Thursday Jan 12, 2023
Thursday Jan 12, 2023
Thursday Jan 12, 2023
Well, hey there and hello to you. I’m so incredibly thankful you’re listening to the podcast today and I’m super excited to share some encouragement via one of God’s promises that we find in the book of psalms.
Take a look at the faithfulness of God with me for this episode and let’s just see what God does as we take Him at His word and believe His promises are 100% true.
You’re listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show podcast, part of the Spark Network, now playing in the Edifi app. This is episode number 132.
The faithfulness of God matters.
In every moment, it matters.
And honestly, it may matter far more than we realize.
God’s faithfulness keeps everything going. Every heartbeat is thanks to the faithfulness of God. Every single time we take a breath, it is proof that our God is faithful. When someone texts you to let you know they care about you, are thinking of you, have just spent some time praying for you, guess what? God put you on their heart and His faithfulness is what actually moved them to reach out to you. God’s faithfulness is something that is so certain, we can miss it on the daily. And in spite of the fact that we so often just don’t see it, recognize it or acknowledge it but it keeps on being our reality, that in itself is proof of just how faithful the Lord God Almighty truly is.
Now, one thing that has been on my heart and mind a lot lately is this: holiness, God’s holiness. And how we, as His people, ought to be living our everyday lives as a response to His holiness and His call for us to be a holy people, a people set apart for His glory and His purposes. So that’s not exactly what today’s podcast is about, but I wanted to share that because I really doubt that I am the only one thinking about this currently. I’ve found that whatever God is doing in my heart, it is often being done in many, many hearts at the same time. If that’s you, be encouraged that He has a purpose in leading you to think about holiness, to be more aware of what you think and say and do and that He is always working on a zillion levels all at once. It’s a good work He is doing in and through you. You just keep leaning in, praying and listening and following His lead, and trust Him to finish every good work that He has begun in you. Cuz He is a finisher!
Today I want to read from the Amplified, Psalm 91, verse 4, the end portion of this verse. It says:
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.
I’ll say it again, because it bears repeating: the faithfulness of God matters!
He IS completely faithful - this goes beyond a behavior that we might see or experience now and then. The utter and complete and unyielding faithfulness of our God is as unending as the vastness of the universe, but actually would far surpass that, even though we cannot comprehend it. Galaxy upon galaxy of faithfulness. He is, always and in all ways, faithful.
Does that stir hopefulness within you today? Or maybe you find yourself wondering, “How can that be true? How can it be true for me?” A mix of both, perhaps? Nodding your head in agreement as to the amazing faithfulness of the Lord and also hoping that same faithfulness will be true for you in a hard situation?
This very faithfulness is, to us, a shield and a wall.
Those are not my words, they are the words in this verse. And Psalm 91, well, it does not play. It’s in the Bible on purpose, intentionally, and we need to acknowledge that it is the truth, straight from the very Word of God.
And this faithfulness is a shield and a wall to us.
Okay, so in 2023, what does that really mean? Like, a shield? A wall? Those don’t mean so much to us. I’m not sure what I can liken it to for our modern day and age, but just think ultimate protection. What does a shield do? The intercept specific attacks. They protect from projectiles and from close range weapons. A shield can actively block dangers and attacks. It can also close lines of protection, kind of linking up with other shields, as a more passive form of protection.
Okay. Sounds pretty good to me!
What about a wall? Walled cities were places that were safe in days prior, we know that for sure. Think of all the places in the Bible that mention city walls, or think of those cities of refuge that a person could run to and be safe if an accident happened and someone lost their life - you were able to flee to a city of refuge and be safe there, behind those city walls, until it was determined that it was, or was not, an accident. If there had been no walled cities, those would have not been refuge places because the walls keep some things in and other things out, right? Keeping this in, while also keeping that out. Walls do that.
Other things do that in our day and age. Passwords and secure logins for your personal info. Key fobs for the car. Places to keep your valuables safe. Locks on doors. Security systems and doorbell cameras. Modern types of walls. This stays in here, nice and safe and protected, and the not so safe things can kind of stay out, on the other side of the wall. Good fences make good neighbors and all of that.
Walls also bring to mind the idea of fortifications, of a first line of defense. LOTR movies, Helm’s Deep, that was a walled city, protected.
God’s faithfulness is THAT to us. Protection. Intercepting specific attacks that are aimed directly at you. Protection from projectiles, and that can be words spoken to you, about you, over you. I’ve seen a social post that says something to the effect of, don’t worry too much about people that God removed from your life, He may have heard you mentioned in conversations where you were not present. And yeah, there could probably be some truth to that. If Psalm 91:4 is true (and it most certainly is true!), then there could be conversations that were about us but not with us, not to our face, we were not in that conversation but it was about us, and maybe at times God just sort of moves us along a bit and we lose contact with them or something. Could that not be a form of shield for us? Because words can have so much weight. You and I know it’s true, there is no point in pretending we are bad enough to let it all roll off like water off a duck’s back. I am not a duck. You either. We are not water fowl. Words can be heavy, can carry a lot of weight. And sometimes God just flat shields us from those weighty words. Anybody want to say amen to that? It is one of the best blessings of my life! (I had a time when I had to let a couple of folks know that I was not interested in any more phone calls - this was back before texts, btw - no more calls to let me know what so and so had to say about this, that and the other. And when I didn’t want to be part of the family gossip train, they stopped calling me. The opposite of Cameron in Ferris Bueler’s Day Off. He’ll keep calling me… Nope. The phone quit ringing and I was all the better for it.) Words can have weight and the faithfulness of God can protect us from weighty words. That is a blessing beyond measure!
Close range weapons. Projectiles. Need to be hidden away. Need to have some stuff, some enemy attacks, away from us. His faithfulness is a shield and a wall for all those things. Isn’t He good? And isn’t He good to you?
That is what you have in the Lord God Most High. So much faithfulness that it is a shield and a wall --- FOR YOU! Sure, this applies to every disciple of the Lord Jesus. And it right now applies to you. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. This promise is meant to be your promise. That is why you are listening to this podcast episode today. So you can hear and believe this specific promise for your specific life at this specific moment. This is for you. And that is really, really good news.
Here and now, in the middle of the first month of the new year, it’s yours.
For some of you, that’s what you needed to hear today.
I hope it goes from your ears right into your heart and mind. Let God soften your heart and like, literally, bless your heart (not like a southern saying, but really be a comfort and a blessing to you in the places of life where you most need it) and change your thinking with this promise. Because how you think, well, that’s how your life goes. The direction of your thoughts is the direction of your life. Think well. Think on these things, the New Testament says. Think on the truth of God’s Word and the truth of Jesus. Praise God for His truth!
Here today, this is when we praise Him for His faithfulness to us. Through it all, He never abandons His own. Thank Him for that! And make that thankfulness a sort of first fruit offering to Him at the start of this year. Be thankful, right from the get-go. For the next twelve months I am expecting Him to be faithful, utterly faithful, to you. And to me. I’m believing for that. I hope you can believe for that, too.
Don’t go to sleep tonight without reflecting on His faithfulness to you and the truth that it never ends and is all encompassing. Before your head hits the pillow, remind yourself that Psalm 91:4 is the reality of your life, because He who promised is faithful.
Your shield of protection and your protective walls before you, behind you, all around you. That’s God’s commitment to you and He never tells a lie (it’s actually impossible for Him to lie) and He does not deal in partial or half truths. (think of Flick getting the blame for the bad word Ralphie said in A Christmas Story). Aren’t you thankful you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, a friend in God, and that He is nothing like even your very best earthly friend?
Because we are human, and deal daily with humanity in ourselves and in others, we can sort of do this by-product thing where we start to inadvertently attribute human behavior to God’s behavior. We sort of humanize the Lord, in a way. In our thinking. In our expectations. But that’s not right!
According to the Bible, that is not correct at all. We don’t conform the Bible to our thoughts, right? We conform our thinking to the Bible’s truths. To the Living Word. and the truth of the Word of God to us here is that God’s faithfulness is (present tense!!) a shield and a wall.
I need you to believe that today. Believe it now like you’ve never believed it before.
Jesus is coming for His Church (hear that, for HIS CHURCH, we belong to Him and it’s wise and prudent to remember that). Sooner than later, sooner than we think most likely. We should live believing Him fully because that’s how we will be ready when He comes. May He not find us doubting, but believing. May He not find us waxing and waning, but on fire for Him and living for His kingdom purposes.
When He comes, our faith will become sight.
This is our time for faith.
This is our time for faith-based believing.
As Jesus said Himself, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Isn’t it incredible that you can be one of those whom He was talking about? You can be one who has not seen Him face to face and yet believes.
This is your year for believing. To live believing.
Start today, with Psalm 91 verse 4, and believe.
Tomorrow, believe again. And believe even more of what the Bible says. Keep on that path, my friend, and you will not ever regret it, not for a single moment.
You will be blessed, said Jesus, if you believe without having seen.
Can you say this is your blessing right now?
Why not make it your blessing today?
Thanks for joining me today for this episode.
Hey, I have an audio course I created based on Psalm 91, and I am going to put the link for that in the show notes. It’s like nineteen dollars right now. (The option I have for this course does not allow me to use coupon codes but I was able to take $5 off the price, dropping it to just $14). Check that out if you might like some encouragement in living a life in a state of chronic belief.
I can tell you from experience, there is nothing like it and no better way to live.