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Still there?

We can AFFIRM or REASSURE - both have a little different meaning. Affirm refers to remaining true to that which has been promised, such as confirming or ratifying an agreement. WE all want to know that we have the confirmation that God's promises will remain true for all time. Reassure carries the idea of being encouraged again by those promises. When one is reassured, there is a confidence that what has been promised will indeed come to pass. There is a difference between the promises God makes and the ones we make to God - most of the time it is in the fact we never 'ratify' the agreement! At best, our own promises are marginal - we seem to vary our commitment to them with the changing of circumstances in our lives. The tougher things are, the more we draw into God. The converse is true - the better things seem to be going, the less intent we may be at honoring those promises we made in the tougher times. Isn't it reassuring that we don't have a God that is "situational" in his promise keeping. He makes them to all who fear him - he fulfills them to all who fear him - they are 'ratified' through and through!

Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.
(Psalm 119:38-40)

There are times we need to deflect stuff and others when the best action is just to abandon them completely. When we deflect, we are turning aside from something that seems to be coming straight at us so that it misses us totally. We get out of the way of the thing and it doesn't affect us as a result. God delights in helping us to "turn aside" from those attacks that come our way. Abandon carries the idea of giving up completely so as not to take it up again. We had it in hand and now it is time to let it go. God will ensure that our "attackers" abandon (give up) their course of attack against us - but we have to be willing to abandon them. We will always have critics in life - it is human nature to criticize what we don't understand! We have a unique opportunity to allow God to act as our shield against those attacks of doubt, criticisms of faith, and accusations of guilt. In so doing, we allow God to protect us from the things that could easily get us off course with him. Ask God to HELP you to abandon your shameful ways. We doesn't want to keep doing the same shameful things - these only serve to weigh us down with guilt.

Hunger and longing are similar, but slightly different really. Hunger carries the idea of a compelling need. Hunger for God's Word and his wisdom is developed more and more as we lean into God so that we only receive God's counsel. In so doing, we are counting on God's assistance to help us walk in obedience to that revealed counsel. Longing is really a persistent desire - it is not easily satisfied. When we have that kind of persistent desire, we usually do everything we can to see it is fulfilled! There are all kinds of hunger, but we each count on God to help us sort out the good hunger from the hunger that just isn't going to result in good things for our lives. Yearn to be obedient and lay that yearning at God's feet. In so doing, we are asking God to help us with that compelling need - a need we are incapable of meeting in our natural ability.

If an object is preserved, some would say that it is kept alive. In the case of brain death, the brain can no longer sustain the life of the body without the assistance of machines. In these cases, the patient may be an organ donor. If that is the case, every attempt is made to "keep alive" the organs of the donor via the machines until they can be harvested and given to the intended recipient. Preserve means to "keep up" - not allowing something to fall into disrepair. Our life is bound to fall apart if God is not actively engaged in preserving us from our own "hell-bent" course. Renew means to "begin again" - as in taking up something again that might have been laid down for a while. It is the idea of resuming something - that means we have begun but not finished yet. It has the additional meaning of being replenished. There is great satisfaction for those who are asking God to replenish there commitment to walk in his ways and his ways alone.

God listens when we lay our needs out before him. If we are struggling, he stands ready to step in. If we are shamed by our missteps, he comes along to set us on course again. If there is pressure to conform to standards not always the best for us, he outlines the best way again so we are clear on what it is. If we just need to begin again, he is the God of new beginnings (no matter how many times we have to begin). God's commitment to those that fear him is that we will not fall into a state of disrepair! Thank him for his continued care - even when we aren't crying out for his help, he is still there! Just sayin!

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