Sunday, May 4, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

How do you guys who work full-time do it??? Between family life, and weekly AAU basketball tournaments in other cities, and school activities like formals and SAT, and multiple children, and church activities we so love, and LIFE, not to mention cooking, cleaning, exercising, devo life and ….whew….my time outside of a 40-hour work week is so full. Will I get used to it? Trying to find what I have to say “no” to….

There are TWO stories that meant much to me, and linger long in my mind and heart from our chronological reading this week. Share with us what lingers with you as you have read the Word this week.

Before I blog about those two, I just wanted to say that we are still waiting over here for what??? We wait in hope for our LORD; HE is our help. Psalm 33:16. We are not waiting on any man to act. Bob is still in-between jobs and picking up good stuff, but… we are waiting on God and may HE move in our hearts to open the eyes of our hearts and give light as we wait for HIM, not for men to move.

The first story that lingers was:
David longed for water. So three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines and drew water from the well for David. David poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. II Sam 23:15-17. Wow! David treated those mighty men as more important than his own needs. Do I live this way? Who is more important to me than my being right? Who is more important to me than my own convictions? Do I really love my husband, my children, my family with this kind of love? What is more important to me than the love of my Christ?

Intriguing to me that in II Samuel 6:8, David was angry and afraid. But in 6:14, David is dancing, sacrificing, giving, and blessing others. Not sure how long it took to get to that place—says it was six verses and six steps later. So what did David do with his anger? He didn’t pretend it wasn’t there. Didn’t stuff it down. Dealt with it. Repented. Celebrated. I like the fact that David’s repentance is not shallow for when Michal twists the truth in 6:16, courage rises up in David. No defensiveness. David says he’ll be even more undignified, even humiliated in his own eyes for his LORD. 6:21,22.

There was one beautiful psalm that meant so much to me as I deal with my own sin folly. Psalm 24:1-7 Who ascends? Who stands? He who has clean hands, pure hearts. How does that happen? When we seek His Face not when we seek our sins. Let your sin startle and surprise you when the Spirit shows up to show you your heart. My friend says to me: “don’t go on a witch hunt for sin.” Fulfill your vows 65:1 and you will see your haughty looks, insulting words, disgusted actions, detached relationships that just pop up and drop in—your failure to love. All the while, every day, God is bearing our burdens Psalm 68:9 and His word is radiant, giving light to our eyes. Psalm 19:8. May HE keep us from willful sins as we lift our heads to seek His Face.

The second story that grabbed me to grapple deeply with looking at sin was about the warrior David dancing with sin. David chose not to stop looking at Bathsheba. In II Sam 6:14 David danced before his Lord with all his heart. But in chapter 12, David’s warring heart lost his own inner battle. Adultery with a “very beautiful” woman - II Samuel 11:4. Murder of one his very best soldiers - II Samuel 11:14. Oh dear! Here’s David using his position of power to get what he really wanted. What did David want more than the love of his God? What was his ruling passion in looking at a private act, and sending for Bathsheba? Some people look really good dancing before the LORD but God is looking at each of our hearts. So, God sent the prophet Nathan in II Samuel 12:7 to rebuke David—look at all that God had done for David. But, that wasn’t enough. God wasn’t enough. David wanted more.

How I love David’s humble heartfelt repentant words when caught in sin: I HAVE SINNED AGAINST THE LORD. II Samuel 12:13 Then, God took David’s son---OH NO! …yet David didn’t tube out…it says he comforted his wife and David repented of what he did. Psalm 6:9 are the words he wrote next: “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD accepts my prayer.” He’s listening. “The LORD does not count my sin against me.” Psalm 32:2. Maybe man might might count this against David, but not his God.. “David did not cover up his iniquity 32:5“You God are my HIDING PLACE” Psalm 32:7

And our God responds to every one of us when we uncover our sin: I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you. I will watch over you. Psalm 32:8
David went on to write in Psalm 38:4 haunting words: “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” “I wait for you LORD, for I am about to fall.” 38:15. You know, that’s what I deal with—real guilt and false guilt. No man can take away my guilty heart of sinful folly. The anger in my heart this week was overwhelming to me. Praise to our God! HE already has covered my sin. Psalm 38:22 COME QUICKLY TO HELP ME, MY LORD, MY SAVIOR.COME QUICKLY.And our beautiful LORD is saying to every one of us…come closer and I will cover you up. May we all be so quick like David to respond to our God when our sin is exposed. You may be doing fine tonight or warring with your flesh in your heart. IDK. We all struggle.

Psa 51:1 Have mercy on me according to your UNFAILING LOVE Psa 51:7 Cleanse me and then I’ll be clean Psa 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart.

Then David wrote words of praise to our God in Psalm 103 to our God WHO forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, and redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with compassion and love. Psalm 103:1-2. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. Our sin is removed as far as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:10.

Then, what happens next as David deals with his guilt. He walks with his God and he goes back to his work. And II Samuel 8:4 tells of David’s successful exploits: 20,000 foot soldiers and 7,000 charioteers captured…I Chron 18:6 says the LORD gave David victory everywhere he went. He lay with his own wife. Victorious warrior on the outside and on the inside for his sins were covered.

Psalm 51:6 - I desire truth in my innermost parts. What was true about David was that he faced and entered and remained with his LORD after being caught in adultery and murder. So, I listen with great intent to hear how he rebounds after such a moral failure. I really want to know. David has my attention. This is what David writes as he repents and surrenders to his God….
Psalm 124: 1 – If the Lord had not been on our side…oh my! Our help is the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 108:1 – My heart is steadfast. I will make music with all my soul. I will praise for great is Your Love!.
Psalm 108 :13 – With my God we will gain the victory.
Psalm 44:3 - It's the Light of our God's Face that brings victory.
Psalm 44:26 Rise up and help us because of your Unfailing Love!
Let me close with a prayer for you from Psalm 20. May the Lord answer you when you are in distress this week. May His Name protect you. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Some trust in power and prestige and their own plans but they will fall. May you trust only in the Name of your LORD with whatever you face. May your faith cause you to rise up and stand firm in your need.
David's humble repentant heart so speaks to me tonight. After his failure, David didn't sideline himself but he let his God put him back together, back on the front lines. Overwhelming guilt. "No man knows how bad he really is, until he has tried very hard to be good." (C.S. Lewis). David holds hope for me and the warring flesh that I daily deal with.


Kate 5/04/2008  

psssst...Hi princess!


Ang baylis 5/05/2008  

The weeks are flying by! I'm so honored to be reading the Bible with you all. This week I got behind, but I read what God needed me to hear last night. Let's all learn from David! Bev, you are always right on! Thank you for sharing about His Unfailing Love! You're always in my prayers and your comments on my blog were so sweet they brought tears to my eyes this morning!
Much love,
Angie xoxo

Nise' 5/05/2008  

I love what you said about David, after dealing with his sin knowing all about God's infinite mercy and love, got right back to work. He believed that "the Lord also has taken away your sin". He can and will restore to us the joy of our salvation!

The rest of my post on this week's reading is here.

Praying that God will amaze you at how you are able to "get it all done"!

BethAnne 5/05/2008  

Hang in there Bev, it will get easier. I know that God is using you in a mighty way in your new position.

Laura 5/05/2008  

Oh, how I love that David! This guy lived with passion. You are covered in prayer, my friend! I am so thankful that you are working, even though I know it is a challenge. God is there!

CrownLaidDown 5/05/2008  

Oh Bev, God has Life in store for you...and that to the full! And I know you, I know you will let His life in you spill out upon all you encounter. You just cannot keep it to yourself. You must share life anbundant!

I love you! I love His Word and reading it through with you and these dear sisters. So much lingers, but my brain is full of the weekend with Beth and I cannot even figure what to write, yet, about my reading of the Word this week. Only this: fullness in His Presence and joy at His right Hand. He is my breath.

Love you, friend!

Karen 5/05/2008  

Oh I so need to be covered in the Psalm 20 prayer this week. You bless me.


annie's eyes 5/05/2008  

I am taking a minute to pray for each one of you on this journey. He is moving in mighty ways in your lives, and your beautiful words, your hearts poured out, reflect that. Stay strong and blessings abundant to you all. Love, Annette

Mary Lou 5/05/2008  

O, Bev, How He knew I needed that prayer. I have prayed for you too many times in the past week. Last week seemed like it was two weeks long. I am sorta in a desert right now. He will water me and feed me, but I am not sure where I am. Praying for you as I go. Wonderful insights...thanks...

helenw13 5/05/2008  

Dearest Bev,

I look forward to coming here at least once each week...I will be praying for you as you find your groove in working full time...kind of culture shock I am sure.

I love your synapsis of David...I am going to have to read it again...very true about him being quick to go back to work after his failings...I know that I can have a tendency to stew and not be effective at all...God still used him mightily and He will use of us!

Such a packed week once again...I have some thoughts about what scriptures spoke to me this week...could have added many more but it was to be a post and not a chapter! HA!

Alana 5/05/2008  

Happy Monday! Here is my take away this week.

"Silence is praise to you. Zion-dwelling God. And also obedience. You hear the prayer in it all. We arrive at your doorsep sooner or later, loaded with guilt. Our sins too much for us - but you get rid of them once and for all."

Psalm 65:1-2
The Message

Love that. Hang in there, friend. Be at peace!

Bev Brandon 5/06/2008  

I hope we all live today at his doorstep crossing the threshhold and entering and remaining in what HE has for us. For those of us in the desert, like me and MaryLou (that's an alliteration but not correct grammar from this English teacher---ha ha) but HE gives water in the desert ---- Isaiah 43 cause HE has formed us for HIMSELF. May we live out loud lives of PRAISE to HIM today. Thank you all for such beautiful comments that stir me and shake me and make me think about what is really going on in my heart. Not just about obediently checking off boxes and going to work---it's all about surrender to whatever HE is exposing in my heart how I've tried to make this all work. You guys are beautiful. Sure do love you! I hope to visit your posts tonight. Off to middle schoolers literacy class this a.m. Bev

Toknowhim 5/06/2008  

Sweet Bev,

I am back from my 40 day break from blogging, and I had such an awesome experience with the Lord during that time. I feel like a new person... Just wanted to stop by and say that I missed you, and hope things are going well for you... Blessings, Kim

Shonda 5/07/2008  

Checking in. I've been at a conference in Austin. I've been reading, but have not been able to reflect or post on the chronological reading. I'll share this--the scheduled reading matched up with the timing and portions of the conference! Isn't God amazing? No coincidence here!!

I'm still praying for you. I'm glad you have a job & I'm sure you'll get a groove soon.

Blessings in Christ-

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

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I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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