Author Archives: lrbartel

God alone! Not God plus this or that!

God alone

God alone! Not God plus this or that… Not God supplemented or backed up… God alone… enough! No, more than enough… completely adequate!

We have a tendency to have backup plans for God in case He fails us in a crisis. If he doesn’t come through in time or to our satisfaction, we have plans and human resources in reserve that we plan to use. If God comes through it’s ok… but even if He doesn’t, we’ve got it covered!

What a mistake… How contrary to the foundational concept of complete trust in God! Psalm 62, the passage I read during my time of coffee with the Lord this morning, addresses the issue…

“FOR GOD ALONE MY SOUL WAITS IN SILENCE; FROM HIM COMES MY SALVATION! HE ALONE is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken… FOR GOD ALONE, O MY SOUL, WAIT IN SILENCE, FOR MY HOPE IS FROM HIM. HE ONLY is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. TRUST IN HIM AT ALL TIMES, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

“Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them…

“Power belongs to God, and to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love!” (From Psalm 62 ESV)

God Alone!!! Him will I trust! For Him will I wait!! Not mere mankind (whoever they may be) or human ingenuity or resources! Power and steadfast love belong to God!

“I Go to the Rock!” … “On Christ, the Solid Rock I Stand…” “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me, Let Me Hide Myself in Thee!”

A rock in a stormIt’s a funny thing how scenes appear in your mind when you encounter the images used in Scripture… that happened to me today as I was reading Psalm 61. I thought about an experience I had one day in the Great Northwest on the Oregon coast near Seaside… The ocean was restless. I was walking along the beach and suddenly the weather turned stormy and waves became wild. It got dangerous and I scrambled toward a huge rock outcropping to escape the waves and find safety…

That scene came to mind as I read these words in the Bible this morning…

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. LEAD ME TO THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy… Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! (From Psalm 61:1–4 ESV)

We all experience (or will experience) events or circumstances like that in our lives… Frightening experiences… dangerous incidents… terrifying events… and devastating encounters. In times like that the Psalmist “cried out to God – he begged ‘O God hear my prayer!” It seems to me, that is the appropriate response! In fact, the Bible recommends it! And I believe, I will find the Lord to be a “rock that is higher than I… a refuge… a strong tower!” I am determined to make it my first response in critical, frightening experiences! How about you?

A brief, but profound, Easter post…

EASTER-AT-LIVINGHOPE_photo-tile2.pngBecause Jesus conquered sin and death and arose… HOPE!!! Hope at every level! Hope in every situation! Hallelujah, Christ arose!!!

%d bloggers like this: