Monday, June 3, 2013

Faith: The Final Step, by Paula Rose Michelson

Faith – The Final Step
Faith gives us the ability to move forward in Messiah, and to pray knowing that it is through our prayers that God teaches, changes, and motivates us to become all He has created and equipped us to do. 

For those of you who wish to be all God wants you to be, I suggest you remember these few well spoken words of our Messiah, Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. And since I believe that all women are happiest when they become Titus two women, I sight from Titius 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Moving Forward in Messiah

Although I have shared with you the beginning steps each woman who sought help took, I told them as I am you, that being in the Lord is not enough for if we are not growing in Him, we are falling away. Because this is human nature, and God knows we are like this, He gave us His Word and shows us in the reading of the Psalms that no matter what we are going through or what we are feeling, others have tread and written about that journey, and that is why this post includes Praying the Psalms for when we pray them, God meets us at the junction where pain and faith intersect.

Praying the Psalms

Within days of claiming redemption in Messiah, I began reading Psalms. I began at the beginning, which is always the best place to start with God. Years later I discovered that the first and second Psalms that my heart devoured are the ones that many scholars believe to be the summation of all Scripture. On my first read of these Psalms, I found them to be amazing, for I realized they encapsulated feelings I and others might be loathed to admit because of the positive or negative value placed upon the words contrasted there that are opposites like:

Verse 1: Blessed (by God) contrasted by the words: wicked, sinners, and mockers. Here God tells that if we avoid bad company as defined above we will be blessed.

Verse 2: Continuing, his thoughts, God shows us that we will be blessed if we delight in: the law (Torah), and mediate upon it (meaning his precepts).

Verse 3 and 4: God promises a blessing to those who do as he asks: here we see that God defines prosperity differently than the world does.

Throughout the remainder of this Psalm, God contrast the behavior that leads to blessing with the behavior one sees in the world.

When I read Psalm 2, I discovered that God was actively involved in everything the nations were doing! That knowledge brought me his shalom (peace) coupled with a desire to become involved in His work. Yet, I found myself wondering what could one person do that would help others see what I had?

Then I remembered that portion of Scripture many Bibles have titled “The Year of the Lord’s Favor” found in Isaiah 61. Turning there I read, from verse 1 through verse 3. The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Awareness Dawns

Suddenly I knew that the very words I had been reading were more than words. They were Scriptural tools that broken people could use to resolve their issues while learning that Godly choices were as close as Gods Word!

If you feel as David did when he wrote Psalm 4, that God is not listening, I suggest you pray David’s words out loud. Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Stop, think about your situation, and speak your own thoughts so that you can hear and own your situation for only in knowing ourselves can we become congruent or chose to change.

In Psalm 6:1 David wrote, Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath…so pray these words, then follow them with your own. Many I have worked with were unable to admit that they could not relate to God because of being raised by an angry father. Praying David’s words in Psalm 6:1, and then praying your own, over time has freed many by giving them the knowledge that since God was not made in the image of a person, the issues that cannot be resolved can be with Him.

Since many Praying the Psalms might not have a reason or know how to rejoice, I conclude this teaching with Psalm 9, verses1-3 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. I have found that praying joyful God breathed words, and stopping to silently ask God what I should pray, praise is upon my lips for I have been released from a trap that enslaved me in a painful reality.

Newness can be experienced daily through praying the Psalms. I say that because although we are told to pray, many times our prayer life is as hollow as a dried stump instead of the vibrant root of Jessie, our Messiah Yeshua that we have either been born or grafted into.

To know which Psalms speak blessings or help heal your heart issues, I suggest that God will quicken the ones He wants you to use. Therefore, begin as I did, read each one aloud, one sentence at a time, pause, then without critiquing what you say, pray. And remember, my friend, God already knows, loves, and wants a personal relationship with you. 

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