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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What I Believe Shapes My Life

In review of Psalm 11:3 it says, “When the foundations of life are undermined, what can a righteous person do?” (GW)

Today's verse and question from from Psalm 11, where David tells me of how God's rule provides stability in the midst of panic. Because I can trust him, I can face my problems.

David says, that he trusts in the Lord for protection. So why do the wicked string their bows and make ready their arrows. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do? But the Lord is in his holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.

David was forced to flee for safety several times. Being God's anointed king did not make him immune to injustice and hatred from others. He may have written this psalm when he was being hunted. David may have fled, but not as if all was lost, He know God was in control. While David wisely avoided trouble, he did not fearfully run away from his troubles. David seems to be speaking to those who are advising him to run from his enemies. David's faith contrasts dramatically with the fear of the advisers who tell him to flee. Faith in God keeps us from losing hope and helps us resist fear. David's advisers were afraid because they say only frightening circumstances and crumbling foundations. David was comforted and optimistic because he know God was greater than anything his enemies could bring against him.

When the foundations are shaking and I wish I could hide, remember that God is still in control. His power is not diminished by any turn of events. Nothing happens without his knowledge and permission. When I feel like running away, run to God. He will restore justice and goodness on the earth in his good time.

God does not shield believers from difficult circumstances, but he examines (or tests) both the righteous and the wicked. For some, God's test become a refining fire, while for others, they become an incinerator for destruction. Don't ignore or try to defy the tests and challenges that come my way. Use them as opportunities for me to grow.

I’m learning that what I believe about the world around us shapes everything about my life. What I believe determines my behavior. My behavior then determines what I become, and that has a direct effect on the direction of my life. The same is true of a country or the world. They are largely shaped by the values they believe.

The problem is, collectively we’ve bought into three very destructive philosophies that have replaced truth in our lives. 1) Individualism: We buy into the lie that we’re the only standard for our lives. Rick Warren wrote that a few years back he read a Wall Street Journal article that said 44 percent of executives consult first with themselves in an ethical crisis. That’s really nothing new. The Israelites went through this in the book of Judges when the Bible says, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25 NLT). It didn’t work well then, and it doesn’t work well today. 2) Secularism: It can be summarized in three words: God is unnecessary. In the past half-century, we’ve been systematically removing God from all areas of our lives — from schools to the government to the media. We’ve basically relegated God to Sunday mornings, if we even consider him then. 3) Relativism: That’s when we’re told that there are no absolutes — what’s true for you may not be true for me. It’s a great way to live if you don’t want any guilt.

If you don’t measure up to God’s standard, you just change the standard. It’s both illogical and irrational, but it’s highly prevalent in our world today. Don’t be conned by individualism (love for myself), secularism (belief that God is unnecessary), or relativism (there are no absolutes). The consequences as a society and for us as individuals for falling for these cons is staggering. Without a commitment to truth and a commitment to the authority of God, our culture is crumbling.

Bottom Line:
When things start to crumble, what can you do?

What this means to me:
When the foundations of my life seem to be undermined, what can I do?

In summary, God's ways provides stability in the midst of panic. Because I can trust in him, I can face my problems. So when things start to fall apart, know that the Lord still rules. He is watching and examining everything. Like David I too can be comforted and optimistic because God is greater than anything my enemies or adversity can bring against me. Also, its good for me to remember that God does not shield his children from difficult circumstances. God's test can become a refining fire. So don't ignore or try to defy the tests and challenges that come my way. Use them as opportunities for growth. What I believe will shape my life and what I ultimately become. Just because I don't measure up to God's standard, doesn't mean that I should change the standard. Don't be conned by a love for myself, or a belief that God is unnecessary or that there are no absolutes.

This morning Father I thank you for the boost of energy you provided yesterday when I asked for it. I also thank you for a day that had that did not have too many difficulties. I pray this morning Father for continued energy and day in which I can accomplish and organize the tasks in front of me. Help me to respond rightly to those around me and guide the work for my team. I also pray for healing for Logan and Joel who are under the weather. In your Son Jesus name, amen!