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My God is…defending my cause Psalm 43:1

Psalm 43:1 – Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause Pupil being bullied in elementary school
against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
deliver me!

Vindicate me, O God

My last blog post was about God vindicating His people. So you might wonder why I would choose a verse from scripture that also has God vindicating me. Well, I have been inspired by a blog post I read by Sharla Fritz called, “How to be a Hero: Defend Someone“. You’ll want to take a read of that, it really got me thinking about my dad. I don’t know if I have personally ever heard my dad say something bad about someone. I know he has, because he has confessed calling an ex-boyfriend of mine a jerk, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. He’s a believer in the “If you can’t say something nice…” wait, he’s not actually. My father doesn’t just refrain from saying mean things, he has told me he works at always finding something nice to say about people when their names are brought up and they’re not present. Sharla Fritz points out in her blog,

“Defending someone when they are not around is an act of heroism.  You are rescuing their reputation, you are saving their dignity. When you stand up for another person, you are protecting their character. A true ally will shield another’s good name. There is no shortage of people who are anxious to tear others down. Be the person who turns the conversation around.”

Defend my cause against an ungodly people

God is our great defender. We can trust that God will bring any falsehoods told about us to light, and that He will arm us with the words we need by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 12:11-12

11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how[a] you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”

No matter who is accusing you, chastising or berating you, you can trust and pray for the Lord to show you the words to use. Every time people treat us badly, we’re given an opportunity to reflect God’s glory by responding differently than others might.

Being defensive

I don’t know about you, but I can be defensive. I don’t like to be wrong, and when someone points out one of my failures (or two or three), I’m more likely to point out ten of theirs. But it never pays off. Being defensive, trying to defend ourselves with human reasoning and logic deflate our argument. Say someone says you’re pig-headed, telling them five reasons you’re not, is…pig-headed. Our pride often gets in our way of being witnesses for God. When we’re able to defend others, see another’s position, humble ourselves, we’re able to show what is most important in our lives, God. Being defensive is a sure sign that your pride is involved and you can’t be putting God first, because at that moment you’re only thinking about how you’ve been wronged, misrepresented or mistreated. You’re thinking about yourself. But with humbleness and acceptance, turning to God and allowing Him to take the responsibility of defending us, we’re freed to show others love even when they don’t deserve it (do any of us ever truly deserve it?).

Lord, Help me to put my pride aside. Help me not to defend myself, but allow myself to be a witness to you in all circumstances. Help me not to put my pride first. Help me to think of Your will above my own. Help me to defend others and to only say nice things about people. Help me to refrain from being catty, unkind and boastful. Keep my thoughts pure and focused on you. Help me choose humility over pride. Forgive me when I fail. Amen.

Do you get defensive?

 
 

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My God is…empowering 2 Timothy 1:6-7

fear

God did not make us timid

2 Timothy 1:6-7  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

When are you timid? 

Maybe you’re not. I don’t think most people consider me timid, but when I enter a room, I can be quite shy. I’ll be looking around for anyone who makes eye contact that I can comfortably go hang by (sometimes for the rest of the night). I’m not very brave in social situations. Not at all timid once you get to know me, but those first meetings (especially if I can’t remember your name) are hard for me. I’m a bit insecure sometimes.

Why are we sometimes timid? 

I think the reason we’re sometimes timid is because we’re looking for our self-worth in the wrong places. We’re looking at getting our self-worth through other people, our work, our money or position. But in the verse above it seems to be related to the gifts God has given us, and we’re to use those gifts for God’s glory.

Power

What do you think of when you think of power? A super hero? Your boss? Your father? I think in reality power for me is security. Feeling comfortable in my own skin and not being affected (as much) by the negativity around me. The definition of power a few places is to be able to produce an effect. Here it is telling us that by the Holy Spirit we are given the ability to produce an effect. We can be effective for Christ.

Love

I’m sure most of us know that the commandments Jesus talked about were about love: Mark 12: 29-31,  “Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4,5) And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment more important than these.”” Giving us through the Holy Spirit the ability to love, God is giving us the ability to fulfill His commandments (ok – not perfectly, but without Him, we’re incapable of true love – loving those who don’t deserve it – as Christ loves us).

Self Discipline

Ok – if you’re anything like me being given the gift of self-discipline is like getting socks at Christmas. Useful, but not very exciting. At least it used to be. I’m finding that as I grow up (yes I’m still working at that) I find being self disciplined helps me avoid a lot of self loathing, a lot of over eating, snapping at my family, being selfish (or at least recognizing it) and loads of other sins I would rather not reveal this morning. Being able to have self-discipline also allows me to focus and keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. Still not perfect at it, but learning to daily seek God is a self-discipline.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God

Practice, practice, practice. Everything we want to be truly good at takes practice, or doing something over an over again. Have you ever fanned anything into flames? I truly try to avoid open fires for the most part, so this hasn’t happened to me very often, but I do watch Survivor (don’t hold that against me) and it’s really hard work for them to get a fire going. After they finally get a spark, they have to fan it into flames to get a fire worth using started. Our faith is the same way. If we leave it alone and don’t tend to it, it will diminish, or even peter out. But if we fan it into flames, by reading the word of God and renewing our mind we will be transformed. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

What are you fanning into flames?

 

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in 2 Timothy, My God is empowering

 

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