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Not Moved By Circumstances

There’s a difference between knowing in your head that God’s able to be your rock, salvation, defense, provision, refuge, strength, and etc. . . and standing firm in that knowledge no matter what your circumstances look like.  I turn to the Psalms a majority of the time when I am stressed out or my circumstances are not so hot.  David went through a lot of trials and he is a good example on how to vent your emotions and then declare what the Lord says over your circumstances.  David also shows us how not to be swayed in the wind by every single thing that happens to us and around us.  Even when the thing happening to us originated with someone close to us.

Here is the first two verses of Psalm 62:

Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.” (NKJV)

The I shall not be “greatly” moved, to me, is like saying I am really bothered by this but I will not let it wreck me.  It’s the knowing in your head that God is for you.  Biblical scholars believe that King David wrote Psalm 62 during the time of his son Absalom’s rebellion (Beginning in II Samuel 15).  I can see how the first few verses could be written during the events of II Samuel 15:13-14:

Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”  So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” (NKJV)

This beginning of this Psalm is David’s way of convincing himself that God is still for him and not against him.  It’s David remembering what God had done and in his head asking, “God’s still for me, right?”

Later in II Samuel 15:25-29, David tests that theory by sending the Ark of Covenant back to Jerusalem.

Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”  The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.  See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.” (NKJV)

It is then, I believe that David chose to stand and declare “I WILL WAIT RIGHT HERE FOR THE LORD AND I WILL NOT BE MOVED BY THIS!”  It’s when his head knowledge became practical and he decided to stand no matter what.  Believing that God would defend him.  Then David wrote verses 5-7:

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.” (NKJV)

David continued on with verse 8, reminding all of us that we can fully trust God at all times.  No matter the circumstances.

“Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.” (NKJV)

God did deliver David from Absalom’s rebellion and he continued to rule the people for the rest of his life.

I Shall Not Be Moved

I know that I haven’t done Musical Monday in a while, so today I’m going to give you a two-fer.  One is old school and the other is a few years old and my on-going theme song.

Old school classic:  I Shall Not Be Moved sung by Mr. Johnny Cash.

This song is sourced from Psalm 1 and/or Jeremiah 17 (which quotes Psalm 1). Biblical scholars believe that this Psalm was written to Rehoboam from his father, Solomon, as he was about to succeed him as king.  It warns Rehoboam to choose God’s way, and what will most likely happen to him if he does not.  Solomon had been led astray by several of his wives and he did not want his son to repeat his errors.

I am a big fan of the Prophet Jeremiah’s flare so here’s Jeremiah 17:5-8 NKJV:

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Your bonus song is my theme song.  I know I’ve posted it before, but like I said, it’s my theme song.  So here is the lovely Ms. Natalie Grant singing I Will Not Be Moved.

Like everything else, you choose how you react to things.  Choose to be still and know that He is God, even if Monday is attempting to take you down.  Choose to remain planted in His promises.

Love, like fashion, is a choice.

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”  Colossians 3:14 NLT

Every day you go to your dressers, closets, or wardrobes and choose something to wear.  It is the same with love.  God’s love is there every day, but you choose whether or not you receive it.  There are people around you every day, and you have the choice whether or not you will love them.

Love is not a feeling.  Love is an action verb.  Love, like fashion, is a choice.

Just like you are the one who decides to put on a tie with your shirt or scarf with your outfit, you choose to wear love every day.  You are in control of how you treat the people who annoy you, entertain you, need you, boss you, care about you, or happen to pass by you in the hall every day.  You can choose to blow up.  You can choose to be rude.  You can choose to be unkind.  Or you can choose to react in love.  So love, like fashion is a choice.

God, The Creator, designed love to be worn every day.  Will you choose to clothe yourselves in this ultimate fashion accessory every morning?

Gift of Peace

“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV

Jesus’s peace does not mean having zero issues! His peace is a trust that allows you to rest, knowing God is for you even when there are issues. This peace is a gift. Like all other gifts, it only needs to be received and used.

Peace is a gift.  Trust is a choice.

Awe and Wonder

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
-Albert Einstein

Today I realized that I can be amazed every single day. Awe and wonder is literally a lifestyle choice. I can choose to look for and experience joy in the everyday. I can choose to expect miracles. I can choose to say, “Father God, what awesome and wonderful things do you have planned for us today?”

I am the only one who determines how I receive from God and perceive the world around me! Only I have the power to decide whether I embrace the awe and wonder of life or whine and complain about it. I am all powerful in how I choose to react.

I know the faith walk ain’t for sissies. Believing God when all the evidence points against it is difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt and disappointed. But that’s exactly the time to look for awe and wonder in your life. That’s when you need to choose to expect good!

Why do you think Jesus called those little bitty kiddos the greatest in Matthew 18?

Think about it? Little kids just believe, and they walk around amazed by everything they see. Everything is new and exciting. That’s exactly what childlike faith looks like. That is what pleases and impresses Jesus.

What if today you expected awe and wonder? What if you went around knowing that our Father has good surprises for you everyday, hidden amongst the ordinary and mundane? What if you truly believed God is for you and not against you? What if today you just believe that God loves you? What if you just received His love like a toddler being picked up and cradled by their daddy?

I will leave you with this…the Greek word “know” in Romans 8:28 actually means to see therefore to know. It is connected to the word optomai (op’-tom-ahee), which means to gaze at something with wide open eyes, as at something remarkable. It means to be amazed by what you’re seeing. This isn’t a factoid to put in your knowledge bank, it is something you witness and are blown away by.

“And we stare long in amazement,in complete wonder, that the Creator of everything loves us so much that He causes everything in our (those loving and living for Him) lives to work together for our good benefit.” Romans 8:28 Jill Translation

Setting Your Mind is Deliberate

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2

Since I have a very vivid imagination, the smallest thing can send my thoughts spiraling. When that small thing is negative, my world comes to a crashing halt. I get nothing accomplished. I get cranky. I don’t want to talk to people, and will send even my closest friends straight to voice mail. Not a good thing.

It is essential for me to be very deliberate about what I choose to meditate on. It’s why I start praying as soon as my eyes open. It’s why I seek God right away in the morning so that my day gets started with Him in mind. The days that I don’t are harder for me.

Colossians 3:2 tells us that we need to “Set our minds on things above”. To set your mind means to direct your thoughts to a thing, to seek, to strive for. Setting your mind is deliberate. It’s a choice. Just because a negative thought enters your mind does not mean that you have let it take up residence in your mind or throw it a party. You decide what to meditate on. To meditate just means that you focus your thoughts on something, i.e. setting your mind.

Make the decision to set your mind today because your perspective really is everything. How you see yourself today will determine your future.

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right and pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8