God’s Delight

I was reading along in Deuteronomy. I felt the Holy Spirit stop me at Deuteronomy 10:15. Yesterday I used Psalm 37:4. The Hebrew word for that delight is different from the one today which says, “The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them…”

The Hebrew word means to be attached to or to long for. We are all created to have a relationship with the Lord. He has set eternity in every heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and we are all made in His image (Genesis 1:26).

Now let’s take the Deuteronomy verse the rest of the way because it includes us. “…and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples to this day.” Every believer is the fruit of Abraham’s faith. He believed God’s word.

Pause and think about how the Lord chose you. Ephesians 1:4 says that it was before He laid the foundation of the world. The Lord delights in us as His children with the intent to love us. He desires us. He wants to spend time with us. He knows us, but He invites us to know Him intimately.

Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” The Hebrew for ‘takes pleasure’ is to be favorable to. It makes me think of Psalm 5:12. It says, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteousness; with favor You will surround  him as with a shield.”

Happy Thanksgiving

May your heart be lifted up today in thanksgiving for all that He had done for you through His death on the cross.

Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

What Do You Delight In?

Psalm 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” What we dwell on in our mind, affects our heart. Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name.”

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” How much time do you spend drinking from the river of His pleasures? According to David that is where we will find satisfaction.

Psalm 36:8-9 says, “They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.”

Psalm 63:5 says, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” Jeremiah rejoiced because he spent time eating and digesting God’s word. 

I love Psalm 103:5. It is part of my prayer of thanksgiving before I eat. It says, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” It isn’t talking about food, but that is the application I make.

What our hearts delight in comes out of our mouths. Psalm 119:92 says, “Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.” This is my testimony with an exclamation mark. Is it yours?

Happy Thanksgiving ~ may your heart be filled and overflowing today with thanksgiving for all that the Lord has done through His death on the cross ~ for you

Prayer Aligns Our Heart

Father God, here we are as Your children. Brought up on Your knees. Chosen, cherished, and accepted. I ask You to teach us Your ways so that we do not get derailed, nor pulled into any compromise. Help us walk in Your truth with singleness of heart. Help us keep our focus on You and not our overwhelming circumstances. Nothing is impossible for You. Thank You for your unconditional love.

We bring God’s truths into our prayers ~ right from His word. When you are at a loss of how to pray for someone, take up any of Paul’s prayers. Colossians 1:9-11 is a great example. Use a few of the words, a phrase, or the whole verse.

Peter reminded his readers that we become partakers of Christ’s nature through His promises. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him…” We cannot be a partaker unless we spend time getting to know the Lord.

Remember what He said to those who didn’t have the word in them? John 5:39 says, “You search the Scriptures…but you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” We commune with the Lord through His word.

John 15:1-8 was His discourse about the vine. Verse 7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” As we pray His word, it becomes our heart’s change agent. Our desires are shaped through praying Scripture.

All Is Known By God

I stopped the verse because I wanted to emphasize the next part. Compromise is birthed through our unbridled wandering thoughts. The verse continued, “…For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts…”

I like to keep Hebrews 4:13 Amplified in my mind. I often use it when I am praying. It says, “…all things…” All means everything without exception. “…are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.”

The only way that we will know what blocks our wholeheartedness is to ask the Lord. If we are sincere and attentive, He will show us. He will also give us Scripture to renew our mind with. His truth changes our penchant (a strong or habitual liking for something) from carnal to spiritual.

God’s word brings a shovel of His truth. It will effectively uproot the lies that occupy real estate in our heart which is designed as an investment for His Kingdom work. Let us echo David’s words in Psalm 26:2. He asked, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.”

In another Psalm that he wrote, we find words we can use. Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” He was asking the Lord to give him singleness of heart.

Verse 12 says, “I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.” David’s prayers were all in. Scripture recorded what happened when he let his thoughts wander. He compromised and brought shame on the name of the Lord.

All In

All in means to be fully committed to or involved in something. Deuteronomy 6:5 is an all in verse. It is the foundation that God laid for the children of Israel. It says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

When Jesus quoted it in Mark 12:30 He added, “…with all your mind…” The Strong’s for mind is literally a thinking through. It suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, and the faculty of thought. 

I’ve been thinking about the four words: heart, soul, strength, and mind. They speak of commitment to not compromise. The children of Israel failed in this. They went after other gods, gave their children to marry within the nations God told them to destroy~unfaithful in many ways.

1 Corinthians 10:6 says, “Now these things become our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.” Compromise is the fruit of unbridled thoughts.

Heart~affections. Soul~life. Strength~silent trust in God alone. Mind~seat of our actions. I love David’s words in Psalm 63:8. The Amplified says, “My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.”

Whole being: heart, soul, strength, mind. David spoke to his son Solomon. 1 Chronicles 28:9 Amplified says, “…know the God of your father (have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him) and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind…”

Sharpened To Encourage

Let me use the example of an encourager from the life of Joseph. He shared his dreams from the Lord. They were not received well. Skipping forward he found himself in a prison. Yet he was attentive to those around him.

He noticed when their demeanor changed. Genesis 40:6 says, “And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad.” It was through that encounter that the stage was set for Joseph to step into what God had called him to walk in.

King Artaxerxes noticed there was a difference in Nehemiah’s countenance. In Nehemiah 2:2 he asked, “…Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart…” The Lord used that encounter to set the stage for the work He had called Nehemiah to do.

Colossians 4:6 Amplified says, “Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned (as it were) with salt, (so that you may never be at a loss) to know how you ought to answer anyone (who puts a question to you).”

We never know what a conversation will lead to. Story after story in Scripture bear this out. Proverbs 16:23-24 says, “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”

The insights the Lord gives us in our crucible, sharpen our senses to encourage those who are in their own crucible. We are the recipients that we might in~courage others in their season of need.

A Word In Season

A Word In Season

Years ago I lived in community with two married couples and two singles. Shortly after that five of us gals lived together. Words can encourage or discourage. Living in community allows our hidden flesh to be exposed. It is also the groundwork for mutual encouragement.

Isaiah 50:4 was written about the Lord. Think of it for yourself. It says, “The Lord has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Wearied folks are often discouraged.

We receive our ‘seasoned words’ during our quiet time. It is there that our senses are sharpened, and our ears are opened to receive every whispered word. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” 

We have to be attentive in order to hear. The Lord is our Equipper. He is our Trainer. Hebrews 12:11 says that our trials train us in His righteousness.

Trust ~ Assurance

Our trust is in the Lord. He is our Solid Rock. Read David’s words in Psalm 18:1-2. It says, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

David also wrote Psalm 27. Verse 1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Notice that David’s trust was in Who the Lord is at all times. He never changes.

Our circumstances change constantly. We can be stopped in our tracks in a moment of time. We live in fear because our focus is on ourselves. I froze in fear when I looked down and saw the snake. The Lord was not in my thoughts because I was focused on myself. In truth, we are weak and inert.

Once Paul realized that truth, he was able to rejoice in the Lord’s strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “…most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I want you to picture one strand of long human hair. It can easily be broken. Now see yourself interweaving that hair through the links in a chain. Now let’s go to the first part of the verse. The Lord said, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

We are only able to trust when we recognize and acknowledge that we are weak ~ without Him we can do nothing.

In~Courage

When I think of the word encourage, I see it as inserting courage. When Barnabas brought Saul to the disciples, he inserted courage into their spirits which changed their perspective. They were afraid. When he inserted courage through his words their fear left.

Fear robs us of courage. It paralyzes us. Case in point. Years ago I walked out to the chicken pen to feed them. They were all crowded by the gate. I walked up talking to them but they paid me no mind. I looked down as I put my hand on the latch. There was a snake and I froze in fear.

When God commanded Joshua to be of good courage, He brought strength and courage together. The root to being courageous is knowing that we have God’s strength to face whatever He allows. 

I have read that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say ‘fear not.’ That is one verse per day. I have not looked for them, but it would be a worthy pursuit. Here is one that I have embedded in my heart. Psalm 56:3 says, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

Trust, strength, and courage work together. They are activated when we set our focus on the Lord. Verse 4 says, “In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”

Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trust in Him!”