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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Inspired by . . . two promises

Psa 1:1-6  Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;  (2)  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.  (3)  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  (4)  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  (5)  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  (6)  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

The prayer ended, "Give me stability and contentment regardless of the circumstances. How I need that! Amen," and I realized the author was exactly right. To be content is a wondrous blessing and an admirable prayer. 

But it is not enough. Not for these days. We must be and must pray for, stability.

The stability of mind that comes only from meditating on His word. 

I'm reminded of this passage in James, "A man like that should not think he will receive anything from the Lord. He is always in two minds and unstable in all he does."

A man like that. A man like what? Answer: A man who doubts God.
Jas 1:5-6  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  (6)  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Not someone who doubts that God exists, necessarily, but one who doubts what God has said.
Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
From the beginning, the evil one has set about to twist the Truth in our minds so that we question God's goodness and His love for us.
Jas 1:13-15  Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one.  (14)  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  (15)  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.
I've been reading C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and there are people in this age, in every age, who, like Digory's Uncle Andrew in The Magician's Nephew, believe that the rules don't apply to them. They either ignore Truth or deny that it exists. 

Uncle Andrew had made a promise to his late aunt. A promise that he did not keep. He had convinced himself that he was a "great thinker." Someone with "hidden knowledge" to whom "common rules" (like keeping promises) did not apply.

Uncle Andrew's broken promise brought a great evil into a brand new, innocent world: Narnia.

But all was not lost because Aslan, Narnia's creator, knew about the great evil and already had a plan of protection and redemption. (Another story for another time)

There is, however, one more promise in this story that I want to share with you. Aslan sends Digory to a garden high in the mountains to a tree bearing silver apples. Digory promises Aslan he will bring him back an apple from this tree.

All is well. Digory has the apple in his pocket and is about to return when - evil makes her appearance. 
"Do you not see, Fool, that one bite of that apple would heal her? You have it in your pocket. We are here by ourselves and the Lion is far away."
Do you see how the evil one speaks directly to Digory's greatest desire? His mother was dying. His greatest desire was to heal her. Our greatest desires are not necessarily and not always bad in and of themselves.

But Digory had made a promise. He remembers the tears in the lion's eyes when they spoke about his mother. And as hard as it is for the little boy, he takes the apple back to Aslan.

With it, Aslan grows a great tree that protects all of Narian. Then, he allows Digory to pluck an apple from that tree to take back to his world and heal his mother.

Aslan grants Digory's greatest desire in the right way, at the right time. All is well.

Digory didn't know much about Aslan. Not nearly as much as we think we know about God. But he remembered Aslan's tears and he remembered enough of what his mother had taught him that the witch's words rang false and hollow.

What about us? Can we recognize the false and hollow words of the enemy when he speaks? We will if we know the Truth. [click to tweet]

And this, I hope, circles us back to the beginning.

Stability of mind and deed, the ability to be content in all circumstances. Knowing what to ask for when we pray. Waiting for God to act. All these things are realized only when we know the Word of God for ourselves. When we meditate on it day and night. When we seek God in relationship, not simply as a religion or a set of rules.

It's a tall order, friends. A life-long commitment. An eternal reward.


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments, Heart Encouragement
#DanceWithJesus, Salt & Light

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June