Stirred, not Shaken

Psalm 125: 1

Those who trust the Lord are like Mount Zion, which can never be shaken. It remains firm forever.

We need to hear this today. It is a good dose of encouragement and reinforcement. As we keep our trust in the Lord, we cannot be shaken. We shall remain firm forever. Does that encourage your heart today?

Trusting in God means we remind ourselves of what He has said instead of casually letting thoughts run through our minds. It also means correcting our thinking. If your mind (or mouth) says something which is not inline with the Word of God, you can arrest it instantaneously and replace it with the language of God. For example, “I feel sick.” That may be true but what does the Word say. It says you are healed so you change your thinking and put your trust in God and His word. So now it sounds like this, “I may feel sick, but God sent His Word and healed me and by His stripes, I am healed.” You can always articulate that trust too. “I don’t feel well but I trust the Lord will restore me to full health. I trust His healing power is at work in my body right now!”

Of course, this is applicable in every aspect of life, not just our health. When beset by worry or frustration, you can shift gears and get back onto the trust train. Picture Yahweh on His throne or with His hand on the wheel. What visualization reminds you that you have not been abandoned or forgotten? Get that image fixed in your mind and call it up whenever your trust seems to be slipping. Remind yourself about God’s great love and power and stand firm in His grace. Then you will be like Mount Zion. You will not be shaken.

Trust Dividend

Romans 5: 2       NLV

By putting our trust in God, He has given us His loving-favor and has received us. We are happy for the hope we have of sharing the shining-greatness of God.

What good news this is. When we invest our trust in God, we open our own path to happiness and His favor. I want you to see this verse from the Passion Translation as well, “Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!” I like this guarantee, don’t you, a guarantee of His marvelous kindness and a perfect relationship with God. Really, what more could we want or need?

Our faith gives us access to a perfect relationship with God. Our trust in Him yields His favor and we have the promise that He receives us. Knowing that we are received and accepted by God is a huge thing. Many people live their whole lives awaiting their parents’ approval. We have our Father’s acceptance. His acceptance is that He receives us to Himself. We are part of Him, part of His family and we have the joy of sharing the glory of God with Him. I love how this verse states it, “sharing the shining-greatness of God.” Wow!

We aren’t orphaned children who have been let into the feast. We are His own pride and joy. He welcomes us in and makes us part of the celebration. The key to sharing the bright, shining glory of God’s presence is trust. We invest our trust in Him and He receives us, pouring out His “loving-favor” upon us. The favor of God is a great thing but to appreciate that His favor is colored by love makes it even more grand. His light and love are our inheritance. Actually, they are the reward, or the dividend on our investment of trust. I used to talk about “radical trust.” Maybe it is time to think on that again. What does radical trust look like? Pour out your heart to God. Bathe in His bright, shining glory and enjoy being His own beloved.

Trust

Proverb 3: 5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

This scripture was brought to my mind recently and I saw it in a new light. Trusting the Lord is a favorite theme of mine both in my ministry and in my own personal life. I have a personal saying that I wish to walk in “radical trust in the Lord.” And sometimes I have been that deep in my trust, but I find it is a difficult place to stay. The world rushes in; my own thoughts take me captive and the next thing I know, I have let my trust slip.

This proverb points out how complete our trust in the Lord is to be. When we trust the Lord with our whole heart, rather than only part, then there is no room for any other emotion at all. There is no room for even one seed of doubt or one micro-ounce of fear. There is no questioning how He is going to provide the answer we need because we have completely abandoned the problem to Him. When we really trust the Lord with all our heart, then trust is all there is. All of your heart, all of your emotion, all of your thoughts are of easy reliance on our God and Father.

Read this verse again today, for the first time. Read it with emphasis on the word all. Picture a human heart and imagine yours completely full of trust. See that there is no room for doubt or fear. Let yourself feel that immersive trust welling up from inside of you and overcoming you entirely and enjoy a new level of trusting the Lord.

Reliance

1 Timothy 6: 17          GW

Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

This is one of the greatest challenges of wealth, trusting in it rather than trusting in God. This is the story of the rich, young ruler. Jesus invited him to join the team but instructed that first he should go sell what he had and give to the poor. That is where the young ruler stumbled.

Has God ever asked you to give something away? Did you stumble? If so, why do think it was hard for you. I find some of us become very connected to our “stuff.” Others of us find our security in those items. Sometimes we hang on to things because we do not trust that we will have the resources for a later need. That is a sure indication that we are relying on our ability to meet our needs. Trusting in riches can be a problem for people who have wealth, but it can also hamper those without much money. The same reliance issue affects people in each group.

There is also a group who think they are safe and secure because they have money. They don’t realize that the only true security any of us have is in Yahweh. Everything else is transitory. These are the folks who can become arrogant in their wealth. They feel untouchable because they think money can insulate them from problems. It certainly can help fix some problems, but it often brings on others.

If our reliance is on the money we have or even in the money we hope to have, eventually we will be disappointed. As Christians, we need to learn to lean on God 100% rather than relying on our ability to generate an income or to meet our own needs. We should learn to sow generously expecting God to increase our harvest. We can learn to listen to his guidance on money management and disbursement. It is a challenge but one each of us should ponder. How much do you rely on God versus placing your confidence in riches? Think about that question and decide if you need a shift in your focus.

Let Go, Know God

Psalm 46: 10        GW

Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God.

Yesterday I used today’s verse in making a broader point. Today I want to take you into it more in depth. Yesterday I used the NLT version of Psalm 46: 10 which says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” In order to see God’s hand manifested in our lives, we have to be still, quiet and allow Him to be God. Without the benefit of stillness and quiet, it is challenging to hear God.

Another very important aspect of being still is letting go of our worry and putting our trust in Him. It really is a package of trust that allows God to be active in our lives. Doubt shuts Him out. Our worry and keeping our hand in things interferes with God showing up in our lives.

Yahweh God respects our free will very highly. He absolutely will not violate your right to make choices. That also means, though, that He will not step into your business and take over, even if it would be good for you. He knows that would be dysfunctional and that He needs to let you choose for yourself. Therefore, you have to invite Him into your business. He will gladly advise you but only when you allow His participation. If you pray for His help and then lean on your own strength, you are pushing Him out. He wants us to let go of those concerns, turning them completely over to Him.

As you think about this verse, especially as seen from the two different translations, I think you will gain a keen perspective on how to let God be Lord in your life. You may see ways you have restricted Him in the past. Living in Him and with Him means intertwining with Him in every aspect of your life and even every aspect of His. As you release your concerns to Him, He will increasingly minister answers to you. Remember to quiet yourself down and listen for His voice. As He speaks advice, do as He says. You are going to see some fabulous and interesting changes in your life.

Relaxation

Psalm 28: 7

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him.

This is a great model for showing us how to live with God’s active presence in our lives. We put our full trust in Him which allows Him to work in our lives. The result is that we are helped. The next thing that happens is that in our joy and gratefulness, we praise Him. Now that is how the Christian life is supposed to work.

Don’t spend all of your time crying and whining about your problems. Instead, take them to the Lord in full trust. Trust Him to be your strength and shield in every situation. Give the problem to Him fully. Then relax. When you do that, you give God room to work in your life. You have to let go in order for Him to be able to take over. But wait! Your job is not over when the solution comes. Your part of problem solving is praising the Lord who works on your behalf. Just spend your days praising and thanking him instead of in travail over all the challenges that meet you. Tell Yahweh that you know those problems to be His concern rather than yours and that you are going to praise Him all the days of your life. Trust Him. You are going to be amazed how much easier life can be.

Battle Strategy

Psalm 59: 16 – 17

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my strength, I will sing praises to You; for God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

You may need to read the beginning of this psalm to get the full thrust of these last two verses. The backstory is familiar. Saul was in relentless pursuit of David. Saul’s men surrounded, besieged and attacked David and his men. Day and night, there were spies, sneak attacks and ambushes. David tells of the trials and persecutions through the first fifteen verses. At the end he says, “but as for me . . ..” In these last two verses, David reveals his battle plan.

No matter what the enemy’s tactics were; regardless of being outnumbered, trapped or under siege, the battle plan David employed was praise and complete confidence in our Lord. David’s confidence wasn’t just something he held in his breast, though. His faith in the Father was boldly declared from his lips. That is one thing which distinguished him from every other. Perhaps other people thought God was a stronghold and deliverer, but David made a career of proclaiming it.

How about you? Are your words like David’s? Perhaps we too can turn the tide with our words. You know the end of the story. God removed Saul from the throne and installed David in his place. As I have studied David’s life, I noted his continual boasting in the Lord. I think his success was tied to his proclamation. While others count their soldiers and array their weaponry, David installed his stronghold. His plan involved the power of the Almighty, his strategy relying on the promises of his Lord.

It seems, then, that David didn’t have anything we don’t have. That is what makes his story so attractive. We can do what he did. We can love the Lord and trust in His prowess as David did and enjoy the same success. The strategy that prevailed for David will work for us too. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and soul. Lean on Him and His understanding. Make joyful praise to the Lord and let His power arise in your battles.