Thanks for Seeking God With Me.

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Hiding From Evil

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Have you ever been so afraid that you scooted down in your bed and pulled the covers over your head? I remember one time I was so afraid that I wanted to become invisible. Of course, I tried to act like I wasn’t afraid, but I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. My hands were shaking. It was an awful feeling.

I would’ve appreciated someone reminding me of the prayer found in Psalm 140:1, “Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent.” In times like that when fear comes in like a tidal wave, God is the best shelter. We can run to him.

Matthew 6:13 is part of the prayer many believers pray together in church, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” In this prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, he emphasized that protective nature of God.  Also in John 17:15, he prayed in front of his disciples the same thing, “ My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” God is able to gather us up in his protective arms and hold us while we’re afraid.

If you find yourself in a dangerous place, know that you have a job to do and God has a job to do. Your job, and mine, is to avoid evil. We are to speak to God about it and move forward, trusting him. Starting off Psalm 64, verse 2 is the request. “Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers.”

Verses 7 through 10 show the response from God.
“But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!”

There is evil on the Earth today. But we don’t have to be afraid of it. That’s why God gave us the words of Psalm 34:14 in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Our job is to avoid evil. We can put our focus on the good things we’re supposed to be devoted to. In order for us to hide from evil, we should be keeping our eyes on God and going about the business of obeying him. If we are continually seeking God and his peace, if we are loving God and loving people, we will be in his protective and gentle arms.

Thank you for seeking God with me.


Hiding From Yourself

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Have you looked in the mirror and not recognized yourself as a hero? Many of us don’t think of ourselves as heroes. But we were created to be heroes. All of us have special skills, just like heroes.

How do you recognize a hero? Not by the cape and mask, but by the way he acts. How does a hero act? He uses his abilities to help others.

Romans 12:6 reminds each of us that we have a valuable gift that is to be used and not ignored. Having the gift doesn’t make you special. Using the gift does.

Romans 12:3 reminds us to think of ourselves with sober judgment. That means to use your gift with all humility. Yes, you are important and special, but you’re not the only one who is. Verse five reminds us that we are all members of one body, and we belong to each other. Do long arms help the hands reach for something on a high shelf? Do fast feet help the chest cross the finish line? Your gift is important to the rest of the body.

Galatians 6:9 warns us not to tire of helping others. Give diligently and tirelessly. Why? Because volunteers are needed. Look around in your community at the many opportunities to volunteer. Do you have carpentry skills? You can volunteer at Habitat for Humanity. Do you have people skills? You can help out in a nursing home. Right now is the perfect time to give your abilities to help others.

Many of us hear about the opportunities and think we can’t do a good enough job. When we do that, we’re hiding from ourselves, hiding behind an excuse. The truth is simply that we have skills that can benefit others.

Recently, my daughter and I used our artistic abilities to help nursing home residents create roses out of modeling clay. We gave up some of our free time this summer to help out people who really appreciated it. They wanted to visit with us, so we chatted. They were delighted with our company and our artistic instruction. It was a time of mutual enjoyment and encouragement. I’m sure we’ll be back there to help a few more times this summer.

So now it’s up to you. Are you someone’s hero already? If not, you can be. Stop hiding and act like the hero you were created to be.

Hiding From Chores

Psalm 104:13-14
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—  bringing forth food from the earth

It’s summer. It’s hot outside and much more comfortable inside. However, if you have a garden, you must weed it. If you have a pet, you must feed it. We all want to be lazy and relax all summer long, but chores must be done.

I knew when I became a mom that I would one day spend many hours trying to get my little ones to do their assigned chores. But even I have things on my To Do list that I’m purposefully closing my eyes to. I’m to the point where my To Do list is becoming my To Ignore list.

So when I recognize that my break time is taking longer than necessary, I can go to various Bible verses and look at some encouragement. Among the many places I can go is Psalm 104. God shows us that part of bringing forth food on the earth for man to eat is God’s job. And part of that process is man’s job. God causes seeds to grow in the dirt. He waters the soil and shines the light of the sun on the plants. Our job, according to Psalm 104:14, is to cultivate the plants. I see farmers working their fields, planting, harvesting, and bringing food to market. If a farmer decides to be lazy, he’s also going to be hungry.

However, if God does his part and we do our part, we’ll never be hungry.

When God’s people were going to experience a famine in Joseph’s day, God worked it out for Joseph to have a place prepared for his family. God’s people didn’t starve during the famine, but they weren’t lazy either. In Moses’s day, the people were given bread from Heaven. But they had to gather it and prepare their meals.

There are always chores to do. People who want to eat will not have their hands out, they’ll have their hands busy.

It’s so much easier for God to bless his people when we’re listening to him and obeying him. There is a time to rest and a time for chores. I know God loves to bless hands at work.

Hiding from the Heat

Daniel 3:19

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual”

Fourth of July is tomorrow. Many families are planning to participate in neighborhood parties, cookouts, and local parades. My family is used to being hot on this national holiday. We took our children to the zoo when they were in the single-digit age range. Watching elephants was one of the hot highlights of the event, but the snake house was one of the cool highlights. I treasured the air conditioned building and didn’t pay much attention to the creepy residents winding through their small grassy habitat. That wasn’t my favorite place, but it was a great place to hide from the heat.

Another place to hide from heat is the presence of God. Just ask three young men who were thrown into a fiery furnace because they refused to worship the king’s gods. The king found out they weren’t following his orders and asked them about it – giving them a chance to change their minds.

Verses 16 through 18 tell us, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’”

Verse 19 tells us the king’s orders were his way of challenging the young men’s ideas of being saved from instant death. However, after they were thrown into the furnace, it was instantly apparent that they were in the presence of God. God not only saved them from the heat, but joined them in it.

The king got an education that day and made it known that he’d changed his mind about the young men and their refusal to worship other gods. He learned that the God these men had been willing to die for was the only God who could save them.

If you’re in the heat this week or weekend, remember that it’s cooler in the presence of God.

Thanks for seeking God with me today.