Held in the palm of your hand, where I can look and see my own name engraved

My online reading today started with a reference to Psalm 18:2.  I am also doing a prayer assignment which today really honed in on God’s protection and love and included the other bible verses listed below.  This is just a handful of so many verses that show how much God loves us and how he is watching out for us.  I suppose it really hits home that God knows that we live in a difficult world, he knows that as humans we will falter at times and take our eyes off him and so we need constant reminders of how much he cares for us…

Psalm 18:2 – You are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector, the rock where I am safe, my shield, my powerful weapon, and my place of shelter’

Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them.

Psalm 121:8 – The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and for evermore.

Psalm 138:7 – Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.

Proverbs 3:25-26 – Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 54:17 – no weapon forged against you will prevail and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and this is their vindication from me,’
declares the Lord.

HELD

Held in the palm of your hand, where I can look and see my own name engraved, saved by your grace and I look to your face, fix my eyes on Jesus and your unconditional love, I am safe in your holy room behind the curtain, no longer apart from your certain and sure love, held securely in the arms of a solid God, you are my rock and salvation, ruler of all nations of whom or what shall I fear or dread, trouble may come but trouble will go, you protect me from the anger of my foes, you save me from disaster and ruin, I have no fears, I’m not dismayed for no weapon formed against me will prevail, all accusers will be refuted and I know you have noticed me, sent your angels to encamp around me, protecting me, keeping me from falling, you are calling me, stretch out your right hand towards me, you love me and I declare that you are with me, shielding and protecting me, hemming me in from in front and behind, watching my comings and goings with the eyes of a knowing God, you walk beside me as a friend, defend me as a mighty warrior, uphold me as a loving Father, I claim your victory over every scheme of the enemy for I know that you are championing me, by your grace I am free, through your mercy I am redeemed.

He mobilises his angels into battle for me

OK so honest truth, feeling anxious this morning about counselling tonight, kind of feel like I’ve been wearing a bit of a mask and burying my feelings, if I don’t think about them they don’t affect me.  But in reality there is still some hurt and stuff I need to ask God to help me with, does anyone else struggle with that?  Like I know I have to ask him for help and to gain a forgiving heart but part of me is not ready to face what that actually means or what that will involve talking about.  I worry about supressing these feelings rather than handing them to God and then God talks to me:

Exodus 23:20 – See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

I know so often God has given me verses about being shielded and about his protection and I ask for that again today and even now as I write I have been sent a reminder of a verse from Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh without fear at the future, God sure is watching out for me.

PROTECTION

Never thought of it like that before, never thought that God looked down on me to draw up a plan of action and then mobilise his angels into battle, protect my child here, lead my child there, shield her from all that causes harm, disarm the enemy and keep her in safety, protect her thoughts and memories and let her give them all to me.  He knows the plans he has for me, he knows what I need to do, he wants to be my guide, don’t hide, don’t supress these thoughts hand them over to the Lord, he is faithful and true to his word, God loves me beyond all measure, he never wants to see me suffer, he offered his son to die on a cross so that I could have a joyous life, a life free of pain and free of shame, stop taking the blame for things that happened long ago, stop feeling low about situations that were not of my creation, shun all negativity and seize every opportunity to praise and worship my heavenly Father who is bothered.  He’s bothered that I feel this way, he’s bothered that I’m failing to find a way to pass this over to him, he knows my thoughts and fears, he knows what’s bugging me so let it go because he already knows and he died so I could be free.

If God was all you had…

So was talking to God this morning and praying and he gave me this scripture –  

Proverbs 2:7 – He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose way of life is blameless

Looking up an alternative version it said:

He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity

This shield reference from God has been quite prevalent in my walk with him, he has given me a number of verses relating to being my shield and I think it’s amazing that he does continue to offer me his shelter and security, absorbing all my worries, yet he is also clearly telling me here that he needs me to walk with integrity, to be honest and principled and try to live a blameless life and that he will then give me the victory and grant me his treasures.  We are none of us perfect but we can aim to walk closely with God and live blameless lives, look and see what we are doing in our lives, check our behaviour when required and desire to become more like Jesus every day and it just made me reflect, if God is for me, who can be against me?

IF God…

If God was all you had, the only thing available to you then you have all you need, so long as you know God is for you it doesn’t matter who you think is against you, it doesn’t matter if you feel like no-one is there like when you feel your friends don’t care, your family don’t see or hear you, when you feel invisible, lonely or miserable, God is invincible and your identity is in him not your sin or your feelings, remember God’s hears your every word, knows your every thought and sees into your heart, so don’t fall apart when you’re under attack, sit back and let God shield you, protect and defend you, he’s there as a friend as well as your God, he has given you his word, every word he has given is flawless so you are not helpless, wait for his word to guide and renew you, here’s what to do, don’t stand still, God seeks to build your strength and confidence take his hand and press past fear knowing God is near, for he is your strength and your shield, let your heart trust in him and he will help you, however hard to do let your heart be filled with joy, try bursting out in songs of thanksgiving and praise for worship is a mighty weapon, your God, your deliverer, God’s on your side therefore you are destined for victory, he died, we live, and as we live he gives us free will and choice, choose to hear his voice, choose today whom you will serve, positive self-talk is clearly needed, you can do this, through God all things are possible, the Lord is a shield around you, he is your glory the one who lifts your head high and know this, the enemy would not attack you if you were not of value, thieves don’t target empty houses, trust that you are on the right path, trusting in God’s plans for you, doing what he wants you to do, being blameless and honest, upright and walking the closest you can to perfection, giving all your love and affection to your heavenly Saviour, constantly working on your thoughts and behaviours because you endeavour to become more like Jesus to help others become free of the chains of bondage, so rest assured you are surrounded by the shield of the God of Ages who came to save us, don’t ever feel like you’re on your own for you will never know how much he loves you, how much his sacrifice cost, but you know without him you would be lost, alone and struggling to cope, without Jesus you would have no hope.

God you are radically inclusive

This morning saw a quote:

From God to You

You can’t do something that will ever make me stop being something, doing something or giving something to you.

When you really think about that from a human perspective it is quite mind blowing, can we say that about our family and friends?  God is great isn’t he, I mean whatever we do he won’t stop being there and more than that he was there before we even knew he was, before we acknowledged him as our own personal Saviour our God was there, by our side, that’s the bit I find so amazing (Romans 5:8 While we were still sinners, Christ died for us)

I AM SO THANKFUL

God you are radically inclusive, your forgiveness is not exclusive, you came to save us all, no matter how far we have fallen your son died on the cross because you are such a loving and forgiving God, you don’t want us to be damned, you are giving us chances every day to take notice and change our ways, you want every one of us to be saved, you paved the way for a life of eternal joy when your boy, your son, hung on the cross and gave up his life, the perfect and noble sacrifice, and for the life of me I cannot see what we did to deserve this but rather than question and worry about motive I have total belief in a God who believes in me.  Oh God I am so thankful that you look at me from a different angle, are untangling the depths of my mind and finding the person inside, I’m sticking close to you my God and I know you didn’t promise to make life easy, but for sure you make it possible for us to cope with whatever comes our way and today that echoes in my head, I have learnt that anxiety happens when I think I have to work it out on my own, worry gives a small thing a huge shadow, and as I walk through the shadows of my mind may I be blind to apprehension, deaf to disquiet, and connected to your love, remembering all the amazing promises that you have made, so invade me now Lord with your Spirit, fill me with boldness and readiness, replace any emptiness with the fullness of your affection and continue to shield me with your protection.

Knowing that you never tire of my call

Was worrying yesterday because I know that the next week is going to be a tough one and all the people who normally support me are away on holiday, so felt a bit alone and floundering.  So what happens?  In the night woke up three times with Isaiah 2 in my mind. So first thing this morning I read it and was a bit bemused until I came to the final verse (v22)

Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?

Have been thinking about this and kind of read this as God saying to me why are you worried about coping, I am your God and you can turn to me.  Now I am sure that’s not belittling the human support system I have around me but it really is a bit of a wake-up call, why wouldn’t I turn it all over to God and rely on him, after all he’s got it covered already.

TRUST (AGAIN!)

Once again God it boils down to me believing in you, trusting in your love and care and believing that you are there for me again and again every time I call your name, and knowing that you never tire of my call, in fact more than that you’re actually telling me it’s OK to be weak and speak to you, it’s not a weakness in itself to seek your help and pour out my heart, it’s a start, a start to putting things right moving me from darkness to the light and right now what I need to do is sincerely trust that you are taking on my pain, you are dealing with my anger for you are no stranger to human emotion, you know how broken we can get, and yet in that brokenness you stand beside me, gently put your arms around me and guide me to a place of safety. I need your shield to protect me and as I face the days before me, feelings stir up inside me and I know the only place of safety is with you who came to save me, I ask that you will forgive me for forgetting to confide in you, for failing to ask you to protect me, for trying to do this on my own, I should have known that you would prompt me, remind me of your amazing grace, turn your face toward me so that I can see that all things work together for good for those who serve you, may I hold my nerve over the next few days, may I never sway from my belief that you are there beside me, fill me with a fearsome strength within my mind, may I feel your peace within me, release me from all anxiety and fear, oh Lord my God please stay so near that when I need to I can reach out and grab your hand so you will carry me through whatever trials unfold, I hold onto you my God, I praise you that you’ve used your word once more to show me that whatever lies in store, you will be at the core with me, helping, guiding and lifting me.

You are my shield

Inspired by God’s message for me last night (who wouldn’t be inspired?  Of all the millions of people in the world God spoke directly to me and  gave other people words for me last night, how special is that?!) I have found the following verse from Psalms 3:3

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Yes indeed!  My heart is singing and my head today is held high.

MY SHIELD

Head low, nowhere to go, no hiding place, my mind closed, my heart exposed.

God knew my every thought, my every fear, he hung around my battleground, he infiltrated my compound of tears, and through the years he shadowed my fight, until at last I just said, “Right God, I need your help, I can’t do this by myself”, and as I lay down in despair, my God, well he was right there to pick me up and dust me down.

I was weary, tired, so run-down, although I handed all to him, the light was still a little dim, and if I can go out on a limb I think I wasn’t all that sure that Jesus heard me at all when I cried his name over and over and over again.

But Jesus spoke direct to me, I will shield you, I am your security, safeguard and your friend, you I always will defend.

The protection of God on me, that makes my heart sing, and given that a shield can protect me from all harm, it gives me time to revel in God’s love for me, to discover him in safety, no longer trying to be strong, no longer fearing getting it wrong, I heard your voice my loving Father, I am weak but you are stronger, strength enough to shield your daughter, protecting my heart and mind, so that in you I can truly find a place of safety and of peace, a place of true release of all my hurts and shame, I know that you will set aflame my heart for you, in all my works, in all I do.

You are my shield, I heard your voice, you are my shield my heart rejoices.