Psalm 51: Responding to God

I sit here today, listening to the breeze in the cottonwood outside the kitchen door, loving the sound of the leaves gently rustling against each other; and I am in awe of my Lord. He has once again shown me in unmistakable ways His love and mercy and grace. He has once again lovingly guided me to a lesson I need to learn. To Him alone goes the Glory!

I began writing a post Saturday, after having spent many hours searching out verses on prayer and reading those books on prayer. After having been ‘schooled’ by my Savior on recognizing the sin in my life that was hindering my prayers, I sat down and began putting my thoughts down on ‘paper’ (or this blank white screen as the case may be). I wrote about praying Psalm 139:23&24; but then wondering why my prayers were not being answered.

And then yesterday morning at church the guest speaker talked on Psalm 51. He pointed out that a right relationship with God begins with our realization of God’s righteousness, His love and justice, and our rebellion against Him. He noted that our relationship with God depends on how we respond to what we know about Him and about the sin in our lives. Our response will lead to repentance, that repentance will lead to renewal, restoration and revival.

These thoughts brought about a bit of questioning to my heart as I listened, because all that he was saying was what I had been reading.

How do we respond when God wants us to do something? Are we cheerfully obedient or do we argue back — “Do I have to do that? I don’t want to do that.”

And this is the point where I was struck, because that is what I do, often. That is one of the things that I struggle with, holding back a part of myself from complete surrender because there are things I do not want to do, and I am afraid that the Lord will require it of me.

I am at heart a quiet, reserved person that does not do well in crowded noisy places. If I find myself in a situation that has many people and a good deal of talking and chaos, I find myself turning inward, mentally and emotionally closing myself down and off from what is going on around me.

I have never been outgoing, never willing to talk to people as others do. I have always felt inadequate to a task, always second guessing myself afterwards. Maybe it comes from the way I have been treated off and on during my life – as if I did not matter, as if what I had to say was inconsequential. Maybe it comes from being made fun of for something I said or did that to me did not seem to be something worthy of that treatment; but that, for whatever reason, I was made to feel humiliated afterward. And when the mockery comes from one that is closer to you than most, the hurt is doubly painful.

My family would probably be shocked to find that a good deal of my reserve comes from growing up with four older brothers that, as big brothers often do, make the younger sibling feel less than acceptable. I know they would feel terrible if they realized this, but growing up in a situation like that, even when it was done as childish teasing, it is easy to become withdrawn and reserved.

And, I guess when you repeatedly have others begin to talk right over the top of what you are trying to say, or make a face and out right change the subject while you are trying to talk makes one less and less likely to even open their mouths. You begin to feel as if you are not worth a whole bunch and you just need to stay away from other people and not talk to anyone.

At any rate, I have trouble stepping out into new areas, trying new things, and this keeps me from wanting to get myself into situations where I have to deal with others on a regular basis. I do not like to be boxed in and committed to doing something. I then either don’t want to do it when the time comes, or if it is an ongoing obligation I get half-way through, and want to quit.

I am getting better, but it is still a struggle.

So, I have a tendency to hold myself back, to not give my all completely to the Lord because of my own feelings of inadequacy and fear of shame. I oftentimes argue about not wanting to do something precisely for those reasons.

And He has been showing me that this is a sin that would surely block my prayers, and that He yearns for my complete surrender so that He can work with me and through me.

But now I must tell you …

I have never really thought through all of this, never really put it all clearly into words, never realized that all of this was hiding in my soul until I began writing this. It may have been in the back of my mind all this time, but as I sat here, hitting the keys to create this post, my thoughts veered off of my original plan and took me down this painful path. And as the words came, I could feel a gentle guidance bringing the words out and onto the screen, as if by sharing them I could get passed this.

And, even now, as I am writing this, I can feel His reassuring presence and there is a Loving Voice speaking to my heart saying,

“You are my child. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. I love you with a love everlasting. I chose you from the beginning of the world. Just because others made you feel inadequate, does not mean you are. You can do all things through Me because I will strengthen you. I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. But apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Praise the Lord!

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com   2019

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Lessons from Ezekiel

Ezekiel chapter 18

“20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die: saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? ….. 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”

 

God has given us each free will. He gives us the choice of whether to live for Him or ourselves, whether to die in our sins and go to hell at our physical death; or whether to repent of our sins and spend eternity with him in heaven. Our choice.

But these verses make it clear that there are consequences for the lives we lead. We will each have to answer for what we have done in this life, whether good or bad.

In the following chapters Ezekiel goes on to show that not only do individuals have a choice to make, nations have the same choice to make, with similar consequences.

Chapter 20:

“13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I wrought for my name’s sake that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. 15 Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16 because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes: for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. 18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statues of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: 19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; 20 And hallow my Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.”

Nations that turn their back on the One True Living God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth will eventually face the judgment of a Holy and Just God.

They, too, will have to face the consequences of their actions.

We are now living in a nation that has collectively turned their backs on our Creator. We have allowed the murder of millions of innocent babies. We have allowed sexual sin to run rampant through our movies, television shows, and even in the courts. We have turned our disagreements into violence and anarchy, attacking each other when we should be loving each other.

We have defined what is sin in God’s eyes as a woman‘s right to choose, equal rights and freedom of speech.

We have taken what is righteous in God’s eyes and now call it oppression, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

God is merciful, patient and longsuffering; but He is also Holy and Just.  Eventually His judgment will be forthcoming.

So, what can we do?

Ezekiel 22:30 & 31 says “30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. 31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them: I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God.”

We must stand in that gap before the Lord God and pray for this nation of ours before it is too late.

 

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2017