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Refresh with Psalms

April 8, 2010

Flowers at the Getty

 Have you ever been outside working in the hot sun all day?  Your body is achy and tired.  Those are the days when a nice bubble bath or shower seem the most refreshing. 

The Book of Psalms is my spiritual “bubble bath”.  They refresh my tired and achy spirit.  When it’s been one of those days, and maybe you’re just not sure what to read in the Bible, Psalms is always a great choice.

Psalm 84

Vs 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
       they are ever praising you.   Selah

The presence of God… The Holy Spirit with us produces joy and brings genuine praise.  We can choose to be joyful and we can even make a choice to speak praise… but nothing compares to the praise and joy that is inspired by the presence of God. 

It’s not hard or difficult.  He is near to all who call upon him.  Welcome the presence of God and invite genuine praise and joy into your life.

Vs 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
       who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage.

Have you ever thought, “It doesn’t really matter.  Everything I am doing isn’t making a difference anyway.” ?   I have.  It’s a discouraging place to be. 

The truth is that it really does matter, we matter, everything we do is playing a role in the overall plan and purpose for our own personal pilgrimage. 

This verse says that we can find strength in God as we set our hearts on pilgrimage.”   A pilgrimage ~ a long journey with a divine purpose.  Everyone has a personal pilgrimage.  

It strengthens us when we look at every day we are given as an opportunity to take steps in our long journey with God, knowing that every step has purpose and reason.   

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
       they make it a place of springs;
       the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

“The Valley of Baca” is sometimes translated as a place of weeping or difficulty.  The next line in the verse says that those who are walking out their personal pilgrimage (vs.5) with the presence of God (vs.4) will actually turn the difficult places into a place of springs. 

With God’s presence and purpose we can turn weeping in refreshment. 

 7 They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion.

With God we go from strength to strength.  That means with every step we take in our personal pilgrimage with God we are getting stronger and stronger, building our strength to finish our journey even stronger than when we began.  Until, the day when our purpose is complete and our journey here leads us home to eternity with God in heaven.

 10 Better is one day in your courts
       than a thousand elsewhere;
       I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
       than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Have you ever looked at someone else’s life, someone who isn’t following God, and watched them lie, cheat and seem to prosper in spite of dishonesty?  Have you ever asked, Why?  And then felt tempted to be jealous of what they seem to have?   I have.  

This verse reminds us that all those “things”, even earthy prosperity can’t compare to even one day in the presence of God.  Because all worldly things are temporal.  They are here today and gone tomorrow.  If something has been gained dishonestly, its days are numbered. 

God’s blessings are eternal.  They come from a kingdom that is everlasting.  Better is one day with God then a thousand without Him.  Nothing in all the world can compare to the presence of a very real and truly Holy God.

 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
       the LORD bestows favor and honor;
       no good thing does he withhold
       from those whose walk is blameless
.

God is a Sun – He is our light.  He lights our path to guide us.  He turns our darkness into light.

God is a shield – He is our protection.  He covers us.  He warns us.  He instructs us.  No weapon formed against us will prosper.

God gives favor and honor –  God can push doors open that no amount of education, experience, and planning  could bring.  He brings divine appointments to us.  God’s favor does what we could not even dare to image and think of. 

God does not withhold any of His good gifts…. for those whose walk is blameless.  Well, on the surface that seems to disqualify us from this promise, because after all none of us can actually claim to walk a completely blameless life.

However, thankfully God sees past our actions and our words, straight to our heart.  And, although our hearts are broken, sinful and sometimes very dark, God sees beyond that to our faith.  When we believe in Jesus Christ to save and lead us our hearts are covered in his perfect, blameless, forgiving, anointed blood.  Our walk is not blameless but we can be covered by the One who is.  That qualifies us for all the blessings of God. 

I encourage you to pray this scripture verse over your life and the lives of your loved ones everyday…

My God is my Light… My God is my Protection… My God pours out His favor over me… My God will not withhold any good gift from my life and my household, Amen!

Be Blessed and Enjoy Life!

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