Peaceful Ease

Proverb 3: 23 – 24

Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

This is a picture of what Christian life should be. It is a life of peace, tranquility and security. The fully realized Christian is able to lie down and sleep in peace because there is no fear or worry. They enjoy sweet sleep. Good sleep alone is a reason this verse is attractive, but I really like the picture it paints of a whole life lived in peace.

One cannot help but think of the Hebrew word Shalom. It is perfect peace. Shalom is not the same as tranquility. We use peace to mean calmness, quiet and serenity. In the Hebrew mindset those are the result of Shalom. When you have God’s kind of peace, serenity and those other things are the byproducts.

The image this verse conjures for me is one of quiet confidence. The person in this verse walks with the Lord from the moment she awakens and continues through the day. Of course she can place her foot securely as she walks her daily path. She is walking hand in hand with God, led by Him.

This verse is about embracing wisdom and understanding. Peace, ultimate, unfathomable peace is the result. Embracing wisdom and understanding means we don’t walk in the light of our own brilliance but in the glory of God’s insights and wisdom. This does have its challenge because it means we must pause to check in with Him. We must begin first thing in the morning getting our hearts and minds aligned in and with Him and then continue in that flow all day. It is the absolute best and most enjoyable way to live but it does not come automatically. We have to dedicate the time and invest the discipline to check in with our Father at the start of the day. This can be a challenge but that is the challenge I hope to encourage you to accept.

Walking in perfect peace, knowing that where you are about to place your foot is good solid ground is a joy. It comes with the Father’s perfect peace, Shalom. All things are as they should be, everything in its proper place. Your steps are divinely ordered, and your heart resides in ease. When you lie down, your sleep is sweet and your dreams, divine. This is the inheritance of the saints.

Sheltering in Place

Psalm 57: 1       NLT

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.

Did you know God has wings? I didn’t. I never thought about it until now though I have read these passages many times. When you picture Him, do you picture Him with wings?

Have a look at Psalm 36: 7, “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings,” (NIV). God’s wings are a place of refuge for people. One translation says, “All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings,” (NLV). Not only is He a place of shelter of refuge but this inn is open to all humanity. This shows God’s great, unfailing love as well as His compassion and understanding. He has spread His wings for all humanity to seek shelter in Him. I cannot help but find the play on words interesting as we constantly discuss “sheltering in place.” He is the shelter in which we should hide ourselves until the danger passes.

I am reading a story about a dragon rider and his dragon. They were on a long journey through the wilderness. At night the dragon would cover her rider with her wings. The rider was safe and dry under the protection of those wings. As I read, I could feel the comfort of looking up and seeing the shelter of the wing. That is what made me begin to understand the security of our Father covering us with His wing. We are safe and secure as He shields us from the dangers of the world.

Ask yourself, “How does one hide beneath the shadow of God’s wings or how does one take refuge in the shadow of His wings?” Is this something we do in prayer, meditatively, by the confession of our mouths or in our hearts?” How did David run into the strong tower of God’s protection? I ask you because that was very real for David. The threat to his personal safety was very real so he needed a very real solution. It was neither an ethereal nor a hypothetical question for David. He was saved time and time again by hiding himself in the refuge of God’s care.

This is the part I can answer for you. God is there with you right now. He has His wings extended as an invitation to enter into the shelter of His protection. His love and concern for you are very real to Him and He has you on His mind at this very moment. However, it is clear from these verses and others that David, as well as other writers, were the actors in the passages. They were the ones who hid themselves in the refuge of God. They sheltered themselves under the shadow of His wings. God didn’t kidnap them and put them in the safety of His shelter. We must run into His embrace. So, run – run to your Father. Hide yourself under His wing and stay there until the danger has passed.

If this devotion has helped you, will you forward it to someone else? Most everyone you know needs some comfort right now. Thank you.

Good Sleep

Psalm 4: 8

I fall asleep in peace the moment I lie down because you alone O Lord, enable me to live securely.

This psalm is titled, “Evening Prayer of Trust in God.” That is a sermon unto itself. This is a good way to end the day, but it also makes me think of bookending my day with a companion prayer in the morning.

I hear two promises in today’s verse. First, there are the obvious trust expressions. David rested in the security that he had in the Lord. He was so convinced of the Father’s protection that he could lie down and sleep without fear. Of course this is from a man who was hunted so it is a loud representation of trust he enjoyed in the Lord.

The second promise is one of sleep. This passage is literally about the trust David had in the Lord’s protection. None the less, I pull this first phase about sleep out separately because I believe it is a promise from my Father to me. I have had trouble going to sleep all my life. As a child, I used to play music at night to help me fall asleep. I even tried singing myself to sleep once. Now, I have a promise from my father that I lie down in peace and fall asleep the moment I lie down.

Theologically, you have to deal with the context of David’s message. His message is that he can fall asleep easily and quickly because he knows the Father protects him. When I saw this passage, though, the Father quickened in my heart that I can have this and use this as a sleep passage, apart from trust issues. If I have any qualms about that at all, I can take it to Him in prayer. I can also journal it.

That is a big lesson about understanding of scripture and its use. We must begin with the passage in its context. We can’t just rip sentences out of context and retain the meaning. We can, however, rely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit quickens something to your spirit you can see and appreciate nuances from the original text and assumptions. It is okay to follow where the Holy Spirit leads. In this case, there is an implication that David has no trouble sleeping apart from the potential of enemies disturbing his sleep. That is the issue he answers in his faith statement.

Also, the Spirit will always confirm the Word to you and if you are unsure, you can always ask him to confirm it. He is the Spirit of revelation. The Father wants to reveal Himself to you. There is life and joy in the Word and much richness. Dive into it and enjoy His feasts.

Security

Psalm 16: 1

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

In this verse I think you can hear the absolute trust David had in the Lord. He seems to have reached a place in his life where God had filled every facet of his life. The Lord became his refuge and his protection. David does not sound the least bit concerned over his safety because he has given the task of his protection completely to God. He has absolute faith that God will keep him secure and safe. Whatsmore, he has come to the place where he is blessed beyond measure but knows that all of the good of his life is the gift of the Lord. He is secure in every part of his life. There is no worry. David certainly had his share of trouble but he learned to turn it over to God and trust Him fully. We, as fellow believers, get to glimpse David’s life and his relationship to the Father. As we do, we see the heights to which we can attain in our fellowship with the Lord. Let the fullness of revelation fill you and then determine that you will know the maker fully as well as David did. Let God be your all in all.

Preserved

Psalm 31: 23 – 24

O love the Lord, all you His godly ones! The Lord preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord.

This verse reminds me of Psalm 23 where it reads, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me.” What an amazing statement. God will sustain you, protect you and preserve you no matter what kind of situation you walk through. He will be with you even in your darkest day. He is not going anywhere without you. So even though you walk through some scary times and places, you can have confidence. You are secure in his care. Be strong, take courage, you are not alone. You have an attentive father who also happens to be the most powerful being in the universe as your right hand guard. Take heart. You are okay.

Fearless

Psalm 112: 8           (NIV)

His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

This is just one of the benefits that belong to the person who reveres the Lord. We are supposed to come into a place within our faith that we no longer fear those who strive against us. Our hope and our trust are in Him, our Lord and provider. In Him is victory. In Him is peace, the kind of peace that makes us secure regardless of the circumstances. We can come into a place wherein our thoughts of Him and our faith in Him are bigger than any other person or thing we encounter. We only have to keep our eyes glued on Him and His word and speak His words instead of the doubt of this world.

Abide Securely

Proverb 3: 23 – 24

Then you will walk in your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid.

Those two verses contain some very nice promises. I imagine that every person would greatly desire the security and steadiness spoken of in those two short verses. They really include a rather large promise. But the first word of the passage indicates that there is something which precedes this divine security. The entire third proverb is about wisdom and Verse 21 tells what leads a person to this specific kind of protected existence. We are directed to pursue wisdom and understanding and specifically to keep sound wisdom and discretion. By wisdom, God created all the heavens and earth. By them, we live in His secure place. We are to live a discrete life, following God’s wisdom and his ways. Wisdom is found by those who seek her. She is found through the pages of his word and meditation therein. Nothing can replace the time we individually spend with God’s word. He is His word and He reveals Himself to us in these pages. Seek wisdom for she will guard your way and be a lamp unto your feet. You will live in peace and comfort.