Earlier this week I was pondering a battle in my flesh. Circumstances crashed against me, in some ways, like a wave- and I was sputtering under the foam and mist and all my strength was given to trying to navigate the fury. When all my strength is diverted elsewhere, it is easy for weakness in other areas of life to arise to waylay me. Jesus is my Deliverer. I read Galations 1; I read Psalm 77. I know what it is to be crashed asunder and to try to cry to God for help: for a clear, peaceful mind, for self-control to be faithful and diligent; for focus- and to find myself floundering, greatly. The flesh. It is a battle and one I cannot overcome on my own. Galations 1 points me to Jesus who died to deliver me, utterly.
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. ESV
Decisions have to be made and there are choices ahead in many realms. I find myself considering. Whose approval am I seeking and what do I really need? What is it for me to be single-eyed in my care to please God alone? I am so fallible, and I make so many mistakes in general, and with people. Can I trust God with my human-ness, my weakness, my mistakes and let His love lead me forward? No condemnation. Just gentle steps with my eye on His face toward me. Embraced in His wholehearted love.
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ.
Ezekial 28 speaks to me in a way I ponder and do not know exactly what to make of. Yet, I settle in to trust that it is God’s goodness to dwell securely, to plant, to build, to cultivate a life, a home, a family, a community. God is in the building and He is in the peace. He is my peaceable habitation, if only I can find my way in Him. I have felt contempt at times; I would like to pursue good and dwell securely.
25 “Thus says the Lord God: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.” ESV
When the waves roil and the foam takes me under, Psalm 77 gives me a pathway forward and out. I need to remember. Speak aloud, write it down, recount the faithfulness, power, and “Ebenezer stones” from the past. When I cannot see what is in front of me, I can cry to God and recount truth: both Scripture (literally) and also His faithfulness in my life. Show me Your faithfulness, Lord. I have known what it is to cry out in weakness, and I have known what it is to give way in weakness. Help me know You through it all and Your redeeming love and power.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples. ESV
God, let me praise You as the God who works wonders. Work wonders in my life by Your miraculous Hand. Let me know You in the power of Your perfect peace. I don’t deserve it, Lord. I can’t earn it. It is only through Christ who gave Himself for me. Let me know Your personal, full-hearted love and let me be kept in You. May I be delivered from this present evil age and the desires of my flesh and no what it is to walk in the Spirit, free. Amen.