He anoints my head with oil, my cup overflows

When I was a little girl, my grandma taught me the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…” We used to say it together before bed when my sister and I spent the night.

Those formal words from the King James version still bring me comfort and peace.

Many years later, 20 weeks pregnant with my youngest child, I began memorizing Psalm 23. I needed an extra avenue for comfort and peace. Together, they served me well in very trying times, and I meditate on Psalm 23 almost every day now. One of the things I love most is its all-encompassing nature. It truly tells of God’s sovereignty, love, power, protection, and generosity.

As we move into the future, I know more than ever that I must rely on the Lord for my every need. When I am hungry, He provides. When I am afraid, He strengthens. When I am hurting, He comforts. When I am confused, lost, or overwhelmed, He restores.

And when I trust Him, He anoints my head with oil, and my cup overflows. So today’s confession is a reminder to trust Him with everything.

He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows.

Oil in the Bible is often symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Power, peace, and protection. This line gives me a visual of tipping my head back and allowing Him to pour thick, amber colored oil over my head. It seeps down to my skin and saturates me. It affects everything I do and think. Just as the Holy Spirit should affect me.

When I move in this anointing, I don’t have room to fear. I view people and life through His filter. The world is not a frightening place. Instead every interaction becomes an opportunity to point back to Him. I will confess this today and I will live in His power, peace, and protection.

What is your favorite part of Psalm 23?

I will call on the name of the Lord

I’m a strong believer that faith in God is far-reaching. Farther than we can begin to comprehend, in fact. I’ve talked to so many people who seem to believe that God’s help is limited to the spiritual realm. Salvation, grace, mercy, all that intangible stuff.

I disagree.

The Psalms are full of confessions that God saves, that He is a very present help in time of trouble, that He watches over us. While we put our trust in Him for the afterlife, not many of us put our trust in Him for THIS life. And we get caught up in bad decisions or poor thinking that seems to rule every earthly action. (I’m so talking to myself here.)

Negativity and depression want to rule my life. Wallowing in poor decisions of the past, I’m in danger of missing the glory and power He has for me today. What a perfect time to give those decisions, mistakes, and regrets to Him! Today’s confession, from Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:13, relieves me of the guilt and shame of the past.

I will call on the name of the Lord.

When I doubt His promise to deliver me, I will confess this truth. And I’ll turn to Psalm 121 for reinforcement. Especially meaningful to me is verse 5: “The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.” It gives me visions of being hidden in His shadow. The enemy passes right by, never even seeing me, because the Lord hides me in a protective shade.

I will call on the name of the Lord today. I will not fear because He stands beside me.

Do you believe God’s help is limited to spiritual things, or does He ever intervene in a tangible way?

 

Names of Jesus reposted from Chief of the Least

Hey, gang. I’m taking today to repost something from fellow blogger Bryan Daniels at Chief of the Least. It fits well with our affirmations, and I love that Bryan included the Scripture reference for each name.

Take a few minutes today to look up some of these verses, then confess the truth out loud. And check out Chief of the Least for more fantastic insights.

AND HE SHALL BE CALLED:

God (Hebrews 1:8)

Son of God (John 1:34)

Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)

Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)

Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8)

I AM (John 8:58)

Savior (2 Peter 1:1)

Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16)

Upholder of all things (Hebrews 1:3)

Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The Word (John 1:1)

The Image of the Invisible God (Col 1:15)

The Brightness of God’s glory (Hebrew 1:15)

The Wisdom and Power of God (1 Cor 1:24)

The Lord from Heaven (1 Cor 15:47)

Son of Man (Mark 10:33)

The Great Prophet (Luke 7:16)

The Great Apostle (Hebrews 2:1)

Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11)

Messiah (John 4:25)

Anointed (Psalm 2:2)

Lamb Of God (John 1:29)

The Bridegroom (Matt 9:15)

Jehovah’s Shepherd (Zechariah 13:7)

The Door of the Sheep (John 10:7)

Branch of the Lord (Isaiah 4:2)

True Vine (John 15:1)

Tree of Life (Rev 2:7)

Bread of God (John 6:33)

Light of the world (John 8:12)

Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2)

Horn of Salvation (Luke1:69)

The Rock (1 Cor 10:4)

The Foundation (1 Cor 3:11)

The Temple (Rev 21:22)

The Altar (Heb 13:10)

Great High Priest (Heb 4:14)

Mediator (1 Tim 2:5)

Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25)

The Resurrection (John 11:25)

Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45)

Holy One (Acts 2:27)

Captain of Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)

Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2)

Righteous Judge (2 Tim 4:8)

King of Kings (Revelation 17:14)

Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14)

The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6)

Jesus Christ

Does one of Jesus’ names speak more to you than the others? Why?

God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace

I love this grace thing so much I’m going to do another post or two about it. It just takes that much hitting me over the head to get it to sink in. 😉

If you haven’t already looked through your Bible for the frequency of the word ‘grace’, I encourage you to do it. I like to use BibleGateway.com because I can look through any translation and it gives the verses as well as surrounding text. Pretty handy when I don’t have a concordance laying around. Click here for a keyword search on grace in the New Living Translation.

What I find when I look for grace is the incredible number of times it’s there:

May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace (Romans 1:7).

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you (Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 16:23, 1 Thessalonians 5:28).

Even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace (Galatians 1:15).

I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless (Galatians 2:21).

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16).

Choose any of these to confess daily, but today I choose Galatians 1:15.

Even before I was born, God chose me and called me by His marvelous grace.

Remember the first post this week on grace? It broke down the meaning of the word. If I want to know that my life has value and meaning, if I want to live empowered and free of fear, I need only to realize how much the God of the universe loves me and how He desires to see me live in Him. Even before I was born, He chose me and called me by His marvelous unmerited, unearned, unconditional favor. Pair that with yesterday’s truth: His grace, or His favor, is all I need. It’s beginning to take hold, this idea that I don’t need to fear all these things. That I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Say it with me today, and let it take hold in your mind: God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace.

Is it sinking in for you? Do you believe that God’s grace is the sweetest, most powerful force in your life?

I am God’s masterpiece

I am God’s masterpiece.

No, that’s not an arrogant statement. It’s not language I would normally use. It is not something I would choose to say about myself. But I should, and so should all Jesus followers.

It comes straight from Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

I love how God’s word has layers upon layers of meaning and importance as we read it. I can read a piece of Scripture and it speaks to me so deeply that tears fall down my cheeks. This one for instance. “I am God’s masterpiece.” The value attached to that word “masterpiece” contrasts with what I’ve always thought of myself. And that it would be said of me, attaching me to GOD – as in the Almighty one, the one who created angels and light and dark, the Alpha and Omega – really gives me pause. Then I go back and read it again.

Created anew in Christ Jesus.

And I read it again.

So I can do the good things he planned for me long ago.

It brings me back to today’s truth with a stronger grasp of it. Can you speak this confession out loud today? You are God’s masterpiece. He created you anew in Christ Jesus, and He empowers you to do the good things He planned for you long ago. That’s right. God planned long ago for you to do good things. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s motivation for me to get busy!

After all, I am God’s masterpiece.

What word would you use to describe yourself in God’s eyes?

God has a plan for me

I’m a planner. Day planners are some of my favorite things. I fight fits of ecstasy when I walk through the bookstore or the school supply aisle and see rows and stacks of day planners. I like to write in them with different colors, or scribble a single sentence about my day or my thoughts at a particular time, almost like a journal.

Lists are good, too. I l.o.v.e. looking at a list and seeing everything crossed off. There is such a sense of achievement! I even have special paper and pens for making lists and crossing off completed jobs. Yes, plans are good.

In spite of my best efforts, my plans don’t always work. Life happens. Littles scream. Obstacles pop up and demand priority. Things on my list fall to the bottom, get moved to a different list, or get forgotten entirely. As frustrating as that is, I take comfort in today’s confession.

God has a plan for me.

In Jeremiah 29:11, God speaks to Israel about His plans. We can read this piece of Scripture and know that it applies to all believers. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” And we can rest assured that God’s plans always work.

So even when my lists are incomplete, scribbled messes, and my plans fall through, God has a plan for me. His plan is for good and not disaster. He gives me a future and hope in Jesus Christ. Knowing that, I can live confidently in His power.

Are you a planner? How does it feel knowing that God has a plan for you?

If God is for me, who can be against me?

I love Chris Tomlin’s song, Our God. It reminds me of the power of the Almighty God, of His miracles, of His love. “Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind. There’s no one like you, none like you. Into the darkness you shine, out of the ashes we rise. There’s no one like you, none like you.”

And the chorus is straight from Romans 8:31: “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?”

What power we have in a relationship with God! If He is for us – and we know He is because He sent His Son to die for us – what in the world could stop us? Have you given that thought lately? It’s the confession I’m running with into the weekend. I’m taping it to my bathroom mirror, the window above my kitchen sink, and my car dashboard.

If God is for me, who can be against me?

He is good and kind and generous. He is power and grace and love. God is FOR me. Who could stand against that? My prayer is that we realize the enormous strength and love that formed a universe from nothingness, and that we allow it to empower us in His love. Be blessed with that this weekend, dear readers.

Do you believe God is for you? What stands against you?

I will pray for those in authority

I’m not a very politically minded person. I know. Shame on me. I should pay closer attention to senators, mayors, congressmen, the President… I do give myself credit for knowing the names of the President and Vice President. I know a few names of the current candidates. And on a good day, I know a bit of what they say they stand for. But I don’t know enough. And (this does shame me), I don’t pray for them.

With 2012 being an election year, we’re going to hear a lot about current and potential future leaders. (Going to? We already are!) The good, the bad, the ugly, and the impossible – it will all be covered ad nauseum by the media. Some of this has value, but we should take everything we hear and test it against scripture.

The most important thing we can recognize is our own power and ability to influence the direction of our country. I’m not talking about voting. That definitely is a privilege, but prayer is a responsibility. For that reason and for the sake of our country and world, I hope today’s confession becomes a daily practice for me.

I will pray for those in authority.

Okay, so I should be praying for the President, the Vice President, cabinet members (does that include the congress and the house??), Secretaries of State and Defense, and on and on. But what do I pray for these people?

1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”

I’m so thankful when God answers a prayer immediately! By this, I know how important it is to pray for our leaders “so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” Don’t ever forget the power of your talking to God. He’s listening.

Do you pray for national and world leaders? What are your prayers over them?

I will be still… again

Gotta admit, sometimes I have to be still because I’m just speechless. It doesn’t happen often enough, but let’s take advantage of it while we can, yes?

Okay, moment’s over. Let me explain my reticence:

I’ve been lurking around on someone’s blog and her story struck such a chord that I can’t find words to even say anything to her. Like, “You have an awesome voice and an awesome blog.” Or, “Those voices you hear? They’re really Satan’s attempt to break you. Don’t let him.” Because those things seem to minimize what she goes through. And none of them lets her know that God is there through it all, even if she doesn’t feel Him or hear Him or want Him.

Maybe I’m speechless because I know some (a very little) of what she fights. Crippling fear. Can’t leave the house or tell even my best friend what’s going on inside me. Can’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror. Can’t beat back the mean little voices that scream inside my head that I’m not enough, can never be enough, should just stop trying. And suddenly I’m paralyzed in the middle of a bloodbath with arrows and swords and bullets slinging away, and I have no defense.

And yet I do.

To be still before God is a powerhouse of activity. Not my activity. This is not my battle, and the sooner I recognize it, the sooner I give Him room to fight, the sooner I will be delivered. The truth is that I’m a spoil of war. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says we are God’s masterpiece, so the attack on my well-being is meant for God. To realize the incredible weight of my prayers – or godly silence – takes the battle to another level entirely, and takes me out of the war zone.

I will be still and know that He is God.

He is love. He is mercy. He is grace. He is my strong tower, my refuge, my rock, and my redeemer. He is power. He is God. I will be still… again.

Will you confess it with me again? What do you hear when you’re still before God?

God is able

Today’s confession removes the focus from myself. This life is not about me. It’s about God. It’s about giving Him glory and honor and power (Revelation 4:11). This life is about Jesus Christ and His worthiness to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing (Revelation 5:12).

Something happened in our world to bless us abundantly. The entire world celebrates, but few believe. Jesus’ birth is a myth to them. I choose to see it for what it is: salvation. He has saved me from eternity without God, from trying (and failing) to live by the Law, from living and dying in darkness. Jesus saved me from myself and from hopelessness and from a world trying to beat me down.

God is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20). If we look, we can see that in action everywhere. People waking from comas hours before going off life support, being healed of cancer and other afflictions, marriages and relationships being restored. I choose to believe in His ability over my own. Whatever situation this life holds, God is able, through his mighty power at work within me, to accomplish infinitely more than I might ask for think.

God is able.

All glory to Him!

Do you believe God is able? Do you believe He wants to rescue you?