I’m going to be working through this book titled “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers. Last time I did this was well over 18 years ago. I remember the journey very well. I remember it being the first time I really felt like God was here with me. Like He was really taking an active role in my life, and not just some all powerful being sitting on a throne watching life happen. The first time I could really hear God speaking to me, joining me as I walked along the path so to speak.
I do not promise to read it every day, because the last time, I didn’t do that. But it seemed as if God had me miss a day or two, just so I could read exactly what I needed to read on exactly the day I needed to read it. It was really cool when it was the day BEFORE I need the verse! Yes, He knows what tomorrow brings. I’m going to trust Him to do the same thing again.
Not sure what kind of blog this will turn out. But I write and share because people tell me it blesses them. So whatever God wants to do with this, He can do! If it blesses you, great!
The way this book works is that each day they use scripture from various places in the Bible and present them as a prayer of praise. I guess if you wanted to join me, just read through the scriptures referenced and make up your own prayer.
So, will you join me in 31 days of Praise?
Highlighted Scripture Psalm 91:1-2
Other scriptures: Psalm 27:5; 71;3; 91:1-2; Matthew 6:25-26; Psalm 23:1-3; Isaiah 62:5b; Zephaniah 3:17-18; Psalm 16:5-6; 107:9; Psalm 57:2; 138:8; 86:5; 103:8; Matthew 22:37; Jeremiah 32:41; Psalm 27:4; 36:7; 63:7
As I read through the prayer of praise, this line stuck out to me:
“my Champion who upholds my cause as His child and defends my highest interests”
Champion, that’s a new way to think of God. So I’m going to find out some more about Him being a Champion. Champion … champion. Cool!
Check out this song – never heard it before: http://youtu.be/GjxnceLeelw
I found this verse Jeremiah 20:11 with the Hebrew word gibbôr, gibbôr translated as Champion. Gibbôr carries the meaning of strong man, brave man, mighty man (noun masculine); by implication warrior, tyrant: – champion,
The Amplified translates it as mighty and terrible One:
But the Lord is with me as a mighty and terrible One; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not overcome [me]. They will be utterly put to shame, for they will not deal wisely or prosper [in their schemes]; their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.
Wow! he confidence one could have with the mindset of God as their Champion.
The same word is used in Nehemiah 9:32
“Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness, Do not let all the hardship seem in significant before You, Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, From the days of the kings of Assyria to this”
How often do we typically see a Champion/Warrior/Mighty also described as one “who keeps covenant and loving kindness?” Only with God I would imagine.
Here it is in Zephaniah 3:17
“The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy”
Exult you with joy, quiet in his Love. Hmmm ponder that for a moment or two.
Interesting enough – a Greek equivalent can be found in these two versus, translated as ‘possible’. Mark 9:23
And Jesus said to him, ” ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.
What do I hear from God in this praise?
I am your Champion. Your persecutors will stumble and they will not overcome, they will be utterly put to shame,. I keep covenant and loving kindness. Your hardship does not seem in significant before me. I am in your midst. I will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. The things that seem impossible to you, are possible with me.
One thing to remember when reading versus like this, is there is usually an ‘if’ statement. I can’t claim something like this if I am plotting something that God would disapprove of. I can’t claim something like this if I am rooting for a certain team to win. I can’t claim something like this unless what I am claiming it for is something of God, for God, and through God. It can not be contrary to God’s word. He will not Champion those things.
We can see this demonstrated when the same Greek word used in Mark 9, and Mark 10, is used in Mark 14 as the word possible, Mark 14:35:
And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by.
This is Jesus here. God was still Jesus’s Champion, just not in the way Jesus wanted at this moment. Ever feel like that?
I think we can find the if statement by looking at another Greek equivalent word – translated here as might in 1 Peter 5:6:
Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you,
So now what do I hear from God?
I am your Champion. If you humble yourself, in due time, your persecutors will stumble and they will not overcome, they will be utterly put to shame,. I keep covenant and loving kindness. Your hardship does not seem in significant before me. I am in your midst. I will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. The things that seem impossible to you, are possible with me.
Want to know how significant this is to me at this very moment? I have been very angry and frustrated with all the attacks against the institution of marriages. Husbands hurting wives, wives hurting husbands. Love being “lost.” Covenants being broken, years together being tossed out the window. Selfishness, self-centeredness, harshness, unforgiveness, all attacking our marriages. People giving advice and so easily saying, leave, get out, end it, you don’t have to put up with that, it isn’t your responsibility. Spouses seeking their own happiness and peace and thinking that getting rid of their “other half” is the answer. Even our laws are attacking God’s description of marriage. It doesn’t even seem to matter how long you have been married anymore. There is a real battle being waged daily. Sometimes I wish it were by “the enemy,” we as Christians could just “cast him out!”. But quite frankly, I don’t think he has to do anything but sit back and watch as we destroy ourselves by choices we make.
Thank you Lord, for that word of assurance as well as instruction.
I believe God will be our Champion when we are fighting for marriages. We just have to humble ourselves. He’s not doing all this for us, marriage is his to defend. This is really an attack against Him. Eventually, those coming against marriage will stumble, they can not overcome what God has designed and created. Those advocating or looking for divorce will be utterly put to shame, God is a God who keeps covenant – marriages are a covenant. We seem to see it as a covenant between two spouses, but the truth is, it is a covenant between each spouse and God. He is a God of loving kindness – truthfully I see this as a cure to many marriage problems – a little loving kindess can go a long way. Our hardships with marriage are not in significant to Him. He is in our midsts. He will rejoice over us with shouts of joy! The things that seem impossible to us – healing broken marriages – are possible with Him!
He knew the pain of my heart, the thoughts of my mind, the concern of my soul – and He spoke directly to it. He can do the same for you, if you take the time to meet with Him!
SIDE NOTE: I can’t tell you the “coolness” of listening to God speak through scripture. No matter how I approach it, He speaks. I wish I could get everyone to do this. This is what I did today in case you want to try it. I promise you, He never fails to meet you there. I read a prayer of Praise, written by someone else, asking God to speak to me. He placed one word in there that caught my eye. I then used that word in a Google search, found 1, ONE, scripture verse with that word translated in the same way, ‘Champion’. Then I did a lexicon search on the Hebrew Word I found in that verse ( http://www.studylight.org/lexicons/hebrew/hwview.cgi?n=1368) I read down through the scriptures where that word could be found looking for all the references to God as a Champion/Warrior. Then looked at the equivalent words in Greek. And there you have it.