Psalm 3 (NIV) Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
The New Year did not start off as usual this year. An outpatient procedure on the second day of the year hindered my routine return to normalcy that I covet so much. In fact, I didn’t realize how much so until I felt a cloud blanketing my mood that was almost depressive. I didn’t realize how much I embrace sameness until it is somehow disturbed. I clean house on Thursdays. Grocery shop on Fridays (or at least pickup). I get up at 4:30 AM weekdays and rarely past 6:30 AM on weekends. I do laundry every morning. See my dilemma. The holidays disrupt the order carefully established by scheduled. It moves things out of place. In 2018, an “unexpected” further wreaked havoc. When the midnight hour passed and the New Year began, I was ready for the usual newness to overtake me. The exuberance of normal restored. The exhilaration of the “new thing” or “new season” or “new level” which God has for us in the coming year. Nothing. Nada. Nope.
Do not get me wrong. I am not disappointed. I am not discouraged. I am somewhat delayed. God is delivering me from normalcy which I thought was already destroyed when our son was diagnosed with cancer and the years that followed. But no so, in my human strength, I somehow managed to make a comfortable and complacent spot to rest my faith and hope in while I called out to go deeper, press in further and live closer to the Lord than ever before. God is good. He is good to us. We could live the life we live for the rest of our life and be satisfied because it is far better than we deserve. Yet there is a still small voice calling me closer, deeper and further than I have ever gone before.
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
This morning I came across Psalm 3 in my digging through the scripture for instruction, guidance and insight. Actually, the first passage that led me to this was of Abraham trudging up the mountain to sacrifice his son, Isaac. “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.”(Genesis 22:13) The part of the verse that grabbed my attention is “THEN Abraham lifted his eyes and looked…” He lifted his eyes. Sometimes in our Christian walk it is human nature to start looking away from the Lord to only see things through the story our mind has developed. To imagine God would finish a certain promise a different way than is currently being played out. To think that something was going to happen that is now impossible. Abraham did not believe that God would take his promise from him, but still struck out in obedience as the Lord instructed. There is a blurry region in our faith journey to hope that is not clearly defined by human logic or expectation. It is in this place that the truest reality of our soul is revealed. In that moment that hope carries through the darkness into His Glorious Light.
But you, Lord…the One who lifts my head high. David was in hiding from his son, Absalom. Many had decided to follow the rebellion of his child, and David was in grave danger. Not only had his nation turned against him, but his own flesh and blood. Betrayal stings. Rejection hurts. I could list different traumas until all agreed that when life doesn’t meet our expectations – it brings us back to the Lord. It always does. Oh, no one means to forge a distance between God, His Plan and His Purpose. Most of the time it is with good intentions and religious obedience that the Lord is wrestled into a human ideology box that defines and determines the parameter of His Power. So surrounded by enemies or maybe just one, our head down and eyes on the ground – it is our habit to trudge along like a good little soldier. Well that isn’t going to cut it – because the One who lifts your head high is making a way for you!
Genesis 31:10-12 (NKJV) “And it happened, at the time when the flocks conceived, that I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the rams which leaped upon the flocks were streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted. Then the Angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, ‘Jacob.’ And I said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Lift your eyes now and see, all the rams which leap on the flocks are streaked, speckled, and gray-spotted; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you.”
Jacob was not in a favorable situation. Laban had continued to deal with him unjustly even changing his wages ten times. But God was in control of Jacob and his destiny for when Laban told him all the speckled flock would be his wages then all the flocks bore speckled. When Laban changed his mind and said that all the streaked flock would be his wages, you guessed it all the flock bore streaked. This wasn’t about the temporary living conditions of Jacob’s family in their present situation. The Lord was preparing to move Jacob and He had to get his child’s attention. The Angel of God told Jacob, “Lift your eyes now and see.” It was time to arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.
Our position in life depends on our perspective. Like the giant elephant held by a small chain with enough power to snap it and gain his freedom, his mind is that of a captive. You and I are not meant to live according to the natural way of life. Normal is not our way. We are Children of God. Sons and Daughters of the Most High. We belong to a Kingdom. Not a foreign place, but available to those who seek it here on earth. Right here. Right now. God may be breaking our normal to free us from normalcy and prosperous us fully with unprecedented favor. He is calling out to us “Lift your eyes now and see.” The past is over. New things are on the horizon. But you must “life your eyes”!
2 Kings 6:15-17 (NKJV) And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The king of Syria intended to capture Elisha. He was making war against Israel. Elisha was revealing his plans by the Power of God. He must be stopped so the king sent horses, chariots and a great army to capture him. LOL. The enemy will always send his full arsenal to stop the Man or Woman of God who dares walk, live and breathe in the Power of the Living God available to them. The one who dares to pray, fast, and believe for every promise breathed by God just for them. Just saying… Elisha’s servant was troubled when he looked out the window to be met with the elite forces of Syria. He asked Elisha, “What shall we do?” One might think Elisha would have a plan or even a “word” from the Lord for him. Instead, He prayed, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see” When the servant looked again, clearly the Army of God would overtake the enemy that day! Maybe God is telling you and me to take another look today.
Psalm 121 (NKJV) I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.
My routine will return somewhat tomorrow as I return to work and the girls go back to school. Our schedule similar to what it was before the holidays. Things are not normal anymore. In fact, the enemy is encamped around us. I know that the Lord is preparing a table for us in the presence of our enemy. Breakthrough is just over the horizon. My fixed on the ground with my head held low wasn’t going to cut it. Sometimes the Lord has to destroy our normal life for us to grab hold of supernatural living. Whether it is in the unexpected tragedy, betrayal, illness, injustice, or _________ (you fill in the blank). The enemy is not able to touch you because as it states in Psalm 3 “But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side” and continues in Psalm 121 “My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil…” Yes, I know I repeated it again. You must do the same until both eyes are focused on the Lord and your ears tuned into His Voice. The enemy to overcome is fear and doubt that attacks our faith and steals the future.
God is going to do exactly as His Word has promised to do. He does not grow weak or weary. He doesn’t change His Mind. He can’t lie. He is the Truth. Jesus overcame the world and every evil in it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain because greater is He who is in you than the one who is in the world. My prayer for you and me today. Lord, open our eyes. Lift our heads. Give us more faith and grace. Strengthen our weak knees and tired hands to hold tightly to hope once again. Thank you! Once again I put all my trust in You, Jesus!
He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.