Editor’s Note: This week I’ve asked the TLI bloggers to share what God is saying to them in this unprecedented time. This month’s blog posts will be a series of personal insights meant to encourage and strengthen our relationship with God and with others. If you have not contributed to the blog in the past, but have something you’d like to share, please let me know by commenting at the end of the blog post.
One of my favorite questions I like bring to people’s attention is,
“Who does God want to be for you right now?”
As humans, we wear many “hats” or personas, like: wife, mother, sister, pastor’s wife, aunt, friend, employee, volunteer, student, teammate, etc. All of those might be true of me, but I can present as one of those in a particular time to a particular person for a particular reason.
God also has many facets to who He is:
He is Savior, but also Lord.
He is Helper but also Comforter.
He can be God Almighty or Lord of Hosts or Holy One,
Most High, Ancient of Days, Father of Wisdom, God of Peace,
or simply Abba.
He is always all of those, but might want to highlight a particular one for you at a particular time or season. Asking Him this question brings one aspect to the forefront and allows you to experience and explore that facet of God for a season.
This question is particularly potent if it is asked to God directly- “Lord, who do you want to be for me right now?”- because the answer comes pre-loaded with the absolute promise that that is exactly who He will be for you. God’s Word to you is a promise. It does not return void but accomplishes what it was intended for (Is 55:11). If He says that is who He wants to be for you, then that is who He will be for you and it will accomplish untold things.
Almost a year and a half ago, I asked God that question and felt like He was presenting and promising Himself as Keeper for that season of my life. It was a season where I was more than a little worried about some things. But with God’s answer to that question came comfort and reassurance that He is the one (actually the only one) who can keep me safe from all harm.
Psalm 121:5-8 reveals God’s promise as Keeper:
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
A year later, I was still exploring God as Keeper and holding Him to His promises when I had a major diagnosis. I quickly remembered His promise to keep me. That means He is responsible for my health, my dwelling place, my nutrition, my comfort, my learning, my growth and development… every aspect of me that needs to be “kept,” as well as my safety. I was doing all I knew to do as my part, the rest was up to my Keeper. I could leave it in His hands and rest. I had experienced the goodness and faithfulness of my Keeper already. I could trust Him with a new challenge more easily because I already knew Him as Keeper.
Our world is in a challenging time with the Corona virus. Things are unprecedented and volatile and could cause more than a little anxiety. Now is a great time to ask this question!
God, who do you want to be for me right now?
The answer He gives comes pre-loaded with hordes of promises! You get to experience God as that to you. If He says that is who He wants to be for you, then that is who He will be for you; but it will go a long way for you to partner with Him, to notice and explore Him as that, even meditate on Him as that.
One simple way to remind yourself of His promise, through the answer He gives, might be to turn that into a Breath Prayer. A breath prayer is a short, two part, possibly even two-word, prayer that can be repeated with each breath you take. As you inhale say the name of God that He wants to be for you. As you exhale say a short request. Something like:
- Keeper, shelter me.
- El Roi, breathe on me.
- Holy One, I worship you.
- Most High, be exalted.
- Mighty One, meet me here.
- Lord, give wisdom.
- Abba, I love you.
- Spirit, come.
Repeat this simple prayer with each inhale and exhale. Continue until you feel a difference come over you. Peace, insight, wisdom, presence, love…You can do this while you are driving, while you are in line at the grocery store, or when you are quarantined at home with plenty of time on your hands.
Psalm 91 might be a great passage to chew on during these uncertain times. I can find many names of God in this passage to explore, and many promises. Enjoy the journey!
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place– the Most High, who is my refuge– 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”