January 23, 2018

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

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

When darkness seems to veil His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

His oath, His covenant and blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand

When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound
O may I then in Him be found
Clothed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before His throne

Sovereign Grace Music
Words by Edward Mote (1797-1874)

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We use the word ‘hope’ often in our daily lives.  We hope it’s a sunny day, we hope there are good sales when we go to the grocery store, we hope we sleep well at night.  There’s also the more serious hopes.  We hope our kids stay healthy, we hope we get the job promotion, we hope our budget stretches to the end of the month, we hope we make it to Heaven.  I’m sure you have heard all of those hopes, have even said them…and many more.

Those hopeful comments express the day-to-day feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen, a wishful thinking.  The hope that is sung about in this old hymn is based on a trust in something or someone.  Defined by one Biblical source it is an ‘expectation of, a looking forward to, something beneficial now and in the future’.  Another source uses the words ‘confidence, to anticipate, welcome, an expectation of what is sure, certain’, to describe this kind of hope.

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed)
of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see
and the conviction of their reality
[faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
Hebrews 11:1 AMP

…So that by two unchangeable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement
to hold fast to the hope set before us.
Hebrews 6:19

As a child, I remember ‘belting out’ the words to this chorus, “On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”  I love the words of this old hymn, because they are true.  The hope I have is built on Christ, The Rock, His blood and His righteousness.  That is all I ever want to trust in. All other hope is “sinking sand.”  People, as caring and well-meaning as they can be, are not enough to secure my standing before God.  In the “high and stormy gale” there is no anchor that holds me like Jesus.

For it says in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
So the honor is for you who believe…
1 Peter 2:6-7

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11

Here are just a few Scriptures of assurance that God is our Hope, our Refuge, our Strength in life:

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Psalm 62:7 NASB

He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken.
Psalm 62:6 ESV

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NASB

The LORD is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the Stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 ESV

God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…
Psalm 46:1-2 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My Refuge and my Fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I encourage you to meditate on this parable from Jesus:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Matthew 7:24-27

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Who or what is your rock, your refuge?  Do you live in hope, in confidence, and in certainty of Jesus Christ as your sure foundation?  My prayer is that you can ‘belt out’ this song with me:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
IT IS SO!

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Manipulation

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Coach Megan,

What makes someone forget EVERYTHING you have ever done for them in their life when you are not able to do the one thing they are asking for now? Thanks for any guidance you can give. ~CW

Dear CW,

Manipulators tend to be very skillful strategists. They map out their art subtly steering and controlling people or circumstances by using indirect, unfair, or deceptive tactics. People-pleasing is at the root of being manipulated. Those who are manipulated allow others the control God alone should have. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other Gods before me.”

Manipulators control others by aggressive manipulation or passive-aggressive manipulation. What I hear in your question is that you are wondering why someone would manipulate someone else. This is not a complete list, by any means, but I believe this will give us a place to start…

Manipulators tend to:

  • Make others feel guilty
  • Get others to believe what they want them to believe
  • Keep others “hooked” into a relationship…even when the relationship is unhealthy and one-sided
  • Avoid meeting their obligations and responsibilities
  • Appear positive when they feel negative toward others
  • Set up “fixers,” “caretakers,” and “rescuers” to take care of them
  • Intentionally confuse others
  • Get others to do for them what they would not normally choose to do
  • Get others to feel responsible for them or for their welfare
  • Control the emotions and reasoning of others
  • Use religious words for personal gain, causing harm to another’s walk with God
  • Win the battle for control

Proverbs 26:24 describes the manipulator:

A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit.

At the root of people allowing themselves to be manipulated is the belief that they must have the approval of others in order to feel good about themselves. What God calls us to is to NOT live for the approval of others, but to realize that God will meet all of our inner needs because he accepts us totally and loves us unconditionally!

Jeremiah 17:5

 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,  who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”

CW…It looks like you have done a lot of work within to stop yourself from being manipulated. For the benefit of our readers (and for your benefit if someone tries to manipulate you again), here are some steps to help stop being a victim of manipulation:

Decide not to be dependent on the manipulator {Philippians 4:19}

  • You must decide that you have an unhealthy, dependent relationship and confess that to God. Decide that you only want  healthy relationships that glorify God. Decide that you will be dependent on the Lord to satisfy your deepest needs. 

Expect Exasperation {Psalm 31:3-4}

  •  Do not expect your manipulator to understand or agree with your decisions, acknowledge being manipulative, or be willing to give up control to set you free.

Prepare yourself for pain {Job 3:26}

  • Accept change as being painful… however in time, you WILL have peace.  Also, accept the fact that if you don’t change, you will stay in pain and peace will elude you.

Examine the methods of the manipulator {Proverbs 22:3}

  • Ask God to open your eyes to ways that you have been manipulated. Also, ask yourself, “How am I being manipulated?” and then write out your tactics for change. You can also ask a trusted friend to help you see blind spots and develop a plan of action.

Notify the manipulator of the necessity for change {Hebrews 12:1}

  • Admit that you have been wrong. It can sound like this: “I’ve come to realize that I am wrong in the way that I relate to you. At times, I don’t speak up because I am afraid. This is not healthy for either of us.”
  • You need to also give your commitment to them which can sound like this: “I really do care about you. I want you to know that I am committed to change and I believe that we can ultimately have a much better relationship.”
  • State your resolve to them if it is not appropriate to continue the relationship: “We cannot continue in a relationship as it is and still be the people we need to be before God.”

Don’t defend yourself {Ecclesiastes 3:7}

  • Even if you are accused of being unkind and unloving, you can choose to:
  1. Be silent, but do not use silence as a weapon.
  2. State the truth only once or twice: “I’m sorry you feel that way.” ” What you’ve said is not true.” “It does not reflect my heart.”
  3. You can say “I understand that you think I am being heartless, but my intent is to become healthy.”

Expect the manipulator to try new strategies {Proverbs 14:24}

  • They may resort to using other methods to regain control
  • They need to know you are aware of these new methods
  • They need to see that the new methods will not succeed

Nullify your need to meet all of the manipulator’s needs {Psalm 37:4-5}

  • Realize that God didn’t design anyone to meet all the needs of another person
  • If you meet all of the manipulator’s needs, then the manipulator will not need the Lord
  • You need to redirect the manipulator’s focus to the Lord as the only true need-meeter

Commit Galatians 1:10 to memory

  • Realize that you are “transformed by the renewing of your mind”
  • Recognize that you are given the mind of Christ to direct your thoughts

Yield to pleasing the Lord first {Psalm 27:1}

  • You must not be a peace-at-any-price person
  • Jesus was not a peace-at-any-price person
  • Keep your trust in God and fear no one

We need to give people the space to be upset and grow through their disappointment.  When we don’t, the danger is in people looking to another person to be God and be everything to them when that is the exact opposite of God’s design. We need to give God the space He needs to move and that is possible when we create and keep boundaries firm and stand on God’s Word.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂