“Direction and Directions” (Psalm 23:1-3)

Last summer our three-piece band, Tasmanian Grace, had the honor of playing music for Boy Scouts and their families at the Kansas Speedway. I drove to the area late that afternoon. I’ve been to the Legends often, so I know how to get there, and the Speedway is impossible to miss. But there was a very specific way for band members to enter the Speedway. Even though I had directions, I couldn’t figure it out. Confession time – when it comes to logistics and directions, I wake up in a brand new world about every 13-15 seconds. I get turned around easily. One time I got lost trying to exit the North Kansas City Hospital enclosed parking garage. On another occasion I got lost driving around in the downtown Chicago highway loop.

After trying for approximately 30 minutes to enter the Kansas Speedway, I was thoroughly disoriented within plain sight of my objective. I called the bass player, Joe, because I knew Joe and Jim (the drummer) had already arrived. Joe handed the phone to Bill. Bill said, “Drive to the Nebraska Furniture Mart parking lot and wait for me. I will lead you in.” I protested; I did not want to divert Bill from his other responsibilities. Bill chuckled and said, “Don’t worry about it at all. I counted on this happening.”

So I found the Nebraska Furniture Mart parking lot and waited. Bill arrived soon after, issued me a parking pass, and led me in. He could have spent the rest of the evening explaining it to me over the phone; I never would have made it.

Friday night, Bill reinforced to me some important truths about who God is as our Shepherd and what God does as our Shepherd.

Psalm 23 begins with these familiar words. “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” The shepherd stays ahead of the action, anticipating what the sheep need before they are aware that they need it. In our lives, God stays ahead of the action, counting on us needing guidance. The Hebrew word translated “want” is rooted in the word “lack,” which is why so many translations say, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need” or “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” It reminds me of Peter’s aggressive declaration that Christ’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our relational knowledge of Christ Who has called us by His own glory and goodness (2nd Peter 1:3).

Psalm 23 continues in verse 2-3 – “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” The shepherd is an expert at calming and leading skittishly disoriented sheep. Giving a sheep directions would be an exercise in futility. The shepherd must become the direction, like Bill did for me. I relaxed when I saw Bill’s pickup truck pulling into the parking lot at Nebraska Furniture Mart. I knew I had what it took to follow him in.

God’s presence is uniquely reassuring.

I cannot think about Psalm 23 without pairing it with John 10, where Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd Who gives His life for the sheep. In the person of Jesus, God takes us by the heart and leads us. Jesus does not give us directions; He becomes the direction through relationship.

Are you directionless? Are you turned around? Are you disoriented? We don’t have what it takes to lead ourselves, but we do have what it takes to follow Jesus. We start where we are by saying, “Help!” We continue by cooperating with the help, and the help turns out to be a relationship with God Who loves us like crazy and leads us from a position of ultimate strength and wisdom.  

I hope Psalm 23 and John 10 benefit you in seeking the Good Shepherd, the One Who says it is okay, the One Who counted on us needing Him. May you and I allow Jesus the Good Shepherd to come and get us, to be our direction in life.

Grace and peace,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com)

 

Perspective Matters (Psalm 34:1-8)

Psalm 34:1-3 confesses and encourages a buoyant life of grateful praise. In this God-crediting life we are bowing down before God in worship at all times and on all occasions. Our mouths continually express adoring appreciation to God. We are giving God credit for everything we have and everything we are. We cannot keep this life of grateful praise to ourselves; in fact our God-boasting is so compelling that broken people around us are drawn in and positively affected. We are magnifying God so noticeably that our God-magnification invites others to join us. We are lifting God up so irrepressibly that our God-exaltation invites others to join us.

WOW! The Psalmist sets the bar so high that it feels like pole-vaulting praise, doesn’t it? Carla follows a Twitter account called #ThoughtsOfDog. The account tries to capture in 280 characters what dogs might tweet if they could. One such tweet says, “Sometimes you have to spin in circles to appreciate all that’s around you.” Psalm 34 seems like that, doesn’t it?

But…

According to the superscription, David wrote these soaring words IN A CAVE!!! He was probably at the lowest point in his young life. King Saul was after him – again. David had wiped out many of Saul’s enemies but in doing so David had become more popular than Saul (we’ll call that oops #1). Insecure monarchs are easily threatened and they prioritize the decisive elimination of those threats. David had the advantage of being chased by a king who was a lousy aim with a spear. However, Saul was maniacally relentless, so much so that David and his friends were cornered and had to take refuge in Gath, which was Goliath’s hometown (we’ll call that oops #2). The Gathians didn’t want their giant’s killer living among them and they complained to their leader, King Achish (he is called Abimelech in the superscription). To save his skin, Goliath’s killer pretended he was insane, and he was so convincing that Achish told his people to chase Goliath’s drooling and pathetic killer out of Gath – he wasn’t worth the energy it would take to kill him.

Talk about a reversal of fortunes! David had gone from being Israel’s rising star to being a humiliated fugitive hunkered down with his buddies in the slimy confines of a cave. In such circumstances would you and I be lost in grateful praise to God? It’s important to understand that the context for a life of grateful praise is the triumphant internal movement of God’s Spirit in the midst of suffering. Perspective matters, and we always get to choose what perspective we take. Let’s keep perspective in mind as we read Psalm 34:4-8. In these verses, I have enclosed the Hebrew meaning of certain words in parentheses. David is taking us on a guided tour of the context for a life of grateful praise. The contexts are terror, shame, desperation, and vulnerability.

v.4) I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me (snatched me) from all my fears (haunts, terrors). Perspective matters when we are TERRIFIED or HAUNTED. David had ample reasons for both. God delivers our souls from terror and dread. 1st John 4:18 promises us that perfect love casts out fear. God in Christ loves the terror out of us, directly and through our relationships in the community of faith.

v.5) Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. Perspective matters when we are ASHAMED. David was shamed in Gath. If we are ashamed, it usually means somewhere back there in our history we have been shamed. But when we have been shamed, it does not mean we have to be ashamed. Being ashamed is a choice that quickly sets in as a malignant identity. According to this verse, faces are instrumental in recovery from shame. In the Hebrew Scriptures, relationship with God frequently plays out in some form of pre-technology facetime. God can and does heal our souls from shame, but these days God’s actual face is largely invisible. Our faces, however, are highly visible. Never underestimate what faces can do! God can use our faces to communicate divine love and grace. What if God heals shame through our facetime with each other? When I look into your eyes and I see the warmth of acceptance based on the love of Christ, there is in that look an invitation for me to “look into” the face of God and discover that there is no condemnation for those who are in union with Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  

v.6) This poor soul (desperately) cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. Perspective matters when we are DESPERATE. David was desperate. But did God really save David from every trouble? Does God really save us from EVERY trouble? Join me in pumping the brakes here, because on the surface we know God does not save us from every trouble. So what gives? Biblically speaking God does not promise to take care of the outside of us in the same way God promises to take care of the inside of us. People of faith still become sick, still have accidents, and still suffer the cruel sucker punches that are inevitable in a fallen world. People of faith still face death, not to mention whatever injury or health breakdown precedes death. God delivers our souls from the bigger trouble of desperation so that we become more than conquerors, sometimes in the ominous thick of the same difficulty that is making us desperate (Romans 8:28-39).

v.7) The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him (those who relate to God with reverent love), and delivers them. Perspective matters when we are VULNERABLE. I can only imagine how vulnerable David felt. God comes around us and brings to our souls a sense of secure peace that this world cannot take from us, and once again God does this in part through human relationships. Sometimes in the Hebrew Scriptures the angel of the Lord is exactly that – an angel. At other times, however, the angel of the Lord is a manifestation of God in the Person of the preincarnate Christ. Psalm 34:7 promises us that God shows up in our vulnerabilities and delivers us by holding us through.

v.8) O taste (judge) and see (by experience) that the Lord is good; blessed are those who take refuge in (hide in) him. A God-crediting life starts here, where we choose the goodness of God. We decide God is good WHILE WE ARE STILL IN THE CAVE! Perspective matters.

Recently I noticed a wall plaque that contains the popular expression, “It’s all good.” I’ve used the expression before. It can be a positive affirmation, but we also use it to counter the reality that it’s NOT all good. Life can be bad. Life can stink. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” is not a form of denial or a way to blunt the edges of suffering. When it is not all good, but we can still affirm that God is good, the cave becomes a holy place.

Sometimes God demonstrates divine goodness by eliminating our terror, dread, shame, desperation, or vulnerability. Most of the time God demonstrates divine goodness by being present in us more deeply than our terror, dread, shame, desperation, or vulnerability. In either scenario, and in all of the scenarios between those two extremes, God is good.

Verses 7 and 8 belong together. Verse 7 says God holds us. Our affirmation that God is good motivates us to take refuge, which means we want to be held by the One holding us, like an upset baby who while crying eventually relaxes into mom’s strong and warm embrace and becomes calm. In this state of being we enter a God crediting life, which loops us back into verses 1-3.

I don’t think David and his buddies were throwing a pity party in the cave. I think they were worshiping. It reminds me of Paul and Silas singing praise songs in a Philippian jail after the city officials had them stripped naked and severely beaten with rods because Paul and Silas had cooperated with the Lord Jesus in delivering a young girl from demons and depriving the economy of the girl’s “entertaining” ways. Oh – the jail where Paul and Silas were chained and bleeding on the floor was a cave the Romans had converted to a jail.

David’s faith friends were right there with him in the cave. Nothing in Psalm 34 is individualistic. God calls us to be in this Christ-following life together, no matter where it takes us. Paul’s admonition to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) tells us the most powerful gift we can offer one another is the gift of our facetime willingness to keep company with each other in life’s existential caves. Our companionship with one another in those caves can become the way we start discovering God’s goodness.

In 1st Peter, Simon Peter comes alongside David when he says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1st Peter 2:2-3) In this passage the Lord is the second member of the trinity, Jesus Christ. We know Jesus is good because He atoned for our sins on the cross and three days later busted out of…a cave.

Are you in a cave? What is the name of your cave? Taking Psalm 34 to heart – when we are in a cave the most significant battle may be the battle to keep the cave out of us. How? We taste and see that the Lord is good. How do you know God is good? Go on a spiritual treasure hunt. Where are the signs of God’s goodness in your life these days? Take notes. Ask around. Choose God’s goodness. That choice can transform your perspective, whether you are in the cave, out of the cave, or trying to not cave in.

Can it be this simple? There is one way to find out, and I believe the goodness of God is a decent place to start.

Blessings,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com)  

 

Guitar Picks and Flexible Gratitude (Psalm 34:1-3)

Due to nerve damage I sustained in a January 2015 automobile accident, I lost the ability to play guitar with a pick. I’ve adapted to playing nylon string guitar with my fingers.

During the past 3½ years I have occasionally visited guitar stores, purchased all kinds of guitar picks, and tried again to play that way, to no avail. I can’t feel the pick, so it falls to the floor. A couple of Fridays ago I tried one more time. I stopped at one of my favorite musical instrument stores. This time I saw a kind of pick I had not come across before. In fact, Rob at Music Gear told me these picks are no longer made. The wide end of the pick is rough so that you can hold on better, but plenty of picks have rough edges. This pick has a little scooped out indentation for the thumb. I tried it in my hand and it stayed! I bought the last two they had.

I was very thankful to God that I had found these picks! I was thinking that maybe now I could return to playing steel string acoustic guitar which would give me more versatility and enable our band to get back together. I showed Carla the picks as soon as she got home. I sat down and started playing. Sure enough, the pick didn’t sail across the room or fall out of my hand. But the loss of sensation in my fingertips and thumb prevented me from keeping the pick where it needed to be, even though I had found one I could hold. I tried and tried that evening, but eventually I realized no amount of practice would change the reality that I could not control the pick anymore. I was disappointed but I realized my little adventure answered once-and-for-all the question about playing guitar with a pick. Once that realization sank in I was very thankful to God for what I had learned, because now I can exclusively concentrate on the way I AM able to play guitar. I’m actually quite excited.

Does it seem to you that the first gratitude should have canceled out the second gratitude? I mean, how can I be thankful for both of those developments? For me, there is no contradiction, because it was never about the picks or my hands. It was always about my heart. With God, everything becomes an inside job.

David begins Psalm 34 by saying, “I will bless the Lord at all times; God’s praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the LORD; the humble will hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God’s name together!” (Psalm 34:1-3) The apostle Paul declares something very similar. In Ephesians 5:20 Paul says, “And give thanks for everything to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ.” In 1st Thessalonians Paul says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

On that Friday my heart won twice, because I chose to be grateful twice. A life that gives credit to God is a life that can flex and breathe.

What do Psalm 34:1-3, Ephesians 5:20, and 1st Thessalonians 5:18 say to you about gratitude? How do these passages stretch you in your life of faith?

Blessings,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com)

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Just Breathe! (Psalm 104, Psalm 150, Ezekiel 37:1-6)

When You give them Your breath, life is created, and You renew the face of the earth. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! (Psalm 104:30, 33)

We have an enormous backyard, and in some places there is more dirt than grass. As I was mowing recently, the mower began sputtering and coughing. It would barely run. I stopped, pulled off the filter cover, and saw the problem. The filter was clogged with dust. I did not have a new filter, so I knocked and blew the dust out of the old one and put it back.

Note to self – when you blow into a filter, make sure you first gauge the wind direction.

I started the mower and it instantly ran like it was meant to run. Mowers cannot function unless they can breathe.

Neither can people.

The Hebrew word translated “breath” is also the Hebrew word translated “Spirit” and “wind.” God created oxygen, and us, and our lungs. We must breathe in order to live, but how we breathe affects our quality of life.

Ready for an anatomy lesson? Our lungs occupy a significant portion of our torso. They extend nearly as far down as our ribcage. When we take a deep breath we fill those lungs, instantly supplying oxygen throughout our bodies. When we take a shallow breath we do not fill our lungs; in fact, we deprive oxygen throughout our bodies.

The more stressed out or anxious we are, the less of our lungs we use. We breathe anatomically higher, only using the upper section of our lungs. Our wound-up emotions produce oxygen deprivation, forcing our bodies to work harder AND giving our bodies less of what they need.

Since God has given us oxygen and breath and lungs, why not take full advantage of these gifts when we need them the most? If we can condition ourselves to breathe deeply, combining that breathing with Scripture and prayer, we are using what God gave us AND we are seeking God’s peace and strength with every breath we take. Deep breathing lowers blood pressure, slows down the pulse, and clears our minds. Deep breathing also makes us more available to God.

There is a breathing exercise simply called 4-7-8. You breathe in through your nose to a 4 count. You hold your breath for a 7 count. You breathe out through your mouth to an 8 count. You can repeat several times, combining the 4-7-8 breathing with a very short “breath prayer…”

…“Jesus, thank You for being my peace.”

…“God, I let go and let You.”

…“God I need You.”

…”Jesus I trust You.” (That’s my go-to breath prayer.)

Your heart will usually tell you what you need to pray, but you cannot go wrong using Scriptures. You can apply this breathing discipline literally anywhere at anytime, but you may want to start at home by yourself so that you can become acquainted with it. And if you have pulmonary issues or are on medication for anxiety, please consult your doctor first.

God can use our breathing to empty us of anxiety and fill us with His Spirit.

I love what Ezekiel 37:1-6 says about breath. Here it is:

The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?” “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “You alone know the answer to that.” Then He said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

God puts breath in us, we come to life, and we know God is God. I love that sequence!

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6)

Blessings,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com)   

 

When God Flips Us (Isaiah 61)

I am intrigued by people who flip houses, for two reasons.

  1. Flippers see what I cannot see. When I look at a broken down house I see nothing but a dump, but Flippers can see all kinds of potential. Flippers see a fine fixer-upper (cue the Rock Trolls from “Frozen”).
  2. Flippers get to call themselves Flippers, which sounds quite cool.

Flippers are able to deconstruct and then reconstruct a house that not only becomes habitable again but becomes valuable and desirable.

God is the consummate Flipper.

Isaiah wrote the section of Scripture we call Isaiah 61 to people who had been conquered, deported and enslaved. Their world had been blown to pieces. Their lives were in shambles. From their humiliated and defeated perspective, they were beyond salvage. But God specializes in flipping lost causes. Where we see irreparable ruin, God sees promise. Where we see a pile of manure, God sees compost.

Here is Isaiah 61 in The New Living Translation, with a few parenthetical notes I have added. In Luke 4:18-21 Jesus applies the first section of this passage to Himself and to His kingdom agenda, which is why the pronouns are capitalized.

On behalf of God, the prophet announces liberation, recovery, and restoration.

v.1) The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me, for the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to comfort (heal) the brokenhearted  and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

v.2) He has sent Me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. (In Luke 4:18-21 Jesus intentionally closes the scroll before reading this last statement, which means Jesus did not come to condemn us!)

v.3) To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory (deeply rooted, strong, stable).

v.4) They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago. They will revive them, though they have been deserted for many generations (a return to productivity).

v.5) Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards.

v.6) You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will feed on the treasures of the nations and boast in their riches.

v.7) Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

God directly reinforces this liberation, recovery, and restoration.

v.8) “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward My people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them.

v.9) Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”                                              

The prophet expresses the transcendent and irrepressible joy and hope of the liberated, recovering, restored people of God.

v.10-11) I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show His justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise Him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

There are ten upgrading exchanges in this passage, all fulfilled in Christ:

  1. We exchange poverty and oppression for the good news of God’s intervention (v.1).
  2. We exchange brokenheartedness for God’s healing comfort (v.1).
  3. We exchange captivity and bondage for God’s liberation (v.1).
  4. We exchange debilitating and exhausting grief for God’s favor and grace (v.2).
  5. We exchange wretched doom (ashes) for God’s approving crown of beauty (v.3).
  6. We exchange despondent heaviness for God’s joyful blessing (v.3).
  7. We exchange devastating despair for God’s festive praise (v.3).
  8. We exchange ruined failure and waste for God’s new start (vv.4-5).
  9. We exchange humiliating shame for God’s double share of honor (v.7).
  10. We exchange suffered consequences for God’s justice and faithfulness (v.8-9).

No wonder the prophet erupts in joyful and hopeful praise at the end of this chapter! In the Christ-following life, joy and hope are not pursuits or objectives. Joy and hope are results. They are effects. They are outcomes. When we begin upgrading our lives for Christ’s life in us, all of the joy and hope we could ever need begins bubbling up through our union with Christ.

In light of these ten upgrading exchanges, please read verses 10 and 11 again. This rendering combines the New Living Translation, New International Version, The Voice, The Common English Bible, and The New English Translation.

I am overwhelmed with joy and my soul vibrates with exuberant hope, because of the Eternal Lord my God! For God has dressed me with the garments of deliverance and has wrapped me in a robe of His righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit, or a bride adorned in her jewelry. For just as the ground produces its crops and a garden yields its produce, so the sovereign Lord will cause deliverance to grow, and give His people reason to praise God in the sight of all the nations.”         

Faith exercise questions:

  • Do you know anybody who has been “flipped” by God? What was their response?
  • When has God “flipped” you? What was your response?
  • Which of these upgrading exchanges have you experienced?
  • Which of these upgrading exchanges are you currently experiencing?
  • Which of these upgrading exchanges do you want or need to experience?
  • From the passage, what is the next faith-step for you? Which of God’s promises do you need to claim? Do you need to be flipped?
  • What if Isaiah 61:10-11 can be our “new normal?” What if God WANTS to bring us into a joy-full and hope-full life that lifts us above hardships and attacks? Are you in?

Grace and peace,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com) 

 

Removing What Does Not Fit and Does Not Work (Matthew 11:28-30 and 1st Samuel 17)

“Come to Me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus extended an invitation to people who were weary and heavy laden because of an oppressive pietistic system the religious leaders had made them carry. The trend didn’t stop in the 1st Century A.D. We can be worn out and worn down by the grind of performance-based religion, the kind where we must constantly prove ourselves to God or earn God’s favor or prove ourselves to religious leaders or earn their favor. Religion that is characterized by the imposition of imperatives (must / ought / should / must not / ought not / should not) is performance-based religion.

We can be worn out and worn down because we are carrying the weight of unrealistic expectations. “Be perfect.” “Be pleasing.” “Be strong.” “Try harder.” “Hurry up.”

We can be worn out and worn down because we are carrying the weight of pressures. “You should be like….” “You should be this way….”

We can be worn out and worn down because we constantly need approval.

We can be worn out and worn down by the weight of our addictions or obsessions.

1st Samuel 17 is one of the most widely recognized accounts in Scripture. The boy-shepherd and errand-boy David volunteered to fight Goliath the undefeated and massively armored giant. King Saul (an uncommonly large man himself and the one who should have been out there facing the giant) put his own heavy armor on David, which was quite an honor. The armor did not fit. It was too heavy and too cumbersome. At the risk of offending his king, David removed Saul’s armor. He advanced against Goliath in his shepherd’s garb, with his shepherd’s staff, a sling, and five smooth stones. This was a perfect fit. David was fighting God’s battle, not anybody else’s. David might have been the only relaxed person in the valley that day, because he was attired in relationship with the living God. He was unencumbered.

What version of Saul’s armor are you wearing or carrying? Are you worn out or worn down because of something a person or people or a system or an organization has loaded onto you? Are you worn out or worn down because of something you have loaded onto yourself? Jesus invites you to take off what does not fit and does not work for you and put on what does fit and what does work for you.

Relationship with Jesus fits you perfectly. Relationship with Jesus is comparatively lightweight because it is made out of grace and love. Jesus calls it a yoke, which was a sort of harness that attached oxen together. As a carpenter, Jesus would have built these yokes, so He would know how to build one to custom fit each animal just right.

Attachment to Jesus in yielded companionship is custom made to fit us perfectly. Coming to Jesus redistributes our load, with most of it unloaded because Jesus never meant for us to carry it. Relationship with Jesus is rest.

David had to remove Saul’s armor. Are you willing to remove your version of Saul’s armor, even when it disappoints somebody? Are you fighting the wrong battles, or every battle, or the right battles but in your strength?

Remove Saul’s armor. Risk disappointing the people who think you should keep it on. Let Jesus clothe and equip You in relationship with Him. It fits and it works.

Blessings,

Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com, rickjordankcmo@gmail.com)