Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 4 – A truth to hold onto

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Psalm 84:11 NASB)

Imagine travelling through the wilderness thousands of years ago, without the aide of modern equipment.  The darkness and cold of night, the wild animals and dangerous terrain would be cause to fear for your life.  But as the sun would rise in the morning, the warmth and light changed everything.  Fears would be banished and hope would be renewed with the constant presence of the sun as your companion.

And just as God refers to Himself as our sun, He is also our shield to protect us from harm.  He gives us the light of day to see our enemies, and then blocks them for us as well.  His light never goes out, and even in the night, He continues to be our sun. The Bible even describes the new Jerusalem as needing no sun because God Himself will illuminate everything, everywhere (Revelation 21:23).  This is His character – He is light and warmth, protection and strength.  He gives us grace (good things that we don’t deserve) and glory (honor from Him).  And the part that most people just can’t believe, is that He won’t hold back anything good from those who walk uprightly.  That means ANYTHING good!  He loves to bless those who follow Him in purity of heart and hold fast to His ways.  

That sounds simple enough, it’s just that final stipulation that stumps most people, “those who walk uprightly…”  Even a well-seasoned Christian who has been a great example of faith has to re-examine his life daily to see if he is truly walking uprightly with God.  Maybe obvious sins like stealing or adultery aren’t an issue, but subtle things can slip in.  A complaining attitude, a hidden grudge, a critical spirit, a feeling of superiority, a lack of faithfulness in small things, a reluctance to fulfill commitments.  Everyone is hit with temptations like these and everyone falls for them from time to time.  These are the sins people often excuse with the famous line, “I’m only human…”  But the longer these sins linger, the more they poison a person’s relationship with God.   Their prayers go unanswered and things just seem to go wrong for no apparent reason.  The light, the protection, the grace and the glory are wearing thin, and after some time a Christian can feel like God is withholding everything good that he needs.

Run a systems check on your heart, your attitudes and your motives.  Pray and ask God to reveal anything that you need to repent of and correct.  Everyone with a close bond with God knows how important it is to do this on a regular basis, and learn to identify the negative symptoms that alert them to a problem.  From the moment you repent and choose to change, you are instantly in the right place to enjoy this promise.  And what if you’ve been walking uprightly but have not yet seen the good things that you’ve been seeking?  …Begin thanking Him in the certainty that they are coming!  God can’t change His character and can never go back on His promises. Hold onto that truth.  He won’t withhold anything good.

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