8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety. Psalms 4:8
The peace of God is tangible. It is not something that is understood by the world. When our faith and trust is placed in Jesus Christ we know that the Lord walks with us where ever we go and He prepares every step. No matter what we face in this life the Lord will work all things together for our good. He uses all things to shape and mold our lives. He uses all things to grow and deepen our faith. But the key is abiding in Christ each day. As we spend the beginning of our day in the study of God’s word and prayer our hearts and minds are fixed upon the Lord.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
As the Psalmist is writing these words he is asking the Lord to search his inner most workings. When we are walking in right relationship with the Lord we will desire for God to search our hearts. If we are truly walking in obedience there is nothing that we will hide from the Lord.
Our desire will be for the Lord and His kingdom. We will desire to use our lives and our decisions on a daily basis to glorify and honor the Lord. But if we do have areas in our lives that need to be corrected the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts and we must heed and respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
In our lives we will naturally have anxious thoughts because from time to time our eyes may get focused on circumstances and any time our eyes are taken off the Lord anxiety, worry, and fear will naturally creep in. But when our minds and hearts are stayed upon the Lord we will experience the peace of God in all that we do.
May we this day desire to be vulnerable before the Lord and walk in deep intimacy with Him. May we desire to know Him in greater ways and simply use our lives for His glory. Our time on this earth is but a breath compared to eternity. May we be obedient as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26 NKJV
As we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ our hearts desire becomes the Lord. Jesus becomes our obsession and our passion. This is why those who stand outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ can’t understand. Those who follow after the world and its desires see those who follow Jesus Christ as simply fools.
But as we seek the Lord each day our lives are transformed. Our eyes and our hearts are open to the deep things of who God is and His kingdom. This relationship with Jesus Christ is all about coming to know Him intimately. He desires to share the depths of His heart with us and as we draw near each day our understanding of who He is and His kingdom continues to increase. The Lord simply takes us from glory to glory.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope. Psalm 130:5
Waiting on the Lord can be difficult, uncomfortable, and hard. There is a deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord. Our faith and trust continues to grow deeper as we wait upon the Lord for His timing and His promise. God is always faithful and His timing is always perfect. But this is very difficult because He often doesn’t tell us when something will happen. What I have found as I have waited on the Lord and continue to wait upon Him is that He simply continues to lead me to His word.
He leads me to examples in His word of people who have had to wait upon Him. He leads me to promises in His word that He is faithful and will complete what He has begun in us by His grace and His power. But this journey is all about growing in Him and becoming more and more like Him. This only happens as patience is developed in our lives and patience is also known as long suffering. Often times for patience to be developed in a life of a person they must be willing to suffer for a long period of time.
Suffering is never enjoyable while we are going through it, but there is a purpose behind it. Those our Father loves He prunes and that pruning process can be very painful and uncomfortable. But we must be willing to yield and surrender our hearts to the Lord and His will. One of the most difficult things in our Christian journey is surrendering our hearts and lives to the will of God. God is faithful and fulfill every promise and plan. But waiting upon Him for His timing and His way can be hard but is always designed with a purpose.
For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the loving kindness of the Lord.
Psalm 33:4-5 NASB
The Lord is faithful. He is faithful to fulfill every plan and purpose according to His sovereign will. There are times during our journey with the Lord that we can feel as if we have been forgotten or abandoned. But it is in the most difficult moments that God is doing His greatest work.
God’s greatest desire is to produce within us His nature and His character. When we are born into this world we are born into sin and bondage. We are enslaved to sin and we are driven to fulfill the selfish and wicked desires that exist within us. But when we come to Jesus our hearts and lives are set free from the curse of sin and death.
As we walk with Christ each day and seek His face through prayer and the study of His word, our lives are transformed from the inside out. The deepest works of God in the life of a person when the work is taking place is not noticed by those on the outside, but for the person being transformed the process at times is painful and challenging.
For Jesus compared the Christian journey to carrying one’s cross. This journey can not be accomplished in our own strength. It is in the place of process that we learn to die to ourselves and learn to rely fully upon the Lord. The maturation process in Christ is one in which we simply learn to live each day fully relying upon God.
In every moment, no matter how big or small we learn to fully trust the Lord. The greatest thing we can do is simply abide in Him each day. As we draw near and seek Him our hunger for Him will continue to grow and overtake our heart. We will become obsessed with Him and the pursuit of His kingdom. May we focus our hearts each day upon the Lord and meditate daily upon His word.
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:16 NASB
The Lord is our stronghold. He is the one who sustains us throughout this journey we call life. For everything God has called us to do, He has equipped us for His purposes. Our journey with Him is a journey of progressive growth. Through every trial and challenge we learn to rely upon the Lord each and every day. We learn to decrease so that He may increase in us.
God has given us His word to guide our lives, to correct us, and to encourage us on a daily basis. Time spent daily in God’s word will renew our minds and transform our lives. It will give us the proper perspective in every situation. If we walk this journey without spending time in God’s word we will see all things from an earthly perspective. We will see things as impossible and will believe things to be limited. But when we diligently study the scripture daily we will have a heavenly perspective. We will believe and understand with the Lord nothing is impossible. We will see with God there are no limits and that whatever He has called and commissioned us to do is indeed possible because it is simply accomplished through Him and by His hand.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 86:5 NIV
The tells us time and time again to call upon Him. One of the most powerful things we have on this earth in our relationship with Jesus Christ is prayer. Through Jesus we are able to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence. Our sin is gone and when we open our mouths and pour out our hearts, our Father in Heaven hears us.
He is abounding in love towards us. There are many out there who believe that God is angry at them or some how holds there past over them. But the truth is when we come to Christ and give our lives to Him, our past has been nailed to the cross. Our sins no longer remains.
May our lives be a house of prayer. May we seek the Lord with our whole heart. May we remove every idol and every hindrance from our lives. When prayer becomes the priority and focus, we become the sons and daughters God has called us to be.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105 NIV
God’s word lights our path. We live in a world filled with darkness and the steps we make on a daily basis are based upon decisions that are made. Decisions made take place in our heart and in our mind. When we study God’s word daily and partake of His word it is the Holy Spirit who transforms our lives from the inside out. It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us throughout the course of each day.
A decision to follow Jesus is one in which we decide to walk with Christ every day of our lives. It is not a one time decision that simply takes place. It is a daily decision to align ourselves with God’s word and the pursuit of His kingdom. It is impossible to claim to follow Christ and pursuit our own selfish wants and desires. For when we choose to follow Christ we turn our lives over to Him and they now belong to Jesus.
Today if you find yourself struggling with a decision that needs to be made seek the Lord in prayer and the study of His word. The more time we spend with the Lord, the more sensitive we become to His voice and His leading. The more we come to recognize how He is leading us on a daily basis. The bottom line is the more time we spend with Him, the more we become like Him.
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
Psalm 62:1 KJV
Our salvation is found in the Lord alone. There are times in our walk with the Lord when we are told to wait upon Him. His time table and ours is very different. He views things in an eternal perspective and all things happen according to His sovereign will. There are times when God will close doors and not tell us why He has closed a door. He simply tells us to trust Him.
There is a deep work that takes place in the waiting. There is a maturing process that happens in the human heart as we wait upon the Lord for His timing and His will. When we wait upon Him we surrender to His will and we lay down our wants and desires at the foot of the cross.
We live in a day and age when people want things right now. This is not how it works with God’s kingdom and this is why I think many Christians struggle. There are false teachings out there that speak of simply speaking things into existence. The problem is that this is not biblical and will not happen if it doesn’t align with the Father’s will. What it ends up doing is simply shipwrecking the faith of many because they are feed a lie and place their faith in this false teaching.
We are called to do all things according to the will of the Lord. We are called to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness. This means that we will need to lay things down and pick up our cross. May we never view God as simply someone who gives us what we want. To do this is to cheapen who God is and fail to understand what Jesus has truly done at the cross. Jesus came to save us from ourselves. Left to ourselves we will destroy ourselves and there are times that it is because of God’s love for us that He simply says no and closes a door.