We have enjoyed being in the Psalms this summer & blogging without clear direction. Sometimes the beauty of blogging without clear direction is that it can be an opening to let the Spirit lead. By taking a look at David’s life, prayers, and praises to God, we were all able to open up about those life struggles each of us go through. I am sure we would all love to tie a perfect bow on our lives & say things are fine & dandy, but the truth is they aren’t…and you know what? That’s okay! Things aren’t supposed to be perfect on this side of heaven. If they were, why would we long for heaven? Why would ache for home, if our sojourn was hunky-dory?
We are meerly visitors in this place &, like David, bad times come. God even identifies David as a man after his own heart in 1 Samuel 13:14. But David still messed up. He still sinned. Shoot, the man after God’s own heart had a king coming after him for his life, but it didn’t change his standing with God. Through the 150 psalms, David praises God for who He is, begs God for His life & protection, & rests in His presence. We spent this summer doing the same. Jessica started us out this summer by Naming Our Enemies:
“My challenge to you today is to find a psalm – any psalm – that references war, enemies, or being pursued by “evil men.” In place of the word “enemy,” insert the thing you are wrestling with the most. Doing so declares to God that you are aware of how those things work against you as you seek to pursue Him. They are our enemies. When we do that, we can begin to fight against them and swing the pendulum back toward victory.”
Then Keisha walked us through loneliness from Psalms 68:4-6:
“Throughout the Psalms David explores these feelings as well. He’s isolated, running for his life, and is unsure when stability is going to come again. But for most of us loneliness creeps in, even without all the drama of armies and space travel. It can show up in moments when we’re “supposed” to be content and even when we’re completely surrounded by people. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a houseful of children on a Wednesday afternoon or a church full of believers on Sunday morning. Being near people isn’t always a cure for loneliness.”
I even walked through a few sayings we hear, & maybe even use, but don’t understand from Psalms 17:6-9:
“I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”
It was a good summer of solid teaching done a bit more loosely. If you missed any of the posts from Psalms of Summer click right here & you can read through all of them. But now it is time for us to move on…
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is God breathed & useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work”. The Bible is not just for leaders. The Bible is not just for scholars. Paul says it right there in his letter to Timothy that “scripture….is useful…that the man of God may be complete.” The man of God is every child of God. Not just preachers or teachers or men, but for all of God’s children. But we kind of have to understand it first, don’t we?
We all know Bible stories from our childhood: Jonah, Adam & Eve, Daniel & The Lion’s Den. We may even know some from Veggie Tales (don’t hate that is the foundation of how I remember some of this stuff) – Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, anyone? Or you may only be familiar with stories like Joshua or Joseph because of the stories in your kid’s Bible. And you know what? That is okay, too! God is able to speak to each of us in different ways. Hebrews 5:12 even talks about this stage of our knowledge:
“…you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food…”
What is not ok, though, is being happy to stay in that stage of your knowledge. As an adult in life & an “adult” in Christ, you need to move beyond what you knew as a child. You need solid food. Just like milk can make a baby grow & flourish through the first year of life, but eventually they need solid food to continue to grow, you, my dear friend, need solid spiritual food to grow in your walk with God as well.
If you continue to read on in Hebrews 5, you will see verse 13 & 14 address this next stage:
“…for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
So for the next 8 weeks, we are going back to Sunday School. We will be studying: Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham & Issac, Joseph, Moses throughout his life, Joshua, David (we can’t forget our old friend), Shadrach & his buddies, Daniel, & finally Jonah. We are going to take a deeper look into each of these historical events, but also why they are essential to us as believers, & what we may have missed, because they are not just Sunday School stories. They are our stories.