Prey For The Cunning


You spurn all who go away from your statues, for their cunning is in vain.  Psalm 119:118

Can someone talk you out of doing the right thing?  Can they convince you of something you know isn’t true?  Perhaps they try to reinterpret your life every time you talk with them.  They are good with words and extremely clever with rationales.  You find yourself stuck in conversation to defend your position.  This person is skilled at doing evil in such a way as to be admired for their cunning abilities.   They worship themselves and are ever looking for others to join them. Continue reading “Prey For The Cunning”

Spiritual Mutiny


Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!  Psalm 119:117

    I married into a well known Christian family.  Jack Wyrtzen, my father-in-law, was an evangelist.  In the 40’s and 50’s, he spoke to crowds of a half million people across the world.  He could not go many places without being recognized.  With this notoriety came family pressures.  His wife, like Ruth Graham, stayed home most of the time with their five children.  Both Jack and his wife, Marge, are now in heaven and all five children are, by God’s grace, strong in their faith.  Continue reading “Spiritual Mutiny”

Choose and Don’t Look Back!


I hate the double minded, but I love your law.  Psalm 119:113

I could study the subject of double mindedness for a long time in scripture.  There’s enough there to keep me busy for several weeks.  James talks about it.  John reveals God’s words about it in Revelation when He describes the church at Laodicea.  I am pulled up short when I remember that God promises wisdom to each of His children but I will never get my hands around it if I am double minded; one side bent toward the kingdom and the other attached to this world and its mindset.  My life will be marked by instability. Continue reading “Choose and Don’t Look Back!”

Confirming An Oath


I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.  Psalm 119:106

When promises are made in the context of love, they are not usually uttered just one time.  When time and trials test them, reassurance is welcomed.  It comforts and it strengthens love and respect. Continue reading “Confirming An Oath”

God’s Breath and the Embers


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

David gives such a rich word picture here that I can hardly get my mind and heart around it.  Lamps, fire, the oil with which to light them, all of these symbols are rich in our Jewish history.  The lamps in the tabernacle were to be kept burning, never extinguished, to symbolize the eternal presence of God.  The parallels between God and fire, God and light, are numerous through the Torah.  Continue reading “God’s Breath and the Embers”

Do I Really Hate What God Hates?


Through your precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every false way.  Psalm 119:104

The most stretching thing about writing devotionals every morning is being confined to look at a book just one verse at a time.  I am not let off the hook if that verse doesn’t instantly speak to me.  God is training my heart to read for quality, not quantity.

Today’s scripture is one I would normally pass over quickly.  I would assume that I hate what God hates.  I would make a sweeping pass over great sins like abusive power, anger taken out of innocent children, marriages eroded by pornography, etc.  The wake up call is this ~ that even the ungodly hate these things.  To hate sin that causes human suffering is not a sign that I am necessarily close to Jesus. Continue reading “Do I Really Hate What God Hates?”

The Teacher Makes The Student

I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.  Psalm 119:102

Most of God’s children caught the essence of their faith from another person.  Seeing faith in action was the catalyst for their own new birth.  Once they trusted Christ, that person who was so influential, most likely, became the one who discipled them.

A potentially dangerous thing can happen, at that point, if the mentor does not show them how to connect with God in His Word and prayer.  They will learn to depend on the mentor instead of on God.  The one who mentors does a poor job if they fail to transfer their disciple’s dependence to their new Heavenly Father.

Second hand faith never works well for long.  What I learn from teachers in the form of “This is what God says…” ends up making me a weak child of God.  When adversity comes, I need God most.  My mentors can fill in the gap but only God’s voice and presence will give me what I need to continue in faith.  I will more easily turn aside from God’s ways if my teachers were human.

The application is two fold.  1.) Upon whom do I depend today?  If they give me their support, do I fail to reach out to God?  If they fail to give me their support, do I fail to have the strength I need to stand up tall in faith?   And, 2.) Who am I training today?  Who leans on me?  Am I intentionally showing them how to dig in the Word and hear God’s voice or am I fostering dependence on me because of my need for significance?

When the Spirit of God is our teacher, we will walk God’s paths with joy and endurance.  Only His voice gives the strength needed for the long journey.

Lord, I tried to walk faithfully simply by watching other strong Christians.  I failed miserably.  Only when I heard Your voice for myself did my strength come.  Help me pass that on as my legacy.  Amen