Our Refuge and Shield

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)
Whenever I walk into something new, I have to spend a bit of time as an observer. Last evening’s arrival at camp was no exception. Initially, I felt as if I had been set in a sea of extroverts, a bit fearful of how I was to stay afloat; as I am far more reserved than many. As the evening unfolded, I remembered why I am here. It is not about me and my comfort, it is about loving and growing kids well. God is my refuge and my shield, and I need only look out the back door of my dwelling for the week to be reminded of Who provides my hope and my strength, and daily I seek the truth through His word. He is good, and I cannot wait to see how the week unfolds. Time off the grid in His creation, focused on His presence, is a gift. May I embrace it well. 
Our refuge and shield, 

 The Lord, He is good;

All hope we can place,

In Him, understood. 

The truth of His word,

Shall lead and shall guide;

The way we’re to go,

On Him, choose rely. 

All peace and all grace,

Come from Him alone;

May we choose to trust,

Let His hope be known. 


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and our shield. Thank You that we can place our hope in Your word. Forgive us for failing to do so, as we allow our own fears and insecurities to get in the way. Make us fearless for You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that our lives would point their hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our refuge and shield, and place our hope in Your word. Amen. 
Taste and see that The Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

Seek Not Approval of Men

One of my least favorite parts of being an educator is the process of being observed and evaluated. I know the intent is good, and it is a way to identify strengths and areas to improve, yet, for me, as one who desires to please, and do things well, it is a painful process, regardless of the kindness of the observer. My own microscope of my craft is far more critical than that by which anyone else may utilize. Each day, my responsibility to God, not men, is to do my best for the kids in my care. This morning, I will be observed as I teach. As I was reading my devotions, the following passage may as well have been the only passage on the page, as it served as a neon sign, reminding me of what matters most. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – (Galatians 1:10)

 

Though these words were Paul’s to the Galatians in regards to works verses grace, they serve as an excellent reminder for me this morning. It takes courage to remember that my priority is to please God, not men. If I am serving and honoring God by doing the job that He has called me to do to the best of my ability, then that will be enough. It is not about me, but rather Christ in me, that will be evident anyway. May we each go forth this day in courage, allowing His light to shine brightly before all men, seeking God’s approval, not man’s.

 

Seek not approval,Seek Not the Approval of Men

from our fellow man;

but rather seek God,

to do what we can.

Look to honor Christ,

in all that we do;

give glory to God,

and point to the truth.

Let our hearts be set,

on pleasing the Lord;

not allowing truth,

set aside, ignored.

May we all rise up,

as servants of God;

remaining steadfast,

inspired and awed.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we need not seek the approval of men, but rather we need only seek to serve You. Thank You that Your grace is enough. Thank You that as we come to You and trust in You, You meet us where we are and do the miraculous through our willing hearts. Forgive us for trying to please men, and help us to fix our eyes on You alone. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may do all things as unto You. May many see our heart for You as light and life and love that they have not known before. Let many be led unto You as we seek to honor You in all that we do. Be glorified, O God, as we serve You with our lives. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5