Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bible is My Coping Mechanism


I'm writing mostly to myself these days- the more I store it up in my heart and mind, the more it will ooze out of me when pressure comes. People are like sponges- when you squeeze them, they leak out whatever is on the inside.

Pressures tend to arise. Jesus said: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." That's what I was thinking about this morning. That if Jesus has overcome the world, then He is the One I want. I choose to be on His team.

We can choose our coping mechanism. God has delegated to man a fearful authority, to choose our own destiny. We choose the words of our mouths, we choose the beliefs of our hearts. Often people cry out to God "Help me! God, DO SOMETHING!" And yet, we have created our own lives. We are master of our domain. A man messes up his own life and then he blames God.

Is that true, can we be blamed for the situations we are in?? Well... Even when we are in situations that seem beyond our control, we know what Jesus has warned us: Offenses will come. But He has given us the choice of whom we will call on.

It's not that God is unwilling to help. But remember, He gave us His instruction manual, the bible, and He has offered us His Spirit, if we will only recieve. He has graciously offered us NEW LIFE in His Son, so that even if we live in a world where offenses and troubles come, we can know that we don't live here for this life only. Our time here is the precursor to the life to come. The REAL LIFE. Our hope is not just for the here and now!

But what do we do for the here and now? We are placed in an awkward position: we are born again spirit beings with a home in heaven, but left to battle fleshly desires, attacks of the devil, and the general thoughtlessness and selfishness of those around us. We need some freedom! We need some hope! We need some encouragement!

My bible is my coping mechanism. And yet, that small earthy phrase doesn't even begin to some up what it means to me. It is so much more than that. It is my life. I have become addicted to the bible.

Yes, you do have coping mechanisms. You do have addictions. We all do. When we feel like we want to eat and eat and eat until we feel better, we are trying to cope. We are trying to lean on something, to depend on something. When we want to go outside for a smoke, when we "need" a drink, when we JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE... We all turn to SOMETHING.

When I read my bible, I feel different. My blood sugar levels out, my pain diminishes, my symptoms leave. I believe what it says: I believe that it is health to my whole body. But not just that- I believe that it is LIFE to me. I believe that it is a Living Personality. I believe that when I read the bible, it is God speaking to me. I believe that when I say what it says, that I am being the prophet of my own life. Not a mere spectator to the things that come, but through speaking the word, I put a bit in the horses mouth, I harness my own life.

I believe that the word of God changes my circumstances, orders my day, and intervenes on my behalf. I believe that the word of God is not merely stories, but an action, a power, a SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE. A weapon! I believe that the word of God is a COVENANT. I believe that the word of God will do what it says!

I'm not talking about religeon, I am speaking of a living, divine relationship. God. The Word. Wisdom. The Spirit of Christ. Living bread, Living water. Oh how I love God's word.

Yes, you have power to choose your coping mechanism. If you are coping right now by hiding under the covers, by weeping, by abusing, then know this: the word of God has the power to change you, if you will only open the door.

Psalm 18 (Contemporary English Version)
1I love you, LORD God,
and you make me strong.
2You are my mighty rock, [a] my fortress, my protector,
the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
my powerful weapon, [b] and my place of shelter.
3I praise you, LORD!
I prayed, and you rescued me
from my enemies.
4Death had wrapped
its ropes around me,
and I was almost swallowed
by its flooding waters.
5Ropes from the world
of the dead
had coiled around me,
and death had set a trap
in my path.
6I was in terrible trouble
when I called out to you,
but from your temple
you heard me
and answered my prayer.
7The earth shook and shivered,
and the mountains trembled
down to their roots.
You were angry
8and breathed out smoke.
Scorching heat and fiery flames
spewed from your mouth.
9You opened the heavens
like curtains,
and you came down
with storm clouds
under your feet.
10You rode on the backs
of flying creatures
and swooped down
with the wind as wings.
11Darkness was your robe;
thunderclouds filled the sky,
hiding you from sight.
12Hailstones and fiery coals
lit up the sky
in front of you.
13LORD Most High, your voice
thundered from the heavens,
as hailstones and fiery coals
poured down like rain.
14You scattered your enemies
with arrows of lightning.
15You roared at the sea,
and its deepest channels
could be seen.
You snorted,
and the earth shook
to its foundations.
16You reached down from heaven,
and you lifted me
from deep in the ocean.
17You rescued me from enemies,
who were hateful
and too powerful for me.
18On the day disaster struck,
they came and attacked,
but you defended me.
19When I was fenced in,
you freed and rescued me
because you love me.
20You are good to me, LORD,
because I do right,
and you reward me
because I am innocent.
21I do what you want
and never turn to do evil.
22I keep your laws in mind
and never look away
from your teachings.
23I obey you completely
and guard against sin.
24You have been good to me
because I do right;
you have rewarded me
for being innocent
by your standards.
25You are always loyal
to your loyal people,
and you are faithful
to the faithful.
26With all who are sincere,
you are sincere,
but you treat the unfaithful
as their deeds deserve.
27You rescue the humble,
but you put down all
who are proud.
28You, the LORD God,
keep my lamp burning
and turn darkness to light.
29You help me defeat armies
and capture cities.
30Your way is perfect, LORD,
and your word is correct.
You are a shield for those
who run to you for help.
31You alone are God!
Only you are a mighty rock. [c] 32You give me strength
and guide me right.
33You make my feet run as fast
as those of a deer,
and you help me stand
on the mountains.
34You teach my hands to fight
and my arms to use
a bow of bronze.
35You alone are my shield.
Your right hand supports me,
and by coming to help me,
you have made me famous.
36You clear the way for me,
and now I won't stumble.
37I kept chasing my enemies,
until I caught them
and destroyed them.
38I stuck my sword
through my enemies,
and they were crushed
under my feet.
39You helped me win victories,
and you forced my attackers
to fall victim to me.
40You made my enemies run,
and I killed them.
41They cried out for help,
but no one saved them;
they called out to you,
but there was no answer.
42I ground them to dust
blown by the wind,
and I poured them out
like mud in the streets.
43You rescued me
from stubborn people,
and you made me the leader
of foreign nations,
who are now my slaves.
44They obey and come crawling.
45They have lost all courage,
and from their fortresses,
they come trembling.
46You are the living LORD!
I will praise you.
You are a mighty rock. [d] I will honor you
for keeping me safe.
47You took revenge for me,
and you put nations
in my power.
48You protected me
from violent enemies
and made me much greater
than all of them.
49I will praise you, LORD,
and I will honor you
among the nations.
50You give glorious victories
to your chosen king.
Your faithful love for David
and for his descendants
will never end.