May 26, 2017

Psalm 18:30 ~ God is a Shield and a Refuge

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.}

As for God, His way is blameless.
The Word of the Lord is tested [it is perfect, it is faultless];
He is a Shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30

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During this week, our devotional writers have greatly encouraged us as they shared their belief and trust that God is our Shield, protecting us and providing refuge for us.  My own heart was encouraged to remember that the Scriptures are God’s own words that bring us His promises.  Please click on each link to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In Take Heed, Clella reminded us that we need to know and heed to God and His promises…

“…Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance….”

In Daddy’s Protection, Tina gave us the example of God’s love has protected us….

“Remember, as a child, how our dad was our hero?  How he could not do any wrong in our eyes?  Well, God wants us to love and trust Him like that…As we grew older our dads made mistakes, because they are human. They maybe did not show up at a ballgame, dance recital or have time to listen.  But I know Who does—God our Father.  He has time to listen to all of our issues.  He is always there….”

In God’s Pure Word, Ann shared the blessings and benefits of God’s Word…

“There are benefits and value to God’s Law and Word.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

The ‘precepts of the Lord’ are definite rules concerning righteous living that are a joy to the godly.  The ‘commands of the Lord’ are the authoritative source of guiding light for the faithful who seek His way…”

In There is Refuge in God’s Word, Ahmee pointed us to some important reminders of the refuge and warnings that God’s words can be for us…

“I know our verse (Psalm 18:30) is most likely referring to physical refuge—as in keeping you safe from bodily harm. But when I read it the first refuge I thought of was emotional refuge.  Life can be rough and it has this way of wearing you down, if you let it.  God’s Word does have a way of warning us about certain situations. However, whether we listen, or not, is up to us.  I think Proverbs is a really great book that lets us know “If this…then that”.  We can find refuge in the Lord’s words by avoiding these situations….”

Weekly Recap…Psalm 18:30

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As for God, His way is blameless.
The Word of the Lord is tested [it is perfect, it is faultless];
He is a Shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have completed a short series looking at the importance and magnitude of God’s Holy Word.  This week our devotional writers have greatly encouraged us as they shared their belief and trust that God is our Shield, protecting us and providing refuge for us in these devotions.  Please click on each link to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In Take Heed, Clella reminded us that we need to know and heed to God and His promises…

“…Because God’s way is perfect, and His word is flawless, and He has promised to protect His children, we need to take heed.  Yes, like David, we have enemies—whether in the physical or in the spiritual—who try to “entangle us with cords of death” (Psalms 18:4-5).  But if we take heed of God and His Word, He will ”avenge us, and save us from our enemies” (Psalms 18:47-48).  When we are faithfully in God’s Word, then we will know God and experience His deliverance….”

In Daddy’s Protection, Tina gave us the example of God’s love has protected us….

“Remember, as a child, how our dad was our hero?  How he could not do any wrong in our eyes?  Well, God wants us to love and trust Him like that…As we grew older our dads made mistakes, because they are human. They maybe did not show up at a ballgame, dance recital or have time to listen.  But I know Who does—God our Father.  He has time to listen to all of our issues.  He is always there….”

In God’s Pure Word, Ann shared the blessings and benefits of God’s Word…

“There are benefits and value to God’s Law and Word.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:8

The ‘precepts of the Lord’ are definite rules concerning righteous living that are a joy to the godly.  The ‘commands of the Lord’ are the authoritative source of guiding light for the faithful who seek His way…”

In There is Refuge in God’s Word, Ahmee pointed us to some important reminders of the refuge and warnings that God’s words can be for us…

“I know our verse (Psalm 18:30) is most likely referring to physical refuge—as in keeping you safe from bodily harm.  But when I read it the first refuge I thought of was emotional refuge.  Life can be rough and it has this way of wearing you down, if you let it.  God’s Word does have a way of warning us about certain situations. However, whether we listen, or not, is up to us.  I think Proverbs is a really great book that lets us know “If this…then that”.  We can find refuge in the Lord’s words by avoiding these situations….”

He Has Made Me Glad

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As for God, His way is blameless.
The Word of the Lord is tested [it is perfect, it is faultless];
He is a Shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Psalm 18:30

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

Hillsong
written by Miriam Webster

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I will bless the Lord forever
And I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all sin
And He has set my feet upon a rock

And I will not be moved
And I’ll say of the Lord

You are my Shield, my Strength
My Portion, Deliverer
My Shelter, Strong Tower
My very present Help in time of need

Whom have I in Heaven but You
There’s none I desire beside You
You have made me glad
And I’ll say of the Lord

His Way Is Perfect

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As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength,
And makes my way perfect.
Psalms 18:30-32

“Mom! its not working!”  “Guys, how are you doing it?”  As my boys proceed to tell me how they are using the way they devised (I don’t even know how they came up with this method), I chuckle to myself, knowing that it wouldn’t work, and knowing that this was going to happen.  They weren’t going to do it the way I suggested they do it because I have given birth to the most independent and stubborn boys in the world.  Who knew that lining books back into a bookshelf could be so difficult?

This isn’t new, all three of my children have the “I’m going to try it my way first,” mentality when they set out to accomplish tasks.  Many times the end result is less than what we all hoped for.  Similar situations are seen in the daily lives of most parents, even our Heavenly Father.  His children are stubborn, we like to try it our way.  He tells us or shows how to do something and we turn around and do it how we see fit, and  the outcome is always less than we hoped for.

Though my ways are far from perfect, my boys have learned that they may work  better.  But His ways are perfect, and when we follow His ways, He will shield us from the unpleasant side effects of trying our own ways first.  Thankfully God is forgiving, and we get do-overs.  He gives us chance after chance to do it His way.  Time after time, He has shown me that His Word is proven.  Time and time again He has been my Shield, my Strength, and my Rock.  He has done so even when I tried my way first…when I didn’t trust Him as I should have.  He was waiting for me, His arms outstretched, ready to show that His words rang true.

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Let’s Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, You know better than we do that we don’t always do things Your way, yet You love us regardless.  We fight, we argue, we do things how we want to.  But You are always there, arms outstretched.  Always our Shield, always our Rock, always our Strength.  Thank You.  In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.

A Shield of God

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Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy;
To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waiteth for the Lord: He is our Help and our Shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His Holy name.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in Thee.
Psalms 33:18-33

Have you ever wanted something so bad you could taste it?  I have.  I live sandwiched in between four states that have the lottery. Oh, that temptation to gamble!  I will go ahead and admit I have bought my share of lottery tickets.  (Shame on me.)  However, I have never won.  I can already know that I never will.  My odds are probably greater of winning Publisher’s Clearing House than winning the lottery. I tell people this as the reason why I have never won and will probably never win: I fear God too much!  (And He knows that by winning the lottery I would have given into temptation and the Devil).  He is ever watching out for those who fear and love Him.  He gives them what they need and when they need it.  He never leaves us no matter what we are going through.

If we trust in God then He becomes our Shield as we traverse through life.  He looks out for us and protects us from that which could harm us.  Too many times people have come into a vast sum of money without it being an inheritance, and the money ruins their lives.  God wants us to meet Him halfway and work for what we have.  He provides for us every day.

In all circumstances take up the Shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
Ephesians 6:16

When we accept Jesus, we are shielded with this Shield of faith from God.  He shields us from all that could harm us or ruin us.  He is our Rock.  He shows us His mercy by being there for us when we most need it or are the most tempted.  I know that I have been tempted, but thanks to the Shield of faith that I have, I know that God is going to protect me from harm and bring me through the many trials and tribulations of life.

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for shielding us from harm. I wear the Shield of faith every day because I know that You are there to protect me and help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Alone…Yet Not Alone

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~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

I’m alone…yet not alone. God’s the Light that will guide me home.
With His love and tenderness, leading through the wilderness,
And wherever I may roam, I’m alone…yet not alone.

I will not be bent in fear. He’s the Refuge I know is near.
In His strength I find my own. By His faithful mercies shown.
That so mighty is His shield, all His love is now revealed.

When my steps are lost and desperate for a guide,
I can feel His touch, a soothing Presence by my side.

Alone, yet not alone; not forsaken when on my own.
I can lean upon His arm, and be lifted up from harm.
If I stumble, or if I’m thrown, I’m alone…yet not alone.

When my steps are lost and desperate for a Guide,
I can feel his touch, a soothing Presence by my side.

He has bound me with His love; watchful angels look from above.
Every evil can be braved for I know I will be saved.
Never frightened on my own; I’m alone…yet not alone.
I’m alone…yet not alone.

~  Performed by Mrs. Joni Eareckson Tada ~

~  Written by Bruce Broughton, Dennis Speigel  ~

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As I viewed these video clips, I was struck by the fact that the children kept the Truth—that they had been taught by their parents—in their minds and hearts.  And it sustained them through this horrific, brutal time.  Such were similar words that the Psalmist confessed over and over.  He was “alone…yet not alone” many, many, many times.  David was sure that Jehovah (the LORD) was always with him, even when he was (actually) alone.

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread?
The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me;
in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Excerpts from Psalm 27

Perhaps these were among the words the real-life children portrayed in this movie recited in their minds.  For each of us, too, we must not only know that these things are true but it is vitally important to get the Scriptures ingrained into our minds.  There is nothing to replace memorizing God’s Word.  For there will be those times when we need to immediately remember that God is our Light, our Refuge, our Strength,  our Shield.  And that we are NOT alone.

Verses 13 and 14 of Psalm 27 are my life verses.  I cling to them…sometimes daily! There have been numerous times, throughout the years I have <endeavored> to follow Jesus as my Lord, when I have felt desperately alone.  But each time, the deliverance for my heart has come from God as I kept reminding myself of this Truth.  And remembering that, yes, I was alone…yet not alone.

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Lord, You are so faithful!  You have provided so amazingly for us through the Truth told to us in Your Word!  Without it…where would we be?  But You are our Light, our Refuge, our Strength, our Shield…that is the Truth.  And You have promised to Your children Your love, tenderness, grace and mercies, Your Presence!  Please help us, Lord, through Your Holy Spirit to hold Your Word in our hearts that it might sustain us, uphold us, ground us, build us up, guide us.  And may we always remember that while we truly might be alone…we are yet NOT alone.  Thank You, dear Lord!  We love You!  We praise You!  We thank You!  In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

God is (He IS!) our Rock

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Throughout this week, I have been drawn to a similar theme written about by my fellow devotional writers—God is my Rock.  Actually, He is (or, as Cheris reminded us on Wednesday) HE IS!  These ladies have been writing from the perspective of Psalm 62.

Ann wrote about our Lord Jesus—our solid Rock—and how we have been given salvation and how we are covered through His sacrifice for us.  Laura shared about how our God is in control; and, as The Rock, He is our Shield, our Provider, our Defender.  Cheris reminded us that we don’t have to worry and think ‘what if?’ because we know that HE IS!  He is faithful and always will be.  Ahmee told us a story about a little one in her life who needed to trust.  Just like herself (and us, too!), she needs to trust in, have faith in, and believe God’s Word.

Listen to a few selected verses from Psalm 62.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this:
That power belongs to God, and that to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.

The psalmist pours out his heart uttering these words of praise!  He uses definitive words that communicate the concepts of strength, steadiness, reliability and permanence. He writes that his Rock is his refuge, his fortress, and his salvation, his glory, his hope. And that, because He is (HE IS!) then the psalmist trusts in Him, rests on Him, waits for Him, and is not shaken.  When you read these terms, what thoughts come up in Your mind and heart?  I think of comfort, of love, of peace, of hope, of strength.  I think of my God…Who is (He IS!) strong, steady, reliable, faithful!  Who is my Rock, my Refuge, my Fortress, my Hope, my Glory, my salvation.  He IS…He really, really, really IS!

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.  Selah.
Psalm 62:8

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Thank You, Lord!  Thank You for being my Rock!  Thank You for being able to place my total trust, my hope, my faith…my entire self…in Your arms.  Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, Your peace, Your love!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.