I Almost Slipped into Ungodliness

Woman on bench at chapel“My feet came close to stumbling. My steps had almost slipped into ungodliness.” Psalm 73:2

I found myself battling once again on the battle field of my mind. It reminded me afresh of my fleshly tendencies. This time my thoughts began with defending myself if the occasion should arise to have a real dialogue with a person or two. I crafted a reasonable conversation within my mind thinking I settled it.

However, it wasn’t enough. I needed to bring more passion to the conversation within my mind standing firm in my justification of my position. Once again, it wasn’t enough.

Oh, my goodness how I should have stopped myself sooner because I scratched those two drafts and started a brash one that would mow down anything standing in my way.

My thoughts became unharnessed and were not led by the Spirit.

It wasn’t until I came to God, completely undone this time, that I realized I had drawn away from Him. I became consumed day after day with the battle of what I wanted to say out loud, but was not able to. My fleshy desires placed a void between me and God.

I found that Psalm 73:21-22 put my experience into harsh, but accurate words.

“When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant, I was like a beast before You.”

Have you drawn away from the Lord with just one thought that led to your complete senselessness?

Maybe your thoughts of defending yourself led to bitterness in your heart.

Maybe your thoughts of walking away from a situation created a hardness in your soul.

Maybe your thoughts of becoming self-sufficient led to isolation.

Nonetheless, if you are in Christ He is still there to help you. God won’t leave you alone in your beastly mess. You only need to recognize He hasn’t left. He is waiting to take you by the hand to help you have victory on the battle field of your mind.

There is a Psalm of Asaph that conveys a truth about God and ourselves that reminds us of this truth.

“Nevertheless, I am continually with You. You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward, receive me to glory (or with honor). Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 74:23-26)

No matter what kind of mess you may be in God is with you. He will guide you through your pitfalls of life, and will not let you go. Open your heart and mind to God! His plan for you is to have a steadfast peace as you fix your thoughts on Him.  If we look and focus in any other direction we will become senseless and our hearts will fail us.

Maybe your feet have come close to stumbling and your steps have almost slipped into ungodliness like mine almost did, Psalm 73:2. If so I implore you to STOP crafting those conversations within your mind and go before the Lord. He will guide you to victory. God will strengthen your heart like He has mine. Consider lifting your right hand up even now asking God to take hold of you and of your thoughts.

Don’t give up! The battle may be intense, but our God is greater than any enemy you are battling right now. It does not matter if the battle is taking place within or from outside, God is able to overpower all opposition to Him.

The nearness of God is good and when you receive peace, and newness of mind then tell of God’s great work so others may seek Him for refuge, help, and hope, Psalm 73:28. I just did, and would love to hear from you when you experience how good and refreshing God’s nearness is.

Blessings,

Jodi

 

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Look Me Straight in the Eyes

parent holding cheeks of child softRecently, I found myself focusing on my circumstances instead of God, who has control over them. This left me feeling out of control, and anxious. I thought about my children when they were small, and how they had similar emotions. One could snatch a toy from the other and “all chaos” would break out, leaving the empty handed one feeling anxious and out of control. To get their attention and calm them, I would cup their plump cheeks in the palms of my hands, lift their head, and say, “Look me straight in the eyes.” As they focused on my eyes, I would softly tell them to calm down and that everything was going to be okay. Once this truth settled in their little hearts, they would experience a calming peace.

Are you focused on your circumstances?

Maybe you’re like me when fatigue swoops in. It sets our emotions on our shoulders causing our focus to be on ourselves and our circumstances. Then, everything becomes amplified. For example, small things can feel like huge failures. Such as missing deadlines, not following through with paperwork for a volunteer position, procrastinating reaching out to that new friend, staying perpetually behind on the laundry…I could go on and crossover into worries and fears because when we intentionally focus on ourselves, we naturally build a list of all our failures.

By now, we feel like “all chaos” has broken out, and we have lost control.

As I was walking and talking through the details with God, I was reminded that He is the lifter of my head. I pictured God cupping my own plump cheeks in His hands as He said, “Look me straight in the eyes!” Focus on ME, not what is going on around you. Psalm 3:3 (NIV) came to mind … “You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”

Then, I remembered where my eyes are supposed to be. Psalm 121:1-2 …“I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”. As this truth settled in my heart, a calming peace wrapped around me like a warm blanket. I wish I could always maintain this kind of peace, but my flesh is weak. However, I have a phrase I ponder on to help me, but it only works when I remember it and apply it: “I cannot do anything apart from Christ, but I can do ALL things through Him.”

Let’s choose to apply this truth today, and let God be the lifter of our head. He is in control. We can calm down … everything will be okay.