The butterfly-filled-stomach feeling of being pushed out of my comfort zone and into something I was unsure of and didn’t feel like doing crept into my thoughts and pitched a tent that could weather a hurricane. “Here we go again,” I thought, as I began to prayerfully journal in conversation with God daily about what He was up to now and what my next move was supposed to be. No matter how badly I would rather camp out in my comfort zone, I know God’s plans are more than I can ask for or imagine.
Psalm 29 was written to remind God’s people who He was, amidst a culture that worshipped many other gods. Remembering there is One True God keeps us from coming unraveled. Sometimes our comfort zones become our bosses. The world pulls us in many directions, but God always remains the same.
God is the God of making big moves. If it seems odd or impossible, or I feel unqualified and uncomfortable, I often start praying “are you sure?” signs from Him. His prick of conviction is always followed by the heavy pressure to sit still, remain silent, or run away. We have a very real enemy trying to kill, steal and destroy us. He will take full advantage of the prideful bent towards disqualifying ourselves in order to keep us from the life that Jesus died to give us.
But we are who He says we are – not who we doubt we are. The Bible is full of commands to rise, be strong and courageous, go, run the race, and continue. Yet we …I …often act shocked when He pushes me out into the open to shine.
God remains, dwells, sits and abides over the flood, as King forever. He is unchanging, all knowing, and everywhere all at once. He goes before us, behind us, and remains with us. The One True God was, is, and is to come. “The Lord’s absolute and everlasting rule is committed to his peoples complete salvation and unmixed blessedness,” the NIV Study Bible explains, “the crowning comfort in a world where threatening tides seem to make everything uncertain.” When everything else shifts and changes around us, sometimes instantaneously rerouting our lives, we have peace in knowing God is always in control. He is our stability in the storm. No one loves us more than our God, and Jesus is living proof.
Photo credit:©Getty Images/fizkes
The same God who formed the earth and all life in it breathes life into our daily lives. Jesus was there in the beginning, and remains with us now. The same God “who by his word brought and ordered creation of the formless ‘deep,’” (NIV) took great care in creating each of us individually, with specific purpose. God knit us in our mother’s womb, and Jesus died so we would have life to the full. Genesis 1:2 says,
The same God who illuminated the earth with light, spoke life into the living creatures and set order to all things, is alive and active in every Christ follower. “The Holy Spirit was active in creation, and his creative power continues today” (NIV Study Bible). His creative power guides us step by step into the plans God has for us, which are more than we can ask for or imagine.
If we’re not careful to stay aligned with who God says we are, it’s easy to forget why we’re here in the first place. God made us awesome and amazing, meant to bring glory and honor to His name. I’m often tempted to believe I’m just being humble by standing in the shadows, or remaining silent. But what if God wants to move through me, to do something huge? I surely don’t want to miss any of it! Like an adrenaline junkie, once God moves a fresh wind through the front door of our hearts, we crave more of the supernatural joy and peace that come alongside obedience.
When it seems impossible, it’s probably because only God can make it happen. He doesn’t need us to accomplish His will, but we get the thrilling privilege of walking alongside Him, watching Him work through everything we will submit and give to Him.
The LORD gives strength to His people.
The LORD blesses His people with peace.
God is faithful. He has never failed to keep a promise. By His strength we can shine in the beautiful and purposeful ways He’s designed us to. Humility is a necessary discipline, and it’s important to know the difference between humility and pridefully disqualifying ourselves from what God has called us to do. The Hebrew word for “strength” in this verse means might and strength, materially or physically; personally, socially, or politically. No one knows our weaknesses more than our Abba, Father.
“Peace” is translated from a Hebrew word which means completeness and soundness. It encompasses peace in our bodies, welfare, health, prosperity, peace, quiet, tranquility and contentment. It means peace in our friendships and relationships, and with God.
Photo credit:©Getty Images/Simon Lehmann
God promises us complete strength and complete peace, not a momentary sigh of relief or a temporary rescue. The Bible tells us to pray about everything. God knows and cares about each hesitation, butterfly in our stomachs, and lump in our throats. He’s aware of His big asks of us.
Before Jesus walked to the cross, He prayed to the Father for any other way. He was in agony. Jesus was sad! We have a friend in Jesus who sympathizes with our emotions. He ended His prayer, “not my will but your will.” Sometimes we take for granted, because Jesus is God, that it was easy for Him to walk out the Father’s will for His earthly life. It was really hard. He experienced human pain on a level many of us will never be asked to endure. And He did it willingly, for us.
The LORD is enthroned as King forever. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father. Alive. Risen from the dead. We, too, become adopted into the family of God when we believe in Jesus. It’s giving up our agenda, and setting down our trust in our own abilities, an instead choosing to rely on His strength, and His peace. Following Him isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to live life …to the full.
NIV Study Bible, Copyright © 1985, 2002, 2008, 2011 by Zondervan.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Benjamin Davies
Meg, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80, is the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” and “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” She writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Meg earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters, which led her to pursue her passion to write. She has led a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. Meg, a Cleveland native and lifelong Browns fan, lives by the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Ohio with her husband, two daughters, and golden doodle.