“Receive God’s Help!”

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psalm 121:1-2 Wallpaper

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:1-2

“Me, myself and I,” a phrase commonly known to us all.  It usually comes on the heels of an aggravating event or from dealing with the frustration of a letdown because one depended on someone else to do something for them and they didn’t follow through.  Or, how about this one, “If you want something done right you have to do it yourself!”  Another frustrating sentiment spurned by the letdowns of others.

Here we just see them as phrases, just something we blurt out because of the emotions that stir within us when we feel we can’t get that help we need from someone.  The sad part of it all is the reality that this has become the prevailing attitude in the world today.  It is a mindset that has become detached from the cares of humanity; not in a good way.

Many people are wandering adrift in the world.  Day by day they go through their daily routines really believing that they are in this alone.  Wandering and questioning, “From whence comes my help?”  More often than not, that questioning person does not know that there is One who stands at the ready to appeal and work on behalf of those who call out to Him.  Not realizing this great truth causes them look to their own selves once again, reaffirming that self-sufficient attitude of “Me, myself and I.”

I believe God likes goal-setters.  I believe God loves to see His people be filled with the zeal of being a real go-getter.  I say that because God has never, ever promoted laziness.  God has equipped mankind with a mind to think and gifts to operate in and He wants to see the fulfilling of all of that to come to pass.  But, and here’s where the warning bells go off, when one tries to operate independently of God with an “I don’t need Him” attitude, buddy, that’s when we got a problem!

“Can I get some help around here?”  Oh, if that isn’t a familiar cry to us all.  When life feels at loose ends and everything just seems to be unraveling before us we often wonder where can we get help from?  The writer of this psalm found his help by lifting his eyes up.  The human eye tells one where to focus.  As I sit here on my couch writing this I keep peeping out of the window.  In line of my view are a bunch of beautiful trees that are gently swaying with the occasional breeze. Every time I look out at them I feel a certain little measure of restfulness and peace. Because this is what my eyes see it relaxes me.

How much more for the one who chooses to focus on that Sovereign, Omnipotent Presence and truly realize He’s there?  Not only is He there but He is ready to be our help.  “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles,” Psalm 34:17.  Deliverance is there.  Help is here.  God loves a “can do” attitude, but not a “can do it without Him” attitude.  Especially, since He loves us so much as to be the offering for our much needed help.  I have to receive of His help daily.  Zeal, and even talent, will only get you so far.  I can’t be so high and mighty to think that I can do even the basic things without His help.  So, today I want to receive God’s help.  What about you?

Prayer: Where real problems meet my real GOD!

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Martin Luther is quoted as saying, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Why is that? Because as breath is with the body, with each inhale and exhale one’s life is sustained; so is the prayer line that fosters that interpersonal relationship between God and man. It is not only life-sustaining, but it’s soul-sustaining keeping that glorious love connection betwixt the two opened and flowing.

Prayer is and of itself a discipline where one places themselves at the feet of the Almighty; to draw to Him; to get to know Him more. Yet, prayer is often as well a plea of desperation when the times and trials of this life are too hard to bear. When we are at the end of our rope; or, when we just don’t understand what is happening or the road we should take – we pray.

We pray because deep within ourselves we know that try as we might, we can find no better help. Nor, is there any higher intervention than that which comes from God. Therefore, through prayer we seek the release of His help and power into our problems, our lives, and the lives of those whom we intercede for.

Prayer is, and becomes, that connective key where God and man meet to converse on an intimate level, recognizing His greatness and sovereignty in the midst of our humanness and weaknesses.

Therefore, in prayer we declare, “Real problems meet my very real God!”  There is no better help for what you are facing right now; there is none other that rescue, restore, and redeem you out of any situation like my wonderful God can.  His power shows forth in great strength, in any situation, when we pray.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” Matthew 21:22.

“Made For Green”

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I love this time of the year when the trees are finally in full bloom.  Ahhh. . ., finally!  The green branches, with their beautiful blooms, sway in the breeze and they speak to my heart, “I was made for green.”

I feel renewed with the turning of the season.  There is a sense of this is how it was supposed to be.  The trees were made for green and so were we.  I could be wrong but when God placed man in the Garden of Eden I don’t think there were any winters there (just my opinion, but check out Adam and Eve’s clothing attire, or lack thereof).  I don’t think the trees were to ever be bare.  I don’t think the branches were to ever cease having fruit sprout from them.  I think paradise was just that, a never-ending green that sings to the symphony of one’s heart that they are where God placed them.

There’s a lot of ugliness we see in this world.  Once, it was not so.  Our original design was not to live in an environment of sin and decay.  It was not designed to exist with dead and dreary things.  It was designed to behold the beauty of God through His creation.  We were designed to live in God’s best!  We were made for so much more!

In this life we have to deal with what the world has become now.  But, oh, that day is coming where we shall once again know the pleasures of paradise.  Where we once again will enjoy the best of God’s design.  I personally can’t wait because I was made for green 🙂

“Don’t Be Trapped!”

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“Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,

for You are my strength,” Psalm 31:4, NKJV.

 

I would venture to say that no one intentionally falls into a trap.  Or, at least, I hope not.  As our verse indicates traps, by nature, are devices designed to work secretly.  That’s their goal.

A few years ago we started having a critter issue.  You know, the kind that only looked cute on cartoons when outwitting cats, but in your house they are the scum of the earth.  Yeah, that kind!  Once they’re in, it’s hard to get them out.  I mean, really hard!

We tried every conceivable thing from poison to sticky traps to snap traps.  While some snap traps seemed to work it never eliminated the problem while in that residence.

There was even times when the little critters would amaze me.  One little smart guy did everything possible to avoid the traps that were laid for him.  I even watched it climb over a snap trap without it shutting because he used the baseboards.  Genius little guy!

Eventually, we acquired cats.  A lot of good they did, but that’s a whole new story.

Traps are no more fun for us than they are for those critters we try to catch in them.  No matter the cause or the reason, traps are designed to steal, kill and destroy.

Now, where have we heard that before? O yeah, when Jesus warns us that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . .” (John 10:10a, NKJV).  And, a thief is a master at being sly enough to set those unforeseeable traps so that he can obtain what does not belong to him.

It is so easy in the day to day scurrying about to become victim to the many insidious traps that are laid to snare the unaware.  With technology the way it is one would never have to even see the thief or the trap set in order to be robbed.

That’s why, we as a people, go through great lengths of installing anti-virus’ and firewall protection.  We try all sorts of password protected ways to keep what is ours.  We can now even hire a service to watch over and safeguard our valuables because we realize that we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads.  We realize we are not omniscient (all-knowing).  And, we realize we can’t be omnipresent (everywhere at the same time).

Because we are so limited in capacity and strength, we outsource the responsibility to others to help keep us from the snares.  Our spiritual life should be no less protected.

How often do we go through our days completely oblivious to the spiritual dangers that have been laid in our pathway?  And, before we know it, our feet are in a “net” of trouble and we don’t know how to get out.

That’s when the reality sets in that we don’t know everything and our own personal strength is very limited in trying to pull us out and keep us out of those nets.  That’s why the psalmist recognized the only escape from the net was by the strength of God.  He who knows all and who has never floundered in anything can keep our feet on solid ground.

How many traps in life could have been avoided if we had gone in His strength first?  How many times would our eyes have been opened to the devices of the enemy, (2 Cor. 2:11), if our spiritual eyes had looked first to Him who is able to “pluck my feet out of the net,” (Ps. 25:15b, NKJV)?

Spiritually speaking, I don’t want to see those traps rob us of life like it does for those little critters.  Especially, when Jesus, after giving the warning of the thief, admonishes us to believe, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10b, NKJV).

I like that thought better.  How about you?

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord . . .” (Ps. 25:15a, NKJV).   That’s how we have abundant life and avoid the traps!

Why do you believe?

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“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” John 12:9-11

What is your personal testimony that draws you to Jesus?  How, when, and what circumstances did He touch your heart to convince you He is Lord?

We all have a beginning of our faith.  Even if you were raised in church from the cradle there has to be a time when you interacted with Jesus on a personal level and welcomed Him into your life as Savior.

As days go by and hardships intrude upon the peace that drew us to believe in Him, space opens up and that initial faith that was once strong may take a blow, making one feel disparaged and weaker than before.  What then?

If you will allow me, let me draw your mind back to that beginning faith.  There’s an old song that says,

“Take me back, Take me back dear Lord

To the place where I first received You

Take me back, Take me back dear Lord where I

first believed” (Andrae Crouch/Take Me Back Lyrics/Lyricsmode.com)

Every once in a while our faith needs a spiritual tune-up.  We need to remember why we believe.  We need our personal revelation of heart to center us anew on our Savior.

Lazarus’ raising from the dead may have encouraged some to embrace the way of this faith in his day, but what swayed you?  Through the trials and storms remember why you believe.  Remember what He has done for you before and let those sweet memories pick your heart up and carry you closer to Jesus today.

Blessings.