Spending time with God is one of the most important things you can do. If you read the Scriptures you will find that even Jesus often took time alone to spend with the FATHER! Spending time with God will help you how to respond properly or not to respond at all to others. Spending time with Him yields patience and understanding. The wonderful thing about God is that He has provided so many ways to continually enhance our personal relationship with Him. He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to all truth! He has given us His Holy Word to teach us and equip us to do whatever He has planned for our lives. He has even provided spiritual armor to protect us from evil. To even tell us when we are right or wrong! His Word also gives us directions as to what not to do! His Word teaches us how and when to stand in the midst of spiritual warfare! The scripture tell us “trust in the Lord will all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.” He has given us His precious Son Jesus, who will be your personal Savior once you truly invite Him into your heart. It is in Him you will always find victory!
The book of Galatians clearly tells us; “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Christ lived a sinless life! Christ became flesh! He conquered sin in the flesh so He could be our example! He died for us! He did not die for us to continue to make excuses for our shortcomings. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior we are able to rely on Him to “save us from the power of sin in our life”. A truly dedicated life to God will result in an increased ability to exercise self-control! Spending time with God will help you to discern between good and evil. To be as “wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove!” God is aware of everything. He is omniscient! It does not matter how things appear or seem. Neither does it matter when everyone else pretends everything is okay when something is terribly wrong! God knows how things really are! In the midst of a declining world you can still enjoy a wholesome clean life. Spending time with God will also teach and direct you how to be a good steward of the things and people He entrusts to your care! His Word also tells us “He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus! God is a Spirit of TRUTH!
Paul also warns us of false teachings. Spending time with God will help you recognize those who pervert the Gospel of Christ! He even goes so far to tell us that they use it for a license of licentiousness. Which merely means to excuse their loose behavior? He tells us to not receive the message regardless of the person or position. I encourage you to study God’s Word. Listen closely when some one says they have a message from God. Allow the Holy Spirit to sift its contents and validate its Truth. Just ask yourself how often did Jesus talk about how many horses or chariots someone had? How many suits of clothing did Joseph, Priscilla and Aquilla or anyone else for that matter possess? How much money it took to feed the multitudes? I don’t think that Jesus told the woman at the well that He “loved her and all of her faults”. He told her “TO GO AND SIN NO MORE!” Furthermore are you spiritually enriched by the message? Have you been provoked to good works or spiritual growth? Or do you just continue to feel content in disobedience?
Jesus said “If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and truth shall make you free.” Jesus also tells us in His Word; “whoever commits sin is a slave to sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free you shall be free indeed.” The point that I am trying to make is Christ died to make us free! Spending time with God will give you freedom! We must commence embracing a Christ centered life! Christ took back the power the enemy stole! God’s Word really is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto out path.” Paul goes further to say “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let Him be accursed.” There is much spiritual warfare about us! This is really not a game! We are living in the perilous times that the bible talks about! Please do not settle for a life that pleases man. Commence to really put God first in your life! Man’s approval is not necessary to accomplish God’s will in your life. He will and can make your path straight! God is the source of everything you possibly need to accomplish whatever He has for you to do.
Spending time with God will yield much peace. It will also consecrate your heart and your conscious! God will teach you how to guard your heart! You see God is a Spirit of Truth! I am thankful for His presence in my life! The devil is the father of lies! Deception and trickery are not a part of God’s fruit. Many are greatly deceived. I encourage you to spend some time reading Exodus. It is fear-provoking to know how much time they spent consecrating themselves for worship. They had reverence and deep respect for God. Worshipping God was sacred! Today it is not necessary for many. Many see worship as a time for them to “stand up for their gifts.” In times past God’s presence was earnestly welcomed. God is all knowing! God is truly Holy! God said that the true worshippers “worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH!” I thank Him that I can freely lift my hands to thank and praise Him for the freedom He has given me.
Spending time with God will teach you how to properly navigate through this world of sin! Spending time with Jesus allows you to be calm in the midst of spiritual warfare. Jesus quite often did not respond to His accusers! You see many times just enough detail was omitted to prohibit the real truth from coming out. They sought to discredit His sincerity. More often than not a one sided story was and is embraced as truth! God is Light in Him is no darkness. “Perfect Love casts out all fear!” Just know it is more important what God knows rather than what others think! We must stand for the TRUTH! Jude tells us to contend for the faith! We must measure what is being taught against the Word of God. There are many false teachers who are misleading those who really need to hear the Gospel! He tells us “ these are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts, and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you beloved remember the words which were spoken before the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how they told you that their would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons who cause division, not having the Spirit.” Jude ends telling us “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY!”
It is very easy to become attached to a spiritual leader. When one has helped you it is natural to feel loyalty. Especially when you have confided in them. Paul warns us against having such pride in our favorite leaders that causes divisions in the church. The Corinthian Church for an example was a very carnal church. It continually indulged in the immorality that was practiced culturally. The culture of that day embraced a temple of prostitution. The Corinthians needed specific instructions because of their immoral standards. Paul tells us “the body is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” It was because of their carnality that Paul continuously warned them! It is spiritually dangerous to create an environment that embraces sin and labels it unconditional love. That really worships God in flesh and half truths!
Paul encourages us to imitate Christ because He himself spent time with God and walked closely with Him. I would like to encourage you to commit to spend at least 10 minutes of time alone with God each day! Just you and God with no distractions! Learn how to “ Be still and Know”. Start your personal devotion with prayer & Thanksgiving to give you the proper focus. Then just quietly discipline yourself to listen. To be still. Watch how someone or something tries to distract you. Please do not give up. (You see the enemy is so clever at distracting you.) Remember the idea is to exercise discipline. Increase your time gradually with God. This will also enhance your personal Bible Study time. I assure you any burden you might have will begin to lift. You see God really is a burden bearer. Honoring God by spending time with Him will give you direction. You cannot change anything that has happened but you can begin to really “walk in the light.” End your time Thanking Him for all He has done. Remember when you pray you must obey. To Love God is to obey Him! God’s Word is true!
We too must stand on the Word of God even when we are called anything but a child of God! Spending time with God and obeying His commandments will free you from sinful strongholds! I am thankful that God has provided us with many gifted men and women of God who are committed to spreading the true Gospel! They take seriously their responsibility to present Biblical Truth. A true spiritual leader is a representative of Christ. and has nothing to offer that God has not already given him or her! Loyalty should not cause strife, or slander. The truth can disable slander! God really is a Spirit of Truth! Our deepest loyalties should be to Christ and not to human agents! Those who spend more time debating the importance of church leadership than declaring Christ’s message don’t have Christ as their first priority. God’s Word clearly tells us “that we should not go beyond what is written. Spending time with God will cause you to attach yourself to God, rather than a spiritual leader. Commence to spend time with God “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your path”. When you spend time with God you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free!
This is a splendid, impressive, awe-inspiring Psalm! It starts with a complaint, progressively takes you on an expedition of distress and at its conclusion you find hope & relief! What a marvelous spiritual journey! As David did quite often, know we too can earnestly cry out to the Lord at anytime! Here we can find comfort knowing that in even our darkest moments we can find respite and solace in the Lord! Whatever you may be going through you can rest assured that God is totally aware of whatsoever is happening! You are not alone! Although David complains at first he eventually launches into a powerful heartfelt prayer!
What is so beautiful about the Lord; you can just be who we are! If you are not in a good place ask Him to help you! We can’t fool God! He sees us from the inside out! We are ALL totally transparent to Him! Therefore it really is best for us to sincerely confess how we are feeling and what’s going down or happening in our life and then ask the Him to help us be where we need to be.
One of the fabulous wonders of life is; the ability to be able to grow spiritually is lifelong! Discovering who you are in the Lord can bring “Joy” for the journey! Joy is part of the Fruit of His Spirit! God is beyond able!
David goes through some tumultuous moments, days & years! No doubt there is a plethora of responsibilities and numerous challenges with him being the King, a father and “a man after God’s own heart!” I Samuel 13. He was the greatest king ever to rule over Israel! He was a man of great character and had steadfast trust and faith in the Lord! Yet it is clear with all that wisdom, and power he still needed the Lord! There were times of great distress and notable times he succumbed to his weaknesses… Yet he repented genuinely and pressed forward. His heartfelt confessions and accolades of praise inversely permeate throughout the duration of these Psalms!
Here he presents a question to the Lord! “How long?” We never know how long or short our test or trial will be but we can during the process; “Trust in the LORD with ALL our heart and lean not to your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and HE WILL make your path straight…” Proverbs 3. God will direct our path through whatever circumstance that presents itself! We however must position ourselves to hear Him and see clearly the narrow path. We can trust His Word!
There are many amazing and glorious stories of David’s plethora of experiences and turbulent times! However his good days outweigh them all! He was an exceptional king! Here in the Word of God we have a brilliant reliable record that the Lord brought him through each time! Therefore we can REJOICE knowing that this is the same God that we love and serve! Holy and Mighty is the LORD our GOD! He is the “GREAT I AM!” God truly is able!
~ PSALM 13~
Book of Praise Lesson Highlights
“A Psalm of David.” The Prayer For God’s Answer – NOW!
Theme: Praying for relief from despair. We must continue to TRUST GOD even when He doesn’t answer us immediately.
The 6th of seven “penitential” Psalms
Here David’s soul is in calamitous anguish! He vociferously cries out in the midst of his troubles! His heart is heavy laden and his mind is bothered! He heavily contemplates upon what will be the duration of his current dilemma that seems to be without end!
David desperately wants to hear from the Lord! He apparently is beginning to feel apprehensively anxious and impatient. So much so he asks the Lord if He has forgotten him? Here we get a glimpse of the close intimate relationship David has with the Lord! He candidly expresses the depth of his inner feelings! He is being beleaguered by his emotions! He wants some answers and is beginning to display much impatience… “How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”
David is so beside himself that his mind is heavy with thoughts! His confidence is diminishing and he feels that his persecutors appear to be winning triumphantly over him? Everyday his heart is burdened more and he is now simply anxious and weighed down with worry! Many lessons here for us to learn!
The Word of God is so vitally important! In the New Testament in Philippians, the Apostle Paul tells us; “DO NOT be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God which transcends understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4. When we are going through we must make a sincere effort to focus on the Lord and allow Him to lessen the load in His time. This of course can at times be easier said than done… Through Jesus Christ He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit to be our Teacher & Comforter! When we remain focused on Him He can and will guard our hearts and minds! “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
David feels so bad that he is pleading with the Lord to relieve him! The pain is so ghastly he fears death! The pressures of life are making Him feel so hopeless he is overcome with worry! He feels as though his enemies will overtake him and over power him and that they will soon celebrate his downfall. “Look on me and answer, O LORD my GOD. Give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say; “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
As soon as David expresses his doubts and fears his load is lifted to the point he is now rejoicing! His trust and confidence in the Lord takes the forefront! How appropriate because the Lord time after time has brought him through. David now feels the Lord will save him! Here we too can rejoice in this life lesson because; “The Lord is Faithful!” He will deliver us and keep us as well! We in turn must keep our focus on Him and not the situation! We too must learn to trust Him! Like David we can be confident in the Lord!
Behind ever dark cloud there is light! This is why we must go to the Lord and invite Him into the “messiness” that life sometimes hurls upon us! He will make our path straight! Yet we must position ourselves humbly into His hands in order to hear Him! Although David commences this Psalm complaining and feeling forsaken he does not camp there very long! He does not allow himself to be pulled into the pit of endless depression!
Life can certainly be overwhelming at times! It can appear as though you are all alone and everyone and just about everything is coming against you. But when you have the Lord it is important to know that you are never alone! “This too shall pass!” David shows us in this Psalm that there can be an immediate turn around in your situation. Or if not’ while going through you can acquire more patience! This is why we need a Savior! To save us from the power of sin reigning in our lives and keep us connected to the Lord!
Sin separates us from the Lord and doubt wants to make you worry and weaken your connectedness! When this happens it is the perfect time to seek the Lord’s presence! Invite Him to come even closer and see how He will reveal Himself to you! He can make a way out of no way! At the same time He can cultivate His Fruit within you! This is why while going through we must learn to focus on the many bountiful blessings and promises in His Word! We don’t have to stay in the “How Longs?”The Love of God is powerful! “But I TRUST in your unfailing LOVE; my heart REJOICES in Your SALVATION.” Thank God for Jesus Christ and His precious Holy Spirit! The Lord truly is GOOD! HE IS AWESOME!
This Psalm concludes by saying: “I will sing to the LORD, for He has been GOOD TO ME!”