30 Days of Hearing God, Day 23
Make sure you read all the way to the end of this post for a very important announcement!
Throughout this last month of summer and into this first week of school, I’ve continued to sort of meander around the Bible during my daily prayer time. I find it challenging to do a structured study when life, itself, is so unstructured, don’t you? Structured studies must coincide with the school calendar, and break for Christmas, Easter and Summer, the way God intended. I’m sure there is scripture somewhere to support this.
So, in my meandering of late, I’ve wandered into the book of Psalms, starting in chapter one a few days ago and reading a few chapters each day. Today, I got to Psalm 18 and, suddenly, had a high school flashback. I was 17 years old, a senior. I was just beginning to get serious about possibly, maybe, at some point, making some kind of long-term commitment to Jesus. I was confused about what that meant, partly because of immaturity and partly because of inaccurate instruction. Afraid God was going to like totally screw up my life, make me plain and ugly, refuse to give me a husband, and call me to Africa to be a missionary, I hesitantly walked around the perimeter of Christianity; observing cautiously, but failing to commit completely.
I did, however, own a black pleather King James Version of the Bible, and I tried to read it daily. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me—felt more like reading an encyclopedia or a dictionary than it did God’s word, honestly. But I did like the book of Revelation (which still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me) and the book of Psalms.
So, in my reading this morning, I came to Psalm 18, where I was mentally teleported back to very day I discovered this Psalm in my bedroom. I was having problems with some Friends-Turned-Mean. I mean, REALLY mean. Mean–as in, spreading lies about me, snickering at me in the hallways, and threatening to kick my booty–mean. I was confused, sad and scared. I had no idea what I did to make them turn on me like Vipers. Not trusting anyone with my inner fears, I talked to God, alone in my bedroom. I told Him all about my Mean Friends and asked if He would help me. And that’s when I found Psalm 18—an entire Psalm about defeating my enemies! I underlined, starred and highlighted every verse. I probably put some hearts and smiley faces around it, too. Being 17-years-old, and all. I read that Psalm every day, excited that God was going to crush these Evil Girls! I especially liked the verses that said,
40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. 41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Hee hee. That makes me giggle just thinking of young 17-year-old-Me believing God would “give me the necks” of the Mean Girls, and help me “beat them small as the dust before the wind.” It’s a beautiful thing…the innocent faith of a child, eh?
I don’t have any Mean Girls to crush today, but I do have some enemies: Fear. Insecurity. Depression. Stress. Lack of Time, Confusion, Pain, Pride…they and others whisper lies about me, snicker at me and threaten to kick my booty. And here I am again, 25 years later, alone in my bedroom talking to God about it…
Today, what strikes me about this Psalm, is how David credits God for every single aspect of his victory. Even though David was out there physically fighting, God was all over David equipping and strengthening him for the battle.
Check out what David ascribes to God:
Keeps my lamp burning
Turns my darkness into light
Helps me advance against a troop and scale over a wall
Arms me with strength
Makes my way perfect
Makes my feet like the feet of a deer
Enables me to stand on the heights
Trains my hands for battle so my arm can bend a bow of bronze
Gives me a shield of victory
Sustains me with His right hand
Stoops down to make me great
Broadens the path beneath me so my ankles don’t turn
Arms me with strength for battle
Makes my adversaries bow at my feet
Makes my enemies turn back in flight
Delivers me from the attacks of the people
Makes me the head of nations
Saves me from my enemies
Subdues nations under me
Exalts me above my foes
Rescues me from violent men
Gives his king great victories
Shows unfailing kindness to me and to my descendants.
After reading that, I’m confident God isn’t going to like totally screw up my life today.
What is God saying to you? Please share!!!
Great words, Sandy – thank you!
Ahhh… one of the best Psalms ever… and, enemies that chase us all!! I can relate to that whole story. enough said.
Can't wait to see what my super hero FFG has been up to!!!!!!!!
Once again, I am convinced we are twins. You too feared that a totally surrendered life to God would mean that you would be ugly, never get married and be sent as a missionary to Africa? ME too! I also thought God was going to make me a bad dresser — you know Bib dresses. ((sigh)) Gotta confess…I still struggle with that very fear in similar and different ways.
Revelations and Psalms …. that's a lot of drama!!! That was an amazing Psalm to stumble upon in your real-life-17-year-old drama Although, I never would have guessed your were going through that back then. Difficulties can seem unsurmountable …. the Word can do amazing things!
You are super-duper! Love the caveat. 😉 Did you write that just for me and my psychoses? LOL.
Love the story of God meeting you just where you were as a teenager.
Who wouldn't want to read a blog with a "girl" that love Jesus and stretching . . . I'm all over it.
I feared God would send me to Africa, too. Isn't it funny, though, sometimes He asks me to do things that seem much harder than that and I never thought to fear THOSE things.
Can't wait to see the new blog!
You know whats even funnier is that as a teen you DO believe God will crush them before your eyes LOL i can so say BEEN THERE!!!
I was a too confused teen, i religion hopped but at least I found the GOOD STUFF now!
God makes ones life like totally awesome and cool man!! :))
Its "tomorrow" already my side 5:18am to be precise……… I am waiting!! Ok ok ill be patient!!!!
Looking forward to following you at the new site!
Yep~totally needed that Psalm today. Thank you sweet friend.
AND, you're amazing. And talented. And full of love for others and CHrist. Don't let anyone make you feel otherwise or sway you from the mission He has laid out for you!
Ok, going back to bed now 🙂 xoxo