Tag Archives: self-help

Does God Dance with you?

Meditation Journey Day 38

Hi Friend,

Psalm 139 is a very condensed communication of God’s mercy and loving kindness to each of us. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith.

Consider verses 9 & 10 in our journey: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” They tell us of the tender and reassuring love of God even when we are very sinful and rebellious. It is reasonable to believe God loves me when I am doing well, but to think He still loves me at my worst stretches my faith. In Psalm 139 this is exactly what David, the writer f this Psalm, is reporting.

First, I need to tell you why I can say God’s love is so consistent even when we are willfully disobeying Him. The very simple answer is Jesus’s sacrifice. Jesus Christ died for all our sin; all our past rebellion, present willfulness, and even our future wickedness. Trusting His sacrifice pays for all the moral debt we owe. When we put our faith in His righteousness we also receive His merit of goodness. From the moment we exchange our rags of self-righteousness for His moral purity, God looks at us differently. Paul said it this way,

What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to himself through what Christ did…  For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5

Now read the verses again, “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” David is remembering times when he willfully and rebelliously ran from God. He wanted to fly away and find a place where he could live his own way. No matter where David went he found God there! What is remarkable to David and should be to us, is God’s attitude and actions towards David. Notice God’s one hand is leading David and the other, God’s right hand is holding David. Allow me to suggest this is a dancing position. God is facing David looking at him directly in the eyes and God’s left hand is holding David’s right hand. God’s right hand is around David’s waist and holding him.

Knowing more about the hands is very important in our meditation. The right hand is a term in scripture that refers to the power and might of a person.  The right hand of God is a metaphor for all the power of God! Consider with me the placement of the hands in these verses.  David’s right hand, all his human strength, is being held and directed by God’s left hand. It is when David’s strength is finally rendered powerless that he realizes he is in the hands of God. He is at the end of his rope and yet God is leading him. God’s right hand, His power and might, is holding David. Just like David, at our most wretched moments when we are in rebellion to God, he is still holding and leading us. This is hard to Dance 3imagine but the placement of Father God’s hands resemble the placement of someone dancing! Is it possible that when we are at our worst God posture is to dance with us!!!  Grace says this is true, but our minds resist this kind of grace.

That my friend is the kind of love I need and have found in Jesus Christ. I find this overwhelmingly kind and precious of God to be so patient with my failure and sin. This Psalm made it real to me at my worse moments, and God will reveal the depth of His great love for you as you fill your mind and heart with His Word.  Remember Proverbs 2, “My, Child if you will receive my word…”

Have you taken the wings of the morning? Do you wish to run away from life and are you struggling against the grip of God? Know that at your worse He is still dancing with you. Please turn to Him now and trust Him so the dance can be enjoyed by both of you!

My your day be filled with grace and peace…. from the Lover of your soul…Jesus!

 

Observation: David finds even when he willfully runs from God, The Lord never leaves him. He also realizes that when he is in rebellion God is still holding him.

Interpretation: God’s attitude and actions at David’s greatest failures is pure grace and love. The way God is holding David appears to be a loving and kind posture. This is a picture of great grace and mercy at our lowest moments.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for sending Jesus and covering my sin. I was so afraid that when I chose my own way you would leave me in my brokenness. Knowing that you are always there holding me helps me trust you and relax in your faithful love. … in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Do you know where your going to?

Meditation Journey Day 35                         

Hi Friend,

OK, lace up your boots and pick up your back pack we are moving on into the next section of Psalm 139. This next section many be rough for some of us. Verses 7-12 are all about going. It starts with a question, “Where shall I go from your presence? It ends with the conclusion the LORD is with me everywhere I go.

VastWe really are only going in one of two directions. The only variable is how fast we are moving. Either we are moving towards God or away from Him. That is always the choice we have in every major decision we make.

The author of this psalm, King David had a lot of experience in moving towards and away from God. If you know King David’s biography in the Bible you are aware he was on the run for many years before he ever became king of Israel. He was being hunted by King Saul and at one point actually ran away to live with the enemies of God for safety. He hid in caves in the wilderness and barely survived. He did not always make godly choices; you can read David’s entire story in 1st & 2nd Samuel. Knowing his struggles, fears and his flight adds depth to this passage.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (hell), you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

RuunnerJust like David we can run towards or away from God.  Are you running towards the Lord or away from Him? Remember it is not so much a physical direction as it is an attitudinal posture. Here are some questions to help you decide which direction your heart is heading. When truth about your behavior is presented to you do you embrace it or resist it? Are you wishing you could get away with things you know are wrong? When circumstances do not go your way do you give thanks to God quickly, slowly or not at all? When things go well do you thank God? When things go bad do you blame God or think He is punishing you? When you accomplish remarkable things to whom do you give credit…you or God? Are you mentally arguing with people from your present or past? Is there anyone you have not forgiven?

These are just some questions that reveal to ourselves what direction we are going. The Apostle James says we all stumble in many ways so do not think you’re the only one who is challenged by these questions.

If this inquiry felt a little rough to your spiritual knees and you realized you have stumbled and fallen down; I suggest you stop and evaluate what we have learned in verses 1-6. He really does love you and value you highly. Choose to humble your heart in surrender to Him. Go deeper in your faith by trusting His grace to lead you back to His path. Oh yes, if your knees hurt, do not forget to ask for His forgiveness.

Observation: We are all moving towards or away from God. David learned from his experiences that the Lord God is always with him.

Interpretation: Since we are always in route, it is important we keep focus on the right direction. We choose every day which direction we are going. Our repentance is God’s plan to get us back on His path.

Application Prayer: Father God, thank you for your word. It helps me to get up after I have stumbled. Your grace reminds me you will forgive my waywardness. I do want to go your way. Teach me your paths. I will walk in them… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Deadly Poison in Your Mouth

Meditation Journey Day 30                             

“Even before a word is on my tongue, BEHOLD, O LORD, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139:4

Hi Friend,

This verse says our LORD knows what we are going to say before we even think it! The LORD God not only observes all we do and examines everything we experience; He also knows what we are thinking! David responds to this revelation with “O LORD!”  I am not sure if his response was grief or joy! Our first response to this truth could be either too. Your reaction to this may be uncomfortable because you like me probably think and sayMouth many words we know are wrong and destructive. Our malicious and hurtful words can cause great damage to others and ourselves. How many times have words passed my lips that I regretted saying.

The Apostle James wrote: For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. …So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

So being aware that God knows what I say can cause me to feel very defensive towards Him. The fact is we need to totally rethink any negative reaction we may have to this truth! We who are loved of God are able to thank Him for knowing everything! His knowing my personal individual confidential thoughts, dreams and fantasies means that He is able to lead me out of the sinfulness of my life into the joy and peace of His. That means My Savior can help me get rid of all the wicked, hurtful and negative stuff I can easily ponder over. We can trust God to help us to “get rid of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips and do not lie to each other…” Colossians 3

Now, thank God, I have a great ally in the control of the nasty mean spirited thing in my mouth!!! Now, I can trust Him to live, love and even speak through me to bless, encourage and inspire others!

We can, like David, pause and behold the joyful wonder that our God can help us with the uncontrollable tongue!

Our embracing of this Psalm’s revelation about God is essential, yet it is incomplete unless we engraft its truth into our lives. We must participate in the process of controlling our tongues by yielding to the Holy Spirit’s rule of peace and letting the word lavishly live in our minds. (Colossians 3) We must receive His word and reflect on it, yield to its truth and allow the Holy Spirit to speak life through us!

I like David’s prayer about my words from Psalm 19:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”

 Observation: Knowing that God knows what we think before we say a word can be uncomfortable. David’s response can be of extreme embarrassment for his shameful words or excited joy from realizing God’s care is so complete.

Interpretation: David calls out “Behold, O LORD” because he is realizing he is loved and forgiven. He is realizing that this intervention of God is a gift of grace and love that is transforming his character.

Application Prayer: Father God you know me! You know how mean spirited my words can be if I do not submit my mind and heart to feed on Your word and think Your thoughts. I am so grateful that you see me so worthy that you want to help me evaluate my thoughts and words before I speak them. O LORD I need You. I want the words of my mouth to bless not curse others and for Your Spirit to love others through me.  …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

Who Loves You?

Meditation Journey Day 28

Hi Friend,

We have learned the name “LORD” that David calls out in Psalm 139:1 (“O LORD you have searched me and known me”) means I AM that I AM; I am the Self-Existent, Uncreated One. The importance of this name is magnified in the New Testament when Jesus Christ describes Himself as “I AM” to the religious rulers. In a fierce discussion with them, Jesus stated, Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” John 8   After Jesus revealed the truth that He was the “I AM” to the religious rulers they wanted to kill Him for the sin of blasphemy. Jesus Christ, the Great I AM, is one and the same. It is He who searches for us as The Good Shepherd seeking His lost sheep.

Jesus also used the same phrase “I AM” in seven pronouncements about Himself. In all seven, He combines I AM with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship with the believer. Keep in mind seven is the number of completion. The seven I AM statements undergird the fact God knows you completely and loves you perfectly. The seven declarations are:

 I AM the Bread of Life (John 6) I AM the Light of the World (John 8); I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:); I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14); and I AM the True Vine (John 15).

 The One that was personally searching out David and knew David intimately was the eternal Son of God! Friend, the One that knows you and is searching for you is Jesus Christ the lover of your soul.

He is The Bread of Life that we need to feast upon every day for spiritual nourishment.

He is The Light of the world that guides us to truth and away from sin.

He is The Door into God’s Presence and the haven of hope.

He is The Good Shepherd that lays done His life for the sheep and leads us to still water and green pastures.

He is The Resurrection and the Life of God that infuses us with hope.

He is The Way, the Truth and the Life that leads us to Father’s House.

He is The True Vine and as we abide in Him we receive His life.
God lovesAs you read through Psalm 139 please keep in focus that Jesus Christ is the Great I AM. Draw near to Him for He has died for you. Jesus is The Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He knows every time you fail, every time you rise-up and your every thought. He is there when you lie down and when you rise up. He knows everything about you and still loves you!

Observation: “O LORD” is the Old Testament’s name for the “I AM”. Jesus Christ was the “I AM” incarnate. He loves us in a complete way.

Interpretation: All that David experienced in Psalm 139 is how Jesus Christ knows and loves you today! As we engraft this Psalm into our hearts and minds we will understand the cherished way Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, loves us.

Application Prayer: Lord God Jehovah, Thank you for coming in the flesh as Jesus Christ to be like us. Thank you for taking away the brokenness between you and me so I can know you. Thank you for searching me out and knowing me so well. Your grace is amazing and your care for me is overwhelmingly kind.  …in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

As we begin to journey through Psalm 139 please continue to pray for the people receiving these daily instructions.

pause for a moment

Meditation Journey Day 23

Hi Friend,

We need to pause for a moment on our Journey to remember that this passage, Proverbs 2:1-5, is basic instructions in learning to meditate or abide in Christ. Our meditative journey through Proverbs 2 is finished for now. I am sure there is much more to learn from this passage, but I will leave that to the Holy Spirit to accomplish in your life.

DiggerI trust you have gained several tools for your spiritual toolbox from Proverbs 2:1-5. Depending on the metaphor you choose these may be mining tools that you will use to dig into the to seek His precious gold and silver. They may also be gardening tools to break up the hardness of your heart so that the precious seed of life can be planted and tended to produce an abundant harvest. Either way, when we humbly use these tools to seek Him, we are properly reverencing the Lord and walking in the “fear of God”.

However you think of these verbs: receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search I trust Proverbs 2:1-5 becomes a continual companion to remind your heart what it actually takes to dig into God’s word.

Ps 139The next passage we will explore is Psalm 139. This very personal Psalm is a transformational Word in my life. It was the first portion of scripture I meditated through, and it continues to be a rich mine of precious truth to me. In 1974, when I began to memorize and meditate on it, I never dreamed it would have so much impact on my life. I am amazed I am still regularly reciting it now over 40 years later. I pray that you too will experience the sweetness of God’s word and began to engraft a passage of scripture into your soul.

Perhaps Psalm 139 will touch you deeply too. I pray it may one day produce an eternal spring of life giving nourishment in your heart.

Observation: We are finished with our meditative journey through Proverbs 2:1-5. The next passage will be Psalm 139.

Interpretation: Please continue to view the verbs in Proverbs 2:1-5 (receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search …) as tools that you will use from this time on in your life.

Application Prayer: Father, thank you again for the privilege of engrafting Your nature into my life by learning to meditate on Your word. Please empower me by You Spirit to seek you daily. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

As we begin to journey through Psalm 139 please continue to pray for the people receiving these meditative instructions.

Getting Real

Meditation Journey Day 22

Hi Friend,

Getting RealWhat a privilege we have tofind the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:5) Our Father in Heaven invites us to know Him and through that knowledge we begin to truly know ourselves. Finding the knowledge of God is finding knowledge that is His. We must remember He says in Isaiah 55,For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

His knowledge contains the facts, truths and realities that embrace the spiritual world and the natural world. His knowledge is about Himself and also about us; how He thinks of us, knows us and loves us. I am sure He finds delight in revealing the mysteries and the beauty of the universe to us. I am also sure there is much He cannot reveal to our limited minds, yet He delights in instructing us and being known by us. The proof that He delights in being known by us is that He has made Himself known to us! Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed (about God) belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Old BuildingFinding the knowledge of God was never meant to be simply a walk through a theological museum. It is a very personal journey into the heart and mind of God as He draws us close to Him to instruct us in whom He is and who we are.

God is revealed in the Bible as being: A Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is Self-existent, omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present), omniscience (all-knowing), holy, just, full of goodness and love. These are just some of the theological attributes that describe God.

Knowing He is all-knowing is impressive, yet it becomes life changing when I experience the awareness that He knows me! Learning He is a unity of fellowship of the Father, Son and Spirit, called the Trinity, is inspiring; yet my joy becomes full when I begin to experience that fellowship personally.

We can mentally ascend to these great attributes of God, but we will never know them in their transforming power until we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal them to us. This is why Father God instructs us to receive … store/hide … incline/turn… apply … call out … cry aloud … seek/look for … search His Word.

Friend, please keep in mind, our lack of faith and obedience never diminishes the reality of the knowledge of God. Nor does our faith and obedience make Him real. He is real. Our humble broken faithfulness to obediently “find the knowledge of God” makes us real.

Observation: The Knowledge of God is God’s secrets. We will never understand ALL he knows, but we can know what He reveals to us.

Interpretation: The knowledge of God is part of the reward for seeking Him. It is more than just the great theological truths about Him. It is experiencing the great truths about Father God that impact my life personally. My faith and belief does not make God real, it makes me real. My unbelief and faithlessness does not diminish the reality of God; it diminishes my reality!

Application Prayer: Father thank you for the mindboggling privilege to know You. The invitation to seek You through Your Word is precious to me. The more I know You as You are, the more I know who I am. Thank You… in Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Are you seeking the knowledge of God?

Meditation Journey Day 21            

…and find the knowledge of God.

Hi Friend,

Proverbs 2:5 also promises us that we will find the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God Prov 2is more than data, facts and information about God. The knowledge of God is a Biblical term loaded with spiritual life. Paul cries out in Romans 11, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”  He prays that the Church “may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that (they) may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God Col.1 In Peter’s second letter he greets the churches with this salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…” Paul also teaches us our new man “is renewed in knowledge (of God) according to the image of Him who created Him. Col.3

In summary these verses tell us the knowledge of God is deep and that we are expected to increase in our knowledge of Him. It says grace and peace will grow in our knowledge of Him. In Colossians 3 we begin to understand why the knowledge of God is so important to us personally. We learn through it the Holy Spirit renews us and transforms us into the image of His Dear Son. Romans 8:29

To have this impact the knowledge of God has to be more than just theological points Surrenderknowing about God that changes anything. We must know Him in the spiritual equivalent to Adam knowing Eve. We grow in the knowledge of God as we yield our minds and hearts to Him. It is only when we surrender our whole being as a living sacrifice (Romans 12) that we truly begin to know Him.

This reward, of actually knowing Him, is the final gift of seeking God as instructed in Proverbs 2:1-4. It does not come quickly or easily. That is why we must be diligent in daily seeking God through His word. Yet the reward is great. The more we know Him the more we are able to experience the heights on His love and have grace as we transverse through the valleys of life.

Observation: The knowledge of God is the reward at the end of diligently seeking God through His word. There are many great benefits in knowing God. As we know Him more His grace and peace grow in us and we are transformed into the image of Christ.

Interpretation: Gaining the knowledge of God is more than knowing about God, it is personally and intimately yielding your whole being to Him.

Application Prayer: Father God, I so desire to know you. Thank you for revealing yourself through your Word and in the person of Jesus Christ. Help me, Lord, to be diligent in seeking your face to reach your heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Becoming Perfect in Love?

Meditation Journey Day 20

Hi Friend,

…then (and only then) you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Proverbs 2:5 promises us the understanding of the Fear of the Lord if we Perfect loveactually do what verses 1-4 instructs us to do. We have learned from many passages that living in the Fear of the Lord is a blessed state for a believer.
Yet, the term “Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Let me defuse this confusion quickly. The fear John is writing about in this verse is the fear of rejection at judgment. When we understand whatCross of Christ great love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross and all that He accomplished for us there, fear is replaced with confidence. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death pays for all the debt I owe, satisfied all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and removed God’s wrath from me. This love casts out all fear of God ever rejecting us.

The Fear of the Lord is different. It is a reverential honor of God. It is the attitude of awe/honor and reverence that should emerge in me as I realize the great love, mercy, sacrifice and grace He lavishly pours on me. Fearing God gives me a deep sense of peace knowing His Sovereignty is working everything together for my good and His Glory (Romans 8). It is the attitude of humble joy that erupts after I realize the depth of His forgiveness for my sins.

The “fear of the Lord” is the proper “anxious concern” we should have of ever violating such love and grace.

There is a place for fear when thinking about God. To reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

So how does one understand the proper kind of fearing God? Do you remember what “understanding” means? “Understanding” is the practical doing of what God’s wisdom says. When we actually do what we are instructed in verses 1-4 we will be walking in the “Fear of the Lord”!

If I actually reverence God in holy fear then, I will be receiving His word and memorizing His commandments. I will be turning/applying/tuning my inner ear to be attentive to His wisdom and inclining my heart to doing His will. Yes, I will be crying over my sin. Hungering and thirsting after His righteousness.  My continual attitude would be to search for Him and His wisdom as the greatest possession of my life. I would be setting my focus on the Lord to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and body.

The more I walk in this disposition, attitude and behavior the more I “Fear the Lord”. The less I think, live and act this way the less I fear Him.

Simply put we understand the proper fear of the Lord as we humbly follow His Word and do His will. We end here with the words of King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”

And this is how you become perfect in love!

Observation: The Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. It is an attitude of awe/honor and reverence and a proper “fear” of violating His gracious love for me.

Interpretation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord comes as we do His will by living out His wisdom in humble faith. The more we do this the more we actually “fear/reverence God”.

Application Prayer: Father God, I humble myself before you knowing howFreedom inadequate I am to do Your will. My faith and confidence is in Your grace to work in me to will and the do Your good pleasure. (Philippians 2) Teach me to properly fear You as I walk in Your truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.

Got Direction?

Got Direction?

January first 2016, Ken and I sat in a cold gray morning on a rise in the wilderness of Rocksprings waiting for dawn to come in hopes of shooting my first deer. In the light of a filtered sunrise through damp gray clouds the shapes of several deer dimly appeared before us. Ken, my guide and mentor, motioned me to prepare to shoot. From one hundred yards or more the Texas White Tail deer looked small in the scope of his 30-06 rifle. Through the cross-hairs of the scope the moving mature doe was a challenging target, yet with even breathing, I slowly pulled the trigger.

When the bullet shattered the quiet of the morning, the targeted doe seemed to fly as she bolted away from the area. It violently jumped and twisted in midair to run as far as possible from the awful sound and fear of the powerful rifle. From the distance of our blind, it was unclear if I had hit the deer or merely shocked it with a missed bullet. Had I wasted a shot and my chance to kill my first deer, or was it severely wounded? Yet as we approached the place where the deer had stood, it was obvious the bullet had inflicted a mortal wound. The deer’s blood was sprayed on the ground, but she was nowhere to be found. All she left was a faint trail of blood.

Now the tracking began. The cold and rainless morning was not only good for hunting, it was ideal for tracking a wounded animal. Without rain the blood trail would still be visible and the cold would help preserve a dead animal. Ken the experienced hunter, began to quickly look for traces of blood on rocks, grass, twigs and brush. His keen eyes picked up on the smallest of detail. I on the other hand, inexperienced and ignorant of the process, concluded the deer could not have run far with THAT much blood loss! I quickly and foolishly ignored Ken’s methodical detailed experienced tracking for a quick solution and walked in circles! He graciously cautioned me to look for the blood as it was the only sure sign we had, and also not to trample on any possible evidence as we could easily lose the fallen animal. Yet I, the novice, scanned the whole field smugly thinking surely a bleeding deer could not have gone far. I continued to walk in circles as Ken systematically called my attention to yet another drop of the deer’s red life on a blade of grass or rock.

Finally I began to listen. Ken had me wisely mark the last sure proof we had found of the deer’s path. I placed a “duck” in the location of the bloodRock marker2 spot before we moved on. This gave us assurance we were on the deer’s final run. [A trail “duck” is three rocks pile up in an obvious man-made pyramid with the largest rock on the bottom and smallest on top.] The deer had run beneath cedar trees, through brush and yuccas giving us a challenging path in its attempt to elude its inevitable death. Her hundred plus yard scramble took her about a minute, yet it took us thirty to forty minutes to find her final resting place in a yucca patch.

IMG_0735Ken skillfully field dressed the deer, and I now have fresh venison in my freezer. Yet as I reflect on the hunt and specifically the tracking of this beautiful animal, my lack of skill was in sharp contrast to Ken’s experience and knowledge. In searching for the direction of the deer’s path, Ken knew what he was doing, and I was ignorantly lost. Without his guidance, I would have never found the animal. Through this experience, I was reminded about the way God leads us … or tries to lead us!

If you want direction from God you must understand it is a process. Just as I needed Ken’s expertise in tracking the wounded doe, we all need God’s guidance to receive spiritual direction! In my lack of knowledge, I walked in circles trying to find the deer until I started listening to Ken.

Ken, like the Spirit of God, was patient to show me what to look for and then to mark it with a “duck” so we could establish the last point of truth. Each time a new spot of blood was located we looked for more in the same direction, but if the trail ran “cold” then we marked that spot to regain our confidence until we found the next bit of evidence. This was an accurate albeit a tedious and detailed process. In the end, it proved the desired results. Slowly with Ken’s guidance I became a tracker helping to find the way instead of someone circling about with good intentions wasting time lost in my own ideas.

God wants us to be a good “tracker” of His Spirit, learning to follow His thoughts and ways. If we want the best direction for our lives we need God’s direction for us. 

In Galatians 5:25 Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” We who are believers in the Living Christ need to understand the discerning of His direction and stay in step with His Spirit. We need to learn to listen to our Guide and to mark the last sure word God has given us. Then, when we have our “ducks in a row” we will be able to move with Him and in the power of His Spirit.

Are you lost walking in circles? Are you seeking God for direction? If you are willing to follow His guidance He will lead you to the Word of Truth and reveal His path for you. You must learn how to mark the truth with a spiritual “duck”. For you, just as the “duck” had three stones piled up, there are three parts to marking God’s trail.

First we must receive God’s word as a WORD from God! If you want the Word to lead and guide you, you must receive it as personally from Him. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 makes it clear that when we receive the Bible as God speaking to us personally, He is able to work His will into our lives.  It reads, “And we also thank God continually (for you) because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  Too many people read the Bible like any other book. The Bible is God’s book and is alive and active in us when we trust the God who wrote it.

Second, Psalm 199:11 tells us that we must “hide it (God’s word) in our hearts”. Memorizing God’s word is not an option if you want to know His will. If Ken had not insisted on marking the trail we might still be seeking a downed deer. But by now it would be lost to me as a consumable food. How often do we lose the nourishing Bread of Life because we do not “hide it in our hearts”? Only as we memorize and reflect on His thoughts repeatedly do we begin to comprehend what God is saying to the deep places of our hearts.

Third, we need to act by waiting. No, that is not double-speak. Isaiah 40:31 tells us to “wait on the Lord”. When we feel our way is hidden, then we need to wait on God’s grace to give us direction before we act.

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

If we trust our Guide by receiving His Word and marking it with a spiritual “duck” meditating it into our minds and hearts, God’s direction for our lives will flow in and through us.

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Me

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Meditation’s Reward?

Meditation Journey Day 19

Hi Friend,

Today we begin to unpack verse five of Proverbs 2:1-5.

My son, if you receive my words and hide/memorize/treasure up my commandments with you, turning/applying/tuning your inner ear to be attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry/call out for Wisdom/insight/knowledge and raise your voice for (the grace to do His will and get) understanding, if you seek it/her like silver/gold/rubies or precious jewels and search for it/her as for treasures hidden by unbelief, then (and only then) you will understand the fear/awe of the LORD and find the wisdom/knowledge of God.

It tells us the reward for seeking God, as directed by Proverbs 2:1-4, is that you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Up to this verse we have been handed tools of a process to dig into God’s Word. Now the “more than silver” and “hidden treasures” are uncovered.

Lion 1The term Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” Yet the Bible repeatedly uses the phrase the Fear of the Lord in many positive ways. Read through these verses and notice the many benefits of “Understanding the Fear” of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Psalm 19: 9

Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. Psalm 33:8

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth, I hate. Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened. Proverbs 10:27

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 14: 27

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4

Given this list alone, understanding the Fear of the Lord seems like a very Lighteningvaluable asset. I can understand why Father God wants us to gain proper fear. So does Godly fear conflict with God’s love? Remember what “understanding” means as you reflect on the phrase “fear of the Lord”. I will explain this more in the next blog entry, but until then, what is the Spirit saying to you through the Word about the Fear of the Lord?

Observation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. The idea of fearing God seems to contradict the idea of loving God.

Interpretation: What is the Fear of the Lord? The Bible associates it with great blessing; therefore does it really conflict with God’s love? The key to understanding the Fear of the Lord … is to get “understanding” right!

Application Prayer: Father God, as we ponder these verses, teach us what it means to Fear the Lord. You say it is an attitude all the world should have in Psalm 33. Father, do I properly “Fear” You? Teach me your ways. I desire to walk in your truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

What is your take away?

I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.