Sunday, May 18, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

What lingers in your heart as you read the Word of God this week? Share a verse, a thought, a prayer. Join us as we read through the Bible chronologically and link us up to visit your blog. And thanks so much for stopping by.

MY THOUGHTS TROUBLE ME says David in Psalm 44:2. Oh, Wow! That speaks. What are your troubling thoughts at 2:00 in the morning??? I have them. We all do. But, what do we do with those thoughts? I’ve heard someone say before we either fight or take flight if we live by our fleshly instincts.
Psalm 141:3 - Set a guard over my mouth, please watch the door of my lips, God! Let my heart not be drawn to what is evil. I have my own set of thoughts that could lead me down a path of evil and I don’t want any part of it. Psalm 141:8 I pray for us all today for “fixed eyes on you, O Sovereign Lord.”


FLIGHT

David lived in turbulent trouble over Absalom and Sheba and Shimei and Bathsheba and Uriah and the list went on and on. He wrote: in Psalm 55:6-8
“Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter.” Wonder where we flee from our troubling thoughts? Where is your place of shelter from the storms of life? Where do you hide in your heart? Who thinks they find rest in a desert?


FIGHT

David was betrayed by his own son and by his lifelong fellow soldiers in his own camp and engaged in an arduous battle with them all. Absalom even came home to David but David wouldn’t even allow him to enter his presence. In Psalm 55:13, David says that his close friend insulted him. Maybe it has happened to you at one time or another, that you have felt betrayed. It happened to me. So, what do I do with that? Do I defend and protect myself? Do I fight them back with the same behavior they gave to me?
As we fight, it is the Voice of our Lord we hear all around us…

* strikes like lightning* shakes the desert* twists the oaks* strips the forests bare*
I so long to hear the voice of my beautiful Christ striking, shaking, twisting, and stripping my life as I fight a good fight of faith, and give up the wrong battles. Psalm 29:7-9.


FAITH
David says:
“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress and He hears my voice.” Psalm 55:17.
That is what God is drawing me to do.It is not about fleeing our troubles.
NO FLIGHT. NO FIGHT…
“Cast your cares on the Lord and HE will sustain. But as for me, I trust in YOU.” Psalm 55:22-23.
Blessed are those whose strength is in God, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage as they pass through suffering. Psalm 84:5. May we all go from strength to strength.Psalm 84:11 - God is a Sun and Shield in each of our lives. He gives favor. NO GOOD THING does HE withhold from those whose walk is blameless. And it is His definition of what is good for us, not ours.
In finding faith, the story of Sheba came up. II Samuel 20:18 - A wise woman stood up and appealed to David that he not destroy a city that is “a mother in Israel.” So Joab decided to take Sheba’s life instead of ravaging the city. I hope we all have courage like this wise woman to speak up on behalf of others.
God gives strength Psalm 29:11…or am I looking for strength from others?
God blesses with peace or am I looking to be at peace with others at all costs?

FAINTING
I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I am. Psalm 61:2
I long to take refuge in the shelter of your wings. My soul finds rest in God alone. My hope comes from HIM. Psalm 62:2-8 “Trust in HIM at all times; pour out your hearts to HIM.”
“Protect me from men who plan to trip my feet” and “shield my head” O my God. Psalm 140:7.

ONE THING God spoke…TWO THINGS I heard…
YOU, O GOD, ARE STRONG.
YOU, O GOD, ARE LOVING. Psalm 62:11.
NO MATTER WHAT.

One story about fainting was in II Samuel 18:33. Now, who doesn’t faint when their son dies. “O my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—my son, my son!” But what was David’s tears? Grieving tears? Despairing tears? Or Repentant tears? David wouldn’t allow Absalom in his presence so it seems David’s tears were for himself as well as for what his son missed. I don’t know. The next five psalms written do not deal with a repentant heart like Psalm 51 after David was caught in adultery. And, in II Samuel 19:6, Joab rebukes David in his mourning saying you’ve humiliated all your men for “you love those who hate you and hate those who love you.” Doesn’t seem like David is really dealing with what is going on in his heart over the loss of relationship with his son for he owned a part of that. David forgives his enemy Shimei in 19:23 but didn’t forgive his own son. David struggled with those closest to him and that is failure on the part of David. The measure of how well we are doing is how we relate to those closest to us. Lot easier to love the world and be nice to those we don’t have to live with.

FINDING GOD
It's an old book I'm reading this week about valuing resolution of our problems more than learning to love. "Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God." No higher priority than pursuing our good God. So, my prayer for you this night is Psalm 30. May our beautiful God lift us all out of the depths we are in as we call to Him for help and healing. Please, o God, let our joy come in the morning. Turn our wailing into dancing that WE MAY NOT BE SILENT.

My confidence has been really shaken this week by circumstances. People have made me feel very small. All I can do is look at my own sin and repent and put my confidence in a very big God who loves me and is with my every step. David took “great pains” in his steps to prepare for his son Solomon to take over building God’s house. I Chron 22:14. Some of his last words to Solomon were: Begin your work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. David knew his sin was great Psalm 25:11. But David knew God’s grace was greater and wrote in 25:15:
"My eyes are ever on the LORD for only HE will release my feet from the snare." So where we have been living in FIGHT OR FLIGHT, release our feet, God. Psalm 25:16.

O Sovereign God, turn to my friends and be gracious to them. Free me from my own anguish. Psalm 25:17.

And I have to end with the gripping very last words of King David to his son, Solomon. “Be strong, my son. Show yourself a man.”

Show yourself a true woman this week. Determine in your mind and heart to seek your LORD. I Chron 22:19.

18 comments:

Nise' 5/18/2008  

God showed me years ago that my mindset was as you say, "Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God." Oh, how gracious He was to teach me that it is all about finding Him, trusting Him, waiting on Him in the midst of all my troubles! I didn't have to like them (troubles), I just had to focus on Him! He is/was Faithful.

My thoughts will be posted here. shortly.

annie's eyes 5/18/2008  

Precious words to claim in focusing on Him, in prioritizing our family as more important than a stranger, in showing ourselves mighty women of God. I continue to pray for each of you as we study our twentieth week of the journey. He has proven so faithful. I'll post a few thoughts on these verses tomorrow. Love and Blessing to you, Bev, and to each of you along the way! Annette

Ang baylis 5/18/2008  

Your insights made me think about how I treat those closest to me! Let my words be more loving to those closest! I love how we are all reading this together and hear what God wants us to hear. I don't want to be silent anymore! I used to be very shy... and embarrassed to tell anyone I had a blog. Now it's getting easier. God is working on my heart... and approval addiction! I did a post but have no idea how to link it to here. I need to ask Nise about it! Thank you so much Bev for hosting this! I think there is another sister who wants to join us!
Have a great week!
Love, Angie xoxo

Laura 5/19/2008  

Hello, friend!
I'm sorry that you have had a difficult week. Remember, though we may seem small in the eyes of man, we are the apple of His eye! I love this post. David's story has something in it for everyone, no? Fight, Flight, Faith, Finding God...I have made all of these choices at one time or another.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Shonda 5/19/2008  

Bev,
I glean so much from what the Lord imparts to you. For where I am at this moment the "Finding God" segment spoke to me most. "Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God." Perhaps if feeling better will cause me to fail to acknowledge HIM, perhaps it is best the Lord keep me in circumstances where I seek HIM day by day and hour by hour.

My heart grieves for the body of Christ for there seems to be disunity and dissension. I long for HIM to come and heal our broken hearts.

I wrote a bit about where I am today at this moment in time this morning.

I posted my thoughts on my blog.

May the Lord bless all of you this day and this week.

Love in Christ--

Mary Lou 5/19/2008  

Bev, you are so right, we can't flee from our troubles or fight against them. We do indeed need to run to Him. When I have looked to others for strength I have been disappointed every time, But when I have gone to Him I have NEVER been let down. He is always consistent, only He can can give peace and strength. He is The source of it ALL. Your thoughts about being nicest to those closest to us instead of taking them for granted hit home. I think I tend to take my husband's unconditional love for me for granted....he does mine at times...Oh how we do need to treat them better. My life is so much better when I have finding Him as my highest priority as opposed to only wanting to feel better and going to Him for answers instead of going to Him to be with Him.Oh, may all of us have the higher priority of seeking Him for being with Him and praising Him. Blessings on your week. May He meet you each step of the way. Remember He has gone before you and He's already in tomorrow.

CrownLaidDown 5/19/2008  

Oh, this week, my heart was stirred most by Bathsheba and her words, "O King David, live Forever." There David lay old and cold, and it would seem the fight has gone out of this warrier. It stirred thoughts in my mind over their story long ago, their sin, her loss of a husband, their loss of a son, and more life that followed. I wondered how she said those words-with tears and sadness perhaps? And yet, she knows God's promise for their son. And she goes to speak for the future, because she too is a warrier for her family.

I guess these thoughts stirred in me, because I love to think upon David and the many hats he wore over his lifetime.

Also, we each one are grafted into this family in Christ. Such a high calling for each of us to be women after God's own heart. I want to leave the kind of legacy that matters for my children, that is valued and valuable.

Such a great week!
Love to you all,
holly

PS Praying for you today, Bev.

Fran 5/19/2008  

Love you Ms. Bev!! THank you always for your insight and wisdom.

Big ole blessings dear one,
Fran

Karen 5/19/2008  

How often we seek to find freedom in the very things that snare us. May we ever keep our eyes on Him.

Lifting you up in prayer this week.

blessings,
Karen

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Nise - I just have to say to you that you are a faithful woman!

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Your choices inspire me and make me want to treat those closest in my life as more important than myself.

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Ang, I love your heart...it's not about being "better" but it is all about being "broken" before HIM
Who holds us all together. Love your humility.

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

You've been in my thoughts and prayers in your journey not to find yourself but to find your God and you have and you are and you will.

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Shonda - You have a beautiful broken heart before HIM. Not about being better but all about being broken. Paul said right before he died that he was the chiefest of all sinners---wonder why?

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Mary Lou, you have such depth in your writing and life. I saw Narnia yesterday and one thought really gripped me when Aslan said---why didn't you come to Me? You make me want to go to HIM.

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Happy humble holly, you are leaving a legacy because every day you are seeking Him for whatever He has for you. You are passing on your heart to your children! Deut 6:6...

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Fran, My heart jumps every time I see your name. You are such a dear. So full of compassion for others. So full of His Life.

Bev Brandon 5/23/2008  

Karen, so absolutely delighted to hear from you. Your insight made me smile and stirred my heart. You have such a sensitivity to the Spirit of God. So glad to be on the journey with you.

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

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I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
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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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