Wednesday, March 2, 2011

tumbling towards approval

For my small group, we are studying a book called The Perfect Mess by Lisa Harper. It has been such an amazing study thus far, she is writing about different chapters in the book of Psalm and applying it to our lives.

Psalm 139 is the about the chapter we just completed a week ago and it was something I learned so much from: approval from other people. I think I am such a people pleaser, I want to always make others happy before myself. I always long to just in general make people happy. I RUN from conflict.

Oh Lord, you have searched me and you know me. Psalm 139:1

The Creator of the universe is familiar with every single nook and cranny in my heart and soul, and He knows that we all sometimes starve for approval.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from a far. You discern my going and my coming, you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word id on my tongue you know it completely, Oh Lord. Psalm 139:2-4

As humans, we will never be perfect. We can never measure up to any sort of perfect standard. Thankfully, the Lord doesn't merely deliever us but He wholeheartedly delights in us.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. Psalm 139:5-8

Lisa Harper quotes in the book, "On our worst days, when we're trying to hide our misery or conceal our failures, our perfect God doesn't look at us from a distance, waiting for us to pull together before we ask Him to help us. He crawls right in beside us, amid the dust bunnies and clutter of our lives, to show that we're never alone in our messes."

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm139:13-14

God fashioned every single cell, sculpted each bone, and painted the color of your eyes and skin. Then He stepped back and said, "Isn't she just lovely?". -Lisa Harper

How precious to me your thoughts, Oh God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I am awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18

Have you ever tried to count sand? I mean, really? That is crazy! The Lord thinks and cares for us so much.

Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

That is one of my favorite passages ever! It is so comforting to ask the Lord to test my thoughts and actions, test my intentions. How freeing is it to know that you are asking such an awesome God for help on becoming more like Him. His perfect love has caused us to want to be selfless, but we must ask Him to test us and try our hearts.

God's love frees us from performing so we can relax and rejoice with the assurance that He knows us completely and adores us just as we are. -Lisa Harper

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