Me from my


I've been studying Psalm 34 lately; going through it line-by-line to really savour the meaning of each word. As I was reading, several verses reallys truck me, and have been tumbling about in my head ever since like stones when they are being polished into gems. By now, a clear-enough message has emerged from the rough, but I'm still struggling to find just the words to explain what I mean. I'll try to do my best...

Here are three verses from Psalm 34, each following a distinct pattern:

4: "I sought the Lord and ... he delivered me from all my fears."
5: "The Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."
19: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."


I've generally been in the habit of asking God to take my fears, afflictions, and troubles, from me. This Psalm opened my eyes to the fact that, if I want God to change something in my life, I'm the one who has to be moved. You see, God does not deliver your problems from you, he delivers you from your problems, by taking you to higher ground. If you want deliverance, you can't just open one small part of your life to God: you have to let him change everything that has been affected by your sin, and that means he's going to lift you out of your comfortable world and into a place where none of your past can enter.

To illustrate this better, take a moment to imagine a beautiful, comfortable, luxurious room. It's a room that's practically perfect in every way, except for one little thing. A skunk has decided to make one of its corners his residence. 

You're left with two choices. The first is: take the skunk out of the room. Which -- as you'll know if you've ever had the good fortune of coming near a skunk -- certainly won't make the room smell any nicer! The second choice is to relocate yourself and move to a place where the skunk can't follow. You've not only left the source of the problem, but you're also leaving everything that has been affected by it, as well as sparing yourself any future trouble.

In a spiritual sense, it's the same thing. If you want to be delivered from a sin, you have to realize that your whole life, not just part of it, has been affected. Which means that you can expect a huge upheaval in everything that has been comfortable and familiar to you. God isn't going to weed out the sin and leave you in the same place as you were before, he's going to pluck you out of that situation completely and draw you to a place that may be completely different from anything you've ever known. A place that is closer to him. A place where not a single scrap of your past can survive.

This speaks to me right now, since I've had several problems with my approach to Multi Media Ministry, my e-zine: I feel I'm not glorifying Jesus through it as I should. And I spend so much time making lists of things I need to change and pointing out specific errors and whatnot, when God just wants me to leave behind all of my comfortable, familiar, preconcieved ideas about what this ministry should be, and let him take it to a place that I can't quite comprehend, control, or imagine yet. It's not the problems that need to be removed from my e-zine, it's that the e-zine needs to be moved closer to God.

The only thing I can do is let go.

Love, Oksana

4 comments:

laura liz said...

amen.

that post helped me a lot.

Oksana said...

Thank you. :) Hope things are going well for you, Laura!

James said...

Thnks for what you wrote on Psalm 34!
I actually just started studying that chapter. It's amazing the way God can speak to me!

Oksana said...

That's so awesome! :D It's a great psalm, and I've learned a lot from it. If you (or anyone else reading) wants my study notes from it, just send me an email.

Thanks for stopping by, James!


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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