Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When we fall we are not hurled headlong . . . but is there anything we can do to keep our feet from even slipping?

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the one who holds his hand.   Psalm 37:24

I love this verse; it is so encouraging; it settles my heart into a deep peace with the Lord.  When we fall we are not hurled headlong . . . but is there anything we can do to keep our feet from even slipping?  Let’s study Psalm 37 for an answer.

Open you Bible to explore Psalm 37, a spiritual warfare psalm from start to finish.  As you read, put it into spiritual context by seeing the “enemy,” the “wicked,” and “evildoers” as not people, but as forces of Darkness, Satan and his demons.  See the “land” as territory in your heart.  Recognize that the battle is for that territory in your heart.

            “Don’t fret” is a repeated theme.  “Fret” (or “worry” in the NLT) is charah in the Hebrew, and it means “to blaze up with anger or jealousy, to burn, to be incensed.”  Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12).  In verses 1and 2 of Psalm 37 we are commanded not to waste our time and energy blazing up with anger, for their time is short (Rev 12:12). 

So what do we do with our energy instead of being incensed?  Go on to verses 3 through 6 for the answer… and I’ll let you continue prayerfully through Psalm 37 from there.  Let me know what God shows you through this psalm – and if there is anything we can do to keep our feet from slipping.

           











8 comments:

  1. Cristina WilliamsMarch 26, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Too many times I've felt like I'm falling without anyone to catch me. Of course, as a Christian, I know that's not true (Psalm 37:24 is a comforting verse that confirms that). I have felt that way though.

    I've thought maybe this will be the time He won't be there. Again, more lies from the enemy to make us think our Savior will not come through. Fortunately, His grace always shows up to those who genuinely seek Him and repent. I've even witnessed Him rescue, BEFORE I (or someone else) sought forgiveness from the Lord. Talk about grace indeed!

    After reading all of Psalm 37, I am definitely reminded of God's justice and the rewards waiting for, as the Amplified Bible says, the "[consistently] righteous." In other words, I believe these passages of scripture remind us it's not enough to be obedient once or twice, but consistently. Likewise, it doesn't mean we are called to perfection either.

    Therefore, I don't think there is anything we can do to keep us from ever slipping (at least not here on earth), BUT I do see where we can make strides on our walk with Christ to have more momentum moving forward, than backwards.

    Below is a brief list of some of the things I extracted from the chapter and how it can apply to our lives. I used the Amplified version.

    1. TRUST - The word 'trust' is used three times in the Amplified Bible's version of Psalm 37. I find it as early as verse 3, again shortly after in verse 5, and at the very end of the chapter in verse 40. As someone who struggles in fully surrendering and trusting God in all areas of my life, I know He's bringing that to light for me again.

    "Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed." Psalm 37:3

    "Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5

    "And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in Him." Psalm 37:40

    2. WAIT - We usually don't get the "warm and fuzzies" when we think of waiting. As I've been forced to do it more and more over the years, I find tremendous value and growth during periods of waiting. Typically, the longer I've waited (endured), the greater the revelations and rewards have been. Now, now, I'm still all about accepting God's "fast pass," if He wants to give it to me. The word 'wait' is mentioned three times directly and two other times more indirectly, although several other verses could be interpreted to suggest a level of waiting is required as well.

    "Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass." Psalm 37:7

    3. DELIGHT - The call to delight ourselves in the Lord is at the beginning of this chapter, after trusting the Lord. However, I believe I can only delight myself in the Lord when I trust Him AND I'm willing to wait for Him. Otherwise, I risk delighting myself in something I haven't truly received. In other words, how can I delight in the Lord, if I haven't surrendered to Him? Why would I delight as I wait for Him? I wouldn't. I know all too well about good ole' works of the flesh. There is nothing delightful about waiting, if I don't have a trust in the Lord that He is working out His plans for my life and that it's for my good. It would be too easy to say I delight in the Lord never having to suffer and wait for Him to come through for me. I do believe He wishes to reward that obedience.

    "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart." Psalm 37:4

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    1. Dear Cristina,
      So right you are: trust, wait, and delight. All three are easier said than done. In the darkest of times, can we REALLY trust that He is working for our good? And in those same times, are we willing to lay down our weapons of the flesh and wait for the Victor to arrive, knowing that we can do nothing without Him, and the battle is the Lord's? And you are right on about the delighting: If we don't wait, we risk delighting ourselves in something that may appear to be of God, but is really something we have created ourselves.

      The NASB translates verse 3, "Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness." Faithfulness is trust. Cultivate it. I really had to meditate on that. We are to focus on trusting God, developing that trust in Him. Deep trust can only come through hard times when we surrender (and wait), and He is our Rescuer. And when He rescues, we come to know Him deeply with great delight. As we know Him more, His desires become our desires; as His will is done, the desires of our heart are given to us.

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    2. Cristina WilliamsMarch 31, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      It is so hard at times to trust He is working for our good. Yet, I see how He honors our faithfulness which you described from verse 3. I'm also humbled by how He extends His goodness on us, even when we may not be fully trusting. He meets us where we are. I love you reminding that HE is our rescuer. Sometimes I get carried away running with things like I'm wearing a red bathing suit and carrying a life buoy on Baywatch! I have to remember that God is the one who rescues!

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  2. I thought I'd also share this song by Casting Crowns, 'Who Am I' - there is a beautiful and fitting lyric in the song for this blog post, "Lord, you catch me when I'm falling."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWeEYKqAdQ8

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    1. Love this song! Such powerful words: "Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done; not because of what I've done, but because of who You are."

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    2. Cristina WilliamsMarch 31, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      Powerful is right!

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  3. Oh so much to be said for Ps 37. As a person of few words I do want to share how so often I envision the Lord holding my hand with His right hand of justice. I certainly do want Him to lead me in all areas.
    On Tuesday we were talking about not slipping and as I read further to verse 31 my translation says: The law of the Lord is in his heart; his steps do not slip. Thank you Jesus

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    1. Cristina WilliamsMarch 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Amen, Delores! That is a beautiful image of the Lord holding your hand! He sees that you want Him to lead you! In his grace, He is even there for us anytime we fall short (pun intended). It is amazing how when we genuinely seek Him and, surprisingly, at times when we look the other way, He will not let us slip!

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