Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. I tend to think of being stuck in a rut as a bad thing, but in this verse, it’s actually positive – except I’m not stuck. The word used for path in this verse is actually a track, more like a rut. Righteousness leaves deep prints for us to follow. God doesn’t sneak around leaving breadcrumbs for us to follow. He has an impact wherever He moves. These ruts are there to be seen and followed. Now, to find and follow those ruts, as opposed to tripping on them or ignoring them. Seen any good ruts lately?
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. The last few nights my little Mr. G has had a tough time sleeping. So I’ve been going in and singing to him, praying over him, and telling him Bible verses. The sad thing is that I remember so few verses. I realized the other night as I was telling him the 23rd Psalm, that I barely remembered it! In fact, I couldn’t remember verse 6 at all! Wow! Not cool. I had to go look it up after I finally got him to settle down. One thing I think I really like about this verse is that goodness and lovingkindness (goodness, kindness, and faithfulness) follow me. I’m not hunting them down or chaining them to me in order to have them in my life. They hunt me. Although, an interesting thought just occurred to me. If I’m walking backwards (rowing backwards up a stream), then they might even be “before” me since my back is to what is ahead. Either way, it’s pretty cool that they follow me and not the other way around. Where I go, His faithfulness is with me, as is His goodness. Even through the dark valleys and in the enemy’s presence. That’s pretty awesome. (Hmmmm, incidentally, I just realized I forgot verse 3, too. That one’s pretty important: He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.)
In light of yesterday’s post, and some of the responses to Skip Moen’s post from yesterday, I wanted to share (reshare?) this video. The one I saw originally didn’t have all the graphics, but the sermon portion is the same, and it’s equally powerful. Enjoy!
I read Skip Moen’s post today and it really struck me that I don’t really “get” God. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to understand all of who God is and what He does, but I think I make Him smaller than He is. I think He’s bigger and more powerful than I’ve ever thought, and I wish I could truly understand/grasp that. The problem is that so often I read about the amazing things He did in the Bible, but those things are stories, just stories, to me. Yes, I know that He actually did them and that they are a reflection of His greatness, but they’re written on paper and seem so distant. Just stories. And since our world isn’t saturated in the belief in and worship of gods and goddesses (not obviously, at least), the reality of God is that much more difficult to comprehend. So, I’m looking at the I AM statements of God today. Exodus 6:6 ”Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (He is the deliverer from burdens and bondage. He redeems me from slavery. I wonder what the expression means “with an outstretched arm”?) Exodus 16:12 “I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’” (He hears out words, and He satisfies our needs and sometimes even our desires) Exodus 31:13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. (He sanctifies me – makes me holy and set apart, free from sin, and pure before Him) Lev. 11:45 ‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (He is holy – set apart) i Kings 20:28 Then a man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because the Arameans have said, “The LORD is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.’” (He is a winner of battles who defies the boundaries we place on Him) Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ (He upholds my right hand – what does that mean? He helps me when I am afraid.) Isaiah 43:11 “I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. (He is savior.) Isaiah 43:15 “I am the LORD, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.” (He is Holy, The creator of Israel, He is my King) Isaiah 45:6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,” (He is ONE) Isaiah 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these. (He made light and created dark, He causes good and calamity) Isaiah 48:17 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. (He is my redeemer, He teaches me to profit, He leads me in the way I should go) Jeremiah 9:25 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. (He exercises lovingkindness – a.k.a. faithfulness and reliability; justice and righteousness) Jeremiah 32:27 ”Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (He is God all flesh – animals and humans) Ezekiel 16:62 ”Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, (He establishes His covenant) Ezekiel 37:13 “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. (He restores life; He does miracles) Numbers 23:19 ”God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (He is not a man; He does not lie; He does not repent since everything He does is right) Deuteronomy 4:24 ”For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (He is a consuming fire – this would be interesting to study; He is jealous of His place) Deuteronomy 4:41 “For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them. (He is compassionate; He doesn’t forget what He has sworn) Deuteronomy 10:17 ”For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. (He is the ultimate God, the ultimate Lord; He is great; He is mighty; He is awesome; He is not partial and He cannot be bought) Deuteronomy 20:4 for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (He goes with me; He fights for me against my enemies; He saves me) Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (He goes with me; He will not fail me; He will not forsake me) 2 Samuel 22:33 ”God is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way. (He is my strong fortress; He sets me in His way) 2 Chronicles 30:9 ”For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” (He is compassionate; He is gracious; He will not ignore me or reject me if I come back to Him) Job 33:12 ”Behold, let me tell you, you are not right in this, For God is greater than man. (He is greater than mankind) Job 36:5 ”Behold, God is mighty but does not despise any; He is mighty in strength of understanding. (He is mighty; He doesn’t despise anyone even though He is so awesome; He is mighty in strength of understanding – He’s vastly understanding) Job 36:22 ”Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a teacher like Him? (He is exalted; He is a teacher) Psalm 7:11 God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day. (He is a righteous judge) Psalm 46:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (He is my refuge; He is my strength; He is a present help in trouble) Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm. (He is King of the earth) Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul. (He is my helper; He is the sustainer of my soul) Psalm 59:9 Because of his strength I will watch for You, For God is my stronghold. (He is my stronghold – a place to hide during a seige) Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (He is a refuge) Psalm 68:20 God is to us a God of deliverances; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death. (He is a deliverer; He gives escape from death) Psalm 73:1 A Psalm of Asaph. Surely God is good to Israel, To those who are pure in heart! (He is good) Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (He is my strength, He is my portion) Psalm 75:7 But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another. (He is judge with that ability to exalt whomever He wants) Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (He is a sun – light – and a shield – protection; He doesn’t withhold good things; He gives grace; He gives glory) Psalm 116:5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. (He is gracious; He is righteous; He is compassionate) Isaiah 12:2 ”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.” (He is my salvation; He is my strength; He is my song) Daniel 2:47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” (He is a revealer of mysteries) Daniel 5:21 ”He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes. (He is ruler over the realm of mankind – the earth) Nahum 1:2 A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. (He is avenging; He is wrathful) Zephaniah 3:17 ”The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. (He is a victorious warrior) Romans 8:33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; (He justifies) 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (He is faithful) 1 Corinthians 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. (He is a God of peace; He is a God of order not confusion) Hebrews 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire. (He is a consuming fire) 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. (God is light; God is the opposite of darkness – there is none in Him) 1 John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. (God is greater than my heart; God knows all things) 1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (God is love) That’s a lot of attributes! Perhaps over the next few days I’ll have to look more closely at some of these. It’s a good reminder of who He is. But, I have a nagging feeling that there is SO much more, and He’s SO much bigger than my small brain can wrap itself around.
Because I get so rushed in the morning, it’s sometimes hard to write the way I’d like to. But, this song was in my head and so I’m posting the lyrics here. I think this is one of my favorite songs, especially the chorus. It’s by BarlowGirl. I Believe In Love How long will my prayers seem unanswered? Is there still faith in me to reach the end? I’m feeling doubt I’m losing faith But giving up would cost me everything So I’ll stand in the pain and silence And I’ll speak to the dark night I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining I believe in love even when I don’t feel it And I believe in God even when He is silent And I, I believe Though I can’t see my stories ending That doesn’t mean the dark night has no end It’s only here that I find faith And learn to trust the one who writes my days So I’ll stand in the pain and silence And I’ll speak to the dark night I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining I believe in love even when I don’t feel it And I believe in God even when He is silent And I, I believe No dark can consume Light No death greater than this life We are not forgotten Hope is found when we say Even when He is silent I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining I believe in love even when I don’t feel it And I believe in God even when He is silent And I, I believe.
Last night I was speaking with my mother-in-law about some of the things my brother-in-law has been going through. They grew up in Hawaii, and there’s a massive amount of demonic activity there because of the practices of its original inhabitants. And he was harassed a lot as a child… now he’s having to deal with getting rid of the demons that he dealt with as a child, and it’s not easy, nor is it pretty. As we’ve been dealing with this (my husband is really close to his brother), we’ve found out more, including about some of the curses leveled at the men who fought in Vietnam, which his father did (and seems to be living proof of those curses). It’s probably surreal to some people, but I’ve seen things manifest through people I know. When I was pregnant with my first son one of those things growled at me while I was in bed one night – like a dog growls at someone it doesn’t like. The suggestion that perhaps part of Mr. G’s problem with speech could be spiritually related made me furious! Not that it was suggested, but that something would mess with my little boy! It certainly lends truth to the saying about not making mama angry. Well, I don’t know if that’s what’s going with G. or if it’s just nature. But I do know that I refuse to stand by and let anything harass my littles the way that my brother-in-law was harassed! So, last night I had a conversation with God and I told him that if he would teach me, I would fight. The gauntlet has been thrown. And if it’s made of metal, I’d like to slap a certain prince of the air with it. However, I know that my strength only comes through YHWH and without Him, I’m toast. So, lead on! On a side note: Here’s an excellent post by Skip Moen. It seems like he’s making a stand here, too. :) Read more.
Since I’m running late this morning and in light of the new school year starting, I’m posting a link to Skip Moen’s daily word post. It’s, appropriately, about enlightenment, the relative worth (or lack thereof) of knowledge, and the importance of application. Have fun! If you’re feeling (I can’t think of the word, but it’s a little like “ready to debate”) this morning, read the comments of his previous day’s post. It’s very interesting.