It is so easy for me to get out ahead of the Lord. I can be very impatient. It is easy to get an inkling of something and be ready to go when what I should be doing is waiting on the Lord. This morning is one of those mornings. I was working on a Bible study I am participating in and got this excitement from this passage and thought I knew what I wanted to share but God put something in front of me to slow my roll… that I might wait on Him.
I read some passages in response to questions in this study; Psalm 119:97-104, Psalm 131:1-3, Psalm 130:3-6 and Isaiah 55:6-11, and I had figured out what I needed to share this morning. But I was wrong.
I have a schedule to print a test page with my photo printer, and it came up today. Normally I would postpone it until I am finished with my studies, but today I did not, and that was just enough to slow down and rethink things, and adjust my focus.
I had all my scriptures laid out in the order I wanted to discuss them, but Psalm 131, which was lower in the list, kept pulling at me and I reread the short Psalm, and that is when I got a little realignment.
1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore
I read this three verse Psalm over and over. All I could see was God asking me to slow down and trust in Him. Pride will go after all of us if we are not careful. I need not go after that which God has not chosen to share with me. I kept thinking of this passage by Paul in Philippians.
Philippians 4:11-12 (ESV) 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I had always considered this something that spoke of physical needs. This morning I just kept thinking that this passage is so much more. It speaks not only to my physical needs but my Spiritual needs as well.
Mountains, Valleys, and Planes
You know I have the mountain tops when I feel so close to God. He gives me some insight that overwhelms me. Baptizing my Daughter and Son-in-law was a mountaintop moment, and I am so thankful for that moment. But I have also had my valleys.
The valleys can be hard, but in them, God is sharpening me and building my faith. He is teaching me endurance. He is showing me His presence, and in many ways when I am in the valleys He draws me even tighter IF I will listen and seek His face in the Word and prayer.
The planes are the most challenging place. That is the everyday flat travel. Things are going ok, and I am not facing a lot of struggles. Those are the times when I must be patient, and I must be diligent in seeking the Lord. I want the mountaintop moment, but I must be content with my circumstances. Psalm 131 affected me there.
In the flat land, if I am not careful, I can become like a nagging child wanting more mountain top moments. That is the time when I must be patient and trust in the Lord. That is the time when I need to remind myself, “I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.”
In the flat lands of life I need God’s Word as much as In the Peaks and Valleys; sometimes more. I need it more because when things are going well, it is easy to wander off from God’s side. Like a child learning to walk and climb we tend to get into mischief, and we are easily distracted by the shiny things in this world.
The study brought me to Psalm 119:101-104
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
As I read these words, I realized that I must cling to the teachings of my heavenly father regardless of my circumstances. Through His teaching I am kept from “every false way” and His words and precepts are not bitter rules but, “sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
His Word brings me Joy and Contentment in little or abundance.
Looking back on Psalm 131 I found myself reading Psalm 130. Reading this Psalm further convicted me that I must wait on the Lord.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
I read 5 and 6 over and over, and there was this peace that came to me in these words. I realized that my contentment is not found in getting ahead of the Lord seeking after what He knows I am not ready for, but in these two verses.
If I am watching and waiting like a watchman waiting on the morning, I will see it when He chooses to reveal it to me. That lifted a load off my shoulders this morning and put me in mind of Isaiah 55
I kept thinking of verses 8 and 9 as I contemplated everything this morning. These verses are humbling.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
There is such truth in these words but so many times my impatience will get the best of me, and I will strike out ahead of God instead of waiting on Him and trusting that whatever plan I may have, His is better, regardless of how I am feeling at the moment.
I give thanks to God for his wisdom and patience with me. I am thankful for His Word and promise. As I was finishing up this post, I was drawn to read a bit further in Isaiah 55. I read on through verse 10-11, and I was filled with thanksgiving.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I am so thankful for His Word. I am thankful for His plan for my salvation. I am thankful for Jesus and His willing sacrifice and the guidance and encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
Father, thank you for all you do. Thank you for the promise of your Word and the assurance that it will not come back empty.
Thank you, Father, for the healing water of life that I find in Your Word. Help me, Lord, to be patient and trusting in you always
Let me not get out ahead of You but wait for the understanding you offer when I am ready for it.
This I pray in Jesus name, Amen!