Don’t Settle for Substitutes! Psalm 35

Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler,
And stand up for my help.
3 Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”
Say to my soul. “I am your salvation” 
I AM. 
He is. Whatever you need. He is.
“I am your salvation”
This is definitely my new “Print it out in about size 80 font and stick it on the wall verse.”
 I need to see this!
When I fail – He is my salvation.
When I am weak- He is my salvation.
When I feel strong- He is my salvation. 
It is just Him.
Can we talk nutrition for a second? Ever hear that when you are craving sweets, it’s because your body is naturally craving fruits? But the thing is, we have perverted the body’s natural desires by feeding it a super sweet substitute….refined sugar. We have conditioned our mind to interpret that natural craving into…maybe…donuts….or a chai latte! Hello.
Did you know that our spirits crave communion with the Father? Did you know that there is no way to the Father, but throught Jesus? (His words, not mine.) 
So my spirit is craving fellowship with the Creator, through His Son, my Savior, and yet when that craving hits, I have too often filled that need with convenient counterfeits. I have conditioned my mind to think…I need fellowship with……my friends! With….my facebook. With……my phone. Instead of with my God. Yes, we do need friends. Yes, facebook is fun. (I know, that’s up for debate) But (confession time) if my first inclination when that pang of loneliness hits (extrovert stay at home moms, I know you hear me) is to reach for my phone, I might have a craving that has become distorted.
7. For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit,
Which they have dug without cause for my life.
The enemy is digging pits. And he knows exactly what bait to use. His goal? To substitute. To get you to fill your God given craving with a second best substitute. How? Ok, for you it may not that need for communion. For you maybe it is love. We all have that need to feel loved. It was implanted by God so that we would draw close to Him. But when we feel that need for love, where do you turn?
 Or what about approval? Validation? Defense? 
When someone wrongs you, do you take it to Jesus? Do you cry out like David, “Stop those who pursue me. Fight those that fight against me.” Or do you pick up that phone as fast as you can so that someone can know how wronged you have been?
9. And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord;
It shall rejoice in His salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
“Lord, who is like You,
Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,
Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
Where do our souls find joy? In the Lord. In the Lord. In the Lord! JoyFULL. Then we are full. We are free to pour out that joy, that love, on others.
I have not felt that full lately. But I have substituted. I know better. But how good is Our God to remind us? And I will ask Him, with David, “Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” And I will sit. And listen. I will stop and give him the opportunity to say things to my soul. I will quiet my distractions. I will be full of Joy, and my bones will say “Lord! Who is like you!! Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him!” Because nothing is too difficult for thee. Nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.  He is greater. He will deliver. But I must choose!
And truth be told, that is sometimes the hardest part. Because the couch is comfortable. Friends are familiar. Distractions distract from pain…for a season. But we are missing out. Sweets are nice when they complement the meal, but when they become the main thing, we grow so weak.
Yet this we know: His grace is sufficient. And when we call, He answers. I pray that we would call on Him first, in our every moments. Whether you are about to lose it from the traffic, from the kids, from work, from family issues; or whether you are overflowing with blessings. Let us go to Him first and continually. 
Communion with God. It is everything. 
Let us pray without ceasing. All day. Talking and communing with the one that draws us to Himself.
Luke 24-
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him;
After the resurrection, Jesus was with them. He was in their midst, and yet they didn’t know it. But when they broke bread, when they stopped and had communion, then their eyes were opened and they knew Him. I want to know Him. I want my eyes to be opened to see.
I have been so busy, like Martha, I have been worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and now I will chose that good part, which will not be taken away from me.

27 Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
28 And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.

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