Think About This: “When we dwell on God’s provision, His promises, His presence, authentic joy is the natural overflow, which inspires us to praise and worship Him through our hardships. In so doing, we can experience His peace through any circumstance.” ― Kim Meeder
I Pondered the Direction of My Life
Posted on September 21, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
“I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.” Psalms 119:59
Everything about knowing God’s blessings and enjoying His promises has to do with location… not where you’re physically located, but your proximity to Him. The problem does not lie with where God is, for His Word tells us that God is at work, relentlessly pursuing us and drawing us to Himself. The psalmist tells us, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”(Psalms 139:7-10) The ultimate act of this relentless pursuit is how God loved the world: He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17) But God does not force you into His presence or even make you receive His most precious gift of eternal life… in love, He allows you to choose to respond. True love necessitates a choice or it would be manipulation. True love is manifested in obedience, humility, and sacrifice. Jesus showed God’s love to us in real-time, and in turn we are given the opportunity to respond by loving Him in like manner. Jesus invites us to come to Him, “all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” He offers us His lighter yoke of completed works of salvation to bear. He even offers to teach you how to go about doing it. He does this because He is humble and gentle at heart, and understands that this will help you find rest for your soul. His yoke is easy to bear, and the burden He gives is light, being that it can be born up in the strength of His Spirit. (Matt 11:28-30; Phil 4:13)
We are directed to cast our cares and undue burdens on Him and then abide or remain in His presence. In this proximity to Jesus, we can rest knowing that because He bore the cross and satisfied God’s wrath towards all sin, and because He has defeated sin and death, He assuredly can carry my burden of today, caring for its every facet. Because of this ‘near proximity to Jesus, we don’t have to worry about anything; instead, we can pray about everything, telling God what you need, and thanking Him for all He has done. It is in this proximity to Jesus then that you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philip 4:5-6) Unless the Lord had helped me in this way, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. But because I accepted His invitation to draw near to Him, and I knew His presence more closely, when I cried out, “I am slipping!” I was in proximity to God by obedience to His Word and faith in the saving grace of Jesus the Christ, for His unfailing love to support me. When doubts filled my mind… because I loved Him and His Word, His comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalms 94:17-19)
To enjoy all that God desires to pour into your life, you must respond to His relentless pursuit of love. We do this by putting off our own willfulness and desires and turn to Him. In doing so, you will position yourself to be filled up; you will be in close proximity to the God who is near.
“But you are near, O Lord, and all your commands are true.” Psalms 119:151
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22