Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~He Protected Me~ April 7, 2015

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protection“The Lord protected me when I was under attack.”

Our Pastor spoke these words during his Good Friday message and they have resonated with me since. There have been a few instances in my life when I felt like I was under attack.

At times, the attacker has been a visible enemy. I’ve had my reputation on the line when gossipers chose to spread their distorted version of events to anyone who would listen. I’ve been in “relationships” where my vulnerability was exploited. There have been a handful of times when a man has used his strength to control me. And yet, in each of these circumstances, God shielded me from ruin. No irreparable damage was done. I’ve been blessed with true friends & family whose opinion of me cannot be swayed by slander, who would never take advantage or lay a malicious hand on me.

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.” (Psalm 138:7 ESV)

Then there have been times when my adversary was the one who specializes in the sneak attack, Satan. Here’s the thing about the onslaught of the devil, you don’t always realize that you are under siege, that is until it’s all said and done and you look back on the situation. That’s why the Bible warns us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)  He is crafty and creeps in when your defenses are down. He will take advantage of your weaknesses, remind you of all your failures and convince you that you have no future. Even in these times, the Lord has prevailed, reminding me of who HE says I am.

But that’s not what struck me about this statement from Pastor. What stirred in my spirit was the profound truth that God protected me even in the moments when I didn’t know I needed it. And by that I mean, He protected me from myself. If there has ever been someone I could accuse of singlehandedly attempting to destroy my life, it would be me. I have belittled myself. I’ve made insanely bad choices. I’ve sabotaged perfectly healthy relationships in favor of the not-so-healthy variety. I’ve hidden my need for help from loved ones and ran hard & fast from God. And yet, I am still here. Still loved by God. Forgiven of all the crappy mistakes I’ve made and welcomed back with eagerness into His loving arms. He has saved me from ruin.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10 NIV)

“The Lord protected me when I was under attack.”

 

~Benefits of Wisdom~ February 12, 2014

Day 2-Proverbs 2proverbs 2

Yesterday we discovered the entire purpose behind the book of Proverbs is to encourage us to seek wisdom and understanding from the Lord so that our lives would be in alignment with Scriptures.  The same point is reiterated in chapter two.  Something you may have noticed about the Lord, when something is really important, He gets a little repetitive.  I suppose He thinks we’re hard headed and need to be told multiple times to be sure it sinks in.  He’s right, by the way.

Did you know that you have to ask God to give you wisdom and insight?  He wants us to seek out understanding.  Think about it, when someone asks you for something you know that they believe you have what they need.  Asking implies that you want to learn and are actively listening.

Once we have sought these gifts from the Lord, he makes us four promises that require very little from us:

1.  He (the Lord) grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.  

Honesty has always & will always be the best policy.  I can say there have been times in my life that telling the truth was painful, either to me or the person I was sharing with, but it is absolutely necessary in order to live the blessed life.  You want to have deep connections with people & know how to respond in any given situation, be honest-with them, yourself and the Lord.

2.  He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.

Moral uprightness, strong principals…that is how integrity is defined.  The Lord wants his children to have a backbone and stand by their convictions.  You stand up for what the Lord declares as true and he will shield you from your adversaries. 

3.  He guards the path of the just

Be fair.  Stand up for the innocent.  Don’t condemn the guilty.  The Lord is the one who sits on the judgment seat, thank goodness because I do not want that job and quite honestly I don’t want you in that position either!  Let your hearts and minds be open and kind and the Lord will direct your steps.

4.  and protects those who are faithful to him.

I like this one.  God had promised his divine protection over my life if I am committed to him.  God’s love for me is steadfast, does he not deserve the same in return.  I think yes.

(Proverbs 2: 7-8 NLT)

Seek wisdom, trust that God wants to grant you understanding, have a reverential fear of Him and watch how your life is transformed during this reading challenge.  God is moving, people.  It’s up to us if we go with Him or sit and watch from the nosebleed section.

*This is day 2 of our 31 day reading challenge, it’s not too late to join us!  One chapter of Proverbs a day, February 11-March 13.  There will be a post here for each reading. Blessings!*