Echoes From the Campfire

Once he made up his mind to do it, he whipped up the mules and let the devil take the hindmost.”
              –Elmer Kelton (The Far Canyon)

    “But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.”
              –Matthew 5:37 (HCSB)
In these trying times, one of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get in the Word of God.  Read and meditate upon the Psalms.  

    1 – Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.
    2 – For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender green plants.
    3 – Trust in the Lord and do what is good; dwell in the land and live securely.
    4 – Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
    5 – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act,
    6 – making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.
    7 – Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him; do not be agitated by one who prospers in his way, by the man who carries out evil plans.
    8 – Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.
    9 – For evildoers will be destroyed, but those who put their hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
   10 – A little while, and the wicked person will be no more; though you look for him, he will not be there.
   11 – But the humble will inherit the land and will enjoy abundant prosperity. (HCSB)

When I read the first two verses, the thing that comes quickly to my mind are the “celebrities.”  I have often wondered why they think they are so special.  Don’t let what they say agitate you.  In today’s world you can add the politicians and journalists.  Some of them must sit up late at night dwelling on how they can thwart God’s word, how they can fulfill their evil agenda.  
    Get them, Lord, I think, but then I must read verses 7 and 8.  It is hard to calm down and wait patiently for the Lord to act.  Sometimes people, especially those we see in the media, just jerk my jaws, how about you?  Oh, Lord, help settle the agitation I feel.  George O. Wood wrote, “The more I boil, fret, and stew, the more I bumble into evil and become ensnared by it.”
    Verses 4 and 5 are very familiar, but often taken out of context.  People often “claim” verse 4, “He will give you your heart’s desires,” but they tend to forget the condition, “Take delight in the LORD.”  The same is true for verse 5.  We want the promise, but we forget that every promise has a command or obligation.  They must go together!
    “Whatever you feel yourself best fitted for, one ought to endeavor to devote the peculiarities of his nature to his Redeemer’s service.”  This was written by the famed missionary David Livingstone to his teenage son.  The Lord gives us desires, therefore, it is our obligation to follow them in His service.  Verse 5 was one of Livingstone’s favorite verses.

         “Thy way, not mine, O Lord
          However dark it be;
          O lead me by thine own right hand,
          Choose out the path for me.”
                 –Horatius Bonar

Do we really trust the Lord?  Are we accepting the path that He has chosen for us or are we balking at every circumstance and situation?  Listen:  God is in control!