November 28, 2015

Psalm 91:9-10 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

The first time I used the NIV translation for reading through the Bible, I wrote in the margin at this point, “Whatever it looks like, it isn’t disaster.” Jesus made it clear that as long as we are in this world we will have troubles. (John 16:33) The point then is not to bemoan the troubles, but to rejoice in our Savior who has already conquered the world with all its troubles, including death, just as He told us to. The more we focus on the troubles, the more peace and joy they will steal from us. This is concrete, objective fact, but it is hard to follow through with at times. These “tents” we inhabit (2 Corinthians 5:4, 2 Peter 1:13) wear out, and the various rips and tears and stains can be quite problematical at times. It has been rightly said that growing old isn’t for wimps! However, the tent analogy is much like Paul’s “earthen pot” analogy in 2 Corinthians 4:7, because the contents are far more important than the container. We are not the same thing as our bodies, though we experience a great deal of identity with them as long as we in habit them, and we are eternal, of enough value that God sent His Son to redeem us. On top of that, we have the Holy Spirit within us to keep us company, and He is God Himself! Whatever is happening on the outside, we need to let what is on the inside shine through. All the cracks in the pot or tears in the tent actually make that easier, because they take the attention off of the container and place it on the contents. Sometimes God needs to cut a hole in our tent to let His glory shine through! When that happens, it certainly isn’t disaster, whatever it might feel like at the moment.

Talk about timely! I was commenting to Cathy last night that God must have something really big planned, because the spiritual conflict feels very intense at the moment. Cathy and I are both having “tent problems” right now, and the devil wants to distract us with those so that we won’t be available for what God wants to do through us. As I prayed last night, I need to let the Lord show me how to submit to Him on every level in full obedience, so that I will then be able to resist the devil so that he will flee from me. (James 4:7) I am very aware of my human weaknesses at this point, so I need to remember that God’s power is made perfect in my weakness, and praise Him for His all-sufficient grace. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Father, thank You for this time of further training. Help me not “kick against the goads,” (Acts 26:14) but move and grow as You desire and intend, allowing Your kingdom to come as Your will is done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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