Tag Archives: Christian

Changing Desires: Psalm 37

Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 http---www.pixteller.com-pdata-t-l-485577

I’ve heard, read, and taken a lot of hope from these verses over the years, but this summer is the first time I really started to understand what it would look like to truly RECEIVE the desires of my heart. Especially if the desires of my heart weren’t…exactly…what I thought…the desires of my heart….were.

God knows what I truly want even more than I do.

God knows me better than I know myself.

That’s hard to admit.

I want to believe I know myself. I want to believe I am in control of myself. I want to believe that at 31 I am the kind of person who is fully comfortable in her own skin, and then I stop to think…do I really know myself?

I say something like “I would never  do that, say that, be that.” And then this thing called life happens. Emotion happens. And I do that. I say that. I am that. And I wonder…what got into me? How could I have done those things when I thought I would never, ever do it? What got into me? But it wasn’t necessarily what got into me, but something that was already there just waiting to come out under the right circumstance. A ‘me’ that I didn’t know at all.

Because even though I think I know myself, I don’t. So what I think I want, what I think is best for me, really may not be in my best interest at all. God knows what I truly desire even before I understand it and what will make me soul happy. Really, truly deep down soul happy. But until I truly start communing with God on a regular basis and developing our relationship so that I am SICK in love with HIM our two understandings will not match up. WHEN THEY DO, that’s when he will give me the desires of my heart—because the desires of my heart will BE in LINE with WHO HE IS.

This hit me like a two by four falling from the sky while I was having my much needed alone introvert refreshes in Slovakia.

I was outside watching the Slovak and Americans play Ultimate Frisbee and they were laughing and high fiving and calling out to each other in English and Slovak, communicating in ways that overcame language barriers and reached down into a deeper connection. That connection that people make when they realize that eternity can’t separate the because they are bonded by an agape love that surpasses anything we can comprehend here on Earth. I was sitting on a bench, watching this unfold and God showed me that my heart desires had changed on a soul level. What I though I always wanted, wasn’t what I wanted any longer.

His desires for me became my desires for me.

Now these are my heart desires, so as much as I love ya’ll I’m not going into detail on this blog, but this moment was powerful. I knew that God was showing me something important, but also that timing wasn’t quite right yet, because the rest of the psalm is clear too–

Desires are not granted like wishes from a genie. You must WAIT, BE STILL, and TRUST in the Lord.

Because delighting ourselves in the Lord, interestingly, becomes one of the desires of our heart the longer we do it! And we fulfill this promise just by obeying his commands. And to me…well, that’s pretty cool.

Strongholds: Psalm 27-28; 30-31 (My journey through Psalms)

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Many of us struggle with different strongholds in our lives–sometimes we don’t even realize they’ve become a stronghold until something rather significant knocks us on our rear-end and we’re left staring up at the sky wondering what happened. When all along, it wasn’t what happened at that moment, but what had been festering inside us all along, growing stronger. Something we simply chose not to deal with, or thought we could ignore, or believed wasn’t a big deal. Or worse, thought we could handle on our own.

But strongholds are, in fact, strongholds because we CAN’T handle them on our own and until we hand them over to Jesus and make him the ONLY stronghold in our life (Psalm 27:1), we’ll continue to lay on our backside staring at the sky and wondering.

So why do we hold on to strongholds like bitterness, pride, fear, anger, lust, all these things that bring so much pain?

I think it’s because despite the pain, it has become comfortable. Letting go is scary. It’s like in an action-adventure movie where the hero and heroine are hanging off of some kind of cliff or something and swinging back and forth. You can tell at any moment the hero is going to lose his grip and drop the woman into the pit, but then he says ‘do you trust me’? and the woman is sitting there, hanging over that pit thinking ‘dude, I just met you, why on Earth do you think I would trust you?’ But she really doesn’t have any choice. And in that moment she knows he is going to let her go and she has to decide if she trusts him enough to let go or if she wants to hang on–in pain, but where she still feels the comfort of being held.

Inevitably, when the hero lets her go, she falls to some safe little nook. Like it was made just for her in this time of crisis, but if she had held on she might have fallen straight into the pit.

Our strongholds are the same way. We want to hang on because it seems like that is safe. It’s what we know, but if we keep holding on we’re going to fall into the pit. If we let go and let God drop us into a nook of grace, that’s where true grace begins to change and envelop us.

That is not to say that Christians don’t struggle with strongholds. Believe me, they do. And sometimes they’re holding on just as tight as the next guy. BUT the difference is the ultimate STRONGHOLD is there to BREAK the defenses of these other things (Psalm 28:1). And even if we do fall into the pit, he is there to pull us back out again. Because he is always willing to redeem us. It’s all a part of his infinite mercy and grace.

So, do you trust him? Then LET GO!

 

Forgetting our Fears Psalm 24-26

My niece is very profound. The other day she was talking to her mom and spouted some profound theology.

“So Mom, I was thinking about what you read about people wanting to stay in darkness and I thought why would they want to do that? Then I thought about how when you first wake up and the light hurts your eyes. I think they are scared to go because it hurts a little. We have to help them see that the light is better after you get used to it.”

Bailey is only six years old, but she understands human nature better than some people who have PhDs in psychology. In the end it all boils down to giving in to our fears or overcoming them with righteous and divine guidance

The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. For He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Psalm 24:1

There is a reason why the most common command in the Bible is “FEAR NOT”. We often allow our fears to keep us from becoming our GENUINE selves.

Guard my life and rescue me, do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. Psalm 25:20

Unfortunately tough we may forget form time to time, life isn’t about us. We live in a narcissistic, self-promoting society, but that’s not who we are made to be and it’s amazing how many of our fears would melt into obscurity if we would deny ourselves and focus on what we were truly created to become.

My feet stand on level ground, in the great congregation I will praise the LORD. Psalm 26:2

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Preparing our Own Tables: My Journey through Psalms (23)

Our pastor did a sermon on Psalm 23 a few weeks ago and he said something that I’ve been really turning over in my mind ever since.

“The hallmark of the human race is that we prepare a table for ourselves.”

There is truth in that comment, more than I’d like to admit, but even more than truth there is a valuable lesson.

Psalm 23 is familiar–especially if you grew up in church. So familiar you may even take it for granted, roll your eyes a little and say ‘oh that one. Its for little kids to say in Sunday school or at bed time. It’s not for me. I’m learning about Levitical law now because I’m a grown up.”

I have nothing against Levitical law, but there is definitely more to Psalm 23 than a bedtime prayer. Like when you grow up and realize “Ring Around the Rosies” is actually about Bubonic Plague. There is MORE to it. Words are Powerful, so God’s WORD will ALWAYS have something more to say.

And here is where my insight begins.

Psalm 23 has awesome verbage.

He MAKES me…
He LEADS me…

He REFRESHES my…

He GUIDES me…

I am not meant to do the hard work here. The only action verb really attribute to me is “walk”, “not fear” and “dwell”–far less controlling than the action on the part of the Lord.

You PREPARE…

You ANOINT…

We want so badly to be in control of our own lives. To what end? For comfort? For protection?

How ironic. We want control for the same things relinquishing control to God will give us.

And if you think about it. I mean truly think about it. Who is better equipped to prepare a table before your enemies anyway? The creator of the universe…or you?

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VICTORY is Mine: My journey through Psalms (20-22)

 

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. – Psalm 20:4

Sometimes you just have GOOD days. Yesterday was one of those amazing days that might be a little weird, but it’s just genuinely a good day and you feel overwhelmingly loved and honored by God.

The last day of school is always a nice day, because let’s face it, everyone is ready for a break by the time it finally rolls around. I had only one final exam left to give and I knew my students would do fairly well on it, so the morning was shaping up to be pleasent enough, but it only got better when after the exam one darling girl thanked me for being a good teacher and asked me to never lose my passion.

I have not felt all that passionate for the last couple of years. I still enjoy my job, but I don’t have the same spark I had as a new teacher. Let’s be honest, life happens and as it does our passion sometimes wanes. So the fact that she still sees a passion in me despite the fact that I sometimes feel  little a full pencil gives me a lot of hope that the spark is still there!

Then I had the opportunity to get to know another student and really talk to her during the next block. We had not had the opportunity to speak much before so I saw this as a real blessing.

When the power went out…well that seemed like a real bummer. And it was. But, in a lot of ways that turned out to be a real blessing too–despite some of the headaches it caused.

You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. –  Psalme 21: 2

In the dark I decided to read my class surveys. And that’s where the light really began to shine and my tears began to fall. Students are much kinder on these things than I usually expect, but this year especially in the comment section I had some delightful things.

-What was your favorite thing about this class? The instructor
– What can the instructor do to improve? Nothing she’s perfect

Okay I’m not perfect, but they’re super sweet to say so. But the one that sent me into teats was the student who thanked me for understanding her not only as a student but as an individual and teaching her that she is loved in the world. Okay yes I am crying now even as I am typing because I may have questioned my calling more than once in my life but it is moments like these that confirm I made the right choice.

No one should ever have to question that they are loved and if I can teach that, then hell, I’ll call it a successful year for sure.

They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it! – Psalm 22: 31

God has won so many victories for me this year. I look back and see how far we have come together and I am just in total awe of him. As I move forward in studying his word and becoming more the person I know he designed me to be I hope I always remember that he is at the helm–because when God is for us, who can be against us.