Then prosperity and favor will be their portion, and their descendants will inherit all that is good.
There’s a private place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and receive the revelation-secrets of his promises. Rescue me, Lord, for you’re my only hero.”
Psalms 25:12-15 TPT
One of the incredible things that attracted me to the person of Jesus was that he can be our friend. Who would have thought or conceived this idea of God being our friend and close ally?
Yet, it’s true. Jesus offers his close friendship, his confident intimacy and established fellowship to us all.
I have witnessed this truth also that there is a special connection between Christ and his followers (he calls them friends) whose hearts and minds are lifted to God constantly, them who love God above all else, with them Christ has special fellowship and deep intimacy.
We say about a couple that has a very close and deep relationship that they look like and think alike. That’s the idea here.
When we revere, honour and walk closely with God, we know his mind, hear his heart and do his will.
The internet this week is filled with millions of posts saying ’I want to learn.’
We, the white people, are made aware of to the fact that we know very little when it comes to racism and what black people have to go through every day of their lives to make sure that they avoid unnecessary arrests, stops by the police and stigma related to their community.
The problem is that information alone will not bring the change that is much needed, because in order for us to learn new things we first need to unlearn some faulty old ones.
“He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.”
Psalms 25:9 AMP
Let us admit it that we are opinionated people. We tend to think that we alone have the truth and everyone else is flawed. We stick to the same news sources, we watch the same tv channels, we follow the same flow of reports. We forget that that’s just one side of the whole story.
We hang out with the same people who have the same notions about different subjects and think we are doing just fine.
But, if we want real justice we need to be humble.
Humility is not an easy virtue to come by.
For it means for us to not be pretentious, or assuming, or thinking highly of ourselves. It’s a trait of someone who is patient yet strong, modest yet knowledgable, meek yet wise.
I know but one person like that- Jesus
He said about himself that he is humble… nobody else in the history of humanity can claim to have said something like that and lived a humble life.
He was always faultless, always just, forever loving, real and true and yes, humble.
That’s why we if we want to learn real justice we need to learn to walk the humble way. Jesus has shown us that way. Jesus will show us the way.
If we go to him with the heart to unlearn that which is incorrect and inaccurate he will guide us to the right way and the truth. We ask him to open our eyes and ears and hearts so that the Spirit of God will lead us in his ways of learning and transformation.
He alone knows what we are lacking, he knows our blind spots and our hardened hearts and he can counsel where the change is needed.
What is wrong with me? I mean I wake up every day with the best intentions in my heart, I want to be a good person, I want to be sweet and patient. I want to follow God’s ways, God’s truth. Somehow though I end up doing just the opposite.
It seems to me like I live my life between two selves. The one that wants to do the will of God and the other that still believes I can do it on my own.
”O Lord, I give my life to you.
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”
Psalms 25:1, 4-5 NLT
David is saying to us here that our lives as believes can be lived either ”all in” with God or ’all-out’. There seems to be no middle way in the kingdom.
David leads the ‘all way in” pattern here which is a rhythm that sounds more like surrender, submission, wait, then go with the tone of joy constantly playing on.
It’s this idea of ’hope all day long’ on God, not only when we feel it or when we have some desperate needs, but all the time. Its the life of faith and freedom.
Faith and Control don’t cohabit together
David speaks of a life which is in constant connection with God and that relentlessly gives back to him what we like to control and keep.
Everything we hold dear, everyone we hold close is safer with God as we follow him in all our relationships and walk step by step as he guides.
It’s risky and can certainly be out of our control, but is the path to abundance and real life.
“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”
Psalms 24:3-4 NLT
Even though this psalm was written more than 3000 years ago some questions that trouble human mind remain the same.
”Who is worthy enough and who can be qualified for special honours”?
”Who can seat in a place of merit and be God’s best friend?”
“Who deserves VIP treatment?”
The answer given then is something that if we all obliged to, the world would be a better place. The criteria required for that place of honour shakes our modern world ideals, for its not based on the colour of our skin, our social background, our birthrights, our bank account status, our talent and our wealth, but on our character.
Clean hands speaks of our activity, pure heart speaks of our motives and intentions, meaning the whole character.
Very much in line with what Martin Luther King Jr spoke on his famous speech in 1963.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
This week has been another tragic week that has shaken us again and has reminded us of the fragility of us humans who are driven by pride, fear and corruption.
Another life taken from racism weapon and the world is in an uproar, we are made to think and feel what matters most in life and each other.
We remember again that:
We, all of us, all people of the world, are made in the image of God, we all carry his fingerprint, we are valuable and worthy of respect and honour because of that -period!
If we have done wrong we carry the consequences of our wrongdoings, but still everyone deserves to treated with dignity and respect.
There is no supremacy race, there is no a people above others, for we have all fallen and been offered salvation by the same saviour, Jesus.
We all stand before God on the same grounds, grace through Jesus Christ.
We are equal, we are one. Love should be our first response.
I have had a migraine for two days now and to be honest, is tough.
The pain and emotional drain from it tires my body and takes my mind into a dark tunnel. Somehow, I start and feel sad and melancholic and I have thoughts that my life is not good, that I am not enough and that everything is a waste of time and effort. I go to a place in my mind that my husband or any friend finds difficult to enter as I am not myself.
My husband always stands by me and that’s more help than I could ever ask. My head feels like pain and hopelessness and dark all at the same time. What comforts me helps in those moments is the love and support of my husband and my children and the truth of God’s word.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”
Psalms 24:1 NLT
When the thoughts of insufficiency and sorrow try to occupy my head I am compelled to remember the truth that:
I don’t carry the world in my shoulders and that all people made by God are cared by Him also, I included.”
Our minds can work out problems and scenarios that feel impossible and alarming, but the truth of God is always wisdom and peace.
Painkillers may help our headache but they will not improve the way we think, but the word of God, scriptures will. Truth sets free.
“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalms 23:6 NLT
I have been chased by debt collectors, my kids with their ’mum mum’ tune after me and wild dogs when I lived in my village, but this idea of being chased by the love and goodness of God is unusual, refreshing and powerful.
All who chase us want to get something from us, God, on the other hand, chases us to give us everything. And not just give anything, but love and goodness in abundance.
I think it is the only chase that we can let ourselves be caught with pleasure.
For our lives are but a long chaise these days. We are chasing dreams, people and stuff to help us feel loved and experience goodness, but God is after us with those very things we are so anxious to get.
Can we stop though and let goodness and love overtake us?
Can we be caught and let ourselves be immersed by God’s love and goodness, by his presence and provision? Oftentimes we choose the run, the adrenaline drive of life, it makes us feel productive, useful, important.
But, knowing that we are chased down by love and goodness makes our importance and worth more assured. God loved us so much that he valued our lives worthy of his son on the cross.
What we run to achieve in life is found in being caught by his love and goodness.
For lotions or creams to be effective they need to be rubbed on.
I learned this from my husband’s father who is brilliant at developing and testing different creams and ointments for medical purpose.
If we just applied creams without rubbing them on they are not effective.
You see, the cream needs to penetrate into the infected or sick skin and be absorbed well in order for the healing process to take place.
People approval has infected us all. We carry the scabs and scars of people not being pleased with us deep within our coverage.
We want to be creative and courageous with our lives but the fear of not pleasing all prevents us to proceed. Often times, these people we really want to please are not concerned about us and at times they don’t even exist.
So, what approval shall we focus on that really matters?
In the older days, millennials ago, people respected and acknowledged those people and authorities who were anointed.
Now, anointing can be a foreign terminology to us modern people, but in simplicity, was a ceremony that indicated the favour, pleasure and approval of God in someone’s life and service. It was performed by priests or prophets mainly and done to the kings to show all people the approval and the hand of God in that person.
The oil was rubbed on the king’s head so that the perfume, the glow and the influence of the oil was seen by all. It was a ceremony with big visual effects. It signified authority, honour and power for the person being anointed.
In our modern times, we use the phrases ’he or she is anointed’ in our places of worship mostly, but that is true also for all the people who are very good and calm and at ease with themselves and their assignment or calling wherever they may be.
What we notice in these individuals who impress us in a good way – is usually some very attractive traits like authority and assurance that are not threatening. They are truthful and loving, honest and faithful, confident, but no proud, effective without manipulation or fear, humble and powerful.
We see them as unique, some call them extraordinary and superhuman…
What that really is, is the presence of God through the Holy Spirit which is evident, is visual, and is seen. (See Galatians 5:22-23)
It’s this idea that God has approved and endorsed the person ( singing, praying, preaching, his/her business abilities, writing etc).
And when this is true about any person, based on the scripture, history and my experience – the approval of people fades away for them.
What matters the most to them is the approval, the anointing of God in their lives.
The good news about the anointing of God is that is available to all who are established in Christ Jesus. His anointing, his approval and his empowerment are available to us daily, fresh and in abundance.
So we don’t have to try and tire under pressures of life in order to accomplish our calling by ourselves but daily to be filled an rubbed on with his approval and acceptance.
When we have his approval and favour we are always -His favourite.
Whatever we are and do comes from that seal of approval.
What battlefield are you in the middle of?
What battles are you fighting right now?
Financial battles, health wars, infertility trials, relationship battles, parenting conflicts?
What is eating your life now? What is wasting your strength and energy?
It looks like you need some rest, my friend, rest right there in the middle of the warfare stage.
Help is on the way! God is our help!
He comes right where we are, there, in the field of fighting and conflict with a table and great food to fellowship with us and to honour us in front of our opposition.
Yes, right there, right in the middle of the tough and intense battle that you might be battling right now, God comes with a celebration party.
God loves to throw a good party for his children. There all the delicatessen promises of God are served, well over 5000 of them.
In the battle, he comes to strengthen and encourage you.
Have you savoured and enjoyed a feast like that, my friend? If you are feeling weak and unable to fight the battles you are facing, perhaps you are of need to feast and gain strength from the banquet served by the best host, God. Savour the word of God and know that the victory for every battle you are in is yours and the celebration is already in procession.
Valley in the scriptures symbolises a place of struggle, trials and problems. We all have them. Ether we are in the valley right now, we are about to enter in one or we are coming out of a difficult valey.
We are not promised by our saviour a ‘valley free life’ what we are promised though is even more poweful- His presence in the valey.
And his presence means protection, wisdom, comfort, understanding, advice, discipline, empathy and company as we walk together through our valleys.
He reminds us that; we are not meant to stop and explore the valley, we are not meant to hang pictures and be comfortable with the valley, we are walking through the valley. And as we walk holding our Lord’s hand we are assured of his presence power and providanve with each step.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
Psalms 23:3 AMP
Our God is master at restoring that which is broken and beyond repair.
What is that needs restoring in your life?
Hope, home, holiness, hardened heart?
He restores it to its original purity, even better than Eden sate.
My soul ( the part of me that thinks, chooses and feels) is prone to hurts and damage. Guilt and shame, sin and bitterness erode our souls daily. We need more than just a positive message, we need a powerful Messiah who turns my:
Hurts into Holiness
Wounds into Wisdom
Bruises into Beauty
Guilt into Goodness
God makes me new, he uses all the good, bad and ugly in my life to form my character like his. If you are in Christ, restoration has happened and is happening daily. On the cross, the guilt and shame of sin were dealt with once and for all and that is just the beginning.
Jesus comes and inhabits in us through the Holy Spirit and the work of restoration continues. Our hearts, will and emotions are restored and renewed daily.