Plea for Grace

Psalm 120:1-7 CSB – 1 In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. 2 “LORD, rescue me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.” 3 What will he give you, and what will he do to you, you deceitful tongue? 4 A warrior’s sharp arrows with burning charcoal! 5 What misery that I have stayed in Meshech, that I have lived among the tents of Kedar! 6 I have dwelt too long with those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. 

Lying lips

Deceitful tongue

Meshech and Kedar (foreign, often barbaric tribes who were hostile enemies of Israel)

Those who hate peace

Is it any wonder that the psalmist is in distress (trouble, affliction, adversity)?! Have you been there?

family relationships strained and/or fractured by lies, deceit, misunderstanding

social media that seems to look for a fight

hostility from the culture

hostility and arguments within the church

even — here it comes — the lies I choose to believe about myself, about who God is, about His sovereignty and His work in this world

Where do we go with this distress? Verse 1 — call to the Lord . . .

Psalm 25:4-5 CSB – 4 Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; I wait for you all day long. 

God’s ways, God’s truth, God’s instruction, God’s place of refuge, are in His Word. I don’t read and study His Word for some self-help, magic potion, entitlement. No, I meditate, memorize, read, study because I want to know the God who made me, the God who saved me, the God who loves me more than I could ever imagine. He created me; He knows what is best for me. I want to learn His ways. I want to know the truth. I want to know how to obey Him.

As I become “transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2),” like the psalmist, I become more aware of the effect of my surroundings, my relationships, where my time and energy is spent.

This proverb came to mind:

Proverbs 13:20 CSB – 20 The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. 

No, I am not saying, go hide out in a little cabin, totally cut off from the world (although, the introvert in me sometimes thinks that wouldn’t be such a bad thing). Actually, having godly relationships is vital to combating the Meshech and Kedar, the lying lips and deceitful tongue, the sharp arrows, etc. Ask God to show you how to be a godly friend, and then watch how He will bring friends/family in His timing. But here is the best friend, the most loyal, the most true, the perfect friend who you will always have:

Psalm 25:14 ESV – 14 The friendship* of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

*Strong’s H5475 – cowd — intimate friendship, tight circle of friends. Some translations use the term ‘secret counsel’

And, in all honesty, take a cue from the psalmist. How much time and energy are you spending with the constant war that is social media? For me, it meant deciding to spend time in the Word and prayer before opening Facebook and Twitter. . . and holding up my feelings and “truth” to the light of God’s Word and deciding that I will believe God.

It’s not fancy — but God is faithful. He is holy. He is right.

Psalm 18:30-31 CSB – 30 God ​– ​his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is a rock? Only our God. 

And praise Him, He has rescued me . . .

 

 

I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. . . God, be exalted above the heavens; let your glory be over the whole earth. . .Psalm 57:2,5 CSB

Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest, August 10 entry. . .

Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be.

What do I do when it feels like the setbacks outnumber the advances? That is precisely the time to put perfectionism and expectation on the altar and

[Be] at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. . .trust in him at all times. . pour out your heart before him. . .Psalm 62:1,2,8 CSB

If my life belongs to God, then He sets the agenda. He controls the outcome. My responsibility is to obey what I know and rejoice that He is good and He will fulfill his purpose for me (and give my body an extra week to adjust to new medicine regimen)

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