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With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
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AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Which Way Are You Running Part II



Psalm 91:14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”(NLT)

Ps. 103:11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.(NLT)

Now that everyone is running in the right direction lets talk about how to run. Unfortunately, I think a lot of Christians say they are trusting in God, but it is mostly lip service. I know I have been guilty of this. We have a part to play and we need to do it God’s way. First we need to establish what God is willing to do for us. The Psalm above gives us a great picture of the God we serve. He answers our prayer, He is with us in trouble, He rewards us, He forgives us, His love is unfailing and His compassion is like that of a father toward his children. That in itself is comforting to know. God is there for us, we just need to press in, but how do we press?

You may feel like you are hitting a wall when running to God instead of entering into His presence? Try entering into His presence with praise. The psalmist David consistently talks about praising God, no matter what. God knows what you are going through, whatever it is He is aware of it, and He knows just what you need to get you through it. What I am saying is you don’t need to recount all your troubles to the Lord. You are just bringing yourself down and speaking negativity when you do that. Try instead entering His presence with praise and thanksgiving, you will be amazed at the progress you make.

Get in the Word. I know when I am having a difficult time or I’m feeling particularly hurt; sometimes I just want to sulk in my own self pity. I am reluctant about handing my cares off to God and fully and completely trusting Him. I just don’t “feel” like praising Him right off the bat. When this happens I get in the Word. I start to read of His goodness, His tender mercy, His compassion, His forgiveness….I meditate on those scriptures and as I do my heart grows softer and I can’t help but praise Him for WHO HE IS; not for what He can do for me, but for who He is. I have found that when my heart is right and I do it His way He responds in an amazing way.

Holding onto hurt and self pity can really inhibit us when seeking God’s presence. If we don’t put down the hurt long enough to accept God’s love it is much more difficult to receive his comfort. Another area that helps us to receive from God and do things His way is forgiveness. It is never easy to forgive someone who deeply hurt you, whether they did it intentionally or not. They may not even know they are hurting you. Regardless, we are called to forgive and if you will trust God that His Word is true and actually forgive in your heart and pray for those people who have hurt you, you will be amazed at how He will begin to move in your life. This is never easy and I find that many times I have to continually purpose in my heart to walk in forgiveness.

Finally, put your trust in Him. He cares about what happens to you (1 Pet. 5:7). It isn’t always easy to abide by His principles, to do it His way, but have faith in Him, for He rewards those who seek Him (Heb 11:6). Believe in the principles of his Word and trust Him to bring you through and He will answer your prayers. Don’t be ashamed if you have to remind yourself each day by going back through each step day after day or even multiple times a day. I think sometimes we feel like when God gives us strength it should sustain us for a while. We think we shouldn’t need to go back to Him for help again so soon.Well, He is ready to help you anytime you seek Him. There is no rule about how often we can enter. So just keep running to Him as often as you need to and He will be there ready to strengthen and comfort you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. It's been really helpful to me. Especially this part that you wrote:

"I just don’t “feel” like praising Him right off the bat. When this happens I get in the Word. I start to read of His goodness, His tender mercy, His compassion, His forgiveness….I meditate on those scriptures and as I do my heart grows softer and I can’t help but praise Him for WHO HE IS..."

I was in that "don't feel like praising" boat and decided to put your post into practice. I didn't really even know where to start in the Word (as you suggested we do), so I used the two passages of scripture at the top of your post and read them out loud.

Things happened just like you said they would. THANKS!

p said...

Nathan Talbot, Great Stuff and Oh so true. If we could just remember, when we are prone to grumble, How Great is our God!! I recently read this comment "To worship is to quicken the conscience by the Holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God"
Isn't it amazing how our Father God does so much for us, with so little from us!?
Thank you for the reminders!!

Jane said...

At lunch today I had...and I mean literally had...to go fill up my car with gas. For some reason it is one of those things that I just do not like to do. I typically wait until the last minute possible. My gas light came on yesterday on my way home from work. Sure I could have stopped on my home or even this morning on my way back to work, but I didn't. I could make it a little further.

If we are not careful this same scenario can occur spiritually. We get "filled up" once, maybe twice a week. We expect that to last us all week, maybe longer. We wait until the gas light comes on before we stop and seek God again.

Your wrote:

"I think sometimes we feel like when God gives us strength it should sustain us for a while. We think we shouldn’t need to go back to Him for help again so soon.Well, He is ready to help you anytime you seek Him. There is no rule about how often we can enter. So just keep running to Him as often as you need to and He will be there ready to strengthen and comfort you."

It might be weird if we filled up our car every day, but that is exactly what we are suppose to do when it comes to our relationship with God. Sure it's difficult and it takes a lot of discipline. I personally have done things both ways, filling up daily and weekly, and the two can't even compare. Not only are you constantly learning, but you are in constant communication with God. We would never treat our earthly relationships (friends, family, spouse) so flippantly. We spend times with those people, we get to know them. It works the same way with God.

Even as I have typed this I've thought about it a different way. I admit that I am a "daddy's girl"- always have been and still am. I can remember being younger and being apart from my parents. Whether it was a trip to my grandparents, a week at camp, or even two years living overseas- there is something about running into my daddy's arms. I know him and he knows me. I know I am safe there. I know that he will go to any length for me. (This is the same man who wanted to get on a plane and come to China when he found out I had malaria. He didn't, but I think it was only due to the fact that he realized that I would be in recovery before he could even get there.)

Even as much as my earthly father loves me, that doesn't even begin to compare with the Lord that my Heavenly Father has me. I run to Him because I know He loves me. I run to Him because He is trustworthy. I run to Him because I know Him. It's hard to run to someone that you don't know.

Hmmmm...just my random thoughts of the evening.

Nathan Talbot said...

Anon: Glad it was of some benefit to you. I was kind of preaching to myself with that post, so I am glad someone else got something out of it too.

P: Love that quote. Thanks for sharing.

Jane: great analogy!!