If you’ve ever gone through a very traumatic time in your life…like me, you were begging the Lord to stop it and give you back the security and wellbeing that was woefully missing in your life. But this Psalm shows us what the Lord gives us first in the mist of that traumatic event…He gives us strength. For many times, we must walk through the situation…one painful step at a time, to find only at the end of the journey, the peace we were so desperately looking for. This Psalm wants us to remember, that with each excruciating step, the Lord is there to come along side to support, sustain, and strengthen our fragile mind, body, and soul. For He will never leave us or forsake us. And soon, that peace will come back into our lives.
In these verses from the Parable of the Sower we see the Word of God being sown over rocky ground. The plants spring up, but because they have no adequate root system, they die off quickly. In the Amplified Version of the Bible it gives us insight into this shallow faith. It states in Mark 4:17, ” And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.” So how can we pray for this person? They have to go deeper. In I Timothy 3:9 it talks about keeping ahold of the deep truths of the faith…the divine secrets, revealed truths, and revelations from God. To move from shallow faith to a vibrant and intimate relationship with the Lord, a person has to go deeper with God…allowing Him to speak to them through the Scriptures, revealing important truths to them. And with these new revelations, they are then able to send roots of trust down deep.
We all need spiritual sustenance, because we all have a God-shaped hole inside that needs to be filled. This inner hunger and thirst for God propels us forward in His Way and supports us in times of trials. Life is sustained by food…but our spiritual life is nourished and maintained by the word of God.
Repentance is the beginning of your journey with God. True repentance means taking responsibility for what you’ve done… for owning your sins. Repentance could also be called an action word…it starts with a heart change, but commands a directional change too – a turning from darkness to light, evil to good, wicked to righteous. Repentance is the starting point of that new life you’re looking for.
For those of us who have been betrayed by someone who said they loved us, but did the opposite. Who said they would protect and esteem us, yet carried out appalling acts against us. We feel hesitant that the Lord is really trustworthy…we are anxious and uneasy to put our total faith in someone who could, for all we know, suddenly turn and threaten or deceive us. But by immersing ourself in His Word, and reading promises such as Psalm 13:5, which says, “But I trust in Your unfailing love.”…we can grasp with certainty the unending, unchangeable love of the Lord.
Have your parents always been active in Church, but you’ve held back…maybe thinking it’s not for you? Look around your Church and assess the age of those who serve the most. Are they in their 20’s or 30’s…or is it more like 60’s and 70’s, or older? The sad fact about many Churches today is that the vast majority of those ministering and volunteering are the elderly of the Church, not younger adults. In this verse, it speaks of the Gatekeepers being chief men…men who were strong and in the prime of their life…charged with guarding and protecting with self-discipline and integrity. The Church is only as young as the people who serve. And when those precious Saints of the Church are gone…what happens next? Who will fill their shoes? Will you?
Leftovers. For many, they’re not very appetizing. So why do we repeatedly offer them to the Lord ? Those remaining bits and pieces of our time and money in a rather half-hearted attempt at devotion. God doesn’t want our leftovers. He wants our utmost. He doesn’t want what’s left…He wants our very best.