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Posted By Nan

28:1
This verse speaks of two things.
First, it speaks of the wicked who flee although no one pursues them. The verses they link to are Leviticus 26:17, 36 and Psalm 53:5. In Leviticus, God speaks to the Israelites and tells them He will set his face against the wicked of Israel and they will be defeated and will flee when they are not pursued. God will send fear and dejection into their hearts. They will be terrified by a falling leaf and will flee even when there is no danger. Reading that made me think of people today with their extreme fears. People who wrap their children in cotton wool because they are afraid of so many unlikely things happening to them. People who hate others who are different because they are afraid of ‘terrorism’. People who are terrified of the media hype around being burgled, attacked. People whose minds are full of terror and dread because God has rejected them.
So much of the fear in the western world today is more about losing sight of God. Of rejecting God. Of preferring cultural practices ahead of God. This includes people who attend churches that place more emphasis on cultural observances and personal prejudices and do not individually and prayerfully read God’s word. Be careful when you walk away from God, when you oppose Him by overriding His message with your own. Beware, because He will reject you. Instead of being filled with the confidence and serenity of being in God, you will be filled with fear and confusion. And it will be seen in the fears that drive you and cause you to retreat from engagement with the world. In fears that cause you to follow unGodly causes, to support leaders who lack faith in God, to support prejudicial groups who speak hatred and intolerance.
The second thing it speaks of is the courage of the faithful. Instead seek to be the one who confesses and praises God with your whole heart. Who worships God and praises God for His truth and faithfulness. Who exalts and magnifies God. The one who calls on God and is given the inner strength to hold firm to God in faith. Seek to be the humble one God respects, not the haughty, proud one God rejects. Know that God will watch over you as you walk through times of trouble. Trust that He will strengthen you through the darkest storm and save you in His time. Trust that God is full of mercy and loving kindness. (Psalm 138).
Remember Romans 8:38 and be convinced that nothing in all creation, even angels or demons, can separate you from God’s love in Jesus Christ our Lord. When you have that conviction then you have the heart of God, the heart of a lion, and you can step forward into life with courage, knowing you are always in God’s love.
 

 
Posted By Nan

27:17-27
In life seek friendships because that is how God made us. Accept that your friends will teach you many things. Interacting with them and learning how to be around other people will cause you to grow in wisdom. The fool does not allow the refining action of friends. Instead he walks or seeks to control other people when growth opportunities arise.
Be diligent in your work. Seek to honour others and you will find honour will come to you. Make sure your motive in honouring others is to benefit them not you, or you will be disappointed when honour does not always come to you. Love others and behave according to what God lays on your heart. This will make you a person of good character. Good character is a mark of integrity and wisdom.
Learn to be satisfied with the things of God. The pleasures of this earth are seductive, but they do not necessarily lead you to a good place. Temptations will come in to your life that tempt you away from the path God has set you on. Stand firm. Resisting that temptation is refining you, proving your good character.
Do not waste much time on the foolish person. You cannot change them and your time will be wasted. Only the fool can change himself. Instead pray for the fool, that he may know God and learn wisdom.
Be careful with your possessions and know what is yours. Accept that possessions are transient, but must be cared for when they are yours. Work diligently and learn to reduce wastage. In this way you will be able to sustain yourself and your family.
All these things refine you, polish the rough bits and increase your wisdom. They are part of the narrow road you travel on following Jesus.
 

 
Posted By Nan

27:4-16
How do we treat others?
Remember anger and fury are unpleasant. But jealousy is worse. That drip, drip of poison. Opportunities to make nasty comments. Demands to prove yourself and your loyalty. That is far more unpleasant in the long run. It destroys relationships. So resist jealousy. Better to discuss your concerns and take them to God than allow them to eat away at you or to allow another person’s jealousy to cause unpleasantness.
You do need to be careful with your anger. It is wiser to assertively enforce a boundary than passive-aggressively attack someone who did not know your boundaries because you didn’t tell them. Remember that the lovingly set boundary is better than never expressing love and gratitude. Of course you should express love and gratitude to others but some people are not good at that. Sometimes friends hurt each other then seek to redress the wrong. You can trust that friend who is mostly loyal and kind to you. But the enemy who is usually nasty and suddenly decides to be nice? Don’t trust them.
Live a pure life seeking the delights of God. Be careful not to fill yourself up too much with the things of this world. They are very seductive and give easy pleasure. But they are like sugar, it gives a sudden burst of sweetness but it wears off and leaves you hungrier for more. And it ruins your taste for genuinely beautiful subtle flavours. In the same way, a desire for the flashy things of this world may cause you to miss the blessings of God.
Stand firm in your faith or you may be tempted to turn away from God and wisdom. Seek the things of God. They are far more beautiful than the things of this world.
Trust your friends to support you when you need it, and be the supportive friend you want them to be. In times like these it is tempting to fall back on family, but not all families will give you the support God can. And sometimes friends will be the ones God intends as your supporters.
Remember the wise person brings joy to the wise parents. So seek to be wise and teach your children to be wise also. Most parents say they want their children to grow up to be decent people who are happy in life and able to have good relationships and earn a living. That is the path of wisdom. That is what brings joy to parents.
A wise person keeps alert for situations where it is wiser to leave then continue on. Remember the saying about fools rushing in where angels fear to tread. Sometimes it is better to avoid bad situations with others. The wise person knows when to do that.
So in our dealings with other people we must remember love. Be loving and accepting of others, just as Jesus was. When you love others you will find it easier to temper your behaviour to not cause harm to others. You will find it easier to follow God and His path. And you will know when it is best to withdraw.
 

 
Posted By Nan

27:1-3
Don’t boast about the wonderful things to come in your future. You do not know what will come and may end up looking foolish. It is one thing to plan and another to arrogantly boast of how great you will be. You may get to tomorrow and find what you expected does not happen and that is a real egg in your face moment!
Do not rely on recognition to feel good about yourself. And don’t promote yourself excessively at inappropriate moments. It is okay to acknowledge the things you have done, but choose your timing wisely. If you do not you may be seen as boasting and in that instance that is actually what you are doing. Do remember that if another person praises you, graciously accept it. You deserve recognition for what you do.
Heavy labouring work is hard. But it is easy compared to the behaviour of the fool. God does not expect you to put up with such people and it is important you honour yourself enough to walk away from them. Do not think God expects you to put up with them. I have had at least three instances in my life where God has told me to walk away from people. In each instance they were Christians. In each instance I learned later these people had been doing terrible things to me behind my back. So never think you have to be friends with someone who makes you uncomfortable and does not treat you well. Only stay there if God tells you to. This does not mean what other people claim God has said. You do not know if they have truly heard from God or just that their message suits their own agenda. Always seek God yourself.
 

 
Posted By Nan

26:16-28 cont.
I have written before about being the victim of malicious slander. On each occasion the willingness of others to believe the lies has been really upsetting. The original lies are bad enough, but when others are willing to believe them and spread them it is disheartening. It is hard to accept a friend can betray me by believing lies spoken about me.
I am currently suffering the worst case of malicious slander ever. I have seen people I don’t know willingly believe what the man perpetrating it says without bothering to talk to me to establish the truth. I have seen people who know me well go along with his lies and spread them to others. Months ago, before I learned of this slander, God gave me three verses to put in my calendar. They are:
“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
A beautiful start to my day. My declaration I intend to do God’s will. He has written His law within my heart by the Holy Spirit. I can step out in His strength into the day.
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord, who is with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
“The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14
Wonderful reminders I am in a battle but all I have to do is STAND STILL because Jesus is with me and He will fight for me.
I don’t know what the future holds regarding this matter. Recently I was at a meeting with some of my former friends who have been spreading his lies and I realised the speaker had been told the lies as well. It was so disheartening. I have done nothing to deserve this. I never had a conflict with, or did anything to him. Yet there are people around me who take everything I say as evidence that the lies he is telling them are true and they totally discount anything I am going through or anything I say.
Into the middle of this sadness God sent two messages by Holley Gerth. I am so thankful Holley is so faithful to His call to write.
The first message was:
“I have come to understand that any time we try to discover more of who God made us, we will face resistance.”
Wow! What encouragement. What confirmation of God’s great love and His presence with me. I am so humbled by God’s greatness and His concern to comfort me.
The other is a blog Holley posted on July 13 called ‘Hope when we’re in a hard battle.’ In this blog, Holley speaks of 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 where Paul speaks of opposition to his work as affirmation and confirmation to stay. Wow! Holley said she would read it more like “time to get out because God has closed the door”. And that is how I would see it. And I would add ‘time to run with my tail between my legs’. But Paul saw it as confirmation. She made the point that perhaps when things are bad it means ‘a great door for effective work has opened to me and there are many who oppose me’.
That is so encouraging. And isn’t God great! So instead of seeing this attack on me as a reason to run away with my tail between my legs I should see it as God opening a door for a great work for me to do and to confirm that there are people who oppose me.
Are you finding yourself in a hard place where you are not sure whether to stay and fight or run away? I don’t know whether God wants you to say or go, but be encouraged by the fact that He is with you and He will tell you what He wants you to do. Be encouraged by the fact that you do not have to fight in the battle, you just have to stand in Jesus. You just have to be still and let God fight for you.
Finally, be encouraged by the fact that maybe this opposition is actually confirmation that God wants you to be here.
May God bless you and reveal to you His will for your life at this moment.

 

 

 
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Nan
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