Abiding, Bible, Protection, Scripture, Security, Trust

FALSE SECURITY

ZEPHANIAH 1:10

“‘And on that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, wailing from the Second Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills.’”

There is nothing worse than to think you are safe only to find out you’re not. I have ridden out several hurricanes in my lifetime. Most of them weren’t a big deal. But there was one… We thought we were fine, but when it hit, we thought we had made a mistake in staying. It hit harder and stayed longer than we thought.

Zephaniah is relaying the Lord’s words in verse 10 which describe the people’s reliance on their man made defenses against their enemies. The Fish Gate couldn’t withstand them. Nor could the Second Quarter of the high points of the city. All reliance on their defense efforts fell short. Why? Because the Lord had removed His protection.

APPLICATION

Oh, to think where I would be without the Lord’s protection. I would probably be in some gutter. I know my flesh. But because I have chosen to follow Him and give my life to Him, He has made a covenant with me to protect me. Psalm 17:8-9 give us a promise. “8 Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings 9 from the wicked who deal violently with me, my deadly enemies who surround me.”

Just as the Lord covenanted with David, so He covenants with us. We do not have to rely on our own defenses. And because we are His children, He will never withdraw His protection. The key is abiding in Him. Take a minute and read John 15. There is the key to abiding in Jesus.

I have found that abiding in Him is a whole lot easier than trying to protect myself from a ruthless enemy. I am no match for him on my own. My only defense is Jesus. As I submit to my Master and resist the enemy, he has to flee (James 4:7). Are you tired of failing on your own. Come to Him.

I praise You, O Lord, for keeping me safe from the evil one. You are my Protector and Defender.

Standard
Bible, Covenant, Promises, Protection, Relationships, Rescue, Scripture, Security, Strength

MY STRENGTH

HABAKKUK 3:19

“The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like deer’s feet, and has me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.”

Here we are at the last verse of Habakkuk. This verse is one of the most quoted in the book. If you missed the beginning of the look at Habakkuk, go back to the beginning of my blogs on this awesome book. They began on November 2. That means we have spent 56 days looking at each verse of this wonderful message to us.

Habakkuk closes his message with praise to God. He confesses publicly that the Lord God is his strength. He does not place his trust in the armies of Israel or on some foreign power. He knows God is the only source of strength. He brings in the image of the deer climbing up effortlessly to the high places. He says God does the same for him. And that applies to us as well.

When we are at our lowest, the Lord picks us up. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” When we rely on Him, He can lift us up to the high places. He does it effortlessly. It is no strain for Him, but for us, it’s agony.

APPLICATION

My little granddaughter asked me the other day to throw her high. Now, she’s approaching five years old. When she was a toddler, this was an easy ask. I could throw her multiple times to her glee. But now…that’s not so easy. It is hard for me to do that more than twice. Aren’t you grateful that God does not tire of lifting us up. No matter how many times we fall, we can turn to Him and say, “Father, lift me,” and He does.

I have had to call on Him several times in my life. There have been moments when I did not think I could carry on. That weakness may have been emotional, physical or spiritual. Each time He came to my aid. Each time He “made my feet like deer’s feet and has me walk on my high places.” He will do the same for you.

I want to climb to the highest heights, Father. Lift me up to be with You.

Standard
Accused, Bible, Forgiveness, Judgment, Safety, Salvation, Scripture, Security

BOW AND ARROWS

HABAKKUK 3:9

“You removed Your bow from its holder, the arrows of Your word were sworn. Selah. You divided the earth with rivers.”

I have a crossbow which I use to hunt. I have yet to claim a deer with it, but I am ready should the opportunity come. That bow is no good to me if I keep it in its case. It is also no good if I do not load it with a bolt (an arrow for a crossbow). But once I pull it out of its case and load it with a bolt, it is ready to be used.

God’s judgment is pictured here by Habakkuk as an unsheathed bow that has its arrows ready to shoot. God’s word of promise to execute judgment are true, just like His aim. We may not see it coming, much like an arrow shot from a distance. But it is coming, and God never misses His target. “But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded.” Psalm 64:7

APPLICATION

I do not fear God’s arrows of judgment because I have laid my sins at the foot of the cross. My sins have been paid for by my Savior and Lord. I can walk in victory each day, knowing that there is no need to look over my shoulder fearing God’s wrath. It has been satisfied by the blood of the Lamb.

The enemy will try to insinuate that I am not secure in Christ. He will try to get me to question the power of the cross. All those are lies, told to try to get me off my mission. My mission is to point others to Jesus. I want to see them walk in the same victory I am walking in each day.

How about you? Do you walk in fear or victory? Do you walk as if you are defeated? If you are a child of God, if you have placed your faith in Jesus, there is no need to walk that way. You have been promised a home with Him in eternity. Nothing can change that. You are safe and secure. Walk that way.

Thank You, Lord, for the knowledge that You do execute judgment where necessary, but I am free from judgment because of Christ.

Standard
Abiding, Affliction, Bible, Enemies, Hope, Power, Scripture, Security, Strength

THEY’RE COMING

HABAKKUK 2:7

“‘Will your creditors not rise up suddenly, and those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.’”

We have all heard stories from friends who have suffered financial hardships. The creditors start calling and don’t let up. Answering the phone is scary. Even knocks on the door cause fear to enter. Knowing creditors are literally at your door is a frightening thing.

The Lord is telling Habakkuk that these Chaldeans, who think they are so strong and terrible, will be trembling as their enemies fall on them suddenly. They will collapse under the hand of those who they had so cruelly reigned. They will become the plunder. Their “creditors” are going to destroy them.

APPLICATION

Are you living in fear of something? What or who is knocking at your door? If we are not relying on Jesus, we are living dangerously. There is nothing that can protect us outside of Him. He is the only One Who can! He not only knows what is coming. He knew it before they did.

If that doesn’t calm your heart, nothing will. The God of Ages has your back. I do not mean to imply that you won’t go through hard times. We all do. But knowing that the Lord is there to defend you should give you the confidence to forge forward.  I am not trying to paint a rosy, pie-in-the-sky picture. I know this to be true because His Word tells us.

He tells us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Dy 31:6; Heb 13:5). He is our strong tower and the righteous run to Him (Pr 18:10). I could go on and on, but there are literally hundreds of verses that tell us He is there. Trust Him. Let Him defend you.

You are my strong tower, Lord. I will run to You.

Standard
Belief, Bible, Helplessness, Rescue, Restoration, Safety, Scripture, Security

HELPLESS

HABAKKUK 1:14

Why have You made people like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler over them?”

Feeling helpless is not fun. When I was going through treatment for my disease (Amyloidosis), I had times when I felt completely helpless. When I was at my sickest and not able to hardly walk, I felt helpless. Honestly, I felt deserted by God. I knew it wasn’t true, but that’s how I felt. It was a low time and not one I wish to repeat.

Habakkuk is expressing a similar feeling in today’s verse. The picture God has shown him of the impending judgment of God on His people leaves him feeling kind of helpless. He compares the people to fish that are swept along by the currents of the sea or bugs that simply wander on the ground. Those are not pretty pictures, but it expresses how he feels. Helpless and wandering.

APPLICATION

We have a choice during these times. We can wallow in our helplessness, or we can turn to the only One who can provide our help. I knew, when I was going through my low point, that God was there. I knew He was holding me. He just wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted Him to move. I wanted God to fix me, but I wanted to dictate how He did that. That’s not how it works.

Psalm 108:6 reads, “So that Your beloved may be rescued, save with Your right hand, and answer me!” God’s hand is always reaching out to us. He can restore us. He can rescue us. He can provide that feeling of safety and security so we can cry out with the Psalmist the words of this verse.

There’s a hymn that says, “But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.” Isn’t that the best feeling? No more helplessness because we know who holds us. He is able to keep us. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

Standard
Accused, Affection, Anxiety, Bible, Blessing, Compassion, Devil, Encouragement, Enemies, Love, Relationships, Satan, Scripture, Security

YOU’RE WORTHLESS

NAHUM 3:6

“‘I will throw filth on you and declare you worthless, and set you up as a spectacle.’”

I have known so many people who were told time and time again that they are worthless. Demeaning words spoken by mean people. Words meant to belittle and beat down others. It is the saddest when these words are directed at children. Their little faces are stricken. Their spirits scarred by harsh and undeserving words.

Nahum is sharing the words of the Lord towards Nineveh in today’s verse. These are harsh words from the Lord but remember who they are directed towards. Nineveh was an evil city which was part of an evil nation. They were godless and unrepentant. In the economy of God, they were worthless. God was indeed using them as an example to others.

APPLICATION

In contrast, God tells us we are highly valued. We are His treasure, the apple of His eye. He loves us with an uncompromising love. We can do nothing to cause Him to stop loving us. We may disappoint Him, but we can never do anything where He would declare us worthless.

If you are hearing those words, they are not from the Lord. They are from the evil one who wants to tear you down. He doesn’t want you to feel loved. He wants you to feel worthless and of no value. Do not believe those words. They are lies straight from the pit of hell.

As a child of the Father, you are loved. Walk in that love. Believe that love. Share that love. And as you do that, you will truly know the love of Jesus. It will envelope you. It will lift you on those days when the devil is whispering those lies to you. Remember that Jesus loves you with an everlasting love. Hallelujah!

I celebrate You, Lord. I am so thankful for Your love that will never fade.

Standard
Advocate, Bible, Future, Hope, Scripture, Security

A “HOPECOMING” 

MICAH 7:12 

“It will be a day when they will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, from Egypt even to the Euphrates River, even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain.” 

Right now, here in the U.S. where I live, we have millions of people pouring over our southern border. I am not going to talk about the legality of this or point fingers at who is to blame. I want to look at what is happening. Millions of people are coming to the U.S., most of them in hopes of a better future. They see the U.S. as this great “hope giver.” 

Micah prophesies in today’s verse about a similar immigration to Israel from all over. People would return to Israel, while others would come for the first time. Micah could see the throngs of people pouring over their border. They were seeking more than hope. They were seeking Jehovah, the God of the land. 

APPLICATION 

Ask yourself today what you put your hope in. Is it in the stock market? Don’t fool yourselves. How about your job or source of income? That could change today. Is it your family? Sadly, that can change too. There is no sure thing down here on earth in which to place our hope. 

But…there is the one place we can all place our hope – Jesus Christ. Just like in Micah’s prophesy, people have come to Him from all corners of the earth. People of all languages have made their way to Him to find the fulfillment of life. He is more than hope. He is God, the giver of hope. 

I am so thankful for the hope I have in Jesus. I do not have to worry about my future. It is sure and steadfast in the arms of Jesus. He is my everything. Is He yours? Do you place all your “anxieties on Him because He cares for you”? (1 Peter 5:7). He can give you all the hope you need. 

I hope only in You, Lord. Your promises never fail.

Standard
Accountability, Advice, Belief, Bible, Scripture, Security, Trust

TRUST NO ONE

MICAH 7:5

“Do not trust in a neighbor; do not have confidence in a close friend. Guard your lips from her who lies in your arms.”

Those who remember the show “X Files” remember the statement that was made often. “Trust No One.” In this show about extraterrestrial lives cloaked in secrecy by the government, Fox Mulder, led investigations each week into appearances. If you like that sort of thing, you might enjoy this show.

Micah lived long before Fox Mulder, but his words are the same – trust no one. Well, he actually said, “Do not trust in a neighbor.” The lives of the individuals Micah were addressing were so unreliable and untrustworthy that he admonished them to not put trust in them. There was only one who was and is truly trustworthy.

In whom do you trust? I trust my wife without any doubts. She trusts me the same. But we are not perfect, and we can get things confused sometimes. When I travel, I try to stay in contact with her each day, not to check in, but to let her know she is on my mind. My loyalty to her is what has built our trust.

APPLICATION

I love Psalm 62:5-8. Listen to these words and discover your source of trust. “5 My soul, wait in silence for God alone, for my hope is from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my refuge; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my glory rest on God; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”

What else could you ask for? My fortress, my refuge, my rock and my strength. There is nothing else I can fully really on. I have good friends, but I know I cannot completely rely on them. God is the only One. Will you trust Him today? If you can trust Him with your eternity, certainly you can trust Him for your day.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Standard
Abiding, Bible, Choices, Conceit, Confession, Deceit, Eternity, Heaven, Holy Spirit, Judgment, Opponents, Scripture, Security

FALSE SECURITY

OBADIAH 3

“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, the one who lives in the clefts of the rock, on the height of his dwelling place, who says in his heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’”

I love to deer hunt here in Tennessee. Methods of hunting deer vary from state to state, but here in Tennessee, people mainly hunt from deer stands on trees or in ground blinds. I like to use the tree stands, specifically my ladder stands. However, when I climb those stands to reach my perch above the ground, I always use my safety harness. I can’t risk feeling safe up there without it.

The Edomites had a false sense of security solely because of where they lived. They had built homes in the hills and had carved a city out of the sandstone. They felt they were indestructible up there, having repelled many invasions. But God is above all and can administer justice from above. As the Lord says here, “Who will bring me down to earth?”  No one.

APPLICATION

Are you “too big for your britches”? Have you developed a false sense of security? God has a way of humbling us. He wants us to know that only He can give us true security and that only in the name of Jesus. He is the only one who makes us secure eternally.

What other kind of security do you want? Financial? That can be gone in a second. Physical? Believe me, that can leave you instantly. Socially? Friends will desert you. Only Jesus can truly make you secure. His blood on Calvary was shed to secure all mankind eternally. All we have to do is turn to Him and confess our sins and proclaim Him as Lord.

I am thankful I have made that decision. Have you? If not, do that today. If you have, who do you know who needs that kind of security? Go to them today and share the most amazing story ever told. They may just respond and join us for eternity.

I know You have me in the palms of Your hands. You hold me safe and secure.

Standard