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Advent 2016: Christ Was Born For This: Day 17

A King Represents His People Before God

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Today's Text: 2 Kings 23:1-3, Psalm 2:1-12, Psalm 89:1-4, Daniel 2:21, Romans 8:34

Text: 2 Kings 23:1-3, Psalm 2:1-12, Psalm 89:1-4, Daniel 2:21, Romans 8:34

A king represents his people before God. When Israel’s kings followed the Lord, the nation experienced God’s blessing. But when her kings rejected the Lord, the people often suffered for it because the king represented the nation. Often, as it went for the king, so it went for the people.

I’ve never liked politics. I try to toe the line somewhere between being a responsible and engaged citizen and maintaining my sanity through a healthy dose of blissful ignorance. It isn’t that I don’t care; it’s the opposite. I do care, and the implications of political decisions overwhelm me. How can frail, human shoulders bear so much weight?

Israel’s kings knew this weightiness well, in a way our modern-day leaders often seem to forget. They knew from experience the far-reaching implications of how they chose to represent their people before God. When they followed the Lord, the nation experienced God’s blessing. But when a king rejected the Lord, the people often suffered for it because the king represented the nation. Often, as it went for the king, so it went for the people.

Take Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, for example. He feared the Lord, and during the third year of his reign, he sent 16 teachers throughout the land to reeducate the people about God’s law.

“The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments… Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand… And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat.”
- 2 Chronicles 17:3-5, 10

Zedekiah, on the other hand, did not fear the Lord. Some 300 years (and a full gamut of good and bad kings) later, King Zedekiah “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” and God “cast them out from his presence.” Finally, “in the ninth year of his reign… Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it” (Jeremiah 52:2-4). It was at the close of yet another unrighteous king’s reign that the temple was burned (52:13), the walls of Jerusalem were broken down (52:14), and nearly 5,000 of God’s chosen people were exiled to Babylon (52:30).

As it went for the king, so it went for the people—for better and for worse.

When a king interceded on behalf of his people, the nation was often protected from outside attacks. When he educated them in the law of the Lord and walked in the ways of God, the nation would experience blessing.

The kingdoms of Israel and Judah remained at the mercy of their good and bad kings throughout the Old Testament, but a King of kings would come—One who walked perfectly with God, though we and our kings do not. Even the good kings had flaws, and Israel would always be in need of righteous representation before God. But one King was coming—indeed, He is already here!—who would be our righteous representative.

It may not always appear as though our King represents us the way we wish He would, or that He protects us from wars and exile and destruction the way we think He should, but “our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).

Jesus Christ, our perfect and just King, rules above all kings of earth—past, present, and future. We place our hope in Him today—not in “men who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3), but in our righteous, forever King.

Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). Thanks be to God!

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  • I really needed the reminder of Ephesians 6:12 today. I so often forget that our war is not here. The day-to-day struggles are so much more than what they appear to be. When I look at those struggles in that way, it makes it so much easier to let Him fight for me. My dad and my brother both have Dementia, and this has been one of the most difficult Christmas seasons for my family, especially my sweet Mama. She keeps asking why, and though she knows our war is not here, it’s a difficult concept to grasp when you’re right in the middle of circumstances you just cant wrap your brain around. I don’t even know how many people are still finishing up this study that I’m so far behind on, but if you are, please whisper a little prayer for my family, especially my Mama. Thanks so much!

    • NIKA,CA

      HI Cheri, I’m behind too! And I’m praying for you and your family.!!

  • This is a remarkable invitation for me. I have never really reflected on Jesus being my perfect king, nor the aspects in this and the surrounding days’ messages. The mirror of Jesus and Old Testament kings is profoundly compared and contrasted in this message. I am touched and invited to explore this more in the next couple of days as today is Christmas Eve.

  • Diane Smith

    I love this community of faithful sisters who work at their salvation,grapple with truth so Jesus is glorified. He will make a way through our current social ills. In Canada,we have our own dragons to slay, “our struggle though is not with flesh and blood” therefore,Im reminded again of this verse in Romans that gives me clarity and freedom
    34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

  • Yesterday morning I read this Bible study out loud to my dear, sweet mother-in-law. Shorty after, she moved to her permanent residence in heaven and she got to see her King Jesus. What a sweet time I had with her. Thank you SRT for creating something that is easy to read, powerful and portable.

    • Candy

      So sorry for your loss Bonnie. It’s hard to lose either of your moms. I am glad that you are celebrating her in her new home!

  • Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Today’s reading made me realize the importance of praying for our leaders and be grateful that we serve the King above all kings!

  • I think it’s important to recognize that it is a form of privilege to maintain a “blissful ignorance about politics.” There are people across the country, especially after the election of a man who won with overtly racist and misogynist comments, who cannot afford to maintain a blissful ignorance about politics. It is this blissful ignorance that perpetuates hate and structural racism by being complicit in it. While the rulers of this earth will never be our True King, if Jesus were here today he would defend those that are currently the victims of hate crimes and other forms of oppression. As Jesus-following Christians, blissful ignorance is not an option. I pray that all of us can grow to speak truth and stop the silence that permeates Christian culture.

    • Katherine

      God does not tolerate sin now. We see its effects all around us, and will until the end of this world. It is the greatest tragedy of all. Yet Christ the King died on a cross to save us from these sins, giving us the freedom from bondage. While we live in the world we cannot bear all the burdens surrounding us. We are not called to. Yes, we love those around us to the best of our God given ability, but we are to take those burdens we shoulder and lay them at Christ’s feet, and HE will bring ultimate, perfect and righteous justice in His own timing. He is coming! This is such a wonderful time to remember that He has come, and will come again. O come, O come, Emmanuel!

    • Naomi

      Jeana, you do not necessarily echo the sentiments of most Christians. As Christians we need to be careful not to buy into the liberal media and Hollywood’s very twisted version of the truth. It still boggles my mind that a Christian would even think to support a political candidate/party that supports an anti-Christian agenda. Modern liberalism tosses out scripture on many levels. Progressivism’s aggressive desire to eradicate Christians’ rights should cause Christians everywhere to be very concerned. I don’t think Donald Trump is a racist. That is an opinion perpetuated by Hollywood and the media. But as a Christian, I am more concerned about issues like abortion, the sovereignty of marriage, and the threats against the Judeo-Christian values and principles that formed the rock-solid foundation of our great country. I am in no way saying that Donald Trump is perfect. I am far from perfect, but I’m so glad we serve a mighty King who IS! As Raechel so eloquently phrased it, “One who walked perfectly with God, though we and our kings do not.”
      “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
      Isaiah 9:6

      • Linda Ruth Ciglen

        Dear sisters Jeana, Katherine, and Naomi and all the Shes, this is such a loaded topic with such potential for the enemy to use to wound and divide. I’m going to quote some wise words here from Jennie Allen: “Our politics should not define us, our Bible and our God define us! I think we can all agree that we can hate racism AND be pro-life. This moment in history requires more compassion than we could ever drum up in ourselves. We need God to face this division today – we need His way here. A full, beautiful, kind, unafraid way. I want to say something here that I pray you all will hear with all the tenderness and kindness I feel as I write these words. All hell is ripping us apart, Church. In defending our ‘values’ we have pulled out swords and wielded them in the name of God (both liberal and conservative). We have responded more out of our fear than our faith. As we navigate these trying times, let’s promise each other:
        – to lean in,
        – to fight FOR each other,
        – to listen instead of react,
        – to seek to understand.
        And for now let’s pray our guts out for every person that just humbly and simply is more afraid today than they were a few weeks ago. Regardless of politics, we can rally around them. We can pray for them.”

      • Sarah Trammell

        Naomi, It really offends me that you would say the candidates I and many Christians I know would support an “anti-Christian agenda”. Conservatives throw out scripture on many levels as well. Jesus says to give to the poor, to love and accept everyone (including LGBTQ people) and to be hopeful. My Truth is different from yours, that doesn’t mean I love Jesus any less. God bless!

        • Bonnie

          Sarah, please don’t buy in to the lie that there are different truths for different people. The Truth is found in God’s Word and His name is Jesus.

    • Beth

      Jeanne, I had similar thoughts as I read that phrase. Thanks for sharing your heart. I agree with Linda’s comment below that we need to approach the conversations with love and seeking understanding. At the same time, we MUST have these conversations, church. We cannot shut down dissenting voices in the name of unity. We need to humble ourselves and admit we have it wrong in many ways (of course) and be willing to lay down all of our preconceived thoughts and feelings to let our hearts be moved by Jesus. If the institution of the American evangelical church is no longer reflecting who Jesus is and His love, there may be a problem with our institutions. If the people running those institutions think there’s not a problem, maybe there’s a problem with those people. All of this has to be on the table for each of us who follow Christ.

      • Beth

        Jeana–sorry I got your name wrong–I couldn’t scroll back up while I was typing so I guessed, but that’s annoying :)

        • Linda Ruth Ciglen

          So agree with you, Beth! I believe in these times Jesus is calling His church to step up and come alongside , as Jeana put it, “those that are currently the victims of hate crimes and other forms of oppression.” And as we do so, we are:
          – to lean in,
          – to fight FOR each other,
          – to listen instead of react,
          – to seek to understand.
          Lord Jesus, we ask for the grace and courage to step up as You are calling us.

    • Marilyn

      Jeana, I agree with you, and I support you in this. We who are privileged cannot understand what it’s like to live with systemic racism and microaggressions on a daily basis. Too often, we as Christians are more concerned about protecting our rights than about seeking justice for those who are oppressed. Jesus was not about seeking His rights. He gave them up for all of us, even to the point of giving up His life. “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last of all.”

  • Slightly off topic but I am looking for a great bible. What do all of you use daily?

  • Stephanie

    Christ is truly the only one who is worthy to be called King. There are so many accounts in the scriptures where kings lead their people astray. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We study the Bible as well as the Book Of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ. In this book, Mosiah 29, it explains all of the reasons why only God is fit to be King. Including Mosiah 29:12 which reads “Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgements of God are always just , but the judgements of men are not always just.” For this and many other reasons I am grateful for a just and loving Savior who looks on the heart and gives us grace to repent and be welcomed home to his light and love. He is the only king we need.

  • SRT team or anyone with a Twitter account: I think this post would be awesome to tweet at Donald Trump. He’s all I could think about while reading the commentary. As many have said, whether you voted for him or not, like him or not, he will very soon be inaugurated as our new president and he needs our prayers. And who knows, perhaps he would actually read this and take it to heart!
    PS-I’m only on FB or I would totally do it myself! But maybe if many people tweet this, he would be more likely to check it out. :)

  • I absolutely love Ephesians 6 – our battle truly is not against each other.. even when it comes down to politics. We are all on the same team and in this together.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Keri McCue

    “Even the good kings had flaws” – So often I think we forget this! Even good people, husbands, families, bosses, even they have flaws. And so do we! But yet, we put these people (and ourselves) before God. We rely on what we can see and who we have in our presence now. Lord, remind us that YOU are the only perfect King and that you are always good, even when we can’t understand!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Thank you for this today. As I see conflict in our nation so polarized yet one nation. Then I read today’s verses. I prayed during this election season as did others but I know in my heart that God’s plan is right on track and he doesn’t make mistakes. Sometimes as Americans we think we have it all but we don’t if we don’t allow God to do what He has planned, I am with you Raechel about politics. I also feel blessed and my job is to pray for the nations of the world.
    God bless his children today and every day. LOVE

  • Carrie Rogers

    Yes, yes, yes! Amen ❤️ I love how this pulls together the Old & New Testament and points us to the King of kings.

  • I love this Bible study!! Since it’s for women, maybe you could consider using a gender inclusive Bible translation?? Maybe NRSV. That translation for Psalm 146:3 is “in mortals, in whom there is no help.” It just seems appropriate! :) Just a thought to make a great study even better!

    • Carrie

      Great idea!

    • Hannah C

      I agree!! In most cases the original language was actually inclusive or was intended to be inclusive. While English used to use men for all people, that hasn’t really been how it’s been understood for years.

      If you use the app, you can choose your translation (though that’s not free). I always look up the scriptures in my own Bible – that’s what everyone did at the beginning of SRT – I prefer that!

  • Dear Lost? I can tell you this. The focus is on God and how great He is not on us and what we can do. When we worship God we show how we love Him and how we see Him to be pure and holy and righteous. When we are saved it is Him who changes us. We just have to be willing to let Him. Pray asking Him to do just that and as you read your Bible and meditate on the Word He will begin to work change into your heart if you sincerely want it. But you have to ask Him for it everyday. You have to know there is nothing you can do but seek Him. He provides all things even our desire to grow so ask Him to give that to you. Ask Him to place submissiveness in your heart and be willing to be broken before Him. Pour your heart out to Him and He will hear you and do His work in you. I also agree with Jess. Our battle is a spiritual one and the enemy does not want to give us over to the other side. I will be praying for you. Don’t give up.

  • Everyday I am so inspired by how eloquent and passionate so many of your written prayers and comments are! I am wired differently where mine seem so flat and lack the emotions that others can do easily share. But through you all I am able to pray in agreement… thank you.

    • SusieP

      Exactly! Thank you, ladies, for sharing with me your prayers. People have said I have a way with words, but when it comes to prayer, I often feel downright tongue-tied. I have actually begun a log of the wonderful prayers I encounter in this group – and refer to them regularly! Merry Christmas!

  • We fight FROM victory, not for victory.

  • Lost? Your heart felt cry this morning has really touched me. Your struggles are felt by many. There is a song by Casting Crowns called “The Voice of Truth” that speaks to this struggle. Anyone reading this I ask you to listen to this song and pray for Lost? And others that want desperately to walk in the truth of our Lord. To those that may be home bound, Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida has three live streaming services each Sunday. You will feel a connection to this church family.

  • Mandie Maass

    “As it went for the King, so it went for the people.” Those words are resonating with me this morning. Thinking of Christ, leaving the comforts of heaven, “being born of a woman, under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might be adopted to sonship.” (Galatians 4:4-5) Praise God, we are co-heirs with Christ! As it has went for our King, so it has went for us.

  • “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavens.”

    The verse above is our marriage verse. My husband and I do marriage counseling together and we talk about this verse with our couples getting married. Their battle isn’t against each other but it’s a battle they fight together against their flesh and spiritual forces of evil. The devil wants us to think otherwise.

    As our country moves forward I am reminded by this verse and Daniel 2:21 that my job is to pray alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ against our fleshly desires, against the evil forces at work, pray for the salvation of our leaders and pray their eyes, ears and hearts will be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit to lead in wisdom.

  • Sisters, I need help and prayers. There is so much sin in my life, so much wickedness in my mind, and yet, I’m still in love with the sin and misery. I don’t desire change enough to make any changes – I only have head knowledge that things need to be different but I don’t know how to direct that knowledge from my head to my heart.

    I’ve made sure that I’m reading Biblical devotions as well as the Bible itself every day. I make sure to pray each day, even if all I can manage are short, half-hearted prayers. I have an accountability partner. And I know that these things are all ways of getting closer to Jesus and they’re not meant to make me righteous, but I still feel like my love for Him isn’t increasing like it should. I’ve been told that when you focus on Jesus, your desire for sin naturally decreases and I don’t understand why that’s not happening for me. Could it be that I’m not trying hard enough, even though faith isn’t supposed to be about trying hard? I feel too exhausted to try any harder. But when I tell myself messages of grace and resting in Him…..all that happens is that I take advantage of that grace and grow more apathetic.

    I wonder sometimes if I’m not a genuine believer, because I feel as if I would be bearing different fruit if I was….but if my faith isn’t true, I don’t know how to change that. I don’t know how to “make” myself believe harder.

    Unfortunately I also struggle with my health which makes it hard for me to leave the house, and as a result, I’m not connected with a local church and I don’t have many opportunities to serve others besides trying to send nice messages to people on the Internet. I’ve had people online tell me that I wouldn’t be struggling with my faith if I was a part of the church, but that just makes me feel guilty rather than inspiring me to try to force myself outside. And I’m confused about why God is allowing me to struggle like this when it’s not making me any better. I’m just breaking, and feeling less, and caring less about everything every day. I don’t know what to do.

    I’m sorry this message is so long and negative. But I know that it’s easier to bear burdens when they’re shared with others, and since I don’t have a local community but I know this online community is loving and welcoming, I thought I’d try reaching out. Thank you in advance to anyone who can share some encouragement, advice, or prayers. And Merry Early Christmas as well. <3

    • Katie

      Praying for you- praying you would tangibly feel and know Christ’s love for you, and that the chains of sin would be broken. “Greater is the one who is in you, than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

    • Beth

      Praying for you this morning – I have no answers but keep putting your faith and trust in God and think about things that are good and right. You are a daughter of the Lord. He sees you and knows your heart. <3

    • Michelle

      I don’t have great advice but will pray for you right now. I sometimes have the same struggles of wondering if I’m a true believer when I don’t always “feel” what I think I should feel. But I think that is Satan making me feel not enough. God loves us even in our brokenness and imperfection.

      • Becky

        I, too, prayed for you. The struggle is real because we have a real enemy. As we were reminded this morning, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual powers of darkness. Not sure if it will help, but my advice is, “Don’t give up the fight! And remember that God is fighting for you! No matter how long it takes to find freedom and peace, keep reading the Word and talking to God.”

      • Heather (MNmomma)

        me too……and I firmly believe it is Satan playing on my feeling “not good enough”…a sin I have wrestled with since childhood (had a step father who was very vocal on my lack of being “enough” “worthy”, etc)….praying these chains are broken….
        Joining in prayer this morning….covering you and lifting you up <3

      • Sarah

        I have these same doubts often as well, that I’m not a “true believer.” I think it is Satan working against me as well. Unluckily for him, it pushes me to pursue God more, to study more, to seek him more when I doubt. Because the scariest thing to me is to lose my faith. I want to do everything in my power to be strong in it, and not to lose it.

        • Beth

          Good has told us in His word that we cannot lose our salvation, it is eternal. If we have truly repented and asked Him to be our savior then it is eternal and nothing we do or anyone does can take that from us. Once His always His. I am his daughter eternally, John 10:28-29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:11-13. As I can do nothing to be unborn from my parents, and no longer be their daughter, so with God, I can not be unborn from His family once I have been born again into His family, John 1:12; John 6:37. It doesn’t matter what I feel, my feelings change. It is what God says and He does not change. So I base my security and salvation on His promise to me, not on what I do or what I think or feel.

    • Brittany

      Dear Lost, I’ll be praying. I too have struggled in my life with persistent sin and I KNOW for certain, I believe God the Father has called me and saved me through His son. I believe it is to show me that I need a Savior. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Rest sister in His Grace and love, keep reading, keeping seeking, keep praying. Don’t give up.

    • Cristy

      #1 – God is NOT the author of confusion. It

    • Cristy

      sounds like the devil is playing mind games with you my dear sister. What a miserable struggle that CANNOT be overcome with trying harder or making yourself do more. The only thing I know to tell you, is to pray the scriptures. Truly believe what God has already told you – He meant it. It is not His desire for you to be bound up in confusion on where you stand with him. Remember that salvation is not tied to a feeling or emotion, but a knowledge about who your Savior is and a desire to walk with Him.

      • Bg

        Cristy expressed my thoughts very well. The enemy would like for you to be confused, especially as you seek to draw closer to Jesus. Praying for your peace. Rest in his faithfulness and trust in his word.

    • Sarah

      I will be praying for you. About 6 years ago, I was in a place in my life where I did not feel connected to God but I knew I wanted to get back there. I, too, read the Bible but that didn’t fix everything right away. It is not about how hard you work. You are seeking God. He will pursue you. He already is pursuing you even though you may not know it. In that time for me, I gave up praying lofty prayers and kept a journal where I wrote my prayers to God more as just a conversation with Him. Often times, it was expressing my anger. Asking Him why I felt this way. Answers didn’t come right away, but as I gave up control over finding that “feeling” of being connected, prayed honestly to Him, and read the Bible with the goal of learning about His character (not how the Bible applies to ME), He pulled me closer to Him.

    • Rie

      “Just keep swimming” My husbands’ words….. He tells everybody to just keep swimming in Gods’ word. Read it all the time, every chance you get. The devil tries hard to make us doubt what we believe. He makes us think and rethink. But We have one stronger within us. We have theHoly Spirit to guide us and help us. Do not lose hope. Continue to pray for His guidance and He will show you the way. If you do not belong to a church then try to get involved with a church that has o line services…..or maybe listen to some wonderful teaching and preaching. My husband and I did that for a couple of months before we started attending church. We listened and took an active part in the bible studies. With Bible, notebooks and pen in hand. But most importantly pray. Talk to Him who holds all things. Remember He is your portion….
      ❤️ ((hugs))

    • Mary

      Dear sister I hear your cry and so does our great God. You precious one are not lost. You are found! By the very fact that you are even concerned about the things you’ve written declares that you are a true believer, or else you wouldn’t be at all bothered by any of it. One thing I’ve learned is that the battle is in our minds. My mentor and friend had me to memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5 ” Casting down imaginations and any high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” You see the enemy does not want you to have peace and grow into Chist ever. He is a sly old fox, but greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.-1 John 4:4. Here are a few scriptures to stay your mind on; Romans 8:31-39, Hebrews 4:12, Psalms 61:1-2, also 94:19. Dear one begin to search the scriptures and know who you are in Christ so to close the enemy’s mouth. I pray for the Lord to close the voices of the world, the flesh, and the devil off of you and may the voice you hear be the Holy Spirit today. Be at peace my sister in Christ, He is near to you. Lord Jesus manifest Yourself to this child of Yours today. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

      • DebbieinAZ

        Good Morning. I agree with Mary. Scripture memorization is one of the best ways to renew your mind. We all deal with sin in our lives, and the enemy wants us to feel defeated by it. I’ve found the when I’m overwhelmed by sinful or negative thoughts, when I turn to those scriptures that I memorized long ago, the peace of God, that passes all understanding comes. Fill your mind with good, pure thoughts and you wont have room in there for what the enemy wants you to think about. And when those sinful thoughts do come, say out loud something like this, “I reject that thought and cast it down. I will not allow anything to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. I take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.” Then replace the negative thought with a pure positive one. Example, if my sin is gluttony and the thought that I should eat a whole cake comes to mind, I would say, “I am in control of what goes into my body. I eat only what is healthy for me.”

        This takes practice, but it does work. And by asking God to help you take your thoughts captive, you have a strong ally on your side that cannot be defeated. I’m praying that God walks with you through this time. That he gives you the strength to say no to sin and breaks the fear that is binding you to that sin. In the name of Jesus, amen.

        • Trying to be better.....

          Thank you for this! I am struggling with my thought life as well. I will try these tactics! Bless yoU!

    • Shannon

      The verse that comes to my heart for you is: Habakkuk 3:17-19 “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruits be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no heard in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Our emotions are not always an accurate reflection of Truth. You can believe what scripture says even when your emotions are telling you otherwise. Our hearts are terribly deceptive, but God’s Word is always true. Cristy mentioned praying the scriptures and I encourage you to do this as well. Identify the lies you are struggling with (about your salvation, about your worth, about sin and righteousness) and read the Word and find the truth and pray the truth, over and over again. Know that we are praying with and for you as well! That you will be able to rejoice in God, your savior, even when the harvest seems bleak!

    • Morgan

      Seek the Lord and his strength;
      seek his presence continually!
      1 Chronicles 16:11
      Praying for you!

    • Zoe

      Lost, I struggle with persistent sins and with periods of closeness as well as distance between myself and God. I struggle most when I feel that I don’t have enough to do, which happens easily to me when I’m cooped up at home. You are enduring difficult circumstances. They say that idle time is the devils time. I pray that you find ways to bring structure, joy, and purpose to your days. That your idle time may become time for you and the Lord–and time for friendship with others. If you are interested, a great bible church in Forney, TX called Free Life does live streaming on the internet and offers other resources. You are cherished and loved deeply. Keep up the good fight. ♥️

    • Keri

      I am praying for you right now!! So many others have said it so well… This is a spiritual battle, but our God is victorious… & through Him you are too! I’d like to suggest that you read Brennan Manning’s book, “The Ragamuffin Gospel.” It helped to reveal God’s heart and grace to me in a way that truly changed my life. He comes for the ragamuffins, the down trodden, the discarded… those who know they can’t do it alone. Our extreme failures can magnify our great need for Christ. Those who need Him the greatest can fully experience the immensity of His love the most. And He will continue to transform you… little by little, to look more and more like Him. Journaling your prayers is an awesome suggestion as well… I’ve used the acronym, PRAISE (praise, repentance, acknowledgement – of our need for Him, intercession – praying for others, supplication – praying for myself, and equipping – praying for God to equip me with what I need to live fully for Him) to help guide me when beginning to journal. You are not alone!! God has promised that He will never abandon us… especially us ragamuffins who are desperately in need of His precious grace!

    • April Heather

      Lost-your prayers and thoughts and feelings weigh on my heart this morning. I think we’ve all experienced times where we were not as close to Jesus as we wanted-or knew we should be. But I pray for your sweet serenity in knowing this–He’s already got you, girl. You are His. And always will be. Let go of your guilt. Embrace your imperfections. You don’t have to be more, do more, have more. You are worthy and you are enough. He meets us where we are. Right here. Right now. Love you. ❤️

    • Kristina

      Dear sweet sister, God will do the “work” for you. Don’t quit, keep seeking Jesus and filling your mind with the truth. I use phrases that I repeat to myself, “Jesus I feel defeated but you say you have won the victory for me, I trust you and choose to believe. ” Another phrase I use daily is “I trust you Jesus” Rest, sweet sister, and ask God to do the work in your mind, your heart, your soul.

    • Rachel Hill

      a small group of people at my church did a study together on the book, “How People Change” by Paul Tripp. http://www.paultripp.com/how-people-change The book is filled with Biblical truth and Scripture, along with practical wisdom for walking according to the Truth. Jennie Allen also has a study called “Stuck” that I just started – it’s filled with Scripture, reflective questions, and journaling – really good for my heart! Maybe for yours too?

    • Skigranny1

      Dear Lost Praying for you along with and in agreement all my SRT sisters. You are deeply loved and cherished. More than you can ever understand. But just know it’s true. The Lord desires you to walk in the freedom and victory that can only come from Him. Know that He is your advocate and will fight for you.

    • Catie

      Without repeating over again what others have already said, I totally identify with you in my past. If you can find a Christian recovery program I think it would benefit you greatly. It should be a safe place to struggle openly with faithful people walking beside you, helping you. Remember that God isn’t a feeling. There are times when you would “feel” him there but faith and His truth says he is always there and always close. I write from time to time about how God moves in my own life, I typically don’t try to promote but think you may find encouragement from my blog and the website I write for. keptnear.wordpress.com and even more so, gritandgraceproject.org (there’s a section for battered faith too). Hoping you can find a online church who speaks truth. I would absolutely recommend the Village church out of Dallas (all sermons available on app).

    • B

      As you said church is difficult to get to, but have you ever considered an online church “venue”. I know of several churches that have live services online with chat features to discuss during the sermon. I know Chase Oaks Church out of Plano, TX and Crossings Community Church out of Oklahoma City both have these available. Not sure where you are located, but thought that might be helpful! I know more and more churches are offering this option.

      Obviously if you can get to a local church that is the best and #1 option, but in my opinion I would think that this would be a better option than none!

    • Whitney A.

      Sounds like the Lord is working and you are in a valley right now…I wanted to share with you Ephesians 2:4-10 the concept that if you believe in Jesus you are seated with Him in the heavenly realms. I just read a whole book about it (“Seated With Christ” by Heather Holleman) and it’s a transformative concept. You don’t have to struggle with shame over your sin because you’re not earning your seat, you’re not competing for your seat, you’re not waiting for your seat, you’re already seated. Since you are seated, you are free to look at what is keeping you from Christ without condemnation, and you are free to do the good works that He has prepared beforehand for you to do, whatever that looks like in your situation. He knew that you would struggle with your health, with sin, with doubt, but He called you and loves you anyway. Rest in that today my sister! The more appealing Jesus looks, the less appealing sin becomes. You are free.

    • Hannah C

      Sending love. I believe God gives so much grace, grace upon grace… if he loves us so much, he surely does not want us to hate ourselves. I hope this helps somehow, maybe you can lean on that…

      I have mental health issues that went unaddressed for years…and when they finally were addressed I realized my reality didn’t match with the reality of many others who had given well-meaning advice. There can be more going on, and people’s struggles are different. Now that I have treatment it is easier for me. I have realized that before, where they could will themselves to do things, I could not. Now I can, though some days I can’t. But there is always grace. God gives grace; I am still learning to give myself grace and try again tomorrow.

      Rob Bell’s books and Sarah Bessey’s book Out of Sorts have been especially helpful to me. Ann Voskamp’s first book was too; I haven’t yet read her second book, but I’ve heard nothing but good about it.

      Grace and peace to you.

    • Alexis

      I prayed for you. I often struggle with thoughts about not being saved enough, or worthy enough and also have a persistant sin that I am working with God to let go. The fact that you reached out to us here shows that you are seeking and loving God. He hears you, he knows your pain and he is with you every step of the way in this battle. A verse I often use when I feel like throwing in the towel is Joshua 1:9. It helps center and ground me when I am feeling weak. I hope it can be a help to you too.
      Also I attend a church here in California that has live stream every Sunday. They also have the sermons on youtube if you’d like to watch. The pastor’s name is Sandi Querin and the church is called the Revival Center. It has blessed me greatly being a part of this church; I hope it can bless you too. http://abbasheart.com/

    • Amen

      So many blessings are being bestowed upon you and our community on this day!
      It is never easy to reach out and admit being Lost, but so much strength is gained because you are telling us your story and asking for prayers.

      Making change requires becoming comfortable with your new self.
      That also means becoming comfortable with the changes you experience while you are shifting and letting go of the old as you transition into the new.
      You have clearly written how you are already so very uncomfortable with being your old self.

      Look here again and read all the words you have written, and those this community of yours has written: can you see that you are already amidst taking your own positive steps toward making that change from the old you into the new you? Look above and below these lines you are reading, and embrace all the blessed replies, and receive the strength and courage specifically sent your way!

      Your church is here, even if it is virtually by choice. But too, embrace how you recognize where others have failed one of the true definitions of church (https://gotquestions.org/what-is-the-church.html). Yes, it helps to go to a community to be with others in person, but sometimes, too, a community of others can be invited into your own home when you cannot go out. So pick up the phone or type out an email and invite a church member to come visit you whereever you are. Perhaps someone can give you a ride to volunteer with them so you can be with others on a regular basis. Somewhere, someone aches to help you do this. Reach out to the new place where you feel God’s tug at your heartstrings, and not toward the old sinful places with which you are now vividly uncomfortable. Breathe deep and keep reaching out, it is what He and we want you to do!

      If it is difficult to leave the house, at least open a window to let out the old or stale air, because you are making room to welcome in the new and fresh air. Add to your daily routine, this secret joy of opening your door or window, and welcome more of the new fresh air into your life, and then thank the old for leaving. Stand or sit on the porch or in the doorway and let in the sunshine, brisk air, raindrops or snowflakes. Thank God for letting you notice the earth and things He created and placed outside your door. Find something new to notice each day, and thank Him for putting them there for you to see.

      God bless your journey through this change from the old into the new you.
      Merry Christmas!

    • Colleen

      Wow! So many great scriptures and messages of encouragement here!! You are not alone, Lost!! I think we all experience periods of doubt and dullness. I know I do….especially in the mundane times of life. I will be praying for you. ❤️ Heavenly Father, please draw this dear one close to Yourself. Please reveal Your presence to her as she searches Your word for guidance. Thank you for all the scriptures that have been shared and please teach all of us as we read through them. This season is a time of waiting, of hopeful longing for the Messiah to be revealed. Please fill ‘Lost’ with HOPE as she continues to long for you. Amen. Hang in there, friend!!! Praying that Jesus would quench your thirst for Him!!

    • churchmouse

      Beloved, He sees you. He cares about you. You are not lost to Him. Transformation takes time. You developed old sin habits over time and it may take time to break totally free from them. But remember He came to break those chains and indeed He sees you as already free in Him. Be kind to yourself. The wonderful folks here who have commented have shared great advice and encouragement. Please consider just listing each bit of advice on a piece of paper. Then assign each one to a day on your calendar. You will have one scripture or one activity to do each day. You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed. And keep reaching out here. This is a good safe place. Blessings to you.

    • Lauren

      Praying for you. It is true that being in community is essential for spiritual growth, but luckily, we have community right here at SRT! That being said, I would highly recommend you check out Watermark Church at http://www.watermark.org/ and listen to their sermons aswell as their app “The Porch”. On this app, there are so many different subjects that I think you will find truly helpful and encouraging. Praying for you in this season!

    • Beth

      God has told us in His word that we cannot lose our salvation, it is eternal. If we have truly repented and asked Him to be our savior then it is eternal and nothing we do or anyone does can take that from us. Once His always His. I am his daughter eternally, John 10:28-29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:11-13. As I can do nothing to be unborn from my parents, and no longer be their daughter, so with God, I can not be unborn from His family once I have been born again into His family, John 1:12; John 6:37. It doesn’t matter what I feel, my feelings change. It is what God says and He does not change. So I base my security and salvation on His promise to me, not on what I do or what I think or feel.

    • Cynthia

      Your struggle is evidence your faith is real! Follow the advice from churchmouse. This community is loving and kind and full of wisdom. Continue to read the Scriptures every day. Truth and Wisdom are found in them. Praying for you in this. Remember Jesus is holding on to you tighter than you can hold on to Him. He never loses one of His own! Never!

  • As the king went so it went for the people-for better or for worse. How about our country and the president? Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not we need to pray for him to seek the Lord and for the Lord’s hand to guide him. Pray he makes God his king.

  • Thank God that we are not our own representatives, that we have Jesus as King. I really needed this today! The #SheReadsTruth community has been such a blessing to me these past few months

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so grateful for you, friend! Thanks for reading along.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • churchmouse

    It is precisely because our battle is not against flesh and blood that we need to be in steadfast prayer for the leaders of all the nations. Precisely because we know the end of the story we need to be in steadfast prayer because the trials will be severe and the time short. God has spoken and we had best listen. The battle is raging even now and we are His army. Let us not grow weary or complacent. The battle is not somewhere over there. It is here and now in the unseen realm. We fight on our knees. Oh sisters, these Scriptures and Rachel’s devotion are a clarion call for such a time as this.

  • Christina

    I was so excited to see Psalm 2 in our reading this morning. This psalm has been a healing balm to my soul through the recent election… Really, the only calming constant in a storm of wanting to honor God with my responsibility and being made aware of where I, socially, fall so short in being the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting and needy.

    It is such a comfort to know that God inserts rulers for His use and glory, even when those rulers make poor decisions. And He laughs at the plans of wicked rulers. He has won the ultimate victory in Christ. Even though we may not see the fulfillment of His victory in our lifetime on this earth, we can be confident that this story is HIStory.

    I have no idea where we will be, even a year from now, but I know the One who knows all. I am the child of the King who represents me to Whom it counts. I pray each of us can endure whatever may come with the grace and love and faith provided only by He Who holds us in the palm of His hand as He causes all things to work for His glory. May we go out and be the hands and feet of the King to those who need His touch!

  • yes, our battle is not against flesh and blood. the devil is real, and the weapons of our warfare are spiritual. I need this reminder when my flesh tries to “handle” things. God has already won the war, he wears the vicious crown!

  • What an awful time to have been around…your life and situations depended on what your king did or didn’t do…If God was upset with him, you payed the/a price…ugh, how terrible would that have been..he did something that displeased God and you and yours, the subjects suffered for it as well as he, because we came as a ‘ package’… its like saying …I do something and my whole family go to the chair, or are beheaded, or are imprisoned…

    I want to say Thank you Lord God, right now for the times I am in.., but most importantly I would like to say Thank you Lord God, for Jesus Christ …our perfect and just King of kings, who rules above all kings of earth, and in whom we have hope….

    Thank you Lord God, thank you…x

    Wishing you a very Blessed Tuesday, praying the lord God turn His face to shine on you as you go through your day….xxxx

    • Tina

      Absolutely will sing of the Lords faithful love today and always…xxxx

      This came to mind….The Cross stands …

      https://youtu.be/2NHmZYAsk88
      Xx

      • Bet

        Today is not so different. We reaped many years of fruitfulness when our leaders feared God. There are many countries where the citizens suffer today because of such evil leaders, example: Syria, Iraq, Iran, and many many others. Families (wives and children) when the husband and father does not take his role as the spiritual leader in the family, or when he lives in repeated sin. The family pays the higher consequence. I know I have been there. I thank the Lord that after many years my husband finally repented of his sin and things changed greatly, but I suffered very, very greatly and so did our children. Now he wishes he could take it all back, but that is not possible. We are so thankful that God is a God of second chances and He has allowed much restoration for our family. I am so proud of him and so thankful to God for giving him back to us as a godly man now.

  • Alice Carroll

    This reminds me that although I am preoccupied with the material aspects of my life (where I will live, what job I will do etc) God is interested in my spiritual life. It matters not what I will achieve here – what matters is the richness of my soul.

  • As I do this study shortly after midnight, I am reminding myself that my battles aren’t with people, God will take care of that for me. I have to keep the faith. My job is what Psalm 89:1 says” I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever.” Sometimes that is very difficult. This was a timely reminder to me tonight that I must keep the faith and He will see me through.

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