At The Intersection Of Reflection!

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19 NIV

Having finished the written explication of Psalm 119, I am pausing at the intersection of this journey and reflecting upon what I learned from it.

We (or at least I am) are no different from the writer of hundreds of years ago. We are still in awe of God’s goodness; we still need Him to guide us; we still need to pray-communicate with Him often; we still need to understand He is our salvation from the wicked; we still need to study His Word in order to know how to live and we still need to know how to love–even the unlovable.

One would think that after all this time we would have learned from the mistakes and the history of those who came before us, but unfortunately, we tend to ignore history and keep making the same mistakes and end up on the same path as those who came before us. The lessons we need to learn appear to be a never-ending cycle that is spiraling into the depths of destruction of mankind.

When will we learn? I am convinced I do not have the answer and therefore, I will continue to trust God in all things for my understanding is so limited of His Wisdom, I will never have full understanding of all His ways.

This one thing I do know–I need Jesus–every hour of every day and I will never reach a place in my life that I won’t need Him.

I’m going to continue my reflection at this intersection, seeking His wisdom in His Word to determine where I shall head next on this journey in meditating upon His Word.

May The Lord continue to speak to your hearts, guiding you every step of the way on your own journey to discovering even more of His goodness as we continue to navigate life.

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On The Journey–TAU!

Let my cry come before You, O LORD;
Give me understanding according to Your word.

Let my supplication come before You;
Deliver me according to Your word.

My lips shall utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.

My tongue shall speak of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Let Your hand become my help,
For I have chosen Your precepts.

I long for Your salvation, O LORD,
And Your law is my delight.

Let my soul live, and it shall praise You;
And let Your judgments help me.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
Seek Your servant,
For I do not forget Your commandments. Psalm 119:169-176 NKJV

The 22nd letter and stanza–the last plea in this acrostic poem.

When we veer too far in the wrong direction–trying to be politically correct or to fit in with our contemporaries, do we recognize it and remember God?

Within this last stanza, it appears the writer has engaged in something other than in obeying God’s Word and realizes that he needs to turn back. He’s begging for God to hear him and to give him understanding of His Word. One might think that the enemy the writer has referenced in earlier passages has led him to engage in activities that are not of God. Is this a passage of repentance? Do we react in this manner when  we fall short?

Help us, Lord! Hear us when we call! When do we think God does not hear us? When we have fallen away from doing His Will. I would guess this is a natural human response–when we do wrong and we know it is wrong–we tend to think God won’t hear us and certainly won’t respond. But remember this is a time in which the Holy Spirit was not accessible to everyone who believed.

So, why is it–that those who believe now–find it difficult to understand that God hears us–at all times and He sees what we do–at all times?

“Let my soul live and it shall praise You.” The writer recognizes that it is our soul–our will to determine right from wrong that will be judged for what we do. And he is asking God to let his soul live and his judgment to come now–giving him another chance to get things right.

We are spirit beings, hosted in a physical body, with a soul–that either is full of light or full of darkness. When we die–according to The Word, our spirits go back to God from whom they were given, the body returns to the dust from which it came and our soul awaits judgment. When we cry unto the Lord for help, it is our soul–recognizing the darkness into which we’ve fallen–needing the Light to dispel the darkness so we can see how to do right.

The writer admits he has strayed and is lost. Have we reached that conclusion at some point in our journey–we need His guidance all along the way?

Being lost is never a problem when we can seek direction from a reliable source. There is no source more reliable than God’s Word. For all who are lost–sinking in moral dilemmas or spiritual demise, help is nearer than we think–we simply have to call on Him, repent of those things we know are not of Him, seek Him for understanding of His Word and then live–a life of abundance–according to His Word!

 

On The Journey–SHIN!

Princes persecute me without a cause,
But my heart stands in awe of Your word.

I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.

I hate and abhor lying,
But I love Your law.

Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.

Great peace have those who love Your law,
And nothing causes them to stumble.

LORD, I hope for Your salvation,
And I do Your commandments.

My soul keeps Your testimonies,
And I love them exceedingly.

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies,
For all my ways are before You. Psalm 119:161-168 NKJV

The 21st letter and stanza–acknowledgement, praise and hope in the midst of any trial.

How many times has someone who has authority over us–attempted to misuse their authority and persecute us, simply because we would not conform to doing things their way-in opposition to God’s Word? We were not the first to experience this ploy to get us to be deceitful and dishonest and we won’t be the last.

Whenever anyone expects us to lie or cheat in order to keep a job or to stay in their favor, we should have the same attitude the writer has. We should abhor lying and deceitfulness with a passion and openly denounce it.

Are we in awe of God’s Word enough to keep it–no matter what others do? The more I study and seek God for understanding, the more I realize just how much His Word is so much better than the dictates of man.

In God’s Word–there is Life and Liberty–freedom to live according to God’s Word, knowing we are pleasing God, whether others find fault with us or not.

In God’s Word–there is Justice and Mercy. God’s Word is just–not fair–for His righteousness is just and there is nothing in it we can debate–that will change His intent for our lives. This is why we are constantly reminded in His Word that the wicked shall have their judgment for all the world to see and we are regarded–His righteousness, for we have none of our own.

In God’s Word–there is Love and Grace–God is love and therefore everything He has done, is doing and will do is based upon His love for us. If we follow His commands–to love Him and one another–the world will be filled to overflowing with Love and we shall peace upon the land because of His favor shown towards us.

In God’s Word–there is Peace–His peace that surpasses all understanding. And because we belong to Him, we too can enjoy blessed peace in the midst of chaos and confusion when we live according to His Word.

In God’s Word–there is Light–that overcomes the darkness that hangs as clouds because of the wicked imaginations of those who oppose God. Wherever there is darkness, light dispels it and exposes the deeds of darkness. We cannot hide from God, no matter what we think we can do that He won’t see or know.

In God’s Word–there is healing–for our bodies and for nations under siege–due to differences of opinion and the ravages of war. By His stripes we are healed of illnesses, diseases and with His peace we are healed of frustration and depression over things we cannot control. If those of us who believe Him would simply pray–earnestly–believing He will answer– and repent of our waywardness, He will heal the land.

In God’s Word–there is Truth–for His Word is Truth and His Ways are the true way by which we should live. Whenever God’s Word is not revealed as Truth, peace is disrupted and chaos reigns.

How often we pray to God or communicate with Him on any level is not a matter of prescription or formula, but it should be a way of life for every Believer. I pray throughout the day–thanking God and praising Him for His goodness–and I have no idea how many times I do it; I just do it.

My soul loves Jesus and all my hope is in Him for there is no hope in any other! How about you?

On The Journey–RESH!

Consider my affliction and deliver me,
For I do not forget Your law.

Plead my cause and redeem me;
Revive me according to Your word.

Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Your statutes.

Great are Your tender mercies, O LORD;
Revive me according to Your judgments.

Many are my persecutors and my enemies,
Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies.

I see the treacherous, and am disgusted,
Because they do not keep Your word.

Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.

The entirety of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever. Psalm 119:153-160 NKJV

The 20th letter and stanza–continued recognition of the need to keep God’s Word and awareness of how others fare when they don’t.

When we have the Word hidden in our hearts and have a desire to please God, things change on the inside of us--we are forever mindful of our need for God in our lives and we should be disgusted with the ways of those who live in opposition with God’s Word. Now, “disgusted” is a little strong, but the intent serves a purpose.

Every Believer should be disgusted with sin–when we see it in others and in ourselves. We should hate sin with enough diligence to want to see it eradicated–never to be seen again; but we should never hate the sinner.

How do we separate the sin from the sinner? Sin is an act or action that is contrary to God’s Word; the sinner is the person committing the act. God hates sin and so should we; but He loves the sinner and so should we.

If God hated sinners–where would we be? Lost in our sin–hated and tainted by others. It is God’s mercy, and enduring kindness that has brought us into a knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live–not that we were so good, but that we all–at one time–were headed in the wrong direction. But His love–sees beyond our faults and brings us to a place where we are able to realize our potential–the purpose He has for our lives.

Throughout this Psalm, the writer refers to himself–always in need of God’s direction and grateful for His statues and precepts–understanding His purpose in our lives. And though it appears that the writer is scornful of the wicked, he also intercedes on their behalf when he points out their shortcomings and acknowledges God’s lovingkindness.

What we should not miss is that no matter how many times or ways others tried to destroy him, persecuted him, and taunted him for keeping God’s Word, he stood firm.

Can we say the same? Or do we allow the enemy to entangle us with the deeds of the wicked by responding in kind when we are mistreated? Are we able to rise above the fray in the midst of a torrent of hatefulness directed at us and say, “Lord, I love to keep Your Word?”

I am reminded of the current political climate in which we see more kindergarten attitudes than maturity in the mudslinging. I am so tired of politicians who have no platform–nothing to say about their own strengths, but are always in “attack mode.” If this is the best we can do, Heaven help us all!

And while we wait for His glorious return-we pray-and continue to praise God for His goodness and for loving us enough to bring us into the knowledge of who He is and how He wants us to live.

On The Journey–Qoph!

I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O LORD!
I will keep Your statutes.

I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.

Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.

They draw near who follow after wickedness;
They are far from Your law.

You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are truth.

Concerning Your testimonies,
I have known of old that You have founded them forever. Psalm 119:145-152 NKJV

The 19th letter and stanza–total reliance and trust expressed.

Crying out to God with our whole hearts–expecting Him to hear us and save us from whatever dilemma rises in our lives–should be our stance.

The writer expresses his reliance upon God by acknowledging it is in Him that salvation is possible, that his cries will be heard and that his hope is in Him. While waiting to see God’s response, he meditates upon His Word; he awakens in the middle of the night, meditating upon His Word; and when he rises in the morning, his heart is still focused on God’s Word.

Do we have that kind of hope, reliance and trust in God and in knowing His Word? I would venture to say that the more we know His Word, the greater our reliance becomes upon Him. For when we know God’s Word, we know that it is only because of Him that we can keep going. The more we know–the greater the realization becomes that within ourselves, we have no might and can do nothing, apart from Him.

Perhaps this is why those who don’t believe Him, think they can accomplish anything in their own wisdom, knowledge and might. They are mistaken. They ridicule us when we pray, calling our God–the invisible spaghetti monster and prayer a waste of time. But when the going gets really tough, and they cry out, “O God!” which of their gods do they expect to intercede on their behalf?

Just as the writer expresses, we know that God is always near because we are told in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us. When we call upon Him, He hears us. When we obey His Word, He responds to us. Our faith–total reliance and trust in Him–keeps us focused on His Word and mindful that we have nothing to fear because our God is always near!

We know–from the beginning when God established His statutes that they were intended to be a light in the darkness for all times--guiding us as we navigate life. But His Word can only be a light in our lives when we have understood His purposes for our lives.

Though some think that because they can memorize and quote God’s Word they have accomplished something, if there is no understanding–no comprehension, what have they really accomplished? The enemy knows the Word and knows how to distort it to deceive others. We know because he used The Word to tempt The Word and he failed miserably because Truth will always break the shackles that bind the mind.

 

On The Journey-TSADDE!

Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.

Your testimonies, which You have commanded,
Are righteous and very faithful.

My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words

Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.

I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.

Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights.

The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live

The 18th letter and stanza of this acrostic expression of the writers deep-seated emotions about their circumstances.

When we do everything we can to do what is right, do we get tired when we see our efforts fall short?

This is what I’m getting out of this stanza–the writer knows that God’s laws are right, he’s trying to live by them, but all around them, people are living by their own standards and codes of righteousness. He’s getting tired–of being harassed because of his zeal to do things God’s way, instead of the way people consider to be just.

I’ve often felt that way myself. Not that I’m so perfect, but when I try to live according to God’s Word and then watch all those who don’t–appear to prosper–my flesh gets weak and I want to angry and want to tell people off. However, when Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, I calm down and continue to seek God’s Word, with my mind made up to do things God’s Way.

I know many Believers who have encountered some of the same things I have in this regard–we are criticized, ridiculed, and persecuted because we refuse to go along with the status quo–accept everything everyone does and ignore God. We won’t do it.

Our opposition–or at least mine–has come from two primary sources–those who don’t believe in God and those who promote living in opposition to God’s Word because it is politically expedient.

Though I get weary and spiritually weak in this continuing fight, I won’t give up. I won’t allow those who choose not to Believe, to deter me or dissuade me. They have a right to believe or not believe just as I do. When they choose to cite science as a standard, I know they have forgotten--if they ever knew–that God created all that was ever created and the goal of science is to try to explain–why–science does not create anything from nothing, which is why scientists are yet puzzled by Creation and are forever trying to discover–the how and why. That’s what they do–discover–not create.

On the other hand, I am appalled at Believers–those who proclaim to be Christians or at least know something about The Word–those who encourage living in opposition to God’s Word and promote ungodliness. It is this group that has the most to worry about when they stand before God on That Day. It is because of sin running rampant and approved by Supreme Court Justices and any other legislative body or persons–who refuse to see the benefit of God’s Word as His intent for mankind that the world is in the shape it is.

We must call sin–sin! Liars (and this covers most politicians) are sinners! Thieves–in high places and low places are sinners! All sexual behavior outside the parameters of marriage as God defines it–is sin! Having respect of person (giving people advantages over others for no reason other than association)–is sin! Allowing self-pride–in thinking we know more than we do to reign–is sin and usually leads to problems! When we don’t know something, we should own it, and seek to learn it.

This is what the writer has concluded–without God’s Word to guide him, there can be nothing but chaos and destruction. Have we reached that conclusion? Are we going with the status quo–anything goes? Are we cementing our relationship with the God of Heaven or the god of this world?

We have choices to make–if we haven’t already made them–and I choose to Believe God and live according to His Word--not the dictates of man. What about you?

On The  Journey–Pe!

On The Journey–Pe!

Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts.

Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.

Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. Psalm 119:129-136 NIV

The 17th letter and stanza–an expression of trust and sorrow.

If we look at this stanza and see the heart of the writer, we detect an appreciation for God’s Word and acknowledgment that continued study and meditation upon His Word opens understanding so that even the simple–unlearned person–can understand.

Have we reached that place yet–where we get it–and appreciate God’s love for us in that He has provided the means for us succeed–in spite of what the enemy does or who he influences?

The steps of a good man (person) are ordered by The Lord and He delights in his way (the way he obeys). Psalm 37:23. In the 37th Psalm, the writer acknowledges that God has already ordered the steps of good person and in this Psalm, the writer acknowledges they fall short and need God to direct their footsteps–according to His Word–so sin will not reign in their lives.

Are we there yet? Do we recognize that our steps are indeed–planned by God when we obey His Word?

Considering the rule of the day (historically) by men who chose to be barbaric in their positions to control and oppress people, we can understand why the writer wants to be redeemed–saved from the oppression men tend to burden people with in their religious tyranny.

Religious tyranny is a practice we see all around us–when men think their traditions and rules are more important than God’s Word. The traditional rules governing many religious people have led to people committing suicide and murder in the name of “religion.” Jesus tells us that because of our “traditions” we have made the Word of God of no effect. We need to conduct ourselves–according to God’s Word–and not man’s dictates which change as often as some of us change our underwear. This is the danger of our society–the fickleness of man–not adhering to God’s Word.

Like the writer, tears have flowed down my face on more than occasion if I dare listen to the news. I cry for the children whose parents have been killed. I cry for the parents whose children have been killed. I cry for the masses of people who have lost hope because of religious tyranny and I cry for all of us when we allow government officials to twist God’s Word to accommodate sin. A “twisted” truth is still a whole lie.

It is past time for all who Believe to open their mouths and spread the Gospel or to use social media networks to promote the Gospel. We will be held accountable for what we do and don’t do when it comes to God determining our level of obedience. We can and should use every avenue created to promote the Gospel--especially when we know so much hatred and bigotry are being promoted with the use of social media networks. What the enemy intended for evil, we can turn into something good and Godly.