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Iron-Deficiency

The Word of God can become an intensive training tool in our life - - we CAN come to rely upon hearing it, using it in practical ways to assist with the day-to-day decisions of life, and leaning on it when no answer seems apparent. It can become our source because we have come to know the one who stands behind it! Did you ever stop to think that the Word of God might just put a little 'iron in your soul'? I wonder how many of us might just suffer from 'iron-deficiency' now and again, having neglected to take in the Word, making it part of our daily intake?

I'm homesick, God, for your salvation; I love it when you show yourself! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well, use your decrees to put iron in my soul. And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me! I'll recognize the sound of your voice. (Psalm 119:174-176)

You can ask God to "put iron" in your soul - there is nothing wrong with this request. When we think of the soul, we are reminded it encompasses our mind, will and emotions. We are just asking God to give a certain steadiness, a strength to our thoughts, our choices, and our emotions. Whenever iron is used as a symbol in scripture, it really pictures unyielding determination. Let our heart be determined to allow God to impact our inner man so our outer man always gives a solid testimony of God's grace in our life!

Did you ever consider the make-up of iron? It is not a pure metal - but the very fact it is impure makes it malleable. The metal we call iron is really a very strong metal - rigid almost. We all go through rough spells in which we see a little bit of our "metal" revealed. Our rigidity toward sin becomes apparent in taking that first step in the direction of sin's pull. Our rigidity toward grace becomes equally apparent when we cry out, "Create in me a clean heart, O God! And renew a right spirit in me!" It is the impurity of our heart which brings us repeatedly back to the throne of grace!

We each individually make the resolve to allow God to affect our thoughts, so our actions will be pure, and our emotions will be balanced so our response to life would become more directed and focused. We petition God to "seek us" - not because we ever plan to wander off, but because we know we all have a tendency to do so! We should all be this honest in our appraisal of commitment to living obedient lives! We all have the tendency to have a little "iron" in our character - rigid toward one form of sin or another!

Here's the awesome part of this - God seeks us! We wander - he seeks us until we realize we have been found! Sometimes, I think we come to a place where we feel "found out" - not just found! Either way, he did the seeking! The encouragement found in this passage is the very last truth - we WILL recognize his voice! It is distinctive and clear! There is no wavering or inconsistency in his voice! Perhaps this makes it so very recognizable to the wayward one!

Jesus used a similar illustration when he taught his disciples one day, telling them his sheep knew his voice! He illustrated another parable of one wandering sheep, alone from the flock, and a shepherd focused on finding one lonely sheep. The sheep who wandered was once part of the flock! The shepherd had 100 sheep, 99 stayed right with him, one wandered away. This speaks to me of the ease of making one small decision after another which takes us out of the safety of living close to him!

We can know the heart of God. In turn, God gives us insight into his own heart. We can count on this being true in our lives - through grace. God delights in us knowing the "rigidity" of our heart - it is only in recognizing our lack of being yielded that we come to the place of acknowledging our need. May your heart always be yielded, your soul made strong with the Lord's protection, and your mind filled with the peace which comes from knowing God is in control! Just sayin!

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