The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers came against me to devour my flesh, my foes and my enemies stumbled and fell.
Though an army deploys against me, my heart is not afraid;
Though a war breaks out against me, still I am confident.
I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire:
To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
Gazing on the beauty of the Lord, and seeking Him in His temple.
For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity;
He will hide me under the cover of His tent;
He will set me high on a rock.
Then my head will be high above my enemies around me;
I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy.
I will sing and make music to the Lord.
Lord, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me.
My heart says this about You: “You are to seek My face”
Lord, I will seek Your face.
Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn your servant away in anger.
You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation.
Even if my mother and father abandon me, the Lord cares for me.
Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path.
Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence.
I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.
“I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, who has delivered you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am Yahweh.” Moses told this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and hard labor. – Exodus 6:7-9 (HCSB)
I think that this passage of scripture is absolutely fascinating. Here are a group of people that are being told the promise of blessing beyond their wildest dreams, but they do not listen. Why don’t they listen? Verse 9 says because of their broken spirit and hard labor. The main thing I want to focus on is a broken spirit. How many times has your spirit felt so broken that although those around you may have encouraged you to read the Bible and the promises of God, you just didn’t want to? I’ll be honest, there are times when I flat out don’t want to listen, I don’t want to read the word because my spirit is so broken and I’m frustrated. Perhaps when your spirit is broken you don’t feel worthy to come to God in prayer and believe His promises in the word. Maybe you have felt like it’s all your fault and so to ask for help would be expecting something you don’t deserve. When our spirits are broken and we allow that to overtake our thinking, our vision can only stretch so far. These promises were supposed to bring joy and comfort to the Israelites but their vision was blurred because they were not willing to sacrifice their brokenness to the Lord. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart”. How beautiful is that verse? It means that God can use everything – even the most broken spirit, despite what you’ve done or what’s been done to you. In fact, it goes so far as to say that a broken spirit is pleasing to God! He delights in our vulnerability before Him because that is when we humbly admit that we can’t do life on our own and we desperately need Him to break through. He wants us to want Him. As humans we have a tendency to hold onto what is holding us back. Are you holding onto bitterness, unforgiveness, a broken spirit, or anything else that is stopping you from hearing and believing the promises of God? If so, don’t hesitate any longer to sacrifice that to the Lord! He delights when we are vulnerable before Him and He longs to pour out His promises on us, if only we would give up what we cling so tightly to.
“Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24
I am on a quest of kindness. Kindness towards my husband, kindness towards my friends, my colleagues, and strangers too. A kind word can change the direction of someone’s day – they ‘sweeten the soul’ and ‘heal the bones’. One thing I have noticed is that my kind words towards others change the direction of my own day too! A conscious effort to be kind is also an effort to be Christ-like and if we are actively pursuing being like Jesus in little things throughout the day, how much more is our desire to be like Him sweetening our own souls and healing our own bones? By extending grace and kindness and love to others, we see the blessings and benefits of those actions in our own lives too.
So this is my challenge to you today: show a little kindness. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or forced, sometimes just a simple smile to another driver on the road or a ‘Have a nice day’ to the girl working the checkout is all you need to do. Others around you may not see your kindness and commend you for it, but God sees everything and that my friends is the most rewarding acknowledgement of all.