Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Protection...

Yesterday's few verses in Proverbs included this, which I want to share:

Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless - Proverbs 13:6

I read that, which is similar to a few other Proverbs I've read recently, and this time I asked the Spirit how this was so. How it worked.

He immediately reminded me of another verse that I have often found noteworthy:

Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
So a curse without cause does not alight. - Proverbs 26:2

This verse will mean nothing to you if you do not believe in blessing and curse and the power of both. Some people believe in curses but have no faith in the power of a blessing, and others believe the other way around. I believe in the power of both... and I believe what the Bible says:
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants... - Deuteronomy 30:19
Death and life are in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. - James 3:8-9

This, then, could lead to fear, for we all know that people can and will say things against us... which is, I think, why God wants us to know this truth:
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
So a curse without cause does not alight. Proverbs 26:2
Righteousness guards the one whose way is blameless Proverbs 13:6

What righteousness is God talking about? I believe it is both kinds:

1) The righteousness that we inherit because Jesus paid the price for our sin and "became to us righteousness" "so that we might become the righteousness of God". This is a position of righteousness that becomes ours through faith which we receive as a gift.

2) The righteousness that we walk out "in fear and trembling" as we are transformed and learn to be holy in our conduct through the power of His grace. This is the constant changing in our life that is a result of His Spirit and life within us, for as Paul says, how can the one who has received the righteousness and grace that Jesus gives continue to walk in sin?

These two sides of righteousness are important to understand, for one without the other isn't complete.

But oh, the promise and security that Proverbs says is available to those who rest in the righteousness that Jesus gives us and walk in the righteousness that His grace leads is in!

This righteousness protects us from the schemes of the evil one!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

He dreams better...

God's voice has been more clear to me lately, and one of the results has been that I now take a walk almost every morning. You see, I've known that I needed to do it and get more exercise, but finding the time has been difficult. Or rather, it was until two weeks ago when I was praying about it. I was (to be quite honest) sort of complaining to God about not having the time, when He stopped me with this:
You could take a walk in the time it takes you to play a game of Solitaire on your phone, and you find time every day to do that.
I've taken a walk every weekday since.

I like to talk to Him while I'm walking and listen to see if He'll tell me anything. So this morning, as I walked past the house two doors down that's empty, my imagination started running, "God, it would great if a family moves in who..."  You know that kind of dreaming, right?  You know just the sorts of neighbors you want. You know just the sort of people you want your kids to meet and make friends with. You know just the sort of people you want to meet and have as friends.  At least we think we know.

So after I indulged in a bit of dreaming, I chuckled to myself at my flight of fancy and said to Him with a bit of sarcasm, "Father, I'm rather good at dreaming, aren't I?"

He said,

"Not as good as I am."

And He was entirely serious.

I laughed in delight at that! Where do I think I got my tendency to dream? From the One who said:
Let us make man in Our image. - Genesis 1:26

I'm not the only one who loves to dream of amazing things, for He said:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

The most wonderful part of it is this:
[He] is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. - Ephesians 3:20

Unlike me, He has the power to make His dreams come to pass. All I have to do is use my freewill and give Him the sovereignty in my life so I'm not getting in His way.

"Many are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us." - Psalm 40:5


Saturday, September 03, 2016

Our understanding vs. His...

I wanted to share what I received this morning from my four verses in Proverbs. (See yesterday's post.)  /// 

This is what the first two of today's verses in Proverbs were this morning:

Proverbs 3:
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding,
/// 
I've known that verse all my life, I think, but for some reason I realized anew this morning that it's warning us that our own understanding will be telling us something contrary to what trusting in the Lord will require. It's not going to "make sense" to trust the Lord. Why else would the two be presented as opposites? /// 

And “Leaning on” means “trusting”, right? What if we switched them?                                

Lean on the Lord with all your heart,
And do not trust in your own understanding.

That sort of makes the verse sink it a little more, I think!

The second verse is, I think, confirming how we know that God is involved... that He's not standing back away from our circumstances. Obviously, it would be worthless to trust someone who wasn't involved, right?
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
But it says that if we are acknowledging Him, then He has promised to “make our path straight.” Acknowledging Him is giving Him the glory and lordship of your life. Remember, verse 5 referred to Him as "Lord."

It's more than just saying, "Yeah, that's God up there. I'm acknowledging His existence." It's acknowledging that He is Lord - Master - of Your life. If I've done that, then He's promised to step in constantly and repeatedly and graciously and faithfully and make my path straight!

In other words, my making Him my Lord makes Him actively involved in my life and circumstances, in the same way that a servant moving from the home of a bad master to a good master makes that good master actively involved in that servant's life and circumstances.

Thus, I can trust Him completely instead of trusting my understanding of how things are going and what the outcome looks like it would be if my own understanding was reliable.

I hope that blesses someone else other than me!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Just a bit...

I wish whatever people follow this blog could know and see and hear everything that I have been experiencing since my last post. And yet, when I think about writing it out, I find a hesitation... that not all of it is meant to be shared... that the time is not right... that I don't yet have the words. And then I wonder if those are just excuses because I'm too busy.

Lord, please grant that I may follow Your leading ever and ever more closely!

And so today, I have just a small little bit to share.


Many of you have probably heard of the routine where you read a chapter in Proverbs every day, corresponding to that day of the month.

I've done it a few times in my life, but when I tried it again last month, I found myself feeling like I was trying to absorb a waterfall of wisdom with a teacup.

And then the Lord gave me an idea.

Instead of reading the whole chapter, read just the first 4-5 verses.

So that's what I did. I pondered them. I asked Him what they meant. I followed references and wrote in my journal about what the Spirit showed me.

And I got so much more out of it!

Now that it is a new month, guess what I'm doing? Yep, I'm picking up in verse 5 or 6 (depending on how they're grouped... it doesn't matter, of course, if I re-read a verse!)... and I'm reading to verse 8 or 9.

Do you want more wisdom? Do you find a whole chapter difficult to get a lot out of? Maybe this method will work for you, too.

Blessings!



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