Thursday, March 16, 2017

WORD OF LIFE, PART 9: HIGHWAY 119 - REST STOP AHEAD

Have you ever made a huge mistake which hurt no one but yourself and promised God to never do it again? Or how about this one? Somehow, again in your own efforts, you have managed to get yourself in a pickle and promised God “Lord, if You get me out of this one, I will…..(fill in the blanks).

We have all done this more times than we can remember! God, in His mercy, grace and long-suffering with us, knows we are going to mess up and it is only His love that prevents Him from striking us dead the next time we make another one of these conditional “promises” we make. Some of these self-inflicted wounds have the potential to damage not just our testimony (depending on the level of degree of sin) but our own walk, if we are not careful.

When God disciplines us due to these shortcomings, it is for our own good. Who among us cannot testify to the goodness and mercy of the God of second, third and 3000 chances? Just imagine if the God of the Bible, the one True God Yahweh, was not our loving Creator who is full of grace and mercy?! (Verses 67-68) Where would we be? God does not just discipline us when we fall short in sin. He also brings correction through circumstances, people, new paradigms and most of all- His Word! "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
Psalm 119:65-72
Teth.
65   You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word.
66   Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments.
67   Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.
68   You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes.
69   The arrogant have forged a lie against me; with all my heart I will observe Your precepts.
70   Their heart is covered with fat, but I delight in Your law.
71   It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
72   The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

As we travel along Highway 119 (as in Psalm 119), we, therefore, now pull over at the nearest rest stop (Verses 65-72) to simply get out and “stretch” our proverbial spiritual legs, be refreshed by reflection of the surrounding scriptures so present in our midst.  This rest area is designed, constructed by the Master and placed there for us to have a significant pause to stir our thinking.  This thinking should lead us to acknowledge our position as sinners saved by Grace in verses 67 and 68. It is only then we can fully comprehend His unmerited favor. Stretching our spiritual limbs should result in another desired effect. That is, it should birth an overwhelming sense of gratitude of what this Grace really looks like.

It would behoove every Christian, who is in the lifelong pursuit of holiness to use our few quiet moments in this spiritual rest area to meditate on verse 65From this flows the instruction in the Revealed Word and Decrees of the Master Himself (verse 66). God has dealt well with us, in spite of ourselves and our mistakes, by His provision of our temporal needs. When we could not figure out how this bill was getting paid, or how our sick child was going to be cared for at the doctors, or how we were going to get to work the next day when the car would not start last night. When He provided this or that, just in the nick of time or brought us to this place where we found just the perfectly home within our price range, where community and safety were readily available.....these are some of the things which show that He has "dealt well" with this Servant. The most important part of the entire equation of course is the fact He saved our souls from the fires of hell.


Our reflection in the "rest area" will not be complete and we should NOT get back on the expressway, until we know that there is a verse 69. This verse represents the orange cones of life. These "orange cones" are not just things which slow us down, way down, but can become obstacles in life. Any so-called allegedly spiritual philosophy which tells you that "your best life is now" and you have the power to speak things which are not, into being, because you have the power of the "I am" will cause you severe internal engine trouble in the journey of life. The truth is this: you and I are going to face trials, tribulations and taunts from the enemies of God who have simply transformed themselves into those who HATE the people of God - Christians.

Oh, may we never forget, we are children and followers of the Suffering Savior, Who held up His Suffering for our sake, as a standard. This is the very Standard which was in the plans and Mind of Holy God, before He spoke the world into being in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Do not despise the seasons of suffering, of going through the difficult times and testing because these are not the times that try men's and women's souls. 

These are the times which show our mettle. 
These are the things which show that of which we are made, in our core. 
These are the tests which graduate us from spectator to special in the Eyes of God and man. 
These are the testimonies which show the world we are who we say we are, and more importantly, we are WHOSE we say we are - Yahweh! 
This is the true meaning of perseverance of the saints which can provide the fuel for the next leg of the journey, in Jesus' Name.
This is what should be in our rear-view mirror as we drive on ahead through the construction zones of life, where we sometimes get slowed way down from our normal daily clip. 
This is what we need to grasp from Psalm 119:71 when the inspired Scripture says: "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes".

Let us learn from the Master, the ultimate GPS of our lives, Whose love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, direction, protection, provision and simple GRACE are the most priceless things in the world - ever (verse 72). Let us lean ONLY on Him for the very fuel of each and every moment that we may cruise in peace, joy and contentment, all the days of our lives. Let us resolve to live like this, from this moment on, and experience what is truly the most fruitful and meaningful life, we can possible imagine. It will bless you. It will bless everyone else around you, for an eternity. Amen
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