“Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart

Why do we put precious valuables in safes? Why do we put alarms on our houses? Why do we lock our cars? We do all these things to keep from harm or danger; for protection.

When I make efforts to read scripture and study it, memorize it, I’m hiding His word in my heart. I’m locking it in a safe with a standing guard. We make great efforts to guard our material things, how much more do we guard our hearts?

Who/what are we guarding against? We have 3 enemies of the soul: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The world –We are instructed not to love the things of this world 1John 2:15. Worldly wisdom is contradictory to heavenly wisdom. When we become Christians we are to leave these worldly idols behind and follow Christ.

The flesh– The bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. Our flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the flesh. Galatians 5:17. It’s in opposition.

The devil– Scripture says, “Stay alert! Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

We know the enemies and we are given a way to protect against this danger. After we have repented and first trusted in Jesus we must continue to guard our hearts lest we fall.
We took the first step when we trusted Jesus and he gave us living water. Now we must continue to hide his word in our hearts by reading what he has revealed in his word and through prayer.

Today and everyday “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 Lock his word in your heart and make Jesus the standing guard of your life. If God is for us who can be against us!

The Crave. The Experience. The Joy.

I have often thought, why do some people who by outward appearance follow Jesus, not have a strong desire for him–by outward appearance I mean, church goers, religious exercisers of the sorts. I grew up in church. I was a religious exerciser. I had plenty of head knowledge of the things of God, and I am very thankful for that because I believe that was the seed being planted, but this alone is not enough. Like in the parable of the sower, the seed can be planted but if it does not take root it will fall away, it will be choked by the thorns of this world. A seed craves water and sunlight to thrive and grow and not be choked by the weeds. You could give the plant gatorade but it will not grow. You could give a seed many things but there is only one way it will grow.

The crave is in every man. This yearning inside that just won’t stop is in everyone. We crave the only source that will satisfy, and that is Jesus. One way and one truth is not a far fetched thing. Our whole universe is operated around a system of a one way organization; just like plants will not grow properly but through one way. It seems more far fetched that we could all be satisfied by different ways and systems.  We all crave one way through Jesus, but some choose another way, and then another way, and another. The crave is never satisfied and we end up a restless soul. St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until it rests in you.”

The experience is Jesus. We could know a lot about him, even respect him, even call ourselves followers of his teaching, but have we experienced him? Knowing about him and respecting him, and even following his teachings in and of themselves won’t satisfy. We have to experience him. We do what he says because we love him not because we think thats the moral thing to do. Our desire for him will grow as we experience the person of Jesus. The devil in hell knows more things about God than most people but this does not mean he desires him or loves him. How do we get to experience Jesus? We first experience him when we see ourselves for who we really are, wretched soul, empty, dying, deprived of the One who fulfills. We continue experiencing him when our chief goal is to give all glory to God, and when we continue to ask as the apostle Paul said, “What do I have that I did not receive?” God reveals himself when we let him have his way, and we put to death our own way. There is only one way.

The gift is Joy. We have to fight our carnal desires every day, and with the grace of God enabling us  to fight the good fight, we will know what it means to have fullness of Joy. Jesus warned, “the thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and and have it to the full.”John 10:10 What does the enemy want to do? He wants to kill the craving for Jesus, steal the experience, of Jesus and destroy the joy of Jesus. Don’t let him have his way! Fight! Fight! Fight! Put on the armor of God and seek only Him. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. AMEN!” Philippians 4:19,20

Joy in trials? You must be kidding!

“Consider it pure joy, when you face trials of many kinds” James 1:2

No root = fall away

No foundation = fall down

Be prepared!
My heart is heavy. Oh God please hear my prayer. You said you will never leave me or forsake me. You are Lord of Lords and King of Kings. I run to you. I take refuge in you. I need the outstretched arm of the mighty one. This life is full of trials. You are my root. You are my foundation. In you I will put my trust. The joy of the Lord is my strength. Your word says “consider it all joy when facing trials.” This seems impossible Lord.

Its not the joy of Johanna. Its not the joy of approval. Its not the joy of family. Its not the joy of money. Its not the joy of success. Its not the joy of a prosperous life. Where do we get our strength and in turn our joy? Joy comes from the Lord. No other thing or person can give us fullness of joy.

A test, you have to prepare for. A test also has an outcome. A test lasts for only a season. We have to prepare by being rooted in the word, staying close to Jesus. If we don’t, when the tests and temptations comes we will fall away. We are either going to pass the test or fail the test. There are only two outcomes. A test, also doesn’t last forever.
Whenever I had a test in school, if I was prepared I was ready to take it on and had my eyes already set on the “A” I was going to get. I was in anticipation for what I knew was to come because I was prepared. I could go through the test joyfully. On the other side of the coin, when I was ill-prepared I went in with much anxiety and no hope. All I had was chance, and I really knew deep down that the failing grade was coming my way. How could I have joy in that situation. Joy is not something that can be taken away. Joy only comes from the assurance of Jesus. When we believed and trusted Him he gave us the assurance of a passing grade. We have no reason to doubt and this is where we can find our joy through every circumstance. When James said “consider it all joy” I think this is what he meant. He didn’t mean the trial itself was meant to be joyful , but we know the outcome and the outcome is He has overcome it all and He will bring us through it, and this is ALL the reason to be joyful. To HIm be praised. He is my Joy!

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Have you had your heavenly meal today?

I Samuel 3:18 He is Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.

Just as we need earthly food to give our bodies strength, how much more do we need heavenly food to nourish our souls? If we only ate once a week, we would be severely malnourished and probably would not live long. The consequences would be great. Our soul is no different, it needs daily food to thrive. When we deprive ourselves of earthly food, we starve, and when that intense starvation is present, we are weak, and when we are weak we will grab hold of just about anything to put in our bellies even if it’s not healthy or remotely good for us. Our spiritual state is the same, if we are not being nourished consistently in God’s word, and simply feasting on Jesus, the one who fully satisfies, then we will begin to starve, and become weak, and when the trial or temptation comes how do you think we will stand? We can stand strong in the face of adversity or temptation by staying satisfied in Jesus. He will give us the confidence and strength to say “He is Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

I have found that it is easy to get steered off from reading the Bible and I want to fix that. I want to be full of Jesus and if I neglect time in His word and prayer I will starve.

My prayer: Lord, fill me up so that I can know more of you and in return share Jesus with those around me. Nourish my soul so that I have the strength to stand in adversity and temptation and so that I may be able to give of myself as you gave yourself up for me. In jesus name! Amen!