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Friday, November 23, 2012

Amish farm in Lancaster County, PA
We have this beautiful view behind our home, although this photo was taken earlier in the season, as this tree is now practically bare.

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"In The Secret Place"

“When I thought to understand this, it was too painful for me until I went to the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:16,17).

Man reading newspaper
This morning I opened our local newspaper online to look up the obituary section but the headlines diverted my attention and led me to another story, one becoming more familiar and far more troubling.

One of our Lancaster County school districts that has been opening their board meetings with prayer for many years has now been threatened with a lawsuit by the FFRF, (Freedom From Religion Foundation) based in Madison, WI. We hear of this forceful evil hate group just about every day as they seek to remove nativity scenes from the public square among other lawsuits attempting to silence the Christian voice and remove its visibility throughout our communities. Once again this hate group won their grievance since the school board cannot afford to fight them and caved into their demands.

Do you find yourself troubled at the seeming prosperity and growing power of ungodly influences in our land? Do you at times feel “What’s the use?” You try to live right and often struggle in doing so. Yet the wicked are proactive against the Christian's freedoms and appear to be rewarded for it more and more these days.

If we get our attention fixed on the wicked we lose sight of the blessings God showers upon us daily. Asaph wrote about his experience in Psalm 73 when he became oppressed about the prospering evildoers of his day:

"But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills" (Psalm 73:4,5).

He couldn’t understand and was growing bitter as he focused his attention on the wicked. In fact Asaph was seeing them in the way the enemy presented them to his mind, obscuring the miseries that resulted in their lives by the ungodly choices they made. I find myself disheartened just like Asaph until I stop entertaining the enemy and start to interpret the times from the eternal perspective of God's Word.

Asaph had a change of focus and heart when he wrote, “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me until I went into the sanctuary of God." Asaph was thought to be in captivity at the time of this writing so he was not speaking of a physical dwelling, but rather he drew his heart near toward God in prayer, confession of sin, supplication and meditation, meeting God in the secret place; whether a house, church building, work desk, or jail cell. Holiness is not found in a physical structure but in the restructure of our hearts as we surrender our thoughts to God in exchange for His revealed will to us.

Here are the words of Asaph after he sought God in the sanctuary of his heart: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever...But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge." (vv. 26, 28).

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, there is much that troubles us these days as evildoing changes our landscape and our personal lives. It grows distrust in our hearts toward others and at times distrust in our heart toward the way You deal with these matters. We believe Your power is far greater than the enemy and yet the enemy is flourishing. Bring us into the secret place where Your Spirit reveals to us that which the world cannot give or take away. Help us to come to the place where we too can speak the words of Asaph after meeting with You, "Whom have I heaven but You, and besides You there is nothing I desire." It is through the name of Jesus that we come to You in prayer and commit these matters to You. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"
  Michael W. Smith

"In The Secret"  Video  Singer not specified

"He That Dwelleth In The Secret Place"  Video  Hosanna Music

"This Is My Holy Place"  Video  Don Moen

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"

But as for me, it is good to be near God.

I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge