Walk With God: Get The Word In

I am currently reading through the Bible and journalling thoughts, comments and notable verses as I read. It’s an interesting journey. Today included Psalm 86. Here is my paraphrase…

Preserve my life

Be gracious to me

Gladden my soul

You (God) are good and forgiving

You (God) abound in love

Give ear to my prayer

No works are like Yours

You (God) are great and do marvellous things

Teach me Your way

I give thanks to You

You (God) have delivered me

You (God) are slow to anger and abounding in love

Show me a sign

Show me Your favour

In my walk with God, as I take time to pause I have always been amazed and reassured how the perfectness of Gods word can bring encouragement to me every day. The simpleness of these statements make them even more powerful and when I speak them over my life I am giving them permission to change me.

Why not take these 4 words and use them to bring the word of God alive in your own reading.

PAUSE and wait on God. Reflect on the PERFECTNESS of His word for you right where you are. Acknowledge how POWERFUL those words are. Give them PERMISSION to work in you and through you throughout your day.

A Godly 360º Review

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart [Psalm 26:2]

I was asked recently if I had ever asked God to offer a 360º review of me, of my life and the way I live it.

Perhaps this verse is that very invitation.

Sometimes I am quick to pray for others to change, or for circumstances to be fixed, yet maybe the one pray I should be praying is, Lord, if need be, change me. Do your 360º inventory of my life and then go about your work. Reshape me. Start with me.

Examine me.
Prove me.
Try my mind.

Test my heart.

It’s possibly one the most dangerous but most important prayers we can pray. The willingness to receive an answer requires complete surrender, for God will find something. An issue in the heart. An unforgiveness. A seam of bitterness. A hurt. A scar. Wrong thoughts. Ill-will towards another. Pride. That other things have my heart.

To ask God in, is to ask God to move, is to desire for God to recreate me.

Maybe today is one of those days. To get on my knees once more and ask God to examine, to prove, to try and to test. All because I want to be the best I can be for Him. That like David wrote in this Psalm I would know what it is to have been vindicated by my God, to have experienced His lovingkindness, that I am walking in His truth, and that my life would be a proclamation of His wondrous works to all who come into contact with me.

It Is God Who Gives

You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head. He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever. His glory is great through your salvation; splendour and majesty you bestow on him. For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence [Psalm 21:2-6]

As we walk with God, travel on the journey with Him through life, there are a number of things that maybe, as we mature, we become more aware of. I’ll give you my list.

One would be how little I really know. About anything, not just the spiritual stuff.
A second would be how much more I need God than I probably admit. His presence makes the difference.
The third would be how easily I forget that it’s His presence that makes the difference and just get on with life on my own.

Maybe a fourth would be recognising how patient God is with me, despite these first three on the list.

I could go on. Maybe you have some you would add to the list.

Without God, I can probably manage, but I just know that something is missing. In the midst of all the narratives that influence and impact my life, making time for the most important, what God has to say, cannot be overlooked.

Maybe the simple thing is to just take that time and acknowledge all the little ways in which God enhances my life, brings out the best in me, makes me look better than I really am, that in Him I am truly blessed.

He gives me my hearts desires. He answers my prayers.
He meets me with all that I need.
He crowns me with honour.
He gives me life, in all its fullness.
He makes me blessed.

He desires for me to enjoy being in His presence.

As much as I might think that all that I am, all that I could ever achieve or ever dream about in life comes from myself, I would be wrong. All that I have comes from my Father in Heaven. The one who loves to ‘fulfil the desires of my heart’, ‘who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people’, ‘in whose presence there is fullness of joy’. I could go on.

It is God who gives. And all this despite my best efforts to mess things or miss things. It is God who gives, and it is in all this wonderful small ways that I must notice His giving and His love toward me, that I would rejoice, exalt His name and sing praise to Him, every day.

What have you forgotten that God has done or is doing for you? 
What do you need to say thank you to God for?

6 Reasons to Have Confidence in God

Sometimes we just need somewhere to go in the Word of God that can cover all eventualities. Words that will encourage us regardless of how life is – good, bad or ugly.

Psalm 18 does that for me…

He is the place to go: When I feel lost, lonely, overwhelmed, confused or any other kind of emotion I am encouraged that ‘The Lord is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, the one in whom I take refuge, my shield, my salvation, my stronghold’ [v1-2]

He hears: When I cry out to God, bringing my prayers and petitions to Him I am encouraged that ‘He hears my voice’ [v6]

He rewards: When I live by the word of God, putting God front and centre in my life and my behaviours I am encouraged that ‘The Lord deals with me according to my righteousness, the cleanness of my hands, keeping His ways, staying blameless’ [v20-24]

He is gracious and fair: When I may not always find it easy to behave this way I am thankful and encouraged that ‘God shows Himself merciful, blameless, pure, humble to those who are the same’ [v25-26] 

He makes us conquerors: When get stuck it is good to know that with God all things are possible. I love that nothing can get in the way of Gods love for me. I am encouraged that with God ‘I can run against a troop and leap over a wall’ [v29]

He makes us all that we need to be: When I make the decision to live wholeheartedly for God then I am positioned well to get everything I need from God to become the person He needs me to be. I am encouraged that ‘God equips me, clears my way, sets me right, makes me sure, trains me, gives me what I need, provides a wide open space for me to live [v32-36]

When King David wrote this, he did not know about Jesus, he just knew about the God of Israel, yet that was more than enough for him. God was all this for him in the same way that Jesus can now be all this for you and for me.

As I often say, I don’t care if this is too simplistic. I like simple. It works for me. It helps me to stay strong in my relationship with my Saviour. I am encouraged and thankful for the Word of God and the amazing truths that are there for me, if I just take time to discover them and know them.

God is For You

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore [Psalm 16:11]
 
3 simple truths jam-packed full of power.
David may have been speaking prophetically about Jesus in this Psalm but he was also speaking from his own experience and personal revelation of who God was to him. He may not have known about Jesus like we do but he recognised the way God is on our side.
 
God helps us know our paths. Life brings its twists and turns. The confidence of knowing that God is in our world, in our plans and in our purposes can bring extra assurance to each step. Man makes his plans but God ordains the steps.
Gods presence is a place of full joy. We think we know happiness but maybe we only know it partially. The devil steals our joy, and many times we willingly hand it over. Yet Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness, which comes by knowing Him personally. I pray that…you would be filled with the fullness of God.
 
God at your side brings great reward. Striving for wealth and prosperity is one thing. Keeping God by your side brings it own kind of wealth and prosperity. A different sense of satisfaction, appreciation and fulfilment. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing.
 
At times we need to choose to be more like David, to acknowledge the beauty of our God, to stand in awe and wonder of how knowing Him can transform our lives. I am thankful for Gods guiding hand, His leading, His presence and to know that He with me, always, right by my side, before me and my rearguard too.

God Loves Me (And You)

Just stop whatever you are doing at meditate on this. I mean it, just put everything down and pause for a few moments. Amidst the good and the bad of your life direct your thoughts towards this sentence and stay there for a while.

He (God) has dealt bountifully with me.

He (God) has dealt bountifully with you.

He has been liberal in bestowing me with gifts.
He has been liberal in His favour towards me.
He has been generous in all things for me.

He has been abundant in His dealings with me.

The challenge comes when I only look at things from my perspective and forget to look at things from Gods. It is at these times when I can get caught up in how I feel, by what I don’t have what I want, thinking nothing is changing, that  I need more of something, that God is just not paying attention to all that’s going on around me.

Instead I must lift my head upwards. I have to choose to look at all that God has done. For all His goodness that is demonstrated in so many small ways. To see how inspire of me, God loves me. That He HAS dealt bountifully with me.

That puts a smile on my face. How about you?

Whole Heart

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart [Psalm 9:1a]

I can give my heart to many things.

To give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart is a choice I must make every day. He had my whole heart yesterday but today as new concerns and interests consume the day so I much choose again to give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.

The Psalmist instructs us as to how we can do this.
We should recount all His wonderful deeds.
We should be glad and exult Him.

We should sing praise to Him.

The Psalmist also instructs as to why we should do this.
He has maintained our cause.
He is enthroned forever.
He has established justice.
He is a stronghold when we need Him.
He does not forsake us when we seek Him.
He does not forget our cry when afflicted.

He has made Himself known to us.

Deciding to give thanks to God with my whole is my own choice though. Nobody can make me do this, I have to want to and then I actually have to.

Lets make room for God today. In the midst of a day filled with so many important things, giving our whole heart to God is a determined choice. Such a great choice to be encouraged in, as when we make room for God in our hearts He will fill it.