Pondering {help}

Day 80. Psalm 80.

This psalm just feels appropriate for the current state of affairs in our country and world. I hope you might go and read Psalm 80 for yourself. I wonder in what way the Word will impact your life today?

Feel the rawness of weary begging. “God, come down!! Fix this terrible situation. This shutdown and isolation feels awful. Come down!!”

Maybe it’s just me, but in this psalm I hear a child complaining to a parent about the pain of his timeout.  I hear a child blaming her parent for the brokenness of her life and circumstances.

I hear a child who has been sent to his room to contemplate the consequences of his choices screaming for the parent to come and let him out.

Toward the end the child says that she will never disobey again. I’m fairly sure that in my lifetime I have made that same false claim in an attempt to get out of trouble. However, a loving parent allows the consequence to have it’s full affect.

Then we will never turn back from You. Revive us again, that we may trust in You.
Psalms 80:18 TPT

A maturing child will recognize that the love of the parent has held that parent near. Perhaps right outside the door. Waiting with eager expectation for a breakthrough is the parent who longs for the child to be free.

Our God wants us to be free. He wants to bless us. He delights in showing favor to His children. However, he will not be mocked or ignored or accept that He has been put in second place.

And have you forgotten His encouraging words spoken to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when He has to correct you. For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of His faithful love. And when He draws you to Himself, it proves you are His delightful child.”

Fully embrace God’s correction as part of your training, for He is doing what any loving father does for His children. For who has ever heard of a child who never had to be corrected?
Hebrews 12:5-7

May our severe timeout have it’s full affect. May the children of God reflect seriously on our own participation in wrongdoing. May we become still in His presence. May we agree with our Good Father that we have done wrong and His discipline is right.

May we ask with intentionality what He wants us to learn from this time. May we seek to grow in the word of God, truth and wisdom and accept our place as children of the Most High God.

Yes, absolutely, let me cry for help. Help me, Lord, because I don’t know how to follow You. Help me, Jesus, as my Shepherd and teach me to wait on You. Teach me to trust Your goodness.

Help! Because You are sovereign and I am not.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Be Strong?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I want to be strong. Don’t you? I mean, who sets a goal to become the ultimate weakling? We want to be strong!

We live in a culture which strives for strength – physical, financial, intellectual – even emotional. And why do people desire strength – followers of Jesus or not? It’s our desire to live problem free and absent of all worry, fear and anxiety. It’s our quest to be in control and above anything which could possibly take us down.

Just a casual review of media advertisements and entertainment options provides proof that human beings value strength. Our culture tells us that more education will help us get more money. More money will gain us more power. More power will create popularity. More popularity will provide community.

If we listen to the voices of the world we will find ourselves on a hamster wheel spinning for more. Striving. Achieving. Climbing. Stepping over and on top of someone else to get to the top to prove we are STRONG.

It’s all a lie. A big fat media hyped advertising lie! And the false promise that we’ll all be happy, successful, prosperous and united at the end of our striving for more? Well, just look at the state of our country. We’re a mess of division, distrust and intolerance. People in general are more stressed, on more medication, and filled with immeasurable anxiety over the future.

The thing is we know it’s a lie. We know it’s stinkin’ thinkin’. Yet even when we agree that the wheel isn’t making us stronger, we find it difficult to step off. We want to BE STRONG!

Besides, God tells us in His Word to be strong. Over and over again, scriptures admonish us to “be not afraid” and to “be strong”. “Be courageous”. It’s what we’re supposed to do. The way we’re supposed to live. We quote. We write. We memorize. We post. In a drive thru, fast food Christian culture, we’re trying to order up an entree of BE STRONG with a side of courageous.

HELP!

And there it is… Help! We begin to learn to be strong when we step off the wheel of our own striving, look up and ask God for help. I have tested this principle and it is quite true. School is in session. Training can begin when I simply admit that I don’t know how to be strong.

Why did God tell Joshua to be strong, to be courageous and not afraid?

How was Joshua to achieve strength, courage and fearlessness?

What did God want Joshua to learn from God’s command to be strong?

  • God wanted Joshua to be trained to trust God’s faithfulness, to obey, and to rely on God in everything he purposed to do.

As I awaken each day, preparing for spiritual battle, it’s essential that I go beyond the simple verse of the day quotables and look at the context of what God is teaching me. Be strong. It’s not a quick fix. Nor is it a pep talk. It’s a declaration of God’s character, and His servant’s (me) position of trust and service.

Spinning on the wheel of my own striving has never made me strong. It’s not taught me about God’s character. Nor did it teach me to trust God or believe He is a promise keeper.

Spinning. Striving. It made me tired. Discouraged. Hopeless. Fearful. But when my own strength gave out, I cried out to God for help. He was there. He heard me. And He arrived ready to teach.

Finally, I’m learning what it really means to be strong.

That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and SHINE,

Lisa