Friday, October 31, 2014

Send Forth Your Lightning, LORD

From the deadly sword deliver me;
    rescue me from the hands of foreigners
    whose mouths are full of lies,
    whose right hands are deceitful.
(Psalm 144:10-11 NIV)
Psalm 144 seems a very fitting prayer for these times, especially in regard to ISIS in the Middle East and jihad terrorists popping up in our own lands. They are the wicked “foreigners” (enemy) we face, whose mouths are full of deceit and whose hands are full of violence.
From their deadly sword, O Lord, deliver us.
My prayer is that God will dismantle them, undermine them and destroy their organization. My preference is that God would do it by giving them dreams and visions of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that they might come and find hope and peace in Him, as so many other Muslims have done in recent days.
Lord, show them the Lord Jesus Christ, how wonderful He is, that they might come to repentance and faith in Him.
But if the wicked will not come to repentance, my prayer is that God would bring them quickly to judgment, that the innocent and the just no longer be afflicted by their cruelties.
Part your heavens, LORD, and come down;
    touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
    shoot your arrows and rout them.
(Psalm 144:5-6 NIV)
The desire is not for revenge but for deliverance. The psalm writer does not pray that the enemy — the people themselves — be destroyed but that, as an army, they would be routed and scattered. Vengeance is for the Lord to deal with however He sees fit. But what the psalm writer is looking for instead is this:
Then our sons in their youth
    will be like well-nurtured plants,
    and our daughters will be like pillars
    carved to adorn a palace.
Our barns will be filled
    with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
    by tens of thousands in our fields;
    our oxen will draw heavy loads.
There will be no breaching of walls,
    no going into captivity,
    no cry of distress in our streets.
(Psalm 144:12-14 NIV)
It is for the peace of his people and the security of his nation that he prays. Not just for his own generation but for the generations to come — the sons and daughters. It is for the prosperity and fruitfulness for all. That is what I, too, pray for in these times, not just for my family but also for my country. Yes, I am well aware that we have great need of repentance in our own nation, and I pray for that, too, that we may together be a people whose God is Yahweh (the LORD). For the psalm writer concludes:
Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
    blessed is the people whose God is the LORD”
(Psalm 144:15 NIV)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Random Thoughts

Some thoughts culled from my random file. About faith, love, life and relationship with God. Some have occurred to me in moments of quiet reflection, some in interaction with others. Some are aphoristic and avuncular. Many have been tweets on Twitter and updates on Facebook. For your edification, inspiration and/or motivation — or your money cheerfully refunded.
  • Nobody deserves grace. Nobody. That’s why it is called grace. And that sets us free to throw ourselves into God!
  • Nobody needs grace more than I do. And that’s why nobody needs Christ more than I do. Nobody.
  • Grace is confusing to people who are trying to relate to God through rules and regulations.
  • Each new day is a good day to repent, to turn to God anew and in ways we never have before. And grace is always there to meet us.
  • Justice is not something we get, it is something we do. Sure, we all want to be treated justly ourselves. But it is more important that we treat others justly, even when we are not.
  • Jesus calls us to seek, above all else, the kingdom of God and His way of living. It is a risky business. But there is even greater risk in not seeking it.
  • Confusion is what happens when you begin heading into the dark. It is also what happens when you begin heading into the light. The difference is that it eventually clears up in the light.
  • Enoch walked with God (Genesis 5:22). Noah did, too (Genesis 6:9). This is what faith is — walking with God.
  • Jesus is the Way — follow Him. He is the Truth — trust Him. He is the Life — live Him.
  • To know God in every moment, waking or sleeping, in every situation, in every encounter — each moment becomes a divine moment, each situation becomes a divine situation, each encounter becomes a divine encounter. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1 is that God would give us wisdom and revelation by the Holy Spirit so that we may know God more. Fully, experientially, intimately. Not just in theory.
  • God’s plan is that everything comes together in Christ. This is the fullness of the gospel.
  • If one is going to be deconstructionist, then even his deconstructionism needs to be deconstructed. Arm-chair deconstructionists are usually not willing to go that far. Like skeptics who are skeptical of everything — except their own skepticism.
  • Some people like stereotypes. They think it saves time and that the odds are with them. Perhaps. But it is not worth the damage that so often follows.
  • I think I’ve just about figured out how much I don't now. But, of course, I could be wrong about that.
  • Vulnerability is a venture, a risk we take. Safety is an environment we offer.
  • Worship does not fulfill some need in God. He has no need. But it sure does meet a need in us.
  • If you’re miserable living for Jesus, then you’re doing it wrong.