Wade McGee • April 08, 2020
I was recently reviewing another memorized Bible verse in Bible Memory https://biblememory.com/ (shameless plug) and was reminded of how helpful it has been for me over the last couple of years. This verse and the practice with it come from a book titled “Take Words With You” which is primarily about praying God’s promises.
But I was especially helped by some introductory comments in the book around the topic of walking in the Spirit. The author lays out a practice of using God’s Word to “present” oneself to God over the course of the day, in times of trial and struggle as well as joy. The other practice is using God’s Word to “accept” from God all of the events that come in life, knowing that God is working and in control.
I must tell you that I used this A LOT while in my last secular employment. It was a high dollar (for the company, not me so much) and a high-pressure job. This led to a lot of situations where I needed this type of help. So, here is Psalm 77:19
Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
It seems rather bland, doesn’t it? The Psalmist is recounting Israel’s path through the Red Sea after leaving Egypt. His point is that God was making the way through the sea but he gave no visible sign of Himself or His plan. This was indeed His “way” and His “path” but they were not able to trace His footsteps. Have you ever been in a circumstance like this? We all have. We simply do not know what God is doing. What is He up to? I can’t see His steps or His plan. This is where this verse comes in. In the midst of these struggles, we pray this verse.
“God, I can’t see your footprints right now but I know from your Word that you are sovereignly in control of all things. I know that you are at work and that you are at work for my final good. So, I am expressing my trust in you right now, even if I can’t see your footprints.”
This is “accepting” from God what He is doing in your life and world. The other part (that we don’t have time for today) is then “presenting” yourself to Him as each trial, struggle, and joy comes your way. Check out Psalm 16:8, 25:15, and 37:5.
Wade McGee • March 25, 2020
I was recently reviewing verses I had memorized several years ago, and I found them applicable to our current situation.
As an aside, I use Bible Memory (formerly called Scripture Typer) not for memorizing itself but for keeping track of what I have memorized and helping me to continually review it. If you are not using a tool like this, or the Fighter Verses app, I would strongly encourage you to start the discipline. It really does all the administrative work for you; all you have to do is review your verses.
Anyway, back to my story. The verses are from Psalm 20. Verses 6-8 read:
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright.
This led me to think about what are the “chariots” and “horses” in which we trust today? In the time of the Psalmist, this would have represented safety and security. Chariots were the dominant weapon of warfare at the time and he who has the most horses wins! But the Psalmist makes the observation that they collapse and fall. And they do. Therefore, the Psalmist has placed his trust in the “name of the Lord our God” and he stands upright.
What are some of our “chariots” and “horses” that COVID-19 has caused to collapse and fall? I think this is worth considering at this time. Some are painfully obvious and some may be more hidden.
- Finances, retirement savings, etc. The market is a mess and may not recover for quite some time. I heard a recent story of a guy who had planned to retire recently but in light of our current situation, he could not do it financially due to the market disruptions. Many are facing lay-offs and reduction in hours and therefore loss of income. Even if neither of these has affected you, can you buy your way out of infection? Of course not! A virus is no respecter of net worth.
- Government or military protection. We live in a great country and we have great men and women who are willing to serve and to give their lives if needed for our safety and protection. For this I am grateful. However, our defenses are no defense against an unseen virus. Our chariots and horses cannot stop the infiltration of the coronavirus. We like to think we live in perfect safety at all times and we are never threatened. I think this has proven otherwise.
- Advanced medical skill and technology. As stated concerning our military, we have wonderful people working in medicine and research, and we benefit greatly from them. But the fact is, this virus has shown that we have not tamed this fallen creation. There are things we cannot stop and cannot control, even with our advanced techniques and technology.
- Physical fitness and diet. Speaking of health, how many of us have thought that if we eat right and get the proper exercise we are no longer vulnerable? We can begin to place confidence in our physical condition or even our youth. Both of these have proved to “collapse and fall down” as professional athletes and twentysomethings are contracting the illness.
I’m sure we could add others, couldn’t we? Maybe it is time for the Christ-follower to follow the lead of the Psalmist and evaluate where we place our trust. How can we do this? Here are a couple of thoughts I have had, feel free to add yours below as well.
In order to determine where your trust is placed, fill in the blank: “If I lost ____________, then I would be devastated!” What is it that you think you simply cannot live without? That may be your “chariots and horses.”
What do you value more, physical life or spiritual life? You can determine this by looking at the time and effort you give each of them. Are all of your efforts on the physical and temporal needs, protection, and satisfaction for you and those you love? Or, do you give time and effort to your soul and the souls of those you love?
Our “chariots and horses” in which we place trust will “collapse and fall down” brothers and sisters. I would exhort you to take this time of quarantine as an opportunity from the Lord to evaluate where your trust is placed.
Wade McGee • December 20, 2019
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV
Brothers and sisters, these are sweet words we have been memorizing. I hope you are working on these and feeling the impact of them. These words speak directly to our life together as the body of Christ. I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to think about what is being said and maybe seek to apply the truths.
Did you know you can slip into a state where you are operating out of an evil, unbelieving heart! Unbelief is a common sin. We worry and become anxious or angry because we are not trusting God. This unbelief may manifest itself in your work or marriage or kids or finances.
Are you trusting God or living in unbelief?
I don’t think the writer is speaking here of losing one’s salvation (notice the reference to “brothers”) but he is speaking of a state in which you are FAR FROM God! Your heart problem has led to a distance problem between you and God. He hasn’t moved but you have drifted off. You may this in a lack of personal devotions (Bible reading, prayer, meditation, memorization) or in a slight departure from the life of the body. A few more missed Sundays. Or passing on this particular Wednesday night study. No real communication with the body, no Faithlife, no text or phone calls.
How are things with you and Jesus? Are you more near than this time last year? Or are you more distant?
Exhort means to urge, advise, caution, admonish (Dictionary.com). This, beloved, is to mark out lives together! We are to be DAILY in communication, urge one another on and warning one another when we see these things happening.
How is your communication with the saints? Regular? More than once a week?
Why do we need to work so hard at this? Seems a little much, doesn’t it? He tells us why. SIN IS A LIAR! And sin is probably lying to you right now. There is a popular song titled “Fear is a liar” and it is. But ALL sin lies and we often don’t see it without the help of our brothers and sisters. What lies are you falling for right now?
- This (hobby, work, you fill in the blank) is what is really important! All that “church stuff” can wait. After all, it’s no big deal.
- Now is the time for you. Take care of yourself. You deserve a little “me time” don’t you? You just don’t have anything to give other people right now.
- Take care of your body. That’s what you can see and measure. Your soul? Meh! No one sees it. There is no test for it. Really, who cares? Life is short, make the most of it!
- You’re fine! Don’t get too serious about this Jesus stuff. After all, you don’t want to be a fanatic, do you? Go to church, that’s fine. But don’t go overboard. You have a “real” life to live, remember?
Maybe some of these are you. Maybe it’s something else. But, make no mistake, sin is lying to you. Are you able to see it? Who are you exhorting (and being exhorted by) daily? You need help to see what going on.
What lies are you believing? Who can help you by way of exhortation?
Wade McGee • November 27, 2019
This week's Fighter Verse holds a tremendous promise for you if you are in Christ. As you are memorizing this verse note the two conditions as well as the promise.
The verse begins with the word "If". This indicates that this promise is conditional. The promise hinges on the fact that we have something we must do in order to receive the fullness of the promise.
So, what are we to do?
- Abide in Jesus. We are to be "in" Christ for this promise to apply. Consider, are you in union with Jesus? Have you come to him in repentance and faith? Are you in relationship with him and abiding in Him? Have you taken up residence in Jesus and are you staying there? Does you life indicate ways in which you are abiding in Jesus?
- His words abide in you. Have the very words of Jesus (the Bible) really taken up residence in your heart and mind? Are your thoughts becoming His thoughts? Are you so saturated with Jesus' words that they begin to "come out" in conversation with others? Are your thoughts beginning to be influenced by Jesus' words? This only happens as you commit yourself to read, know, mediate on and memorize what Jesus says. What is more important for you to give your time and attention to that having His words abide in you?
When we do these things, the promise is that we will have what we ask! How can He say that? isn't that a blanket statement that allows for all sorts of silliness? No, it isn't. Because when the two conditions above are met guess what happens? Our desires become His. We begin to pray the very things that Jesus would have us pray. Our selfishness is put to death and we begin to pray as Jesus prayed; for the glory of God and the good of others.
Wade McGee • November 25, 2019
I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of the “Psalm of the day” reading but it is a simple method of reading the Psalms. In this method, you simply take the day of the month and read the corresponding Psalm. Then you add 30 and read those Psalms as well. So, for today I read Psalm 25, 55, 85, 115, and 145. I have a totally different aim in writing but I wanted to give you some background.
So, this morning my mind was still somewhat on yesterday’s text dealing with anxiety. I couldn’t help but notice many of the attitudes we looked at yesterday coming up over and over this morning as I read and I wanted to share it with you as an encouragement to trust our great God!
Psalm 25:1-2 “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.O my God, in you I trust;let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 85:8-9 “Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.”
Psalm 115:9-11 “O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”