Personalizing

Dear Fellow-Disciple:

When we personalize Scripture, it takes on deeper meaning. It leaves the page and becomes part of us. As an example, let's personalize Psalm 91:

I dwell in the shelter of the Most High, I abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

There is no safer place to dwell. When we remain close to God, the shadow of His presence protects us from everything not of Him. It is the benefit of abiding.

I say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."

If we believe in God's protection and truly trust Him, we remind Him of that fact. He is our Source for all things. When we confess that to Him, we assure Him that we realize we are totally dependent upon Him.

For it is You who delivers me from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence.

The devil attempts to trap us with temptations and deceptions. The diseases of the world hide within the carnality of fleshly desires. When we filter daily situations through Christ, He delivers us from the consequences of wrong decisions.

You will cover me with Your pinions, and under Your wings I may seek refuge; Your faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark."

As a mother hen protects her chicks, the Father protects His children. He never changes, His protection continually stands between us and the enemy. We must confess this with our mouths and let it become reality in our hearts.

I will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

We are bombarded constantly by Satan's fiery darts. He would inflict us with fear of the unknown future (darkness), or the obvious problems we face in the light of each day. Faith dispels fear, and the shield of faith protects us from Satan's fiery darts.

A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand; but it shall not approach me."

When our focus is upon the Lord, rather than upon the circumstances around us, we are certain of His protection, regardless of what happens to others. Our primary relationship should be with Him, not with other human beings.

I will only look on with my eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For I have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High my dwelling place.

Sin separates us from God. If we choose to remain separated, we must pay the penalty for our sin. We escape the death penalty when we resolve to live in the presence of God.

No evil will befall me, nor will any plague come near my dwelling.

This is a promise of God. Evil cannot exist in proximity to God. The plague of AIDS, for example, cannot easily reach the righteous. Evil usually comes through a door that has been deliberately left open.

For You will give Your angels charge concerning me, to guard me in all my ways. They will bear me up in their hands, lest I strike my foot against a stone.

When our ways are God's ways, we can be certain His angels watch over us to protect us and to keep us from stumbling. Our ways are God's ways when we do nothing except what He tells us to do.

I will tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent I will trample down.

The lion represents direct confrontation; the serpent depicts stealthy attack. We are victorious over whatever comes our way when we continue to focus upon our Deliverer. He said the battle is His. We are assured of victory when we let Him do the fighting.

Because I have loved You, therefore You will deliver me; You will set me securely on high, because I have known Your name.

Because we accept the sacrifice of His Son, God sanctifies us. He sets us apart, high above the worldly. We stay in that position when we relinquish the throne of our heart to Jesus.

I will call upon You and You will answer me. You will be with me in trouble; You will rescue me and honor me.

God always answers our prayers, though not always as we expect. Even in the midst of our greatest trouble, He works all things together for good when we let Him.

With a long life You will satisfy me, and let me behold Your salvation.

The longer we live with our Lord, the more we appreciate His grace. We see His salvation at work here on earth and we will eventually experience it eternally.

When we personalize Scripture, we realize God talks to us through His word. If we were in His direct presence, these are the things He would say to us. He would speak to us as a loving Father, sometimes correcting us, sometimes exhorting us, but always loving us.

He gave us these Scriptures because He wants to convey His heart to us. Scripture should be treated as God's personal communication to us.

Things will probably continue to worsen, both socially and economically. Our nation is rapidly becoming amoral. As the darkness of sin rolls over us, we have more and more occasion to lay personal claim to Scripture. It is good to develop the habit of personalizing these communications from God while we have the opportunity.

Our Lord is a wonderful, caring God, who wants to commune with us. This is one way we can fulfill the desire of His heart.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: What verses did I personalize today?