Daily Archives: November 1, 2012
Read: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart- breaking words that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency. Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy (vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt).
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
His loving care is all around us.
When my father went to be with the Lord, I had to accept the fact that God’s purpose for my life was not the same purpose as my father’s. His calling was to help bring down the denominational walls and let people know about the fullness of the Spirit. When I took over, I felt pressured to be like my father, to fit into that mold. I thought I had to minister like him, run the church like him, and go down that same path. But when I searched my heart, I knew my calling was to plant a seed of hope, to encourage people, to let them know about the goodness of God. At first, it was difficult because some people had been in the church for 40 years. I thought, “I can’t be anything different. What would they think? They may not like me. They may not accept me.”
One day I read a scripture talking about David. It said, “David fulfilled his purpose for his generation.” I heard God say right down in here, “Joel, your father fulfilled his purpose. Now quit trying to be like him and go out and fulfill your purpose.” When I heard that, it was like a light turned on inside of me. I realized I don’t have to try to be like my father. I don’t have to fit into a certain mold. It’s okay to run my race. I am free to be me. After all, God doesn’t want us to be an imitation of somebody else; be the original God created you to be.
Friend, there is an anointing on your life, and it’s not so you can be like someone else. You are anointed to be you! But if you let people squeeze you into their mold and bow down to that pressure and change with every criticism, that’s not only going to take away your uniqueness, but it’s going to lessen God’s favor. It’s going to reduce His anointing on your life.
As the church started to grow and more people were watching on television, the critics came out of the woodwork saying, “He’s not like his father. He’s too young. He doesn’t have the experience.” Even now, “Joel is too much of this, not enough of that.” If you change with every criticism, you won’t have a chance. I believe one reason that God has promoted me is because I have tuned out the negative voices and done my best to stay true to who God has called me to be. I don’t try to compete with somebody else. I don’t let people control me and feel guilty if I don’t fit into their box. I don’t get upset because somebody said something negative. I look straight ahead. Like the apostle Paul, I do my best to run with purpose in every step.
I learned early on that in order to please God, you may have to disappoint a few people. The scripture talks about how some people loved the praise of people more than they loved the praise of God. One of the tests that we all have to face is when someone in our life that we love or look up to—a friend, a boss, a family member— wants us to go a certain direction when we know in our heart that God wants us to go another direction. We don’t want to lose their friendship. We don’t want to disappoint them. We want their approval. But if you’re going to fulfill your destiny, you’ve got to be strong. You have to have this attitude, “I want the praise of God more than I want the praise of people. I have an assignment. I have a purpose. I have a destiny. I’m going to become who God has created me to be!”
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
by Joyce Meyer – posted November 01, 2012
The heading under this psalm reads: “A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bathsheba.” David cried out for mercy because he had sinned with Bathsheba, and when he learned she was pregnant, he had had her husband murdered in battle.
After David confessed his sin, Nathan said to him, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord and given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child that is born to you shall surely die” (2 Samuel 12:13–14).
That’s the first lesson I want you to grasp from this incident. When you fail God, you harm yourself, but you also bring dishonor to His name. Whenever you take a false step, there are those who watch and gleefully point their fingers. The two always go together. Not only do you bring disgrace on the name of the Lord, but you fail yourself. You knew the right but chose the wrong.
As if that were not enough, the evil one also whispers, “See how bad you are. God won’t forgive you. It’s too awful.” Of course, he’s lying, because that’s what he does best. Don’t listen to those words, because there is no sin you’ve committed that God won’t forgive. You may have to carry scars or pay the penalty, but God wipes away the sin.
There’s something else to learn from this: You need to face reality. You sinned. You disobeyed God. What will you do about your sin? You can plead excuses (and most of us are good at that), or you can follow David’s example. When the prophet said, “You are the man…” (2 Samuel 12:7), the king did not deny his wrongdoing or try to justify his actions. David admitted he had sinned and confessed.
He wrote in the psalm quoted earlier: “For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment” (vs. 3–4).
If you follow Jesus Christ, not only are you declaring to yourself, to your family, and to the world your trust in the Savior, but you are also declaring your stand for truth. It’s easy for us to deceive ourselves, but God has called us to be totally, completely, and scrupulously honest in our inner being. Don’t look at what others may get away with or how they justify their behavior. We can’t blame others, the devil, or circumstances.
When you fail, remind yourself that the greatest king of Israel cried out to God and said, “My sin is ever before me” (v. 3). Those sins, failures, or shortcomings (or whatever you may choose to call them) will always be there until you admit them and confess them to the Lord; only then can you know the joy of living with integrity and in truth.
This is the message for you from this final meditation; this is the message of the entire book: Strive to live with truth in your inner being. You—you and God—are the only ones who know what’s in your heart. Live in honesty and truth.
Holy God, David prayed, “You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.” Through Jesus Christ, I plead with You to help me desire truth in my inner being, to live in such a way that I’m as honest and as open with You as I can become. I know that the life You honor is the life You bless. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.