Thursday, March 19, 2015

Psalms To See Me Through: Psalm 17—Prayer For Protection Against Oppressors

A Prayer of David.
Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry; Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips. Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; Let Your eyes look with equity. You have tried my heart; You have visited me by night; You have tested me and You find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress {vv. 1-3}.

You will have trials in this world; these encouraging Words of Jesus flood my thoughts when I read his prayer; I feel the desperation in David’s voice. I have felt this desperation recently; circumstances tend to leave us parched and feeling alone. God uses our parched, desperate, crying to draw us deeper in Him.

God will visit us in the night and try our hearts; are we listening?

I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking: Open to me... {Song of Songs 5:2}. 

The only way to contend our innocence is if we are truly repentant for what He found there; He will find something. Once we confess it our sin, and allow the Blood to wash us, we are redeemed. Only then are we guiltless; Christ’s sacrifice makes it possible.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness {1 Jn. 1:9}.

People are fallen. How easy it is to fall from grace; none of us are immune. Because we live in a fallen world, we will have trials, people will betray us, let us down, and disappoint us—and we them. In the Tabernacle of Moses, the priest was required to wash—a picture of the washing of water with the Word (see Eph. 5:26). The priest looked into the Bronze Laver—the polished mirror of bronze, and washed. He saw only his reflection, not another’s. The bronze mirror was to judge one self and wash before performing any service before the Lord.  

As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent.
My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech
{vv. 4-6}.

Stay on your path, no matter what others do or say. God will guide you and you will not slip—but wholeheartedly keep to the path God set you on.

Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.  Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who despoil me, My deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed their unfeeling heart, with their mouth they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground. 
He is like a lion that is eager to tear, And as a young lion lurking in hiding places {vv. 7-12}.

Often, we expect God to deliver us from the situation instead of seeking wisdom in the situation. God may be using the hard place to teach things to us and to reveal things about ourselves. David learned this each time he faced an enemy. Our expectations in a situation are usually different than what the Lord has planned. How many times have we heard, sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He calms us in the midst of the storm? God is our Refuge and Strong Tower, and we can run to Him and be safe (see Prov. 18:10).

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 {Rom. 5:3-4}.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing {James 1: 2-4}.

This scribe battles this often—some circumstances prove too challenging, and it takes all the strength I can muster to look beyond them to the Lord. Peter, after taking his step of faith to walk the lake’s surface, sank only when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wave. It only took him under because his focus was turned; the enemy distracted him.

The Lord gives us the assurance that He will help us through the trial, all we have to do is ask. He hides us in the shadow of His wings. He will keep us. James continues his admonition on tribulations with the key to making it through the hard times;

 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways {James 1:5-8}.

Peter learned this in his leap onto the lake. God will give us wisdom for every situation if we ask. If however, we allow the circumstances to toss us to and fro, and keep us from seeking God, we can’t receive that wisdom, and we go around the mountain again; the trial overwhelms us, and we receive nothing.

 Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword, from men with Your hand, O Lord, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your treasure; They are satisfied with children, And leave their abundance to their babes {vv. 13-14}.

God will fight our enemies; He assures us time and again in Scripture. He will keep us; the wicked are concerned only with the things this world has to offer, and are subject to the world’s systems and processes. But we are to have a Kingdom perspective. Everything you are going through is to enhance the Kingdom of God, and to know God deeper. He wants to know us and have an intimate relationship with His people. And after the tribulation is over, and we have wrestled with God, we may leave with a limp (see Genesis 32:22-32), but we will have a new name and a deeper relationship with God. When you awake you will say to the Lord—

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake {v.15}.

To read all the Psalms in this series click here: Psalms To See Me Through

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Purim Poem

I raised up My daughter fair, deep dark eyes, long flowing hair
To attract a king who signed a decree to destroy My people
He was deceived by one who would plan and plot and prepare
He would have them destroyed and erased from the earth

She was an orphan living in exile, none would give her a glance
I raised her up to be one who fasts and prays for what touches My heart
I ordained her days to win his heart, she was not in the palace by chance
She was purposed to fulfill her role as queen and to take her part

I have raised you up to be a people who fast and pray and to be one
Who will seek what is on My heart and to intervene for the perishing
For the Evil One has a mandate to deceive the lost and the alone
He is relentless in his pursuit to destroy by planning and conniving
But I will thwart his plans when My people rise up to pray

He has marked My people Israel and My grafted branch
Perhaps you are ordained for such a time as this
I will rise and fight, he does not stand a chance
When My people intercede and cry out for justice

Do not take this battle lightly or believe that it will pass
If you are quiet, for deliverance will rise but you will expire
I have called you to this time and for your sword to grasp
And wield it on the enemy for My Word makes him a liar
He will cower in despair

Rise up My people we are in such volatile times
I hear the cry of many but see the sword of few
You must remain vigilant and lay passivity aside
I will answer when you call to defeat the minions
They are no match for the thousands of angelic legions

Rise up for such a time as this, pray, fast, intercede
For the lost, hurting, and perishing and those marked
For annihilation from the face of the earth
The enemy is on the move he knows his time is short
He has already been defeated he and all his cohorts

My people shall arise their swords wielding in their hand
By the Blood of Jesus and their testimony they will take a stand
Watch Me move on your behalf when you prepare for battle
You will see the enemy defeated and take back your land

…Answer the call…for such a time as this…

Piper Green
© 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015

Psalms To See Me Through: Psalm 16—The LORD The Psalmist’s Portion In Life And Deliverer In Death

Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge  in You. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”  As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight {vv. 1-3}.

A Mikhtam of David. A Mikhtam is a poem. I long to be as poetic as David in my prayers. The real meaning of Mikhtam intends the poem to record memorable thoughts—engraving it upon the soul. David certainly had the Lord engraved upon his heart. David knew where to go when he needed refuge.

God is my refuge from every storm; every need I have, He is my source. He is all I have in this world and He is all I need. You don’t need to worry that He will change course or be too busy; He is there when we come to Him; when we call out His Name. He has only good things for us.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow {Jms. 1:17 NASB}.

The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips {v.4}.
In this season of remembering the sacrifice Christ gave, I lift up in prayer and will not forget all of those in places that seem a world away, who are losing their lives for the sake of 
the cross. I remember those too, that are suffering and losing their lives to a cruel evil that will not relent—regardless of their religion. The same evil hunts and terrorizes those that will not bow the knee to a false god. They will reap their reward from the Coming King. 

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me {vv. 5-6}

Take refuge in the Lord, He has promised many things to those who are faithful; and He will not relent in fulfilling His Word to you.
I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night {v.7}.

I am asleep but my heart is awake listening for the voice of my beloved. Song of Solomon 5:2

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay {vv. 8-10}.
God did not abandon Christ—this prose is about Him; He will not abandon you. He is The Refuge; for safety, security, peace, rest and joy. All that you need, HE is.
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. {v. 11}.