Under His Wings I Trust Psalm 91.4

#371  Under His Wings I Trust   Psalm 91.4

My week presented me with challenges to trust.  Or more accurately, MY LORD presented me with challenges to trust Him in this week!

Psalm 91 became a touchstone and my prayer on behalf of others in Christ and their challenges and in my own.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust.”  Psalm 91:2

This is what I choose to proclaim in the moment of my vulnerability, in regard to the God who keeps His promises.

He is my shelter; He is my impenetrable defense;  my Powerful God, He has committed to use His power on my behalf;

This is the One I trust:  {Strong’s #982:  to hie (or go quickly) for refuge] with the result of being confident and sure.

Psalm 91:4  “He shall cover or entwine thee with his feathers and under his wings shalt thou trust” [#2620, or flee for protection].

He covers us with his feathers, and we are under his wings.  This is an allusion to the mother-bird’s abiding protection of her chicks in their state of vulnerability.  He is our Abba Father.  Romans 8:15.

“Abba” is the word framed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust;  “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship… Vines

This description of Abba Father reflects not only the character of our faith, but also the character of our God.  As the Father He is able to deal with our areas of immaturity and need for growth;  My Abba is ready to help me up as I learn to walk and then to run; My Abba is my support in times of great vulnerability.  He is also the Father of the spiritual depths of understanding he reveals to us.  He is the Father of the serious tests of commitment, the life challenging stands we must take for Him, even unto death.

“His truth, [#571, His stability, his trustworthiness, his faithfulness] is my shield [#6793:  a hook as pointed, a large shield as if guarding by prickliness} and my buckler [#5507] my large surrounding buckler; He is my wall of surrounding protection.  Psalm 91:4

Psalm 91:5  I will not be afraid for the sudden alarm by night, nor for the piercing that causes wounds by day, nor for the destroying plague that walks in darkness, nor for the ruin that devastates in broad daylight.   (Paraphrase based on Strong’s word definitions)  Satan’s attempts to trip us up know no time limit:  day, night, dark, broad daylight.  But the Protection of our Heavenly Father is surpassingly constant and infinitely more wise and powerful.

“ I turn my eyes to the mountains; from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot give way;  your guardian will not slumber;

See, the guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!

The LORD is your guardian, the LORD is your protection at your right hand.

By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will guard you from all harm;

He will guard your life.

The LORD will guard your going and coming now and forever.”  Psalm 121 Tanakh

In the midst of sudden alarm, in the midst of the arrows that wound, in the midst of the destruction in darkness and the devastation in broad daylight, I know Who you Are, my Shelter, My Impenetrable defense, My Powerful God, My Father, My Abba.

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Aiming at Eternity 2 Corinthians 4.18

#370  Aiming at Eternity  2 Corinthians 4.18

I felt heavy with sadness over some of the experiences that family members were going through.  I prayed many prayers for His wisdom, strength, and overruling for all those involved.  But the sadness remained, to the point of fringes of depression.  In the midst of prayer, words came to my mind, a song to write for one who is not consecrated, and has lost their way in life.  In part, here are some of the words:

Facing crossroads, time for choices, many options, many voices: where to go and what to do to find your Dream and make it true.

Looking back you wonder when the road will turn, where it will end; What map to follow, how to choose a life of worth.

So much to lose. The road you choose can make you strong, however hard, however long. The road can bring you to the place of courage, risk, and power to face each rocky steep incline to come to summit of road’s challenge won.

I see you on the mountain peak. I see you finding what you seek when value of your life you see, embracing strength and honesty;

Beyond the dark, beyond the blame, beyond the aimless road of pain to life that reaches out with song inspiring others to be strong.

The immediate effect of the last verse in the above song lifted my spirits.  And I realized that when we exercise our spiritual vision to see the Victory over sin and death, a victory that may begin now, or a victory that may take place in the Kingdom, it changes the whole tenor of the problem.  A compassionate heart is wonderful, but compassion is not meant to end in just a feeling.  It is meant to lead to action.  “And seeing the multitudes, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.  The he said to his disciples,

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to sent out workers into His harvest.”  Matthew 9:36-38

We can ask the Lord that we be MOVED with compassion to act according to His will by asking what to pray and what to do.

The principle from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 is powerful.  “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  We must be aware of the sorrow and experience it.  We must deal with the sorrow or whatever the situation presents.  But we can get lost in the sorrow or the problem.  2 Corinthians 4:18 helps us to guard against this.  The word “look” is Strong’s #4648:  to take aim at, (spy); figuratively regard.  We aim at what is eternal and perpetual: the Victory over sin and death for the followers of Christ, and then for our whole human family.  In order to aim at something, we must give it our close attention.  If we close our eyes, if we look away, if we focus on something else our aim will be off.  Our vision and target is eternal blessing for all.  When that is our focus amid sorrow and challenge it changes our perspective and thus it changes our experience.

I heard a discourse from the Harvest Convention that mentioned Philippians 4:6-8, and it fits into this scenario.  “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.” (Phillips)  “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”  (NASB) These verses epitomize the foundations of Eternal blessing.  We must be very aware of the present circumstance; we pray for wisdom to deal with our circumstance and the people in our lives, we pray to be and do what will please Him.  We can also maintain our aim for eternity by using our spiritual imagination to see the Kingdom potential in every person and in every challenge we face.

Not only do I pray for the birth of faith in the hearts of others according to God’s time and way, but I focus my attention to picture what that will look like, and to rejoice in the finished work of God and Christ in both the spiritual and earthly Kingdoms.  My heart is still saddened in this experience, but now there is a lightness in my spirit, an even deeper gratitude for the hope of the Kingdom, and for the privilege to be touched with the feeling of the infirmities and struggles of others, according to the example of Jesus.  Hebrews 4:15-16  Aim at Eternity and carry the vision of Kingdom blessing for all in our spiritual imagination and in the midst of sorrow and struggle, and the fringes of depression are transformed into depths of gratitude.

Faith and Hope in the Midst of Challenge Isaiah 41.10

 

#369  Faith and Hope in the Midst of Challenge Isaiah 41.10

As the Lord’s people, we are being fitted for a future ministry of kingship and priesthood with Christ.  Revelation 1:6  This role of the priesthood is described in Hebrews 5:1-2  “He can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness.”   We deal with the sin in ourselves through the power of Christ, and we must expect to experience many facets of human weakness in others also.  Mental illness may be an area we deal with.  As our experiences unfold in our dealings with people we come to know the depth of human need and the darkness of the human experience, as well as the joy of nobility and their deep longing for a better life and a better way.  We come to know that His love and Iron Rule will firmly and wisely deal with the fallen human mind-set.  Revelation 2:26-17  The strong and loving authority exercised by Christ and His Church in glory will break the old ways and habits of the world so that the vessels can be made new.  The length and breadth and high and depth of the love of God in Christ Jesus can reach down to any depth of darkness with the opportunity of healing.

We know that He will “Consider the covenant; for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.”  Psalm 74:20  He will act upon His promises in Christ and the Iron Rule Opportunity of firm love will be experienced by all with the end result of Vibrant Life.  “…at the name of Jesus every should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:10-11 See Isaiah 45:22-25  Imagine the time when all will experience opportunity for healing and the joy of forgiveness.  In that day Israel and then all the world will have no more reason to fear and they will say “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”  Isaish 12:2  “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.  And in that day you will say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.  Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.  Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth.  Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 12:3-6

In the meantime we set our hearts to trust Him, in our own spiritual battles, and in the battle of spiritual darkness that wages rampant in our world.

“Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you…

“Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God.” Indeed, whatever the ills pushed upon us, this is the right medicine: God is with us…!  RM

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

Anxiously look about you: Strong’s #8159: to gaze at or about (properly for help); by implication to inspect, consider be nonplussed

WE KNOW WHERE OUR HELP COMES FROM!  So there is no need to look around anxiously!

I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you:  SURELY!

When the Mighty God of the Universe says I WILL, it is a SURE THING!

I will strengthen you:  Strengthen:  Strong’s #553: to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage)

I will empower you with awareness to keep your footing and mental courage and fortitude to go forward in My will.

Surely I will help you:  Help: Strong’s #5826:  To surround, that is protect or aid

I will surround you with My keeping power.

Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand:  Uphold: Strong’s #8551: to sustain by implication to sustain, keep fast; figuratively to help, follow close

I will continue to sustain you for I am with You continually, following closely.

I WILL [of coarse SURLEY, because His Word is SURE] continue to sustain you with My righteous right hand.

The power He exercises in our lives is in Integrity and Righteousness through Christ. 

 He commits His power in our lives to be used in Highest Integrity for Highest Good.

And His Highest Good is silently at work soon to bless all people!

What to Forget, What to Remember Psalm 103:2

#368  What to Forget, What to Remember  Psalm 103:2

Some time ago, someone in Christ I barely knew passed away. I realized that even now I was defining them by a few incidents when they said some things that really hurt me.  I also observed that there are others that I remember in the same manner.  The challenge expands when I consider other people in my life that do not share our faith.  I do not want to define any person’s life by how they have hurt me or how they have hurt those I love.  I prayed about this, and the LORD answered me.

I want to see everyone according to the mind of Christ, the newness of the renewed mind.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17  “So from now on we regard no man from a worldly point of view [NIV] …therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” NASB   “…everything has become fresh and new.”  (Phillips)  For those in the faith we share the common ground of Christ our righteousness.  For others I imagine the time when they will truly experience the love of God and Christ, as alluded to in the Isaiah scriptures below.

Our Heavenly Father does not define us by the mistakes in life.  He sees us through Christ.  Romans 8:1-2  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  Psalm 103-10-14

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:31-32

A most riveting verse brought me great inspiration.

In the context of the Kingdom that will soon bless Israel and all the families of the earth, (Isaiah 26:1-6, 9; see also Isaiah 14:1-2) there is a stunning statement.

“O LORD our God!  Lords other than You possessed us, but only Your name shall we utter.”  Isaiah 26:13  Tenach

“Other masters besides Thee have ruled us” NASB.  Throughout the temporary reign of sin and death there have been many ‘masters,’  i.e. governments and regimes that have brutally misused their power, persecuting and oppressing the Jewish people and others of our human family.    This verse suggests that the brutality and anguish of these misuses of power, and I think of the holocaust in this context, will pale in the presence of the love of God and Christ revealed and experienced in earthly Kingdom blessing.  “But only Your name shall we utter”  NASB   The word “utter” is Strong’s #2142: to mark, so as to be recognized, that is to remember, by implication to mention.

The holy outcome when the oppression has ceased (Isaiah 14:5-6) is described in Isaiah 14:7, “The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy.”  Every painful memory and experience will be transformed into powerful learning and blessing.  Isaiah 55:12-13

We have the privilege of experiencing this newness of experience now.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18,  Philippians 2:8-14!!

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits…”  Psalm 103:1-2

The word forget is Strong’s #7911: to mislay, that is be oblivious of, from want of memory or attention

[Mislay: unintentionally put an object where it cannot readily be found and so lose it]

Instead of forgetting or mislaying, let us remember all of His benefits.  This would fill our minds and hearts with overflowing joy and peace.  Psalm 103:3-5

“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”  Psalm 103:4

He surrounds you with kindness and compassion (as if cherishing the unborn child).

We tend to mislay, to unintentionally place our focus on the negative experience, so that the gift cannot be readily found.

O LORD heal the roots of these experiences and heal the ‘story’ of what we made these experiences mean about ourselves and others.

The power of Your Spirit and Blessing is stronger than any hurtful memory or experience.