“The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.” Ps 28:7
The fact that God is my Strength is more meaningful than I fully comprehended at first. If you look at the word ‘strength’, it’s meaning includes the following:
This is incredible. The fact that God is our strength means He IS our energy when we feel weak and tired. He IS our courage when we feel cowardly or faint-hearted. He IS our health when we are sick. He IS our power when we are incapable as humans. He IS our security when we are in danger or threatened. He IS our stability when we lose our balance in life and become unsteady. He IS our anchor when we feel disconnected from life. He IS our ability when we lack the skill or talent to accomplish a task. He IS our influence when we lack motivation or zest in life. He IS our value at all times – through His death on the cross we understand what we mean to Him.
Rejoice in the Lord, who is your STRENGTH!
It always starts out the same way. I start feeling anxious, uncomfortable, discontent – any negative emotion you can think of. I usually try to fix it by getting a new hobby or fixing my attention on something to numb the ache. All that this manages to accomplish is to further frustrate me and make me realize how much I need life. LIFE.
When I sit down and start writing the words that I feel, I always come to the same conclusion. Time with You. This is what my soul longs for. This is why I experience frustration and anxiety and fear and loneliness. I long for you as a deer pants for water. My soul needs to reach out to You and be touched by Your life-giving Spirit.
“AS THE hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” Ps 42:1-2
You are life-giving and real. You don’t exist far away, You are close to me this very second. You are intimately acquainted with my life and You know my thoughts afar off. I will never find delight in anything other than You. You are the essence of joy – you are the perfect solution to my heart’s cry. You bring peace and you wrap me in the softness of your love. I feel at peace in You. I find myself in You. The anxious thoughts in me goes quiet at the sight of your beauty. Your presence is the only encounter I need.
I love you with all my heart. Thank you for saving me and choosing to be with me, mistakes and all. You are wonderful and good.
Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Path, so here are my 5 unedited minutes:
Our journey is scattered with so many incredible memories. From discovering You at the age of 10 to only starting to comprehend your love for me at the (almost) age of 30. You have touched my heart more times than I can recall, and each time overwhelmed me with the sweetness of your Spirit.
Our path is filled with memories of your faithfulness. You have always been the only constant in our walk. I have faltered so many times, yet I can only marvel at how patient you are with me…how much you love me. No words can express how deeply you are ingrained into my soul, how I can never be separated from you. It fills me with the deepest sense of peace and contentment. Nothing else matters except You. Your presence satisfies me.
“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You do hold my right hand.” Psalm 73:23
Growing up, not many children are encouraged to ‘just be themselves’. Most of the time they receive the message that it is better to blend in – to rather not swim upstream and cause commotion. This message takes root and grows stronger as they mature into adulthood – and many times the effect is that they live a life not entirely true to themselves.
The past week I have thought about this message a lot. God did not create us to conform, or to have all Christians act towards him in the exact same way. Yet, in most churches today all believers sing the same songs and say the right things at the right time. I believe God delights in authenticity. I believe a genuine heart pleases Him more than conformity. I believe we need to express ourselves in the way that feels most natural to us – no matter how the world perceives it. Worship can take on many forms – whether you experience God and delight in Him (which is worship) through painting, singing, writing, sports or admin.
I just believe we need to live before God from the depths of our souls and be honest with Him no matter what. If you are experiencing an off day where you need to vent – tell Him about it. If something doesn’t make sense and you are angry with Him, tell Him this! Remember – God knows your thoughts afar off (Ps 139:2), so you can’t surprise Him and shock Him away by what you say!
“God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).” John 4:24
What do you want to say to God today? Live in His presence as the only version of yourself on the planet. Don’t conform to someone else’s standards – you will rob the world of your much needed uniqueness.
“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being…” Ps 51:6
I sometimes look at the content of my blog and wonder if there is enough variety to keep readers interested. This comes from a human mindset that always wants to hear new things and constantly be entertained. In itself it is not a bad mindset to have – but in terms of Christianity it can lead to many churches straying away from the core focus which is Jesus. He is, and should always be, the center of the Gospel.
Paul also wrote about the same topic in Phillipians 3:
“For the rest, my brethren, delight yourselves in the Lord and continue to rejoice that you are in Him. To keep writing to you [over and over] of the same things is not irksome to me, and it is [a precaution] for your safety.” Phillipians 3:1
By repeating the truth over and over again, Paul wanted to protect their newfound safety in Christ. They were surrounded by lawful voices telling them to do various things in order to establish righteousness. He repeated over and over again that Jesus is the only source of their righteousness, and the only way to salvation.
Just like Paul, I will repeat these truths in order to protect my own spiritual safety and that of all the readers.
Stay safe in the singular focus of the Gospel which is Jesus. Stay safe in the knowledge that faith in Him is the only way to attain righteousness. Stay safe in the knowledge that none of your own works can save you. Stay safe in the knowledge that God does not condemn you, and that He loves you without condition.
Marnes Nel of Abundant Grace Ministries once said that the blood of Jesus is better than Omo. Omo, for those readers living outside of South Africa, is our country’s most well-known laundry detergent.
When your clothing gets soiled Omo does a great job of cleaning it. But…after the next use it needs to go back into the wash to be cleaned all over again! This cycle repeats itself all the time – there is never a point where you can sit back and know that your garment is permanently clean.
“The blood of Jesus is better than Omo.” If we believe in the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross all our sins are cleared and we become white as snow (Is 1:18). The world needs to know that this cleansing of our sins through His blood is a permanent wash. It is not an action that needs to be repeated over and over again. The Word says His blood cleanses us and keeps us cleansed. We don’t have to struggle with condemnation, we can just turn to God knowing He did a completely perfect job.
“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9
“For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.” Heb 10:14
No part of our salvation is left for us to clean. He wiped away every trace of darkness and sin. His single offering was enough to forever cleanse every part of our sinful nature. We are perfected in Him.
Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Opportunity, so here is my 5 unedited minutes:
God was the first to take the opportunity to reach out. He looked at my lost soul and decided that I was worth the life of His only, perfectly blameless Son. He made it possible for me to reach into the depths of the holy of holies – to literally step in and know Him intimately. He gave me the opportunity to live with Him for all eternity, and all I had to do was to believe in His Son’s sacrifice.
I grabbed hold of this opportunity given to me with both hands. It is completely undeserved – receiving complete pardon of my sinful nature by only believing! What an incredible exchange!
Now I will endeavour to see God’s goodness in everything. It is all around me – I can literally taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)! I will take every opportunity to think upon His goodness and provision, and be filled with His life and peace.
All that remains is the opportunity to love Him, because He first loved me. There is no effort in our relationship, just grace.