Psalm 141 shows how we can easily find ourselves slipping down sin’s slope. Prayer is one of the ways we stay alert to those slopes: “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil” (v. 4) is a plea that echoes the Lord’s Prayer almost exactly: “Lead [me] not into temptation, but deliver [me] from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). In His goodness, God hears and answers this prayer.
And then I find in this psalm another agent of grace: a faithful friend. “Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5). Temptations are subtle. We’re not always aware that we’re going wrong. A true friend can be objective. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6 nkjv). It’s hard to accept rebuke, but if we see the wounding as a “kindness” it can become an anointing that puts us back on the path of obedience.
- part of Our Daily Bread for September 3rd 2019
There are times we go for walks and the scenery is pleasant, warm and peaceful.
There are times when we have to walk and the scenery is far from any of that.
It's interesting that my Bible reading Plan had me in those same chapters in Psalms today.
There's times when it's necessary to be confronted. I have been on more occasions than I can count. Some, are like it was yesterday, and the sting is still felt.
In all the times when God has brought someone to me, to correct me, I have to confess, I earned it.
God has done great and fantastic things in my life. But it probably could have been better had I been more obedient and observant to what He was doing and not done my own thing.
I have been praying for a friend, it's no coincidence that attacks come, in the Spiritual sense. When others stray from God, there will be times when it's us who will be the instruments of restoration. I was made aware of what happened to a friend in the recent years he had vanished from church. I can't physically save him, but, my prayers can go where I cannot. I have seen this truth over and over again.
Will he face rebuke? Yes. But my hope is his life will return to Christ.
I think of words to a song.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky
We will likely never know all the hidden, Spiritual things, that took place around us when we lived this life. We may, someday, after we are Raptured, see a movie of what was really our lives.
I am learning, always learning, it's what I perhaps like the most to do. Some enjoy sports, nature, museums etc. I am perhaps the weird nerd who loves instructional videos and how-to videos. It perhaps blows people's minds when they ask off the wall questions and I most of the time have answers.
Yet, even more than that, I would rather God show me things not found in books or videos. Sometimes, though, it comes after I fell, cracked a knee on the Spiritual pavement and He is there to help me up again. Sin has a way of tripping us up. Other times I think He just loves to teach those who want to know more from Him.
I am in awe of what God has shown me.
There's times when I look at people around me and have the thought that they are missing it! I see people trying to do everything else in this life but have a real relationship with Jesus. They know He is there but are afraid of what others may think of them if they acknowledge Him. I learned a while ago that my job isn't more important than my relationship with God. If it costs me my job, oh well, God will prevail and provide another.
I see people who are like Nicodemus, who know and were taught God's love and truth from an early age yet are more concerned of what people will think about them.
We will fall, nobody is exempt from sinning, it's in our DNA. The truth is, in Christ, we are forgiven (those who are saved), and can be washed again and set back on our feet by Him. If you haven't been washed by the blood of Jesus, if you haven't put your faith in Christ Jesus for Salvation. Your sin will always remain. You will never clean off your sin on your own. You need Christ to do that.
Interesting to just now see that little but big truth. In as much as the world tries to reject it, everyone has faith in someone or something. You either have it in Christ or you have it in yourself.
We are in a Spiritual war. Both believers and unbelievers. Everyone is in it. Man, woman and child.
The New Testament has many passages where it tells us who the enemy is. Where the battlefield is. What to expect as far as casualties go. In Ephesians we are told about armor. About the weapons of our warfare. In other places it mentions that
Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
We are going to face this. You will and you are.
God is going to send both friends and those who are not friends to correct you in your walk with Jesus. There's times when it hurts. There's times when it's a relief. But it's necessary.
Really look at how a potter recrafts a piece. Really look at it. We are the clay, He is the potter. Scripture tells us that.
Yet what we need to think of is more than that. Jesus is REMAKING a clay piece. Not just making, remaking. He has things that need to be removed from us. Things that need added. We were a clay piece before coming to Christ. But after coming to Christ, surgeries were planned. He didn't just begin to change the outside of us, He began with the inside. His goal is to make a Masterpiece.
Being rebuked, corrected, admonished however it is said or done, is a necessary part of life. God doesn't grab lightening bolts and throw them at us to correct us.
He has a rod and a staff. The tools of a Shepherd. There's going to be rough times. It isn't always going to be good times. It isn't always going to be Jesus correcting us. It's also that warfare.
Jesus said they hated me, they will hate you too. Hate you? But what did you do?
It's sin that's behind the hatred. People naturally don't like to be blinded by light. As Scripture says it reveals what was once hidden in darkness. Jesus is the light in every believer.
Turn on a light and things scatter.
Reveal the truth of sin and people don't like it. It shows just how much they have bought into Satan's lies. Making them either want to be saved from it or gnash their teeth at it because they refuse to believe it.
Pray without ceasing is what God says to do. Keep talking with Jesus all the time. Either in words spoken to yourself or outloud. In song. In quiet meditation. In reading. Be where God wants you to be.
Don't be where you shouldn't be.
Think. It's what God's enemy doesn't want. Think. There's still time to know the truth about Jesus and His love for you.