait why are we here again?) Yes, he spoke for all scientists everywhere throughout all of history, declaring the joy they feel when someone offers an opposing view with any proof. But I, for one, know this to be false. Why? Because of my FAVORITE math class ever. The History of Calculus. It was fascinating! Seriously, great teacher. Jaw dropping stories. And how did it portray some of those great scientists that produced new ideas to the scientific community? They were attacked and vilified or worse, murdered!! Surely not, you say. Oh yes, I argue. So much so that Isaac Newton eventually gave up sharing his ideas with anyone. And what happened? The whole country of England suffered. They were left about a hundred years behind their competitors mathematically because one of the greatest minds of our time (a creationist, ironically enough) was done with fighting the “all accepting” scientists. Wait, so because someone who believed in a creator God, stopped contributing to science, his whole country’s mathematical progress was halted? Interesting.Very Interesting.
Next, he makes the assertion that creationists have the ultimate potential, nay destiny, of ruining progress and eliminating all further advances in science.  Yes, America will cease to be a leader and all will be lost if we teach creation! This claim is easily disputed too, but mostly because his premise is more than a little shaky. His big concern is the education of our children right? We creationists can believe all this fairytale, Ken Ham, stuff, concedes Nye, but please, leave the kids out of it! After all, America’s science and math education is currently leading the charts! Right at the top! Right? We can’t lose that!
Oh, wait,what? A 2009 study found that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science, behind nations like China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland.
Oh, well, that must be because there is so much Bible and creation and stuff in schools nowadays, right? Nope.
So faulty premise to start because we are not at the top for science and math education. But the end is wrong too. And that, frankly is where Mr. Nye loses this debate.
This whole controversy started months ago when he claimed that parents should not be allowed to teach their children creation because it is dumb, and their kids will be dumb (paraphrase.)
And that is what Mr. Nye kept driving home tonight.
Bill Nye: (Paraphrase) Anyone who believes in creation can never invent or predict anything. Evolutionists always predict amazing things, 
Ken Ham: like because of evolution we knew that people didn’t really need their appendix, or tonsils, ya know, we were evolving past those silly things, so we can just take them out, whenever we want, no harm no…….
…wait what?
 Oh, right, ignore that prediction, that was a little off. But seriously, where was I, oh yeah, if you believe in creation, you can never contribute to science and predict awesome things like evolutionists can.
Then Ken Ham brings out some people from this list of people that support the “Ken Ham Way”:
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Scientific method.
  • Isaac Newton (1642–1727) (WOH) Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light (wrote more about the Bible than science, and emphatically affirmed a Creator. Some have accused him of Arianism, but it’s likely he held to a heterodox form of the Trinity—See Pfizenmaier, T.C., Was Isaac Newton an Arian? Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):57–80, 1997)
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646–1716) Mathematician
  • Carolus Linneaus (1707–1778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system
  • Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator
  • Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph
  • James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics
  • Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization
  • William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the evolutionists wanted*)
  • William Huggins (1824–1910) Astral spectrometry
  • Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
  • Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery
  • Balfour Stewart (1828–1887) Ionospheric electricity
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics
  • P.G. Tait (1831–1901) Vector analysis
  • John Bell Pettigrew (1834–1908) Anatomist; Physiologist
  • John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases
  • Sir William Abney (1843–1920) Astronomy
  • John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve
And that is when it was over.
 If Bill Nye’s whole point was that creationists can never predict or invent, he lost. That’s it.
And believe you me, that was and is his point.  (see videos below)
Listen to his closing statements in which he praises the scientific process (The one promoted by creationist Francis Bacon ) and reiterates that if we start teaching creation, we will be “outcompeted” (not a word) by other countries. That was his final thought.
Now I want to talk to the Christians. Ken Ham had an incredible amount of ground to cover, and arguments to answer. He disputed the carbon dating and got all sciency, yet that was completely ignored. He had a short amount of time to accomplish an enormous task. So he proved what mattered. Yes, he could have went back and forth with him about specifics, but when he did, it was completely dismissed. Ken Ham stuck to the main point with focus. He listed some of these brilliant scientists from the past and some from the present all that contributed to science in immeasurable ways, furthering science, not crippling it. End of debate. It should have been over.
Not only that, but when, dear Christian, is sharing scripture with millions something for us to be disappointed about? There was nothing that Ken Ham was going to say that those staunch evolutionists hadn’t heard before and vice versa. The point Ken made time and again was that it all came down to how they were interpreting the data, and that they each, according to their own studies and faith (oh yes, faith), will continue to believe those things regardless of any laundry list of science facts stated. But here is where I differ with the news articles that say “No one will change their opinion from this debate.” I know that God’s word is living, and active and sharper than a two edged sword. I know that God’s Word does not return void. So I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that through this debate, lives were changed. And that, is amazing.
Before watching the debate I felt sick reading all the reactions. Afterward, I am elated and proud. There are some really great discussion points that I am going to explore in future blogs, like, how Bill Nye actually proved the ark could exist, and also confirmed the need to seek after God! But as my mom says, my blogs tend to be a bit wordy, so I better quit for now! In fact, if you made it this far, thank you! You too mom!

****Edited to add these videos which were the inspiration for the post, along with his previous interviews

Week in Review I Samuel 21-24, Ps. 7,27

Time to review! Or catch up! Click on each heading to read the entire devo blog that you missed or need to re-read! 

 

I Samuel 21- Future Provision Through Today’s Obedience.

 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “ There is none like it; give it to me.” (I Samuel 21:9 NKJV)
The lesson here really took my breath away. Each victory in Jesus gives us the tools to fight an even bigger battle. And it’s the daily battles that are the hardest to win. But as we fight through the temptations in life, crucifying our flesh, our future is being defined, and mapped out.

 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is this not David the king of the land? Did they not sing of him to one another in dances, saying:

‘Saul has slain his thousands,
And David his ten thousands’?”

12 Now David took these words to heart, and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. Everyone wants to be known, but there is a cost, and we should take these things to heart as well, praying for our pastors, leaders, writers, teachers who are in the spotlight, with a target on their back, with an enemy that roars looking for someone to devour. Take a moment today to pray for someone you know, or have admired that might be in this place. 

I Samuel 22- God still speaks through His word, even in January. 

 I seem to have had a case of the Januaries. I know I am not alone, because I have confessed this “Blah” feeling to some of my closest friends, only to hear many of them echo my sentiments. Oppressed seems like a strong word, but yet it is the right word. This past week I felt somewhat better, despite circumstances around me getting worse. However, in the middle of it, if you have ever been there, and are in charge of or responsible for anyone else, it’s easy to feel unqualified, defeated, thinking “How do I take care of my children, or students, or coworkers, or fill in the blank….when I don’t even feel like taking care of myself?”

 David therefore departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. So when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.

David was running for his life, trying to cling to a promise that was given to him, betrayed by his master, separated from his best friend, and crying out to God regularly for protection. Yet in this broken state, they came to him, those that were discontented, and in debt, and distressed. And he became captain over them. How? How did he do it? He was anointed to do it. He was chosen to do it. He was empowered to do it. He was surrendered to God’s will. And he chose to do it. 

I Samuel 23- Every Move I make- I’ll be asking You!

 

2Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”

David is acutely aware of his need for guidance. In this chapter, David asks if he should go in and defend Keilah against the Phillistines.  And God says yes. But some of his soldiers have a bit of a problem with it. Like, really David? We are barely hanging on here, and you want us to go defend someone else?

The simplest but most common display of pride is denying our need for daily devotions and constant contact with God. Pray without ceasing. So many times you hear people say, I just wish I knew God’s will. But the reality is, that many times we wait till a big decision comes along, and then ask, when the best way to find God’s will is to be talking to Him all day long, bring your daily decisions through the filter of God’s Word.

I Samuel 24- God’s timing Vs. Our Plans for a short cut

 This is a familiar story to many of us that have been studying the Bible for some time. David has been running for his life from a man who is now sleeping in a cave, at his feet. David was anointed king. And the only thing that stands in his way, is the king who could be taken out of the equation with one fell swoop. But he walks away. Not before cutting off a piece of his robe for evidence. Then he yelled across to Saul from a safe distance to let him know.

This story pierced my heart today. Truly. Here was David, anointed by God, promised the crown, and here was what seemed to be the perfect opportunity to take what was his. But the character of his heart won out over the convenience of the capture. He was going to trust God to deliver the throne, and through his constant contact with God, he knew this was not how it was supposed to go down. Patience. What? Patience to watch God’s plan unfold. Vision for what God intended to do. 


Psalm 7- Don’t be surprised by struggle.

 

God gives us so many real life physical examples of our spiritual reality. Eating right and exercising well are a struggle. The whole point of exercising is to struggle. If you are not sweating, or exhausting your muscle, then likely you aren’t getting anywhere. Eating is easy, but eating healthy requires denying your wants and your desires for your goals. And that is a struggle.

 17 I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Don’t be surprised by the struggle. It has to be. But as we see God come through, time and time again, I pray that we would be strengthened through the struggle and that we would comfort others as we have been comforted as we praise God, putting our trust in Him.