Bible Ballistics: BBs #239 What Are You Looking To???
I would like to share a word of confidence on this Friday; a word that might encourage you as you deal with the issues of living today. Life is from God, but oftentimes living through the daily grind includes a pathway strewn with difficulty, confusion, pain, heartache and even opposition from not only expected sources, but the most painful of all, opposition and hurt that comes from the closest and most unexpected places. We’ve all had those experiences of disappointment and betrayal; when those we love and trust turn out to have a different motive and agenda than we expected. What do we do when those things come (and if they haven’t come yet, they will)?
Well, what we don’t do, is let our circumstances control our perspective. Let’s take some lessons from the Psalms today and get a glimpse of what God would have us do today and each day we live. Whatever difficulty or pain you may be experiencing and suffering through remember –if you belong to Jesus– YOU are NOT ALONE. God has promised that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us when we belong to HIM!
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6
What must we do? We must learn to live with a contented heart, without covetousness—oh, my isn’t that “un”-American? No! In fact our founding father’s, who signed the Declaration of Independence, pledged to one another, and to this nation “Their Lives, Their Fortunes, and Their Sacred Honor”! Why? Because the things they believed about life, liberty, freedom (particularly religious freedom) and honor weren’t based on greed but selfless devotion to right and freedom. They were “content” to lay it all on the line, and many of them, if not most, trusted that God would provide for them in their just cause.
What has happened to our generation, our culture? We have abandoned God and contentment and we flounder in an ocean of greed and selfishness; while God tells us that He cares for His own and will NEVER leave those who belong to HIM!!! Where is your “contentment”? Is it in God and the here and now, or somewhere down the road in the next raise, a winning wager or ticket, the next rung on the ladder of corporate success? When difficulty comes, or conflict, or opposition, what are we to do? What do the Psalmists have to say!
“In my distress I cried unto the Lord,
and he heard me.
2 Deliver my soul, O Lord,
from lying lips,
and from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2
In our vernacular, “Give it to Jesus”, He knows how to handle your life, if you will but call out to HIM for deliverance—not only for salvation, but also for daily living.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23
And the delight here, I believe, is two-sided. God delights in the way of the “good man”, and the “good man” delights in God’s ways (See verse 4 of Psalm 37). And how do we accomplish this delight in and from God? Good question:
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee:
O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O Lord:
teach me thy statutes.
13 With my lips have I declared
all the judgments of thy mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies,
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate in thy precepts,
and have respect unto thy ways.
16 I will delight myself in thy statutes:
I will not forget thy word.” Psalm 119:9-16
The Psalmist here asks how, and then proceeds to point us to the WORD as the “how to”!!! He lists multiple actions that we are to take, and they all focus on the Word of God! How about you and me? Are you willing to make the Word of God the primary guide of your life? Are we willing to:
Take heed to it (pay attention)—
Seek it out (along with it’s author)—
Hide it in our hearts (read, study and memorize it)—
Ask God to teach us(through His Holy Spirit)—
Declare it to others when He teaches us(testify)—
Rejoice in His Word and His Ways(Glad God is God)—
Meditate in and on His Word(Read it, think it, live it)—
Respect His ways (follow and love them)—
Delight in His ways (rather than complain)—
Not forget (remember it, don’t be distracted)—
So my dear friends, what are you looking to? Are you looking to the all-sufficient God of the universe or the flimsy and fleeting fancies of the world? It’s your choice. Choose wisely. There is a test at the end! Look up!!!