SUBMISSION => PEACE

In the last post, we took a brief look at submission to God’s Lordship as described in Psalm 95.  We learned that we ought to praise God by submitting to Him as Lord– THE Shepherd of our lives!  In this post, I’d like us to take a look at another Psalm which describes submissive dependence.

“My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty, I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” — Psalm 131, NIV84

So here are some questions for consideration…

Do we recognize that we have nothing to boast of in ourselves?

Do we recognize that we are not our own?

Do we recognize that our hope rests in God alone?

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“And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”” (Matthew 18:3, NIV84).

“Jesus said, “Let the little children  come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”” (Matthew 19:14, NIV84).

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The New American Standard Bible puts verse two like this: “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me” (Psalm 131).

Like children, are our souls at peace resting in submissive dependence on God our Father?

Like children, are we content to humbly trust God our Father with our all?

We can’t live, move, or breathe without Him (Act. 17:28)!  We are utterly dependent on God for our sustenance, our survival, our salvation!  Do we recognize that?  Oh, how we are in need of Christ Jesus!

IAmNeedy_ByVictoriaAlfieri

Copyright © 2013 Victoria Alfieri.

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“If this life has anything to gain at all I count it lost if I can’t hear You, feel You, ’cause I need You. Can’t walk this earth alone.  I recognize I am not my own, so before I fall I need to hear You, feel You, as I live to make my boast in You alone” (Lecrae, “Boasting”).

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Victoria

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When PRAISE = SUBMISSION…

I put another mechanical outline together for a passage of Scripture that I’d like to share with you!  As I mentioned the last time I posted about mechanical outlines of Scripture, this is my rendering with emphases of words, concepts, ideas, etc.  which stand out to me in the outlined passage of Scripture.  You could absolutely create an outline with different emphases for yourself— and I would encourage you to do so.  The passage I’d like to share with you today comes from Psalm 95…

Psalm95_MECHOUT

What I have noticed in this passage of Scripture as a result of creating my mechanical outline…

God’s Lordship Is Predominant.  God is Supreme!  He is King!  He is Sovereign!  Almighty!  Above and Over everything and everyone!  And rightly so because He has made everything– He is Maker!

God’s Lordship Is Personal.  Yes, God is Maker of the depths and the peeks and the sea and the land…but He is also Maker of you and me!  He is “a great God and a great King above all”…but do we accept and acknowledge Him as “our God” (vv. 3, 7)?

God’s Lordship Demands Our Praise. “Come, let us…FOR the Lord is…Come, let us…FOR He is…” (vv. 1, 3, 6, 7).  Sing and shout with joyful, triumphant, thankful praise to Him!  He is the Rock of our salvation– completely reliable and dependable!  Worship, bow down, and kneel before Him, revering Him and submitting to Him as Lord– THE Leader and Shepherd of our lives!

Jesus said,  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me” (John 10:14, NASB95).  Knowing Him, as His sheep, is more than having mere head-knowledge– it is honoring Him as God and giving thanks for His Lordship over our lives!  Living in submission to His Lordship alone is, or should be, our praise– going beyond words or lyrics to a song.

Do we live as “the people of His pasture” and “the sheep under His care”?  Do our lives sing and shout “[t]he Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1, NASB95)?

Victoria

WE EXULT

“The pressure makes us stronger, the struggle makes us hunger, the hard lessons make the difference, and the difference makes it worth it” (“For Those Who Wait”, Fireflight).

Dawn Michele, lead vocalist of Fireflight, explains: “There are so many hard things going on in so many people’s lives that life sometimes can be seen as a giant waiting game.  We’re just waiting for those hard things to teach us something.  Those hard things that happened to you can become the best things that ever happened to you because God can use that pain.  He’ll turn it into power for your life, to help yourself and to help others.  And those will be the cornerstones of your entire life and the basis and the formation of your character”.1

You know, the Apostle Paul talks about something along these lines too.  In his letter to the Romans, he writes: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:1-5, NASB95).

What in the world do tribulations have to do with hope?

Well for Christians, a whole lot!  Tribulations are experienced by all– Christians and Nonchristians alike.  As for the exulting hope, that’s experienced by Christians as it’s a result of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Even though present tribulations may abound, those who have a relationship with Jesus Christ have guaranteed, non-disappointing hope in the midst of them!  The hope is guaranteed and non-disappointing because it’s fixed on God!  “If hope is fixed on God, it embraces at once the three elements of expectation of the future, trust, and the patience of waiting”.2

ExpectTrustWait

Such a hope “rests on the divine act of salvation accomplished in Christ “.3  The Holy Spirit is our guarantee– and with His help we can expect, trust, and wait!  No matter the pressures, the struggles, or the hard lessons we can exult in the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that  tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope!

Exulting,

Victoria

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1. Dawn Michele. Story Behind the Song: For Those Who Wait. Available from http://fireflightrock.com/updates/2010/3/5/story-behind-the-song-for-those-who-wait.html.

2. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich. electronic ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co.. 1964.

3. Ibid..

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Confessions: Lacking to Lavished

Gee, where to begin!  I have happened upon a new season in my life.  It’s exciting!  And I’m thrilled!  But I must confess that it has been terrifying too!  The accompanying feeling as I found myself treading where I have never been before– considerable inadequacy.

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Inadequacy (inˈadikwəsē) — lacking confidence that you have what is required.

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“What if I don’t have what it takes to do this well?” “What if I’m not able to make it?”  Now there’s a place I have been many-a-time, a place where these and like questions rush in like crashing waves to overcome me.

BUT

…then I’m reminded of HIM whom I must have confidence in and HIS promises!  “This resurrection life I received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”  God’s Spirit touches my spirit  and confirms who I really amI know who He is, and I know who I am: Father and child (Romans 8:15-16, MSG02).*  I “[s]ee what great love the Father has lavished on me, that I should be called a child of God! And that is what I am (1 John 3:1, NIV84)!*

So my confidence is in Jesus Christ who has called me into this new season for such a time as this.  I know that He has and will continue to provide me with what is required to do well!  I trust that He is full able to and will “[s]trengthen (complete, perfect) and make me what I ought to be and equip me with everything good that I may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in me and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages).  Amen (so be it)” (Hebrews 13:21, AMP87).*

Confident In Christ,

Victoria

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* I have edited the pronouns to the singular form in these verses.

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