May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. [Psalm 19:14, NIV]
We do a lot of traveling for our business. I love the people we meet but I also love the time my mind can wander around and explore different ideas. Of course, one thought leads to another and pretty soon I am way down a path and I couldn’t even tell you how I got there. If I don’t have a “plan” for my thinking time I usually wander, and that isn’t always a bad thing.
But, when I pray and meditate, I like to have a focal point. For prayer, I usually use a word or phrase and talk it over with God. Sometimes that word or phrase conjures up some interesting reflections and reactions from me but, more importantly, I want to learn what His thoughts are on it. When I meditate, I like to mull over Scripture – particularly an area where I need God’s counsel. Sometimes it is just a couple of verses of the Bible but other times it is a chapter in a particular book of the Bible. It’s also a good time for me to use music, particularly soothing music without words. But but hymns and other spiritual songs that fill my mind with God’s Word and Truth are a great way for me to step away from myself and explore the deeper things.
Spending time in prayer and meditation gives me the opportunity to pause and be refreshed with healthy thoughts and concepts. It helps me to uncover those things I might wish to keep covered. By letting God into my thought life I am allowing His truth to correct me and guide me and encourage me.
How do you like to ponder God’s Word?
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. [Psalm 1:1-3, NIV]
May God bless you as you meditate on His Word!
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 84
“O Lord, Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalm 84:12
Sadly, I have several situations in my history that have tainted my trust in people. I do have people I trust but I have learned that there are people who should clearly not be trusted, ever.
I have been trusting God for many years now though I have had occasional and brief interference by humans who were unhealthy. Thankfully, I did not attribute the actions of these people to God’s character, but processing the situations did take a little time. God also used those situations to strengthen my trust in Him as well as fine tune my intuition. For some reason, it never occurred to me that God endorsed or was behind any of that yucky stuff. And for that, I am thankful.
If you struggle with trust issues, it might be due to early experiences with unhealthy people in your life. If those people were in positions of authority or, worse yet, in positions of church authority, I am so very sorry for your experience. This is not how God works. Sadly, this is how sin in the world works.
If you struggle with some historical issues, I encourage you to seek healthy counsel so that your present and future are not defined by your past. May God heal, restore, and refresh you as you seek Him!
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:3-7
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ How did I get here?
There have been many times I have asked myself this question, particularly as I was analyzing a challenging moment in my life like a:
- bad grade
- financial problem
- relationship challenge
- unhealthy behavior
- sick feeling in my gut
Can you relate? Are you where you want to be? Do you have any thoughts on why you are where you are? Are there things you want or need to change?
Sometimes I ran to the unfortunate places I have gone. Sometimes it was a little “indiscretion” that was a tiny step by tiny step progression until I landed squarely where I ended up. On occasion it was someone who seemed healthy or trustworthy who influenced my path but I continued the journey as I worked my way through some distorted understanding of myself and the world. Unchecked emotions or behavior has led me to difficult places. And sometimes it took a long while to extricate myself from those spots.
Changing bad habits is difficult and demanding work. I know because I have worked on a few in my day. If you find yourself in a place you wish you were not you might want to incorporate a few of the following ideas:
- Take an honest look at your situation.
- Confess your issues to God and ask for His help
- Find a healthy accountability partner with whom you can be completely honest
- Visit with your pastor
- Join a support group
This may sound crazy but there are times when others may not be supportive while you work on your bad behavior. Others close to you might not be happy with efforts and they may actually try to sabotage your progress but keep moving to a healthier place.
We are all in process. We all have things to work on. Some of it is big stuff and some of it is fine-tuning some little stuff. If you have ever worked on a big thing please have compassion on those who are in the middle of their big project. You likely are able to offer some hope to someone just beginning his/her journey of change. A little encouragement can go a long way for someone who is downtrodden by the weight of his/her sin and the consequences of bad choices.