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Thursday, June 29, 2017

I wanna be kept

The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121:7-8 NLT)
I have occasionally joked with close friends that I'd like to try my hand being a "kept woman". When I say this I usually mean it would be nice to not "have to" work, but do so only if and when I wanted to rather than it being a requirement of not having to live in a cardboard box! There are times I forget that I am indeed a "kept woman" - and each man or woman, boy or girl that gives their lives to him, saying "yes" to his actions of grace in their lives, is a "kept" individual!
To be kept means you are supported by another - your needs are met by someone other than yourself. In the sense of our relationship with Christ, this is perhaps one of the hardest lessons for us to learn. We often find ourselves going to him with our needs, but when the provision doesn't come in the right timing for our liking, we attempt to find a way to make that need go away by our own efforts. As we come and go in life, our needs are being met, even when we don't see the immediate fulfillment of them!
Perhaps the simplest way for us to understand God's "keeping" power is for us to think of it in terms of what it is not. In other words, we look at the "synonyms" of being kept, such as forgotten. It is impossible for God to ever forget even one iota of what he has created, for all of creation is spoken into existence by his word and is maintained by that same word. Abandonment is just not in the cards for any of God's kids. It isn't him that leaves us - it is the other way around!
Dishonor is part of abandonment and being forgotten. All over the world today, there are individuals in nursing homes and assisted livings, all but abandoned and mostly forgotten by their loved ones. Out of sight, out of mind, as the old saying goes. Indeed this careless treatment of the elderly, homeless, or lonely individuals is one of the greatest ways we dishonor those who God has placed into our lives and us into theirs. 
Similarly, the last "opposite" of being kept is that of being "broken". First, let me just remind us that the connection we maintain with Jesus isn't broken on his part. It is some action or inaction on our parts that brings this sense of "broken relationship". God's desire is for continual union with us. He doesn't have a contract with us - saying you do this and I will do that. He asks us to love him, trust him with our lives, and then find delight in the care he takes to meet all our needs. Plain and simply, we are "kept" individuals - not because we deserve it, but because we "need it". Just sayin!