Updated: Jun 19, 2021
HOW IS IT WITH YOUR SOUL?
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips, when I remember You upon my bed, and meditate on You in the watches of the night; for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
David wrote this Psalm when he was in the wilderness, most likely while fleeing from his son Absalom (which you can read about in 2 Samuel 15). His circumstances were certainly not favorable, yet he speaks of praising God, blessing Him, and finding satisfaction for his thirsty soul. How can this be? David knew that regardless of his surroundings and situations, his soul could be satisfied in God. He looked to God and saw steadfast love that is better than life. He remembered God as his source of help, meditated on Him, and clung to Him. David turned to God in humility and trust. That, dear sister, is how thirsty souls in the wilderness can rejoice, sing, praise, and find satisfaction. So, when we find ourselves in the wilderness, let us not loose heart. Instead, may we follow David's example and turn to the only One who can satisfy. Here's Psalm 63 put into song by Shane & Shane to help us do so:
BEWARE OF FALSE TEACHERS
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Before penning these familiar verses, Paul explains to Timothy "that in the last days there will come times of difficulty" (2 Timothy 3:1). He also writes, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived" (v 12-13).
Ladies, we must acknowledge that there are are indeed false teachers who lead people astray. And so, we must continue growing in our knowledge and understanding of God's word.
It is Scripture that will make us "complete, equipped for every good work" (v 17). The more familiar we are with the truth, the better we will be equipped to discern what is false.
ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER
1 Thessalonians 5:5-11
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
All who put their faith in Christ Jesus are children of light. We do not belong to the darkness because "He (God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Colossians 1:13).
Since we belong to the light, we have a responsibility to live as though we do. We are destined for salvation, our blessed, eternal hope, not for destruction.
And so, let us continue to encourage one another and build each other up, just as Paul instructs us to! It is my ongoing prayer that Rise & Abide Wellness does just that. What a privilege it is for us to point one another to Christ as we journey towards our heavenly home.
OUR OMNIPRESENT GOD
Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to You; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with You.
This passage speaks so beautifully of God's omnipresence. He is present at all times, in all places. There is no where we could possibly go to flee His presence or to hide from Him. Not even darkness is dark to Him. Isn't that amazing?! Surely, there is no one like our God. What is your heart's response to this? Apart from Jesus Christ, this truth is terrifying, for who can stand in the presence of a holy God? (see Psalm 24) Yet, all who put their faith in Jesus have been given the right to become children of God (see John 1:12). We have been cleansed of sin and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and so there is great comfort and joy knowing that our loving Father is always with us. If your heart's response is the former of the two, there is hope. Jesus Christ died in your place so that you can be clean before God. Simply turn to Him and be saved. If it is the latter, then praise the Lord and give thanks to Him.
BEAUTY IN THE EYES OF THE LORD
What does it really mean to be beautiful? While the world would say that it is based on outward appearance, God tells us otherwise. Consider the following verses:
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Proverbs 31:30-31 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. 1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
Does our understanding of what is beautiful and precious line up with God's word? As children of God, we are not to conform to the ways of the world. Rather, we are to let His truth renew our minds.
Sister, in Christ Jesus we are free from the burden of trying to live up to the world's unreachable standards! Let us be women who fear the LORD and who adorn ourselves with imperishable beauty.
DELIGHT IN THE LORD
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.
- Psalm 37:3-5
Our workout devotions this week have been about delighting in God as the Word tells us to do in Psalm 37:4. The sinful nature is inclined to think that if we delight in God, we'll get whatever it is for which we're longing. We could compare this way of thinking with being "nice" so that Santa Claus will bring us what we want for Christmas. However, such ideas do not line up with God's character or His word. Thankfully, God doesn't always give us what we want. Can you think of something you wanted so badly, but didn't get and then down the line you were so grateful that you didn't? I can think of several things I was convinced I "needed" only to later realize how wrong I was. Our loving Father knows what is truly best for us and what will conform us to the image of His Son (which is what we are predestined for, according to Romans 8:29). He knows that temporary things can't provide lasting satisfaction. Only in Him are the deepest longings of our hearts satisfied. As we delight in the LORD, we will get to know Him more intimately and our affections for Him will grow. Soon, we will also find our desires aligning more and more with His. Want to go deeper? Here are some resources on this topic: God Enjoyed - A prayer from The Valley of Vision Enjoying God by Sam Storms - An essay from The Gospel Coalition
DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
- 1 John 2:15-17
Here we have a command for Christian living - "do not love the world or the things in the world" (1 John 2:15).
The word used for "love" in connection to the world is 'agapao' and means "to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing." In reference to "the love of the Father" the word is 'agape,' meaning "affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love."
Seeking pleasure and contentment from things in the world that are passing away indicates an absence of affection for the Father. On the other hand, if we are doing the will of God (i.e. putting our faith and trust in Him), we will abide forever.
Does this convict your heart? It does mine! I can see how I let the things of this world crowd out affection for God. And so I also see my need for Jesus. He alone has perfect love for the Father and He knows that none of us can do God's will on our own.
Sister, let us press on to know and love God ever more deeply! As we taste and see His goodness, our affections towards Him will grow, and our love for the world will fade in comparison.
TASTE AND SEE
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
- Psalm 34:8-10
Have you tasted and seen that the LORD is good? How CAN we taste and see? Well, these few verses offer a few ways - take refuge in Him, fear Him, and seek Him. When we run to Him in our troubles, we find that He is a good, safe shelter. When we fear Him and seek Him, we realize that we are lacking no good thing as He provides for our deepest needs and heart desires. Psalm 34 is one of my favorites. I encourage you to read it in its entirety. I'm confident that in so doing you will taste and see that He is good. When you do, let me know what goodness you discovered!
THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do you ever wonder if you are in God's will? I do! Praise God that this passage gives us a way to find out.
Are we rejoicing always? Praying without ceasing? Giving thanks in all circumstances? The point here doesn't have to do with specific life situations, but the attitude and overflow of the heart. Regardless of circumstance, we are called to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. We certainly can't do this in our own strength, but because Jesus is alive and seated at the right hand of God, we aren't left to ourselves! As we abide in Christ and depend on Him, we are strengthened by grace to obey. And as the hymn says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." May we look to Jesus, let the things of earth grow dim, and find ourselves living out the will of God as expressed in these verses.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3-5
What blessed hope we have in Jesus Christ our Lord! Because He paid the penalty for our sin and defeated death through His resurrection, we can be born again. This is good news that never gets old. It is good news that we need to hear again and again as a means of transformation by the renewal of our minds (see Romans 12:2). May our hearts be filled with awe and worship as we celebrate the glorious victory of Christ Jesus.
I pray you were blessed by this post!
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