January 24, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO ORDER MY STEPS

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Did you know that everything is built the same way? Everything is built one step at a time. Houses are built that way, bicycles are assembled that way, and even cakes are baked that way. When it comes to putting something together, many of us have tried at times to skip steps, discard instructions, and jump ahead because of our impatience. We all know how that turned out. We learned that there was a reason and purpose for every step. The same principle applies to God’s will. We just cannot skip steps with God.

This verse does not say the giant leaps or strides of a good man are ordered by the Lord. God specifically says “steps”. It is wonderful that God does not require from us more than we are able to do. Some of us cannot always grow giant leaps at a time, but every one of us can take the next step. We do not get saved one day, and the next day morph into some spiritual stratosphere. God builds us one step at a time.

Note, the verse does say the steps of a “good man”. The Hebrew word used here means “a valiant man or warrior”. So this verse is referring to an individual that desires to be a servant or soldier of God. This is a person that wishes to take his or her orders or commands from God Himself. This is a rare type of individual. Most of us do not really like taking orders from anyone. Of course, because of that, we also have the tendency to take some really ignorant “steps”. When an individual takes a step that God has directed them to take, it is always the right step. As we all know, right steps take us to the right places, and wrong steps take us to the wrong places.

Finally, notice in this verse that this “good man”, who follows orders from God, doesn’t just obey, but enjoys doing so. He delights in God’s way. I have always been taught that obedience with the wrong attitude is the same as disobedience. A valiant man receives his orders from God, and cannot wait to do it.

Is that you, today? Is that me, today?

May our prayer be, “God, tell me the next step, and I will be glad to take it!”.

January 23, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO UPHOLD ME

Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

At times, you and I can be too easily impressed. We also have the tendency to be too easily intimidated. We will be discussing the subject quite a bit over the course of this year. God is dealing with this in verse seventeen.

We are reminded first of the limited ability of man. “The arms of the wicked shall be broken.” The Bible teaches us in Romans 3:23 that all of us have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. The Bible also teaches us that there is none that are righteous on their own accord, not even one of us. We are all born with a wicked, sinful flesh. Because of this, the first part of verse seventeen is speaking of all of us. All of us have “arms” that are breakable. The Bible instructs us to put no confidence in the flesh. I want you to know today that every burden and weight in your life, that you are trying to carry, is simply too heavy for you. Before long, our “arms” just break down.

We are reminded secondly of the limitless ability of God. If you will notice the verse does not say that the arms of the wicked will break, but the arms of the righteous will not. On the contrary, this verse narrows everything down into two categories: God, and everyone else. We are not to assume that if we are righteous, then we will be able to hold ourselves up. This verse is teaching us that the righteous are the children of God who have learned to let God do the upholding.

Here in verse seventeen, the wicked are the only individuals that are struggling. The arms of the wicked are stressing and straining, trying to carry a load that they cannot handle. The righteous are not struggling because they are depending on God to uphold them. God is not struggling because He is the one that is upholding, and God is more than capable to do so.

So there you have it.

We can carry till we bury,
and hold till we fold;
Or learn before we break it,
To just stop, and let God take it.

I am persuaded that He is able to uphold me!

January 22, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BRING IT TO PASS (part 3)

Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Finally, we must discuss the second responsibility that you and I have in this verse. Remember, it is God’s responsibility to bring things to pass, and He always does His part. Now comes the hard part for us. “Trust also in Him.”

I believe that committing our way, and trusting in Him, are completely intertwined. Unless we trust God, we will not commit everything totally to Him. But if we do not commit everything totally to Him, we will never learn how trustworthy God is. I believe this is why God uses the word “also” in verse five.

WE MUST COMMIT AND TRUST AT THE SAME TIME!

One of the greatest illustrations of this is the account of Moses and the children of Israel walking through the Red Sea. Essentially, they only had two choices. Trust God, or die. Moses, a man of great faith, led these people by example. What transpired is an important lesson. We must sometimes commit a step of obedience, while at the same time we are still learning to fully trust God. I have always believed that God did not part the waters of the Red Sea all the way to the other side immediately. I am convinced that as the children of Israel continued to take steps, God would open the waters just enough for each of those steps. With every step of their commitment, God responded with a step of provision, which allowed the children of Israel to learn to trust God.

There are times in life when you and I must commit our way to the Lord, even though we have not yet learned to fully trust Him. What I mean by that is this. As was the case with Moses and the children of Israel, we may not be to the spiritual point where we have learned to trust God enough for the entire journey to the promised land, but it is important that we trust God enough to take the next step.

Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

God does not say the giant leaps, He says the “steps”. I encourage you today, you might be apprehensive about the journey ahead in some area of your life, but trust God enough to take the next step.

January 20, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BRING IT TO PASS (part 2)

Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

As you can see, there are three parts to this verse. The first two parts are our responsibility, and the last part is God’s promise. So we are to do our part, and let God do His. We have already discussed God’s promise, and He has that covered. So let’s move on to us. By the way, this is always where the problem starts. God always does His part, but we fail to do our part.

“Commit thy way unto the Lord.” The Hebrew word for this word “commit” means to roll upon. For a brief period of time when I was in high school, I operated my own small lawn business in Florida. As I would go to each of these yards to mow, I would have to load our riding lawn mower into the back of a pickup truck. I did the old-fashioned trick of laying two boards from the ground to the tailgate, and trying to ride the lawn mower up those boards into the back of the bed of the truck. Of course one time I pushed the gas a little too much and dented the front of the truck bed. From that point on I had to push the mower up the boards into the truck. This was not the easiest thing as I would struggle to push an extremely heavy mower. This mower was too heavy for me to pick up, carry, or lift. But it was not a problem for that truck to carry it. So I would have to push and roll something that was too heavy for me, onto a truck that had no problem bearing it. That is what this word commit means. It means taking things in life that are too heavy for us to carry, and rolling them upon the Lord who has no problem carrying them.

We need to understand that God will take whatever we commit to Him, but He is not going to take it if we are still trying to hold on. Commit means to give it totally. When I drove that lawn mower around in the back of that truck, I did not have to still help lift it or carry it. I let the truck do the work. God does not need our help. He just needs us to let go.

If you and I will consider, it does make make a lot of sense. How can God bring something to pass, if you never give it to him. He is able to bring it to pass, if we are able to commit it to Him.

I encourage you today, give it totally, and completely to God.

January 19, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO BRING IT TO PASS (part 1)

Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

If you are like me, there have been many times over the years that I have had great ideas, big plans, and gut feelings. It made such good sense in my mind, and it looked so good on paper. Dynamic dreams, and lofty goals that would motivate sincere intentions; and then the feelings of failure would come when things just did not work out. Do you feel sorry for me? The hard part is always ‘the bringing it to pass’ part. The ‘making it happen’ step of the process is frustrating.

God makes a wonderful promise here. God states that He will bring it to pass. He will make things happen. He will take it from the first to the last step. He will take it from concept to completion. He will dot all the i’s, and cross all the t’s. What is often the hardest thing for us, is the easiest thing to God.

In fact, this verse teaches us that bringing things to pass does not require our involvement. In fact, this verse teaches us to stay out of it! It will work out better if we have no part in making things happen. For the record, we are really good at trying to make things happen. While you are reading this right now, you may have been stressing out, processing in your mind, and almost to the point of anxiety trying to come up with a plan to make some things happen. Maybe in your home, job, marriage, or family, you are trying to bring things to pass. I’ve been there, done that, bought a tee shirt, and unfortunately have it set on my GPS. The reason it brings so much anxiety to our life, for us to try to make things happen, is simply because that is not our job.

What things do you need to happen in your life today? What needs to be brought to pass in your marriage? What circumstances must happen in your job or business to make things the way it needs to be. What upcoming doctor’s report are you burdened about? What person’s heart do you need God to soften, or change? What cloud of depression are you trying to find your way out from under? What bad financial decision are you determined to rebound from? What loneliness, from the loss of a loved one, are desperately trying to overcome? What addiction are you trying to get victory over? And on and on the list can go.

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO BRING IT TO PASS!

January 18, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART

Psalm 37: 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Two words stand out to me immediately in this verse; the word “delight” and the word “desires”. Obviously, to understand the verse, we need to understand the meaning of these words.

I must admit, I found it a bit surprising when I learned the meaning of the word “delight” in this verse. It is the Hebrew word ‘anag. It means to be soft and pliable. It carries with it the idea of something that is delicate, and is easily molded or broken. So I am to understand that if I make myself pliable, moldable, and breakable in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart.

Just so we clearly apply this principle to our daily lives, it means that I need to make sure that God can easily change me. If I discipline myself not to rebel, buck against, or fight God’s will; but remain tender so that God can easily break my will, then God can give me the desires of my heart. It is basically the difference between pride and humility. When I am humble, God can easily direct me. When I have pride, there is a constant inner struggle to submit to God‘s will. Why is this a requirement in order for God to give me my desires?

Well, if God can easily bend me, mold me, and change me, then my heart will automatically be changed in the process. Now we are getting somewhere! If God has freedom to change my heart, then He will begin to make my heart desire the things that are in agreement with His will. Which means, God will only give me the desires of my heart when the desires of my heart are in agreement with God’s will. And the desires of my heart will be in agreement with God’s will, only when I stay humble and submissive to God. As Gomer would say, SHAZAM!

Simply defined, desire is what our heart wants, or longs for. And when our desires are not in agreement with God’s will, He is not obligated in anyway to give us those desires. But if our heart becomes in tune with the Lord, and our desires are in line with His will, then God is obligated to give us those desires. Why? Because in this verse, God promised that. And God always keeps His word!

Today, I encourage you to concentrate on delighting yourself in the Lord. Let God concentrate on giving you the desires of your heart!