How Satisfied Are You?

Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priest with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

The Lord bids us to come and dine. He has spiritual food that satisfies. Psalm 103:5 says, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” Naturally, we eat when we are physically hungry. Spiritually, we can get to a place where other things crowd out God’s word. They are emotional fillers. We return to them time and again because they cannot truly satisfy. 

When you are stressed, upset, or overwhelmed what do you reach for? David’s words show us Who he reached for. Psalm 61:1-2 says, “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” He also wrote Psalm 34. Verse 8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

Are you tasting of His goodness? Here is a great verse to imbibe. Ephesians 3:19 says, “(That you may really come) to know (practically, through experience for yourselves) the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge (without experience); that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God (may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself)!”

Our natural health depends on the foods we eat. Our spiritual health is the same. The Lord is our Shepherd. He leads us to green pastures. As we eat His word and ruminate on it, it fills our spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Then we drink deep. Psalm 36:8 says, “They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.”

Isaiah 55:1 says, “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters’; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Do you remember what Jesus said to His disciples when they urged Him to eat? John 4:32 says, “But He said to them, l I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Verse 34 says, “…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”

God Hears!

Psalm 34 is like a delicious banquet. There are so many encouraging verses. As I was reading it yesterday I noted how God hears. What a blessed truth. He does not have selective hearing!

Verse 4 says, “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Verse 6 says, “This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”

Verse 15 says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Verse 17 says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

Psalm 4 was written by David. Verse 3 says, “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly, the Lord will hear when I call to Him.” Psalm 17:6 says, “I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.”

I want to take you to a scene. You can read the whole story in Mark 10:46-52. There was a great multitude. Think about this because multitudes are usually noisy.

Bartimaeus was a blind beggar. He heard a commotion and asked those near him what was happening. When he heard that it was Jesus, he cried out. Verse 47 says, “….he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

I love verse 49. It says, “So Jesus stood still…” I’m so thankful for this story. It infuses me with strength. It empowers me to endure. It reinforces my hope. When we cry out, Jesus not only hears, but He zeros in on our cry.

I’ve watched it happen. We can be in a crowd of folks talking. All of a sudden a child cries out. It is a cry that the parents of that child immediately recognize. Everything stops and they run to see what is wrong.

In the Lord, we have something totally unique to His character. Isaiah 65:24 says, “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

I want you to think back how many countless times the Lord orchestrated your need before you asked. It is His speciality. He is our Master Orchestrator. He knows our need and sets everything in motion to fulfill it through our relationship with Him.

As we are quiet before the Lord, our hearts commune. He knows! He cares! He provides! Even though He knows every thought before we think it, He still bids us to share them with Him.

Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Here is another of my favorites. Psalm 119:147 says, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.”

How Sincere Are Your Words?

I had a startling thought just as I sat down to type this. Do you remember what the Lord said to Samuel about his words? 1 Samuel 3:19 says, “So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground.” O my. I am so grateful that the Lord did not say that to me. Why? I have said things that I wish I had never said. Have you? Spoken words come from our heart’s true belief.

Matthew 12:34 says, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Every motive comes from what we believe through what we have experienced. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard folks say, “I will never forgive them for what they did” and that emotional pain remains buried. What about ‘worry’ words? What about fear based actions?

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding.” We say, “Lord, I trust You,” but our words fall to the ground the moment we fear, or worry, or get stuck in a negative dialogue in our mind. We may pray specifically, and when the Lord answers what do we say? Words like, “I can’t believe…” reveal hidden unbelief.

Every fiery dart that the enemy of our soul lobs is a lie. It is designed to undermine and destroy our faith. When that lie penetrates it remains hidden. Yet, like yeast it bread dough it permeates. Our defense is to hide God’s word in our heart. Therefore when the lie comes, His Truth rises from within like a warrior to cut it down, slice it up, and destroy that lie!

We may say, “I love you” and yet have a buried offense in our heart against that person. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” The word ‘sincere’ is what the bazaar vendors said to their prospective customers. They wanted them to know that their pots had no cracks filled with wax. The customer would still hold the pot up in the sun to see if their words were sincere.

What happens when our hearts are held up to the Son? Everything inside is revealed to Him. 1 John 2:4 says, “He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Verse 6 says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked.” 

Heart integrity is a character quality forged in the crucible of our fiery trials. Intense, long term, hard trials purify our faith. Established faith is deeply rooted in God’s word. Mark 4:17 was written about those whose hearts had stony ground areas. It says, “And they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” May the words coming from our heart be established in faith, rooted in love, sincere, and pure. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

How Deep Are Your Thoughts?

I love quality time conversations. There is nothing superficial about them. They are not just passing the time. It is not a discussion about the weather or current events. No, they have depth because they involve the communion between two hearts. It is a precious time for sharing back and forth about our hopes and dreams. We each are listening from our heart. It is eye to eye contact that says, ‘I care about what is in your heart.’

Psalm 92:5 says, “O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep.”​ The Lord is never superficial. He knows our heart’s thoughts. He knows the motives behind every thought. Therefore all His communion with us is deep. He loves to impart His wisdom, open His word to us, share His desires, and give us revelational insights. 

Job 26:14 says, “Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” C. S. Lewis said: God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

I love to think about Romans 11:33. It says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” We will never plumb the depths of God’s ways, character, attributes, or wisdom. However, He delights in unfolding as much as we can handle. We are finite, but He is infinite. Infinite means that it is impossible to measure.

Colossians 2:3 says, “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Note the word ‘all’ because it means everything without exception. The world system has no wisdom for us, because He has it all. We do not have His wisdom unless He imparts it to us. He knows we need His wisdom and He says to ask. James 1:5 says that if we need wisdom to navigate through our trials, all we have to do is ask. He gives liberally, abundantly, profusely, and like manna, just as much as we gather.

Here are two of my favorite verses about His depth from the Amplified. 1 Corinthians 2:10 says, “Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the (Holy) Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God (the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny).”

Psalm 25:14 says, “The secret (of the sweet, satisfying companionship) of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its (deep, inner) meaning.” 

He uses our meditating in His word to draw us to Himself. He unfolds, expands, and opens our understanding so we can drink in the depth of His wisdom. He lavishes us with previously hidden truths when we seek Him with our heart. He delights to reveal Himself to those who come to dine. Intimate communion is not piecemeal, it is partaking of His sumptuous word-banquet. He is our True Satisfyer.  

How Deep Are Your Roots?

Yesterday I started reading the book of Psalms. I like to read them according to the date and add 30. Yesterday I read: Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121. I love this set.

As I read Psalm 1, I thought about roots. Verse 3 revealed the fruit of one who meditates in God’s word day and night. It says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Think now about the words: water, season, wither, and prosper. My yard plants are a great illustration. The wind blows in weed seeds. Those seeds fall down into the rocks and send out roots.

Up come the weeds with no work on my part. What happens though when the season of rain is over? They wither and die. That is great for weeds, but not great for hearts. Our hearts can only thrive with drinking water from the well of our salvation.

I have other plants that are faithfully watered every day with my drip system. My succulents have shallow roots. My manzanita has a great root system. My roses? They are in an abundant season of blooms that fill the air with their fragrance.

Our faith-roots are watered as we read God’s word daily. They grow and are established by roots that are nourished through our intimate communion with the Lord. Did you note in Psalm 1:3 that fruit is seasonal? God created plant life in cyclical seasons. Only the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 bears fruit continually.

Are you in a dormant season? That should not cause you concern. Our roots are always gathering nutrients from the soil through our relationship with the Lord. Neither seasons, circumstances, fiery trials, nor hardships take away: they abundantly add benefits we previously lacked. Remember that in God’s economy nothing is in vain. He redeems it all.

Daniel 2:20-21 reminds us of an essential truth that empowers us to endure. It says, “…Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And HE changes the times and the seasons…”

Like God’s provision of manna was to the children of Israel, we also gather our daily manna. He supplies nutrients that are just the right amount, the right quality, and exactly what we need as we read His word, and abide in Him. Abiding is the soil that will produce fruit in its season. Abundant fruit glorifies Him.

Setting Captives Free

God’s plan for salvation was established before He created man in His own image. Genesis 3:15 says to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

This verse reminds me of the scene in the Passion of Christ. Jesus stopped on the head of the snake. Paul wrote to the Romans. Romans 16:20 says, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly…” We all were captives of satan. Luke 4:18 Amplified says, “…He sent Me to announce release to the captives…to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity).”

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

We wage war through our knowledge of the Lord. We learn about His ways and His character as we read His word and put it into practice. Print on a page is just that. We have to inculcate it into our hearts. It will then, and only then, become the fabric of truth woven into every thought. Every thought has a motive behind it. May our motive be to glorify the Lord in our thoughts, words, and actions.

Colossians 1:10 is a great summary of how our walk should look. It says, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

2 Peter 1:3 is the activation of His power in our lives. It says, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…”

He displays His power in our lives in myriad ways as we read His word and follow it. John 14:21 says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Divine revelation. Rich insights. Intimate communion. Don’t let anything rival your relationship with Him.

God Plunders The Plunderers

Jeremiah 30:16 says, “Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey.”

That verse was God’s word through Jeremiah to the children of Israel. I’m standing in it for our nation! God appointed the Chaldeans to plunder His people. It was His judgment because they turned away from Him.

Yet watch, because this is a warning to us. The Chaldeans angered God. Jeremiah 50:11 says of them, “Because you were glad, because you rejoiced, you destroyers of My heritage, because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain, and you bellow like bulls.”

Right now our nation is being held captive. Our freedoms are compromised. Isaiah 5:13 says, “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…”

Here is another warning for us. The devil is seeking those he might devour. Our defense is Truth within. Our eyes and ears are being bombarded with enemy propaganda. We must keep our focus on Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 says, “In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Our attitude comes from our thoughts. Let’s be very diligent to display the character of Christ, and not our flesh through complaining. Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray. We do well to do the same.

Ruts Resist Change

Moab was in a rut. Jeremiah 48:11 says, “Moab has been at ease from his youth; he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed.”

Ruts can become heart idols. Here is a test. What happens when your routine-rut is disturbed? Are you flexible or rigid? Does your flesh react when that routine-rut is interrupted?

I have an early morning routine. This morning it is interrupted because I have a blood draw at 6:30. That is why this post is late. When I first moved in with my folks to care for them, I quickly discovered that they had a rigid routine. I had to learn it because it was their compass. Certain breakfast on a certain day. When they smelled it cooking, they knew what day it was.

Do you have activities that are non negotiable in your life? Our highest priority should be our relationship with the Lord. Everything flows out of that. It is not a rut or a routine, it is our heart communing with His heart. Worship is a lifestyle. No matter what our circumstances are, we can worship Him.

Let me remind you of Richard Wurmbrand. He was a pastor in Romania. He was imprisoned multiple times for his faith. He bore scars from his tormentors. One time they had drugged him and beaten him mercilessly, then threw him into his cold cement floor cell.

He said that he could not even form words to pray. His mind was drugged, but his heart rose up to say, “Jesus I love You.” Richard had been taken into captivity. He was poured from vessel to vessel. His fragrant heart-worship was only made richer. Pure worship comes from a pure heart.

Our hard trials bring change. They intercept and disrupt every aspect of our lives. Yet, through them the character of Christ is formed in us. Fiery trials cause hidden dross to rise so He can skim it off. It leaves pure gold that allows Him to see His reflection in us.

Repurposing Negative Thoughts

Have you ever had a red light come on your car dash? What did you do? In my case, decades ago, I kept going and burned up my motor. I was on a causeway that said, ‘Do Not Stop At Any Time.’ I obeyed.

Consider negative thoughts as the red light on your dash. Let them be a warning to stop the thought right there. It is when we dialogue with it, that it brings inner damage.

When I repurpose something, I find another use for it. We repurpose negative thoughts in this way. They are a signal, a warning, and a spoiler alert that we need to instantly heed.

Isaiah 54:16 says, “…I have created the spoiler to destroy.” Hmm. Let’s consider truth as the spoiler in our case. The second we have a negative thought, we use the truth of God’s word to destroy it.

God’s word is sharper than a two-edged sword. William Brewster was the instigator of the Mayflower expedition. He was hated. One day Brewster was walking into his cottage. An excellent swordsman was hiding inside. As Brewster came in the door, this man jumped out with his sword to kill Brewster.

Brewster whipped out his sword and the battle began. Brewster eventually knocked the other’s sword out of his hand and stabbed him in the stomach and slid the sword up. The man only had time for a surprised look on his face and then he died and fell over.

That is the power of God’s word hidden in our heart. The second a negative thought arises, we wield our mighty weapon. We use a truth from His word to slit the life right out of it. It is a militant maneuver that destroys the spoiler-thought.

Nahum 2:1 says, “He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.” This verse is our strategic wisdom for hiding God’s word in our heart. Let us be diligent warriors!

Attentive Listening

The first step in obedience is to listen attentively. We need to incline our ear, which means to listen favorably. Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live…”

Numerous times the Lord gave Jeremiah a word for the children of Israel. They would not listen. King Zedekiah was warned by God. If he would submit to the king of Babylon he would live. He would not listen. His disobedience cost many lives. All of his sons were killed before his eyes, and then they put out his eyes. Then he was bound with bronze fetters and carried off to Babylon.

In 1975 the Lord gave me specific instructions of what not to do. However, a seemingly great opportunity just fell into my lap and I disobeyed. I reaped that disobedience TEN years.

Why don’t we obey? There are hidden pockets of rebellion in our hearts. They come from unresolved issues. We failed to guard our heart and they took up residence.

Listening attentively is the first step. Then we need to engage our heart. Our heart is our belief center. Doubt, fear, or unbelief can reside in our heart. Romans 10:10 says that it is with our heart that we believe.

Our heart is designed to be a reservoir of God’s word. The enemy of our soul does everything he can to fill it with empty things that do not profit. He desires to thwart God’s purpose in our lives.

A heart that obeys, is lined with a foundation of truth. When the lie comes through a fiery dart, the truth within rises as a sentinel to block it from penetrating. Truth within causes the dart to veer off course.

In 1975 I had verses memorized, but they were not actively applied. At that time I did not understand how a hidden desire could align with the enticement of a temptation (James 1:14-15).

Obeying from our heart is a decision to please the Lord above all else. When His truth lines our heart, our thoughts will come from that hidden truth. They will rise to give honor and glory to the Lord first and foremost in every circumstance of our lives.