Lead Me

 

Follow The LeaderI believe the most productive thing I can do today is let the Lord lead me. I have a lot of things on my calendar and on the “to do list” today. The Lord is very capable of leading me through my day. He will improve my day if I will trust Him. He works behind the scenes of my day to lead and direct my day. My role is to listen and trust Him.

When I read the Psalms, I often gain perspective on God and on life. David often wrote some of his strongest stuff in the middle of a crazy and scary time. I find encouragement in his writings during these times because it showed his humanness as well as his simple but profound faith in God. Check this out…

Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:1-4 NIV)

I underlined three important words in this passage. First, I want the Lord to lead me to Himself. He is strong and fully equipped to help me handle whatever the Lord throws at me. Second, I want to dwell with the Lord – wherever He goes I want to go. I want to hang out with Him. Third, I want to take refuge in the Lord. I want His Protection and His Provision. I am certainly not capable of doing anything of value in my own power. When I’m tired and weary – this Psalm gives me a plan that will work.

As I look toward the next 12-16 hours of my life, I realize more than ever that I need Him in the everyday routines of my life. I also need Him in the deep weeds and deep water of my life as well. If I will have the courage to let Him lead, hang out with Him and take shelter in Him – my day will “level out” considerably.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Ransomed

First RespondersI get pretty uptight when there is a kidnapping on a television show and the bad guys are using a person’s life to extract money from another. The ransom demand is stiff.  It is impossible to put a price tag on loved ones. I can’t imagine having to walk down that road. I obviously am not wealthy or “stupid rich” that it would be worth someone’s time to extort me by taking a family member. I would be that guy who would give everything I must to ransom my loved one. All my stuff is replaceable, but a life doesn’t work like that.

King David is often an emotional wreck when he cries out to God in one of the Psalms. He battles fear on so many levels. It seems that his personal struggles here in Psalms was unknown to his enemies because he was also a strong warrior. Check this out…

16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:16-18, 22-23 NIV)

The Lord ransoms and rescues. David speaks out of experience. He has seen what the Lord is capable of to protect and provide. The Lord will do what it takes to rescue or ransom His kids from the enemy.

I’m learning that my role is to trust in my God Who is stronger than I can imagine. He can endure more than I can wrap my head around. He created the whole universe and He cares for me and my struggles whether big or little. I’m so thankful for His promise to rescue and ransom me. There are times, that He saves me from myself. I need rescuing pretty much every day. He is so up for the task!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Delivered & Protected

 

delivery guy knockingI will admit that I love Amazon.com and Prime membership. It is so easy to shop with a little research and a few clicks and the item(s) I ordered are on their way. It makes Christmas shopping easier as I can avoid long lines and large crowds. One of the important components of online shopping is the delivery and protection. I’ve had to return very small items ordered and I’ve had to return large items and Amazon makes it simple. With my Prime membership, I often get my items with free 2-day shipping and there is protection for me if the product shows up damaged or broken.

As I was reading Psalm 34 this morning, I realized that David was writing this passage at a tough time in his life. He had pretended to be insane before the priest to save his life. Check this out…

7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,

    and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;

    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

18 The Lord is close to the broken-hearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:7-8,18 NIV)

I need protected and delivered. I am walking through life, often unaware of the dangers that try to harm me. I’m often unaware of people who want to take me down. I am learning to trust the Lord with the simplest details to the most complex. He protects and delivers. He even protects me from myself. I am often my own worst enemy and I can get in “self-destruct” mode. I need Him to pick me back up and put me on my feet again.

When I am low, He lifts me up.

When I am high, He keeps me grounded.

When I am sideways, He sets me upright.

I need His Wisdom and Discernment quite often. The wisdom He gives has protection and deliverance built right in. I will trust Him with all that I have and all that I know. He leads, He protects and He delivers.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Protection

 

ProtectedI don’t often think of all the steps I take in protecting myself. I wear proper clothing to protect myself from the weather. I have protections inside my home. I have protection systems on my computer equipment.  I have also sorts of physical protection in place and I was reminded this morning of the spiritual protection I need to go along with the physical protection. Check this out…

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;

    let me never be put to shame;

    deliver me in your righteousness.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,

    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,

    for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;

    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,

    for you saw my affliction

    and knew the anguish of my soul.

23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!

    The Lord preserves those who are true to him,

    but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart,

    all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:1,3-5,7,23-24 NIV)

I feel safe in the Presence of God. When I’m threatened – I can feel safe with the Lord as my Fortress and my Rock. The Lord is with me always. He & I can face anything that comes my way. He knows my fears. He knows my doubts. He knows my heart completely and He loves me anyway. I find strength in knowing He can handle whatever comes my way.

My Rock, my Fortress, my Refuge, my Protection, my Counselor, My Deliverer – He is the Lord of all.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

He Made The Way

 

Christmas Nativity SceneI love celebrating Jesus’ birthday – Christmas! The story of His birth is beautiful and I’ve heard this story all my life. I don’t get tired of hearing it because the story of Christmas is about God making the way for me to get to Him. He came to earth as a vulnerable little baby to fulfill the plan of The Father.

As I read through the Old Testament, they are predicting and preparing for the Messiah (aka Jesus) to come. The Psalmist David writes about his relationship with God and he gives such great perspective of our God and just how He loves, provides and protects us. Check this out…

1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

    my shield (sovereign) and the horn (strength) of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

    and I have been saved from my enemies.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

    he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

    from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

    but the Lord was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place;

    he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:1-3; 16-19 NIV)

I feel loved, protected, rescued and connected to my God through His Son. I can’t imagine doing life without Him. I want to grow in my knowledge and understanding of Him. He made the way for me to have a close relationship with Him. He is always making a way – that Who He is. He is so creative and consistent. This thought reminded me of a song I heard many years ago called: God Will Make A Way by Don Moen.

God will make a way

Where there seems to be no way

He works in ways we cannot see

He will make a way for me

He will be my guide

Hold me closely to His side

With love and strength for each new day

He will make a way, He will make a way

 

By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me

And rivers in the desert will I see

Heaven and Earth will fade but His Word will still remain

And He will do something new today

 

Oh, God will make a way

Where there seems to be no way

He works in ways we cannot see

He will make a way for me

He will be my guide

Hold me closely to His side

With love and strength for each new day

He will make a way, He will make a way

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Safe & Secure

LKR032459I have a security system in our home that will warn us audibly if there is an intrusion into our home. It works well we our brain skips a synapse and we forget to turn it off before going outside. The alarm is a serious violation to my ear. I originally installed the alarm so that my wife would feel safe when I’m away traveling. I should confess that over the years I’ve gotten used to having the security system in place when I lay down at night.

Security and safety are important to me. I feel responsible to protect my family and keep them secure. I’ve learned that the Lord has a way better protection/security plan than a simple alarm system. Check this out…

1 Keep me safe, my God,

    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;

    apart from you I have no good thing.’

7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;

    even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

    With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

    my body also will rest secure,

11 You make known to me the path of life;

    you will fill me with joy in your presence,

    with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:1-2,7-9,11 NIV)

There is something about this passage that relaxes me. I find comfort knowing that I have protection and security with me all day every day. It’s not simply a physical protection, but spiritual protection as well. The spiritual threat feels way more significant to me than the physical threat.

I have come to realize over the years, that without the Lord – I am nothing. With Him, I am somebody who has value and can bring value to others. He has made me who I am today. It’s been a bit of a crazy journey with some detours, but I’m here now and The Lord is in charge of every area of my life. He leads me through the simplest or the most complex decisions. I can’t imagine my life without Him. I don’t want to try. My role at this point is continuous surrender of areas of my life that I’m still trying to hold on to. The Lord has the best security system on the planet. He knows every threat to me and He’s handling each of them.

Pressing On!

Dwayne