Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Skipping like a calf loosed from its stall...

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4

Great verse. I've quoted it many times to people and myself, its even in my signature for one of my email accounts! Its one of those great one liners thats always encouraging. But what does it really mean? How do you just delight yourself in the Lord? I realized that this verse is not as stand alone as I thought...

 "Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." - Psalm 37:3-6

Trust, Delight, Commit. Delighting in the Lord is just part of a greater process!

 Trust. First before you can delight in the Lord you must trust him. And as you trust him, you can dwell in peace and befriend faithfulness (also translated "find safe pasture"). It is this first step that begins the rest of the process, the mental action to trust God with whatever is in your life will allow you give it away and take away the burden so that you may live in peace and "graze" on faithfulness. Only then are you ready to delight in the Lord.

 Delight. Once you have trusted him and find his peace, then you are free of the burdens of the world and are able to delight in the Lord. And as you are empty, he will fill you with his desires and then fulfill them which will cause you delight in him more and more! As you find your delight in him it will lead you to greater intimacy and commitment to him.

 Commit. Again, the psalmist reminds us to trust in the Lord as we commit to him, but this true commitment is only found after we have delighted in the Lord. Anyone who commits to something out of obligation is never very committed but those who commit out of a place of desires and delight will always be committed followers. The more and more we trust God, the more and more we will commit our way to him and in that he promises that he will act. We commit to him and he will deliver. What will he deliver? Righteousness and justice. What about blessings God? What about a bonus, a new car? a better place...maybe a vacation? If I commit to you will you act on those?? God tells us what he acts on. And only after we go through the process of trusting, delighting, and committing will we discover that His righteousness and justice are exactly what we desire.

 I realize that to delight myself in the Lord is not just something I can pursue on its own but I must pursue God with all my trust and give him everything and in the process I will discover all the yearnings of my heart satisfied.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why Doesn't Anyone Name Their Kids "Obed-Edom"??

End of 1 Chronicles 13. A guy named Obed-Edom the Gittite (Goliath was also a Gittite) gets dropped with the task of taking in the Ark of the Covenant into his city and taking care of it. That new king guy wants me to do what? I'm just trying to mind my own business here, I don't want to mess with those Israelites and their issues. And I heard that Ark thing killed a guy! Why do they have to send it here. Ugh. Yet while David and the rest of Israel are dealing with other things, Obed-Edom gets his first encounter with the presence of God. He spends just 3 months near to His presence and sees the blessings from it, gets to feel the power of it, he gets to experience the living God at work in his city and all around him. 3 months go by. 1 Chronicles 15. David says they are gonna take the Ark to Jerusalem again and this time, they are gonna do it right. Who is part of the processional? Obed-Edom. There taking it where? I gotta be with it! I can't get enough! When it arrives in Jerusalem and David starts assigning tasks. Pick me! Pick me! Yea I will be on the praise team, whatever keeps me near to that box! Sure, I don't care if its the back-up team! Wait, what you need a harp player too? Sure. I mean, no I don't know how to play but I'll learn! And when it comes time to choose the gate keepers (one of the most important roles), who gets picked? Yep, Obed-Edom. A guy going about his normal business has an encounter with God and it changes him forever. Spends 3 months in the presence of God and when it moves on, he drops everything and follows. This is the power of God. We need not forget it, or ever cease to follow it!