Reviewing a Rough Road- Psalms and Samuel

So call me crazy, hormonal, or inconsistent, but I am about to disagree with myself.
Two posts ago, I said how the “Review” posts were my favorite. And they normally are. But not in this case. I am not sure I want to think about what I just learned because it was hard. It still hurts. And my heart has not fully healed yet.
You see, God in His sovereign wisdom and grace, prepared me for these last two weeks through His word. However, to review those lessons, means to go deep into what He is trying to teach me, which I am still trying to learn, through tears.
Before my church was turned upside down, God talked to me about what peace really is, showed me how I need to be rescued from my flesh, and reminded me that when I feel overwhelmed, He knows. Afterwards, he showed me what to do when a leader falls and how easily that could be me. And people, this is just my daily chapter by chapter reading. I did not search these lessons out.
Some may say it is narcissitic to claim God speaks to my need through His word, but I just call it love. And the same love is waiting for you.Through His word He tells us Who He is,who we are, who we are destined to be, and more. Such love.
The following is a recap, but for each full post, click on each title.

Psalm 120- Defining Peace

Psalm 120
In my trouble I cried to the Lord,
And He answered me.
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips,
From a deceitful tongue.

7 I am for peace, but when I speak,
They are for war.

So what did Jesus have to say about peace?
Matthew 10:34-36
Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
Jesus, who is called the “Prince of Peace” claims that he did not come to bring peace, meaning the absence of war or fighting, on the earth. Why? Well, for one, He knew that as long as there is sin in the world, this could never happen. So what kind of peace is He talking about?
Romans 10:15
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
I love how Matthew Henry expounds on this verse:
(Peace) It is the word of reconciliation between God and man….. it is glad tidings of good things. The things of the gospel are good things indeed, the best things; tidings concerning them are the most joyful tidings, the best news that ever came from heaven to earth.
Peace is reconciliation with God.
It is this definition that makes this portion of the Psalms, and even Jesus title as “The Prince of Peace” become so clear.
And here is the verse of the day, one to meditate on and reflect back on, when all seems not so peaceful..
One of my favorites:
Ephesians 2:14a For He Himself is our peace!

Psalm 140- I need to be rescued.

Crying out for protection, Psalm 140 records once again, David’s need to be rescued.
Like me. I need to be rescued.
Unlike David, however, I do not have a world leader hunting me down. The fact remains, however, that there is a roaming, roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And God reminds me,
“For you wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Now it is with David I pray,
Rescue me, keep me, You are my God, the strength of my salvation. You have covered my head in the day of battle,
because this life is a battle.
I can’t be the only one who feels that war raging inside.
I can’t be the only one who doesn’t always want to do the things I know I should do!
I know that this struggle is from the cradle to the grave. I know that greater men and women then me have warred against their flesh, yet I also know that there is victory in Christ Jesus. How do I know this?
Number one, because He has told me. It is all over His Word. Countless examples of the power to change lives from a murderer to a preacher, from a coward to a warrior, from an orphan girl to a queen who saves. Greater is He that is in me, than He that is in the world.
Number two, I have seen it up close and personal. I have seen His hand in my life, in my family’s lives, in my friends’ lives.
If you are still who you were, then we have a problem.
Part of the problem and part of what holds us back is that we don’t know how badly we need rescuing.
That is pride.
I pray that we would approach our days with the same vigilance that David did, that we would see our moment by moment need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and that we would not turn to sugary substitutes or quick fix fillers to quiet those needs, but that we would surrender and submit to the will of God through worship and prayer and the study of His word. Amen!

Psalm 141- Hungry?

Psalm 141
Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

I was so HUNGRY to get into the Word tonight.

Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!

I felt these words to my core when I read them. Hurry up Lord. Please meet me hear fast as my praises go up, and Your mercies come down.

The lifting of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not incline my heart to any evil thing,
Hello? Can I get a witness?
The power of our words is real. I desperately want this verse to be true in my life.
Let the righteous strike me;It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.
Wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy. Constructive criticism rarely feels good, but is profoundly necessary. I thank God for friends and family that look with love on my life and tell it like it is. It almost always offends at first hearing, but upon reflection, when pride is put down, real growth is possible.
But my eyes are upon You, O GOD the Lord;
In You I take refuge;
At the end of the day, I needed this. My eyes, upon the Lord, my soul taking refuge. Keeping my eyes on Jesus. This song came to mind, and  it is my prayer for us!
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!
His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Words & Music:Hel­en H. Lem­mel, 1922

Psalms 142- What To Do When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed.

Psalms 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.
He knows. He sees and He knows. Sometimes, all we need is to know that someone knows, someone understands, and someone sees. And it is enough. All day long my children clamor for my attention. They want me to know everything that happens. If they did something right, I need to know. If they have been wronged, I need to know. And just me knowing, quite often is enough.
He has seen my path. He knows where I have been and where I am going. He has been there the whole time. And He defends me.
Every day the enemy’s goal is to overwhelm us. And our Lord’s plan is that we run to Him and His Word. His Word is life. Don’t take that for granted. Read it. See how God’s character is displayed and grab that verse to hold onto throughout the day.

I Samuel 25:1 A Time to Mourn

I Samuel 25:1
As I have been reading through I Samuel chronologically, there have been a few stops in Psalms. Those of you that are on this journey with me, know that I have been achingto get back into I Samuel. I feel like I left David hanging. He is hiding from Saul, and I need to get back there to get him to safety. 🙂 Nevertheless, God had many beautiful lessons and comforts for me in the Psalms, for which my heart is glad.
So finally, FINALLY, today is the day. I am back in I Samuel. And what is the first verse? The first three words I read?
Then Samuel died;
Wait, what? No, no no!! Samuel can’t die. Not now. David needs Samuel. He is the one who has mentored him, anointed him, prayed for him. Samuel. What will David do without Samuel? Oh the feelings that must have surged through David’s heart. Will the calling still be fulfilled? Who will take his place? What will happen to the people? What now?

and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him

What happens now? The answer is simple, but it might surprise you.
What do they need to do first before anything else?
 Mourn.
 It has to be done. Nothing else can happen until it does. And this verse, this one, matter of fact verse, seemingly separate from the rest of the chapter, bears more relevance to me and a million other people in the world right now than most of us would care to think about.
What is mourning?  It is the outward expression of grief.
Who is mourning? Well, it might be easier to answer ……… who isn’t? 
 
Mourning happens as a result of loss. The death of a loved one is the most commonly spoken of reason for grief, but there are countless other losses that evoke this same type of feeling.
The loss of a dream. The loss of a home. The loss of a marriage. The loss of a job. In David’s case? The loss of a leader.
This great loss…..a loss I know too well.
Click on the link for the rest of the post. I didn’t know how to condense this one. It was too personal. It is still.

In I Samuel 25:1,Samuel died and the people mourned. And now, even though David’s calling is yet to be realized, life still goes on. The people have practical needs. David’s army is hungry. David attempts to provide for them, calling in a favor from a man he had helped in the past. This man, Nabal, however, refuses. Now what? Instead of praying for guidance, David relies on what he knows. He prepares for battle. He will get what is due him by force. Providentially, however, Abigail, Nabal’s wise and winsome wife, gets wind of what is going on. Upon hearing of her husbands refusal to help David, she knows his actions will likely bring disaster to her family. So she collects some food and supplies, and sets off on foot to hopefully stave off any potential harm. And it works. David is moved by her kindness. He is thankful. And consequently David is saved from making a big mistake.
There are many lessons to be learned from this passage of scripture. First of all, David did not seek God first about this potential battle. He just barreled on full steam ahead. God, however, had other plans.
A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his path.”
Too many times I have gone ahead and made plans without truly seeking God and been stopped right in my tracks. Sometimes it was not a pleasant stop, but I was stopped nonetheless. How good is God to warn us when we are headed in a way that leads to destruction?
Hebrews 12:6 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives.
And in this moment, my heart is overwhelmed with His love for me.
God warns us. He woos us. He calls us. He does this because of how much he cares. But sometimes, we chose self. We choose an immediate pleasure over longtime love. We choose instant satisfaction over ongoing sanctification
But oh what amazing growth would happen in our life if the next time we were confronted with a need for change we reacted like David.
Praise the Lordwho ……restrained His servant from doing evil.
How did the Lord keep him from doing evil? He sent someone to remind him of who he is and the high calling on his life. She goes to him in meekness and grace.
28 Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lords battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you.
She takes responsibility for the sins of her husband,Nabal. She reminds David of who he is anointed to be speaks a blessing into his life.
What would happen church, if the conflicts in our home, our work place, and within all of our relationships were handled this way on a daily basis?

Approach with grace and receive with praise.

Wow.
I pray that we would be receptive to correction, taking it to the Lord for true clarification. I pray that when we have an issue to bring before someone we would do so with humility and grace, knowing that our Lord in heaven, came to us, he washed our feet. And while I rejoice in a God that loves me just as I am, I am eternally grateful that he loves me too much to let me stay that way.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s