Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trust, Dwell, Delight, Commit, Wait

Woke up yesterday morning at 4:30. That’s nothing new lately. Every time that happens, I wonder if it is God waking me up like I often hear others talk about. I use the restroom, get a drink of water, and go back to bed. Sometimes, I go right back to sleep; but, usually, I drift in and out for the next hour or so…never really knowing how much sleep I am actually getting.

So, about 5:40, I finally got up. Check my email, the bank account, pay a couple of bills, drink my coffee, then read my Bible. Dave gave me part of a Bible Study in Leviticus-read some of that, it is really good. But, then really felt like I wanted to read some in Psalms. Not sure where to read, I just picked up where I left off a couple of weeks ago. It was Psalms 55.

I read the whole thing, but it happens to be the Psalm that John Bevere mentioned in The Bait of Satan about being offended. 12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. 13 But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.

Nothing really major, maybe just a reminder for God that He is working and has delivered me/us from being offended and unforgiving—I had no negative feelings when I read it this time, as I did before; just thoughts of ‘glad I am through with those feelings’.

But then I read verse 22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

This got me thinking. I think that I cast my burden on the Lord, but I guess I don’t like I should, or could. Then, because of a footnote, I went to Psalm 37. I started out reading just a couple of verses, 5-6 Commit (roll off onto) your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
And the first part of 34 ¶ Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land;

Ok. I guess I need to learn better how to cast my burden, commit everything I am, everything I have, and all decisions over to Him. I thought I was pretty good at it, but I guess not.

Ended up reading all of Psalm 37, and quite a few verses really jumped out. However, I don’t want to be one of those people that pick and choose certain verses to ‘claim’. Often, it just seems like selfishness. Why don’t I ever hear people claim verses like, Acts 9:16 "For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake."
Anyway, it still seems like I read them for a reason this morning, especially when I read them right after all of the ‘cast your burden’ stuff…what really jumped out is in bold.

1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.

7 ¶ Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret––it only causes harm.

11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

18 The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever.
19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

21 ¶ The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.
28 For the LORD loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

34 ¶ Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
40 And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Power to the Weak

I know the Bible says not to worry but I am worried. We are praying, but then everything I think that we are supposed to do, does not work out. I can't figure out if I am not hearing God, if He is not speaking, or what. It is a dark time. We know that God is there, but when will He "show up"? After two years of constant struggle, I am at the end of my rope. But, then I read Job and I see there is more rope. It could be so much worse. I should be thankful that we have what we do.

But, I still cant help but wonder what in the world we are supposed to do.

Right now, I read a Psalm and John 13-14 almost every day. Yesterday, I was flipping channels and saw the Martha Bowman church service on. Since I am studying church and churches these days, I decided to take a look. The first thing he did, which seems absent in most of today's churches, is read the Bible. Not just one verse but many. (I wonder what would happen if churches quit preaching and trying to come up with illustrations? Instead, just read the Bible and maybe throw in a comment or two here and there.)

Anyway, he read Isaiah 40:18-31. It was like God speaking directly to me. Well, most of the passage is God speaking directly...

Then I get up this morning, turn on my computer, and open up my home page on the internet. On it, there is a verse-of-the-day. Today's was, 1st Peter 5:6-7. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. The first part, I think I am doing. The last part, I apparently don't know how. I feel anxious.

So, I look at my Quote-of-the-Day. It said Man does not live by a turkey in every oven or a color TV set in every home. Man lives by faith and hope and love, by the star on the horizon, by the trumpet that will not call retreat. - E. Merrill Root
I would like to retreat. I sometimes wish there were a way to. Well, I guess I dont really want to retreat, I am just tired and exhausted. I don't feel like I have a choice but to give up. But 'man lives by faith, hope, and love'. I feel loved, but faith and hope seem quite depleted. I remember that Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. And, that we actually live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. But, I will have to look up a few verses about hope.

I said a little prayer, grabbed my Bible, and turned to Isaiah 40. I read it and this jumped out:
27 ¶ Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God"?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

I have definitely said (and am currently saying) in so many words, that my way is hidden from the LORD (or at least seems that way), and my just claim is passed over by my God.

So, how do I obtain this power to the weak and strength to those who have no might? Just believe? Just receive? Ask for it? Or, is it already within? Maybe I will do all these things to make sure I have got it covered. Then maybe I won't worry.

And, maybe God is working much more than I will ever realize