My PortionJanuary 4, 2024
My Starter SongJanuary 12, 2024
Yesterday I was troubled. Honestly, fretful.
As I do most mornings, I sat outside on the patio with my devotional book and Bible in my lap. The crisp air felt good. The sky looked endless. It was a place where I often met God.
As I attempted to focus on the words of Jesus Calling, my mind wandered to some of those invasive “what ifs.” Those negative scenarios about the people I love most, my family, my children, my grandchildren. Pessimistic leanings and speculations that nag me and erode my peace.
- What if she loses her job?
- What if she never walks?
- What if her friends desert her?
- What if his kidneys fail?
I tried intently to fix my mind on the inspiration on the page but wasn’t grasping any of it. I read and re-read Sarah Young’s words aloud and to myself; I just couldn’t absorb their meaning. My mind flitted around those worries like the Carolina wrens lighting on my feeders.
In a last-ditch effort to connect with God, I opened my Bible to Psalm 63 that I’ve been memorizing this year. David wrote this Psalm when he was hiding out in the Judean wilderness from either Saul or Absalom who wanted to kill him.
I read David’s words out loud.
“O God, You are my God: I shall seek You earnestly.
“My soul thirsts for You, my flesh years for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
They seemed to calm my mind and my spirit some. To lift me toward God.
As I continued to speak Psalms 63, my fears began to ease. My mind slowly began to engage with God. The heaviness I felt lessened. I shifted into a place of worship.
“…Because Your loving kindness is better than Life, My lips will praise You!
So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
Within a few minutes, I was no longer racking my brain and striving in my flesh to quash those what-ifs. I began to think on things above. My mental shackles loosened supernaturally.
I was experiencing worship as warfare (p. 154, TPOW) and defeating speculations that wanted to consume me. It was true! In my battles against sin [including fear], worship was my biggest ally, my secret weapon (p. 157, TPOW)!
Meditating on the Psalms was one of the most proven ways to worship. I was reading back to God what He’d written to me.
“The Psalms provide a primary worship tool from the Bible. Learn to use them in your daily altar” (p. 151, TPOW).
“If there is one primal theme that permeates the Psalms, it’s praise for YHWH. The name ‘YHWH” appears more than 750 times in the 150 Psalms. The Psalms lead worshipers in the worship of our God, then and now” (p. 150, TPOW).
As I took in God’s Nature displayed around me, I felt significantly lighter. I was no longer troubled. In my special quiet-time place near the woods, I received God’s peace. I was free, for that day, of disturbing and imagined “what ifs”.
Oh, I may be tempted, again, to worry. To suppose the worst. To fear what might happen. To become insecure and unsettled in spirit because temptation is a daily battle, and Satan and the flesh never take a day off.
BUT, I can always worship my may out of it! God has given me weapons that are “not of this world” that defeat sin supernaturally. I can proclaim the Psalms! I can declare God’s love and faithfulness that never fail.
For He has “been my help, and in the shadow of His wings, I sing for joy” (Psalm 63:7).
When I find myself slinking into an insidious under-toe of what-ifs, I won’t have to stay there. Thank you, God, for teaching me to worship.