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“These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.”~Psalm 42:4 (NIV)~This has been a very challenging time. As I look back over the last several weeks and the time I have spent in utter despair over one issue or another, I see that there was something I forgot to do in all of it that would have helped me immensely. I forgot to remember the victories He has given me. There was a time when I made a conscious effort to journal and write down the events of each day; the good, the bad and the ugly. For whatever reason, I seem to have stopped doing that. When I pray each day, I do write down verses and thoughts that come into my head as I’m praying, but it isn’t the same as doing a full recap of the things that went your way on a given day. It isn’t the same as giving praise for what He has done for you at the end of a day that could have been filled with defeat.There was a time when I could think back to the things that God has brought me through and be inspired by the very idea that He would have taken the time to rescue someone like me from a very dangerous place. Why is it that the farther we get from that rescue, the harder it is for us to remember just how grateful we ought to be to be free? Time and distance from the danger don’t make it any less dangerous. And our continued absence from it doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible for us to fall back into the pit. The only thing that keeps us from going back to a life that isn’t protected by God’s love is our unwillingness to acknowledge Him in all we do. If we are going about our daily lives without giving Him a second thought, there is nothing to guarantee that we won’t end up right back in the mud and the mire.Not the most inspiring speech I’ve ever given; I realize this. But over the past week I’ve see the same idea presented in a variety of ways; the idea that we cannot out-sin God’s ability to forgive us. It has given me reason to sit back and consider where I might have been taking advantage of this. I certainly don’t mean to take God’s love and mercy for granted, but there have been times where I’m sure that I wasn’t doing everything that I could do to fully receive the blessings that God was trying to give me. There have been times when I wasn’t even sure that I wanted them, yet I continued on and He continues to bless me in one way or another. Why does He do this? What is He trying to show me? And a better question still, why haven’t I gotten the message yet?I don’t know where He is leading me, but I know that I’ve been clinging to my present circumstance the way a young child hangs on his mother’s leg when he doesn’t want to be left at school. There is so much I could gain by moving forward, but I fear the unknown and in doing so, I am not trusting the God who has brought me out of situations that were far more scary than the future I could step into now. I know that I’m better armed, I’m better focused, and I’m well able to do what God has set me here to do. I know this in my head, but my heart and soul haven’t decided to agree yet. So, I pray that He will give me a word that will make it absolutely clear that it’s time to break free and step into the cloud. This life will be over too soon and I don’t want to reach the end of it and say that I had more fear of doing His will than of living outside it. Especially when doing His will involves nothing more than loving Him and accepting His love for me.“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”~Deuteronomy 10:12 NKJV~