The Goodness of God

The goodness of God is an inexhaustible subject. This morning though the Lord gave me some new aspects to mediate on. Thinking back to when I stood and drank in the power of Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, there are similarities.

Tons of water pour over the Falls every second. There is no way to describe the magnitude of that power. It roars. The water is unrelenting. It rushes over the top, cascades to the bottom, and sprays water everywhere.

Here is one of my favorite verses. Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” Do you ever long for something? Is your soul hungry for something that is not food? The Lord alone can satisfy.

Here is another favorite. Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” Satiate means to fill to the full.

David expressed God’s goodness in Psalm 27:13. He wrote, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” David also wrote Psalm 23. Verse 6 says, “Sure goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” God’s goodness is a right now powerful present reality.

Now, consider this. God’s goodness is inextricably connected to His love. His love is woven into the fabric of our lives. His goodness exudes from His love. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good…” That means everything in our lives, the trials and the hardships are His goodness at work, with no exception or exclusion.

When we gaze upon Him, and meditate on His goodness, we will see every situation in our lives through that goodness. It will transform our understanding and keep us focused on Him, and not on our circumstances. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” The Hebrew root word for ‘see’ means to drink deeply.

The Power Of God’s Glory

Ephesians 3:16 Amplified says, “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit (Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality).”

It’s impossible to define the Lord’s glory in our human terms. I was meditating of it yesterday. There are many verses that talk about an aspect of His glory, but they are like the tip of an iceberg.

Let’s start with Moses. He asked the Lord to show him His glory. Exodus 33:21-22 says, “And the Lord said, Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.”

Verse 23 says, “Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Jump to the Lord’s face in Revelation 1:14 says, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.”

Remember that Moses was with the Lord on the mountain.  2 Corinthians 3:13 says that Moses had to put a veil over his face. Why? He stood in the glory of the Lord and his countenance was too bright for them to look at Moses’ face! (Exodus 34:29 says, “…the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.”)

The same glory that caused Moses’ face to shine, is the glory that transforms our inner man. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

The word for ‘glory’ in Hebrew (from the Strong’s) means: weightiness; that which is substantial or heavy; honor, splendor, power, wealth, authority, magnificence, fame, dignity, riches, and excellency.

1 Kings 8:10 says that the cloud of His glory filled the house of the Lord. Verse 11 says, “So that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

We are strengthened in our innermost being through His glory. It is our foundational, undergirding spiritual rebar. His glory empowers us to finish the work He has called us to do. John 17:4 says, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. ”

Here is a new song that bubbled up after drinking in John 17:5 this morning.

I love You Lord because You chose me. You are magnificent beyond words. You are clothed with majesty and splendor. You created me to have a relationship with You.

O the wonder of Your love. It reaches high, low, and wide. I cannot comprehend the depth of Your unfolding love. Your love never changes. Nothing can take it away.

You died to redeem me. You rose and conquered the grave. You are seated in intercession. Your power dwells within me to fulfill Your purpose in my life. It empowers me to abide.

Meditation: An Excellent Pursuit

Do you ever have a hard time quieting your mind? Meditation is laser focused. When your mind won’t be still, switch to meditating on God’s word that has to do with what is keeping your mind disquieted.

Psalm 1:2 says, “…in His law he meditates day and night.” Verse 3 is the tangible results. It says, “And 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.”

Psalm 104:34 says, “May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.” Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

Meditation is heart reflection. Think about these words: consider, ponder, think deeply, to contemplate, to mull over in your mind. It is certainly the opposite of instant and surface. It is wholehearted involvement.

Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.” Verse 48 says, “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.”

I went through a season in 2016 where the Lord woke me up to meditate in the night. He gave me a phrase or a few words from His word. The results? In 7 1/2 months, I typed 35 short ebooks that came from those meditations. 27 are on Amazon. Then He showed me how 7 were of the same subject, and to compile them into 5 paperbacks. 2 are complete, 3 are yet to be formulated.

Joshua 1:8 says to meditate in His word day and night. As we meditate we are observing to incorporate what we are pondering: practical application. The result? It will make our way prosperous and give us good success.

Are you bearing fruit? Are your leaves verdant green? Are you prospering in all that you do? Here is the Great Physician’s prescription for a thriving walk with Him: meditation on His word which is sweet intimate communion with Him.

Outskirts, Fringes, Faintest

We cannot plumb the depths of God. Job was speaking in Job 26:7-13. Let me encapsulate. He hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up water in His thick clouds. He cover the face of His throne. The pillars of heaven are shaken and astonished at His rebuke. You can read them for yourself.

Verse 14 in the Amplified is one of my favorite verses. It says, “Yet these are but (a small part of His doings) the outskirts of His ways or the mere fringes of His force, the faintest whisper of His voice! Who dares contemplate or who can understand the thunders of His full, magnificent power?”

Isaiah 40:28 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”

Unsearchable. Can you quote 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! I love the exclamation points in my Bible.

Just let your heart absorb all these truths. Here’s another. According to means in the same measure as. Ephesians 1:7 ~ forgiveness according to the riches of His grace. Philippians 4:19 ~ all our need supplied according to His riches in glory.

Back to the mere fringes of His force. The woman of Mark 5:28 touched the hem of Jesus garment. Watch what happened. Verse 29 says, “Immediately…she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.” Verse 30 says, “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him…”

I encourage you to, several times a day, think about how His grandeur, majesty, and mighty power dwells in you. Nothing is impossible for Him! Now look at your circumstances through these truths and gain an overcoming perspective. He is truly your All in All.

Priority One

Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me Your way, O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” My margin says: give me singleness of heart.

The Strong’s word for worry is: to divide into parts. Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life…” Worry is a distraction. It is a preoccupation with things that stress us. It fragments our heart.

I love Psalm 63:8 in the Amplified. It says, “My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Verse 5 says, “My whole being shall be satisfied as with morrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.”

These two verses are essentially saying: I am reaching out to You with all that is within me, to lay hold of You and to cling tenaciously. Here is another. Psalm 119:10 Amplified says, “With my whole heart I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; O let me not wander or step aside (either ignorantly or willingly) from Your commandments.”

1 Chronicles 28:9 Amplified says, “…For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him (inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity) you will find Him…”

When our trials take our breath away with their crushing blows, He becomes our sustaining breath. We cling to Him as our vital necessity, and we know His Presence experientially. Here is a new song He gave me this morning. Think about your own circumstances and sing this with me.

I bow before You Lord, in honor and wonder of Your love. You sustain and uphold my heart, and carry me through every trial. Your love is unending, Your grace abounding, Your mercy is new every morn. There is no one like You, no one Your equal. You alone deserve all glory and praise.

Stretch It Out

Matthew 12:9 says that there was a man with a withered hand. Think about it a moment. His hand was atrophied and paralyzed. He could not use it. Verse 13 says, “Then He said to the man, Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.”

Amazing miraculous healing. Think about the areas in your life that are “withered.” It could be areas were you lack faith. Doubt, fear, unbelief have crept in. Reluctance to do something indicates self-reliance which withers faith.

Joshua was the next leader after Moses died. Joshua 1:3 says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” Then in verse 6, 7, and 9 the Lord spoke to Joshua to be strong and of good courage. Verse 9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I love Isaiah 41:10. It says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

We stretch out the area of our heart that has withered by undergirding it through God’s word. What does His word say to you? This morning I read 1 Peter 1:13. It says, “Gird up the loins of your mind…” That means to me: I need to arm my thoughts with truth from God’s word. Be alert to any thought entering my mind that opposes God’s word, His ways, and His will. Bring it captive! Make it bow in defeat! Don’t give it another thought!

Stretch out that gift that has laid dormant. What has He called you to do that you have not done? We block active faith each time we rely on ourselves. Apart from Him we are withered (John 15:5).

Right now as I type this, the report of hurricane Dorian is forecasting disaster. Yet, the Lord who has created all things is on the scene. Through concerted prayer, we have the privilege to stand in the gap before Him for the state of Florida.

It is good to remember Who the Lord is. Jesus calmed the storm with a word. Mark 4:39 says, “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still! And the wind ceased and there was a calm.”

The Power of Concerted Prayer

We are called to intercede. We stand before God, the Creator Sustainer on behalf of others. We boldly approach His throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need, whether ours or others. 2 Corinthians 1:8 says, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.” Look at verse 11. It says, “You also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.”

Romans 15:30 says, “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayer to God for me.” Amplified says, “…to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer in my behalf.”

Our trials are not a solo, unique, only-me-type hardship. The body of Christ is under fire. We stand in the gap for others in their need, as others stand in the gap for us in our need. It is a circular provision ordained by the Lord.

Ephesians 1:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The Lord Himself intercedes for us. He is our excellent example. Romans 8:34 says, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

Luke 4:18 Amplified says, “…to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity).” Do you fit this category? Then ask some folks you know to intercede for you. They will stand in the gap before our Merciful and Gracious Lord on your behalf. Paul said that they were helped through prayer as they endured their trouble in Asia.

1 Peter 4:19 says, “Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” Here is God’s eternal purpose for His church. The hard trials that we go through are a testimony of God’s wisdom. Ephesians 3:10 says, “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made know by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”

Jesus told Peter that satan wanted to sift him. Luke 22:32 says, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Right after this, Peter denied the Lord three times. 1 & 2 Peter were written by that beloved apostle. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

Concerted prayer is like an ambush against the enemy. It is a secret effective weapon that breaks through all opposing forces. There is no other ministry like it. What a privilege to stand in the gap before God on behalf of others.