Give Me the Sense to Follow Your Commands

“You don’t have the sense that God gave a goose!”

Have you ever heard that? It’s an old country saying – and I hope no one has ever said it about you! It’s far from a compliment; geese are not known for their intelligence. The psalmist may have heard it or something similiar, because for whatever reason, he prays that the LORD GOD will give him the sense to follow His Commands instead of his human ideas. We should probably all start our days with these words being the first ones out of our mouths when we wake up:

“You made me; You created me. Now give me the sense to follow Your Commands.” Psalms 119:73 NLT

I think most of our prayers usually go more like this: “God, I need [fill in the blank], and I want [fill in the blank]. Would You please [fill in the blank]. And, oh, thank You for Your Son, Amen.” We are so selfish and self-centered! I’m speaking to myself, here. I want, I need, my desires…. right now. Maybe – probably – God has other plans for me for the right now. My plans don’t take into account the big picture that the God of the Universe is looking at. All I can see is this one teeny tiny bit that is right around me, and yet:

He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which GOD has done from the beginning even to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB

Instead of worrying and trying to manipulate the circumstances and situations around me, it wold be more prudent for me to remember Who is really in control. I still desire the relationship, but the reality, the actuality of it, is out of my hands. It will serve me better to remember these scriptures, and to spend my time Praising rather than pouting that I haven’t gotten my way. (I know what I should do; now to put it into action!)

Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His Lovingkindness is great toward us, And the Truth of the LORD is Everlasting. Praise the LORD! Psalms 117:1‭-‬2 NASB

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I Pray…..

Short and sweet….

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your Faithfulness, in Your Righteousness!” – Psalms 143:1 NASB

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29 NASB

Oh LORD, let this be true of me, I pray!

I pray for that to be true, but the reality is that I often say things that are not edifying to others. That’s something I am very aware of, and yet I do it anyway.

“For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days, must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.” ” – 1 Peter 3:10 NASB

How do we achieve this? Knowing human nature, it’s a lofty goal. I think that first, we have to submit it to the LORD. The tongue is powerful, and to control it, we need help. I need help! Submitting it to the LORD is the only way to keep our tongues from saying things we shouldn’t, and it’s a constant battle. This what we have to keep front and center in our minds:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17 NASB

Ah, liberty. Liberty to say whatever is on my mind, and the Spirit of the LORD to govern my tongue!

GOD Will Chase You Down….

“Then they called on the LORD and said, “We earnestly pray, O LORD, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O LORD, have done as You have pleased.” So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. Then the men feared the LORD greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.”

Jonah was a Prophet, a spokesperson for the LORD to the nation of Israel. He was respected and revered by the people because of his prophesy that Israel would be expanded back to its original borders (2 Kings 14:25) He was the first prophet to be sent specifically to preach judgement to another nation….. and he refused to go. Instead, he ran the opposite direction, boarding a boat to take him far away. He was self-righteous, he had no compassion, and he thought himself better than the people of Nivevah; that they didn’t deserve to be saved. To Jonah, God was a means, not the end – he loved the recognition, comfort, prosperity, and the blessings he received but not the worship of God, and yet in spite of Jonah, God saved the sailors. Those pagan sailors demonstrated more compassion for ONE man than Jonah did for the entire city of Ninevah. Jonah said No to God. Jesus said Yes. I want to be more like Jesus and less like Jonah….. tuned in, listening, paying attention to what God is saying.

My Conduct In Life

Distractions abound! Alarms go off, phones ring, social media and email notifications pop and ding, music plays in the background, doorbells ring; there’s knocking on the door, yelling next door, dogs barking ……

What distracted you today before you had a chance to sit down with your LORD and spend a few minutes with Him, and before jumping into the day? I can’t speak for anyone else, but days I skip my sit down with Jesus aren’t nearly as good as the ones where I do. There tend to be more anxiety and irritations to deal with …… or it might just be that the anxiety and frustration feel worse because I missed my morning Peace. Not having that peace can make it difficult to conduct ourselves in a manner that our LORD can be proud of.

“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.” – Philippians 1:27‭-‬28 NASB

Conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a Bible scholar to figure out how to do it. Jesus makes it simple for even baby Christians to know how to act.

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the Truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
John 3:20‭-‬21 NASB

All we need to do is practice the Truth. Turn away from evil, love God, and treat everyone (yes, everyone) like you want to be treated. Simple. Not always easy. Take a minute (or more) next time you get up. Talk to God. Tell Him how much you appreciate waking up. Thank Him for His Son, and the endless opportunities of a new day. I promise you, your day will be better. Love you all. Thanks for reading. May the Blessings of our Glorious LORD and Saviour pour down upon you and your families.

Love One Another

Trust and obey the Commandments of the LORD.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34‭-‬35 NASB

Martin Luther King Junior said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” (From Strength to Love Martin Luther King)

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” – 1 John 4:7‭-‬8 NASB

Love one another. Not a suggestion; a command. Our world needs a “come to Jesus” meeting about that.

Love one another. Sure, as long as they look like me and dress like and act like me. Love one another. Sure, just don’t tell me about your Jesus. Love one another. Sure, just don’t try to put your beliefs on me.

Love one another might be the most difficult commandment to obey. It involves trusting that God knows what He is doing, and obeying Him. Examine your heart. Do your actions reflect your obedience to this command?

My Hope

I’m ready for a change in my life. I shouldn’t complain about it, because overall, I’ve had a pretty amazing life. I’ve met so many people who haven’t been more than a couple hundred miles from their hometowns, and I’ve traveled to Europe. I’ve tried cuisines from many different nations, and enjoyed it. I’ve been hungry and I’ve been homeless; I’ve eaten in 5-star resturants and stayed in fancy hotels. I have been physically and mentally abused, and I have been cherished. I have seen the ugliness and oppression in a communist country, and I have recognized the glorious privilege to be an American citizen. It’s a very diversified life, and although I would have preferred to skip the underbelly parts, I wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences.

Still, I am ready for a change. The question is, what am I willing to do to change? I have to be open to accept whatever it is that God has in mind for me, and that can be hard. Stepping out on faith. Believing – knowing – that even though the path in front of me is obscure, He will guide me over or around any obstacles. My Hope, my Faith, rest in Him.

My Hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

(Words by Edward Mote (1834). Music by William B. Bradbury (1863). Public Domain)

“But if it is by Grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise Grace is no longer Grace.” – Romans 11:6 NASB

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 NASB

What Do You Ask For?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” – Philippians 4:6 NASB

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:22 NASB

As my long time followers know, my record with relationships is rather dismal. (Understatement, I know!) I think – no, I am asking for another chance, God. It isn’t that I’m anxious to get married; I want a friend who puts God first, and who wants to put me next. Because of my past experiences, I find it easy to become anxious when I consider a new relationship, yet I know that God doesn’t want me to have anxiety!

So how, then, do we ask for something that we want without feeling anxious about the results? First, we ask. Be specific! I want a relationship with a man who loves God, and I am asking, specifically, for that. Next, I Trust that God will do as He has promised, and give me the desires of my heart. I have Faith that He has the ability to make it happen. I Believe, knowing that God loves me, and He wants me to be content. Last, but of utmost importance, is that I be thankful – whether I get what I desire, or what He desires for me. Whatever happens, I believe this is the key: as long as I am thankful, and I trust in Him, I will be content.

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the Throne of Grace, so that we may receive Mercy and find Grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 NASB

Thank you, Lord, for Your Son and for my salvation from a life of ugliness and sin! You are bigger; You are mightier than any doubt or anxiety the enemy plants in my thoughts. You know my desire, and I ask in confidence that You will provide the right man in the right kind of relationship for me. I love You, Lord; Your Will be done in my life. AMEN.