Tag Archives: security

New Worship Song from Matt Maher

I used to share a song every Wednesday, to go with my weekly devotionals. Worship music (and Bible reading!) are still a big part of life for me. Here’s the new song from Matt Maher, in case you haven’t heard it yet: “Your Love Defends Me.” I love how it reinforces the truth that God is the source of our security. (Download and streaming links are at mattmahermusic.com)


How to Thrive

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
Psalm 52:8, NLT*

What’s the context of this psalm? David is warning an enemy that the man will get what’s coming from God for his evil deeds. Not in the sense of retaliation, but cause and effect: Doeg’s crimes will meet justice.

David isn’t bitter about the betrayal—if he were, he wouldn’t be thriving in God’s presence. Instead, David is trusting in God’s unfailing love to care for him.

What would that look like in our lives, if we always trusted in God’s love? And if we trusted in the rest of His character attributes?

  • Instead of bitterness and blame: peace. Yes, God will judge the offender if that person doesn’t come to Him for forgiveness. But closer to home, God will be enough for us.
  • Instead of self-pity: security. Jesus loves us. He’ll never abandon us.
  • Instead of fear or anxiety: assurance. The all-powerful God of the universe has a plan for us. We may not see how He’ll do it, but He will work all things out for good in the end.

If I could live this way—if we could—it would be thriving indeed.

Merciful God whose love is unfailing and extravagant, help us in our limited belief. Increase our faith, increase our desire for Your presence. Teach us to thrive in You and to always trust You.

Let Brian Doerksen‘s song, “Your Faithfulness,” remind us to trust God.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Rock-Solid Security

Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Psalm 125:1, NLT*

Trusting God brings security. We won’t be defeated.

That’s not to say we won’t have pain and trouble, but it’s a reminder of the real battle, the long-term spiritual one.

Whatever our hard times, it’s easier to focus on the externals: the disease, rebellious child, unemployment. The things outside our control.

We’re not responsible for the externals. We’re responsible for our hearts, our focus, our faith.

Defeat is when we get our eyes off God. Victory is continuing to trust in spite of what we see, hear, feel, experience.

We can pray for healing, common sense, provision. But we also need to pray for ourselves, to remain strong in our private tests.

This is our temptation, our battle: will we continue to trust? This is where God makes a way, if we’ll only look for it.

Faithful God, You’ve promised to never leave us, and to always make a way out from under the temptations we face. You want us to stand victorious in Your strength, for Your glory and our wellbeing. Help us keep our focus on You despite whatever may go on around us. Help us plant even in tears, to do what needs doing, so we can reap with joy in Your time.

Where do we look for security? Bebo Norman sings “I Will Lift My Eyes.”

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Where the Heart is

Lord, through all the generations
you have been our home!
Psalm 90:1, NLT*

My Bible labels this psalm “a prayer of Moses, the man of God.” Moses, who led the Israelites out of slavery to wander in the wilderness en route to the Promised Land.

These people had no geographical home, but God’s presence led them day and night. God spoke to them. God defeated their enemies and provided food and water in the desert. He even kept their shoes from wearing out from all the walking.

Circumstances may have made it easier for Moses to see God as his home, but even though I have a warm, snug, physical home I share with a loving family, God is my deeper home.

Creator and Sustainer God, I praise You that You never change. Thank You for being my home in the emotional and spiritual sense, my heart’s home, my security and stability, where I can rest and thrive and shelter.

This week’s song is a mainstream love song that doesn’t totally translate as a worship song, but it captures the depth of “home” that our God is for us: Billy Joel’s “You’re My Home.”

*New Living Translation (NLT)Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Guest posting at Grace Fox’s blog

Thank you to Grace Fox of Daring. Deep. Devoted. for inviting me to guest post. Here’s a sample:

In crawling out from under hurtful labels, I wanted to step into my identity as one who is shepherded by the Lord Jesus Christ, secure in His love, provision and care. I figured that I didn’t need a label of any sort other than the new name He will give me at the end. And then I heard the words… [read the rest of “Hurtful Names, Hope-filled Names“]

Sheltered in God

Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High
will remain in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1, GW*

When you were little, did you like making blanket forts and nestling into small spaces? I used to love the airy, green “rooms” made by the trailing branches of giant willows.

Still do, actually. And I’ve turned a corner of my bedroom into a cosy “nest” for reading and writing.

The last few weeks have been extra hectic, but when I stopped to rest I kept getting thoughts of shelter. I drifted into some delightful naps while imagining myself tucked into a cosy nook in the overhang of a flowering shrub (on ground as soft as my bed, and without any insects).

When I read this week’s verse, “under the shelter” jumped out at me.

Under the shelter.

I think most translations say “in the shelter,” but this made me stop and think about the shelter images I’d been having. How good is our God, to prompt restful thoughts when I needed them, and then to remind me that He is our ultimate shelter, security and source of rest?

God Most High, Your shelter is perfectly secure because of Your strength. Even when bad things happen, You sustain us and can bring good if we trust You. Strengthen our faith, and help us to keep our trust in You. Open our eyes to the tender, personal ways You remind us of Your love, and help us to live and remain under Your sheltering shadow.

Our song is “Hiding Place,” written by Steven Curtis Chapman and Jerry Salley.

*GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) Copyright © 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

The Goal: No Fussing

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the LORD—
now and always.
Psalm 131:2-3, NLT*

Some days I fight the good fight, and some days anxiety sneaks in there as fast as I can push it out. Self-pity swirls into a whirlpool, and the best I can do by holding onto God is to keep from going down the funnel.

I tell myself the truth about God, but then I look back at the feelings. Can’t seem to help it.

These verses are where I want to be, to rest.

A weaned child… able to sit on a parent’s lap, or to play nearby, not fussing or seeing Mommy as only a source of “what I want.”

Some parents can’t provide, even healthy mother’s milk if malnutrition is severe enough. Some parents won’t provide. Won’t love.

What do I know of God? He can meet my needs, when and how His wisdom knows is best. And He always loves me.

Abba God, Papa, whisper quiet to my soul so I can rest as if in Your arms, secure in Your love and provision without the incessant clamour of anxiety. I can’t deny the realities and possibilities that tempt me to fret, but I can believe in You. Help me trust You more.    

Here’s Phil Wickham’s soul-encouraging song, “Safe”.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Being Still, and Knowing

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10, NIV*

I came home from Write! Canada with snippets of two verses echoing in my spirit: “Seek Him first” and “Be still, and know that I am God”. [Isn’t that why everyone goes to a writing conference? To get closer to God?]

“Be still” called me this morning for devotions, because my tension was rising.

This quote from Psalm 46 is one of my long-time favourites, but I didn’t remember noticing the context: fear and danger, and how the Lord is a strong refuge and protection. It’s declaring “God is the biggest”.

For us today, as well as physical danger I think this “Be still” addresses our frenetic pace, anxiety, mental clutter. Even our scattered thoughts.

Be still. And know. That I am God.

For ourselves, and for those around us. My Bible has this note for Psalm 46:10:

…rest in the security of God’s will. Learn to live in this rest. In the calmness of spirit it will give, your soul will reflect, as in a mirror, the beauty of the Lord and the tumult of men’s lives will be calmed in your presence, as your tumults have been calmed in His presence.” (Hanna Whitall Smith, in God is Enough, taken from a quote in the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible, Zondervan, 1990)

I want to be a calming influence, grounded in Him. I think He wants to make me that way. Clearly, He’s not intimidated by big jobs. I’m glad. I’ve lived in mental turmoil and I’ve tasted His peace. Peace is better.

God who is our Good Shepherd, teach me to live at rest in Your will. Help me see and praise You for the gifts of Your hand. And help me be open to share your peace with those who need it. Your grace is undeserved and it gives us life.

This isn’t a “be still” song in the quiet sense, but it stills my spirit before God as I look at who He is and what He’s done for me. Something brand new from Peter Furler (formerly of newsboys fame): “I’m Alive.”

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Review: So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore

So Long Insecurity, by Beth Moore (Tyndale House Publishers, 2010)

“Insecurity among women is epidemic, but it is not incurable. Don’t expect it to go away quietly, however. We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us.” (p. xiii)

Drawing on her own experience and the responses of over 1,000 women (and men!), and using Scripture as a key weapon, Beth Moore has given us a book that equips us to change. So Long Insecurity is about empowering women to find their security in God.

One surprising point that comes up early in the book is the idea that it may not just be self-doubt that cripples us—we may be doubting God.

How? By doubting what He says about us. He says He loves us, and that He values us. But do we secretly think we know better, that if He really knew us completely He’d discover He’s been wrong?

The book exposes insecurity for what it is—a lie from the enemy of our souls—and takes a good look at the things that may have let it flourish in our lives.

There may be parts you relate to and parts you don’t, depending on your own personal experience. Insecurity manifests itself in various ways, and some women may be surprised to discover this is what’s been hindering them.

Prayer and Scripture form the basis of our defence against our individual default patterns of insecurity. One key verse is from Proverbs 31:25, where it declares “She is clothed with strength and dignity.”

Our God-given right to dignity—and our responsibility not to give that away when something threatens us—is central to maintaining our security. No, dignity is not something we can earn. It’s a gift from our God, and we need to hold it tight.

We also need to trust God. Beth says, “Whenever you get hit by a wave of insecurity, the wind driving it is always fear” (p. 320).She reminds us to consciously choose to trust God without conditions.

Not to say, “I’ll trust You as long as You don’t let my fear come true.” To decide that even if what we fear happens, we will trust Him to look after us.

If we must picture the worst-case scenario, we need to remember that God will be in it too. He won’t vanish in a puff of surprise and leave us fending for ourselves.

So Long Insecurity isn’t a quick-fix, one-time deal, because the triggers to insecurity are all around us. But it is a practical resource to help us reclaim our security and to arm us with what we need to guard ourselves.

I appreciated the solid reliance on Scripture, and the focus verses and short prayers that are perfect to write down and carry with us. There’s also a slightly longer prayer we can use each morning to keep our defences up.

Working through this book has changed me. I’m not yet where I want to be, but I’m closer. And I have the tools to get there. Whether you’re deeply or only mildly insecure, or if you want to understand an insecure woman in your life, I recommend reading So Long Insecurity. Check out the first chapter of So Long Insecurity here.

Beth Moore is a popular Bible teacher and author. You can watch an interview with Beth Moore about So Long Insecurity here, or learn more about the book here. Or click here to visit the So Long Insecurity website.

[Book from my personal library—and while I may lend it to you, I want it back!]

I Do Believe

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not … if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:17,18, 22b-24, NIV*

We’ve been talking about Philippians 4 and thanksgiving vs. anxiety for a few weeks now, and the irony is not lost on me: Today started with a sense of restless urgency, and my prayers kept circling back to someone for whom I care deeply.

I reminded myself to pray with petition and thanksgiving, to trust God’s care. Several times. Somewhere in the cloud of nervous energy He helped me realize something: today’s issue isn’t about my loved one, it’s about me.

Is there an immediate problem or danger? No, although I sense trouble in the offing. Does God need to do anything about it this second? No, although I believe He has a plan and a timetable for action, and has been calling people to pray.

So where’s the trouble? It’s me, fretting. Not letting go as I pray. Not being confident in God’s ability to work all things to His glory and His children’s good.

This always brings me back to Mark’s story of the man and his son, as I echo the man’s words: “I believe. Help my unbelief.”

Jesus, help me believe You. You haven’t given me any specific word about this particular need, but I have plenty of truth in Your Word to cling to. You have already won the battle, and all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to You. Thank You for the peace You give when I finally stop long enough to remember Who You are. Thank You for what You will do, in the Father’s perfect timing and wisdom. Thank You for caring about me and my loved ones today.

I’m so thankful for Scripture, and for music which reminds me of God’s truth. A song that spoke peace to my spirit just now is Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Yours.” Take time to let the words sink in….

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.