116 Refuge

We seek refuge in perfectionism to protect our self-esteem, self-worth, self-image and identity.  If we base identity on performance, we make ourselves vulnerable to pain and regret when our performance does not match our expectations.  By our perfectionism we seek to protect ourselves from pain, but instead we cause ourselves more pain.  We need to relinquish perfectionism to find a better refuge.  The Lord creates the best refuge.  Let’s trust Him rather than our own devises.

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.  Psalm 37:39-40

Our relationship with the Lord depends on our performance, but rather on His unmerited love and favor.  “The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.”  (Psalm 116:6)  Viewed from perfectionism, that verse seems too good to be true.  We think that life is way too complex for us to be simplehearted.  We try to solve all our problems with our own wisdom rather than simply trusting the Lord.

To be simplehearted, we need to let go of our perfectionism and embrace the Lord’s goodness to us.  As the song says, “His love is amazing, steady and unchanging.”  It seems too good to be true.  Yet, we can receive it in faith.

Marguex gave me this thought:  When we belong in God, then we belong no matter where we are.  We may be excluded by some group at some point in time, but we still belong to God, and His opinion of us is the one that really matters.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

Enjoying my Savior’s help and protection,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.

We have a dream & request prayer.


115 Loving

God is love  I John 4:8

We know this.  We heard it as children.  It’s perhaps the most quoted verse in the Bible.  We teach children the song, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”  We see buttons and stickers, bookmarks and greeting cards which all say some version of “God loves you.”  We have many reminders of God’s love.  Years ago, I told myself many times a day, “God loves me.”

Still, do we really get it?  Do we really understand how much He loves us?  We cannot possibly comprehend the depths of God’s love for us.  Yet, do we have some deep appreciation of His love?  Have we apprehended it?  Do we sing songs of joy knowing His love?  Or do we sing out of obligation, knowing that we should praise Him, after all He has done for us?  Does the love of God grip our hearts?

If not, then why not?

My idea on this is that we expect ourselves to earn God’s love, which only blocks us from receiving His love.  Earned love really is not love.  We cannot obligate God in any way, shape or form.  We minimize how truly loving God is when we claim any merit for it.  God loves us because His nature is to love.  We deserve His wrath.  He loves us despite of what we deserve, not because of it.  We can do nothing to earn His love.  He gives us His love.

Learning to receive God’s love is a process.  We need time and help to receive His love.  We need to give ourselves grace in the process.  Expecting ourselves to have it all figured out now only blocks our healing process.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.  O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.  How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.  Psalm 36:5-9

We need light to see God’s love.  We need a revelation of His love to awaken our hearts to it.

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners Christ died for us.  Romans 5:7-8

God has shown us His love in sending His own Son to die for us.  What more could He do?  God loved us even when we were dead in sin.  We did nothing to earn it.  God loves because He is love.

Praying for revelation of His love in our hearts,

Noah Woodrich

Loving God and our spiritual family through grace received in faith,
imparting truth in presence and deed and word,

becoming like Messiah and leading others to walk alongside us
.


114 Giving

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

God gives because of Who He is.  He formed creation out of nothing.  He breathed existence.  He gave His breath so we could live.

We turned our back on God, choosing rather to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of from the tree of life.  We rejected God, but He did not forget us.  He devised the plan of salvation to bring us back to Himself.

God saved us through His Son (Romans 5:15-17).  Salvation is gift.  We can do nothing to earn it.  God invented and initiated it.  He gave us His Son, the Way to Himself.  He gave us new life in the Son and with Him in Heaven forever.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

The world requires us to earn what we receive.  Our Lord does not operate under this rule.  He gives because it’s His nature.

The Son represents of the Father.  He shows us the loving and giving Father.  The Son willingly took up the cross and died for us.  He suffered so that we could live.  He let go of His rights so that He could redeem us with His Own blood.  He completely emptied Himself, enabling us to live in union with Him.  He gave all He could give—His very life—to benefit us.  Further, He had no guarantee of how we would respond.

We cannot wrap our minds around how truly giving God is.  He is not like us.  He is Other.

We wonder what we will get out of any transaction or relationship.  If we give something to someone, what are we going to get out of it?  God does not think like this.  He gives because He wants to give.  He offers us life not because He will derive some benefit, but because He wants to benefit us.  He offers regardless of what we have done or will do.  His gift of grace is unconditional.

Yes, we need to receive His gift in faith.  He holds the gift out to us.  We can decide to accept it or reject it.  We have decided to accept God’s gift of salvation.  Will we accept other gifts He offers us?

Receiving from Him,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


113 Big ‘N Little

“But will God really dwell on earth?  The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.  How much less this temple I have built!”  I Kings 8:27

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:17

“God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’”  Acts 17:27-28

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13

God is big, and He is also in the little.  We cannot build a temple big enough for Him, but He lives inside of us by His Spirit.  He holds all things together.  He created the forces of nature, one which holds the planets to our Sun, another which holds atoms together to form compounds, and still another one which holds the nucleus of an atom together.  God is vast, yet He still sees the little.  He manages the stars in the universe, yet He will not let a sparrow fall without His permission (Matthew 10:29).

We may wonder if God cares about all the little details of our lives.  We don’t want to trouble Him with small matters.  We pray for the big things, but struggle with daily life on our own, thinking that our problems are too insignificant to ask for God’s help.  However, He wants us to know that He sees everything we are going through.  In fact, we actually live in Him, and He lives in us.  We can do nothing outside of His purview.  We may try to hide from Him, but nothing can hide us from His sight (Psalm 139:7-12).

Does He sympathize with our experience?  He is vast, so how could He trifle with our inconsequential lives?  He can sympathize because He became one of us and lived among us (Hebrews 4:15).  He knows firsthand what life feels like for us.  He experienced hunger, thirst, pain, loneliness and even abandonment.  One of His closest friends betrayed Him.  He was ridiculed, mocked, beaten and even crucified.  He went through the worst of what we experience, and so He understands us, and He wants to help us with all of our problems.

God lives far away, yet He is also close to us and even in us.  He can see it all.  He is in it all.

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6

Marveling at Him,

Noah Woodrich

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


112 Faithful

Many of us learned to distrust others.  Parents and others in authority broke our trust by hurting us in various ways.  We put our distrust on God, believing, even if unconsciously, that God was like broken human authority figures.  We need to remember that God is faithful, trustworthy and true.

The One Who calls you is faithful and he will do it.  I Thessalonians 5:24

We need to trust God and receive His promises in faith.  Jesus is the Rock upon whom we can build our lives (cf, Matthew 7:24).  As we put our trust in Him and believe His word and promises to us, He shows Himself faithful and true.  We learn to depend on Him, not on ourselves.  He is our confidence, our shield, our defender, our strong tower.  Jesus is the Way.

If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for is he cannot disown himself.  II Timothy 2:13

God remains faithful whether or not we are faithful.  He initiated relationship with us.  He devised the plan of salvation.  Our relationship with Him was all His idea.

He formed a covenant with Abraham to bless all nations through his seed.  God still honors His covenant with Abraham and through him to bless all nations.  A contract differs from a covenant in that if one party of a contract breaks the terms, the other party is freed from any obligation of the contract.  God will never break His covenants.

Let us continue to hold onto the hope which we acknowledge without wavering.  For the One Who made the promise is trustworthy.  Hebrews 10:23, CJB

We make our lives simpler when we trust in His faithfulness.  We do not have to make plans for the worst or let the enemy of our souls throw us into confusion.  We can relax knowing that God is in control, and in control for our good.

God remains faithful whether we are faithful or not.  He initiated relationship with us and saved us.  God does not make us trust Him; we choose to trust Him.  We can learn to let go of fear, apprehension and doubt.  We learn instead to rest in His faithfulness.  Then we will know assurance of His goodness and kindness towards us who believe in Him (Ephesians 2:7-8).

Holding on to Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


111 Immutable

God is immutable.  We can try to click “mute” on the remote control, but that does not silence God.  He still speaks even if we ignore Him.  Eventually, He will make everyone hear His voice.  “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).

Many pretend God does not exist.  They remove Him from public life and from private decisions, but He will not be removed.  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).  We will not be able to make any excuses at that time.  The best we could do would be to say, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13).

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.  I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.  I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”  Isaiah 46:9-10

“I the Lord do not change.”  Malachi 3:6

The quote above from Malachi is in the context of God accusing Israel of leaving Him and His ways.  God called them back to true worship.  God had punished them, but He had not forsaken them.  He was true to His word then and still is, today.

Our sin does not change God.  He still loves us.  Our prayers do not change God, either.  God answers prayer—He says that He will.  Our prayer may touch God’s heart and lead Him to act, but it does not change Who God is or how He interacts with humanity.

We cannot justly find fault with God.  Even Job was unsuccessful at that.  In the end he repented.  “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).

All of human activity throughout history has not changed God.  We have made discoveries and inventions, but God already knew them before we did.  Nothing we could say or do would surprise God.  We cannot come up with some new idea that He did not already know.

We can plead,beg, cry, wail and bemoan our circumstances or the state of the world, but that will not change God.  We cannot devise some plan that will thwart His purposes or get Him to change His mind.  We cannot make God bend to our will.

“I the Lord do not change.”  Nothing will change Him.  After all that has happened since the creation of the world, God remains the same.  Only our perception of Him changes.  He has revealed Himself to us more and more.  We gain more insight as we listen to Him.  Our thoughts about God may change, but He remains the same.

God is immutable.

In awe of Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


110 Other

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?  Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?  Who has understood the mind of the Lord or instructed him as his counselor?  Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?  Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?  To whom, then, will you compare God?  What image will you compare him to?  Isaiah 40:12-14 & 18

We can’t put God into a box.  We might try, but He won’t fit.  God is sovereign.  He has plans and purposes which He will ensure will prevail.  We cannot figure Him out.  He is other.

He is unlike anyone else we know or can know.  He is loving and powerful, merciful and just.  He is in control without being controlling.  He is above all things and in all things.  He is holy and blameless and loves us eternally.  He cannot tolerate sin and also made His abode with us.  He is slow to anger and yet vengeance is His.  He has all of these qualities and more.  We cannot fully comprehend Him.  He is beyond our understanding.

A comparison of God with anyone else fails in many ways.  He is more loving, more powerful, more holy, more just, more majestic, more glorious, more knowledgeable, more wise, more truthful, more intimate, more jealous, more safe, more alive, more joyful, more faithful, more compassionate, more forgiving, more giving, more steadfast, more truly good and more enduring than anyone else.  We truly cannot wrap our minds around Who God is.  He is outside of our conceptualization of Him.  He is other.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  Psalm 145:3

God is also different from us in what motivates Him.  I have been saying how God is different from us.  Actually, we are different from God.  He existed before anything else, and He created us in His own image.  However, because we are fallen, we are very different from Him.  We are greedy, selfish and self-serving.  We want what is good for us even if it might harm someone else.  However, God has our best interests in mind.  He truly loves and gives, even sacrificing Himself for us.

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.  To him be honor and might forever.  Amen.  I Timothy 6:15-16

In awe of Him,

Noah Woodrich

 WITH ME:  Wisdom, Intercession, Teaching, Hospitality, Mercy, Encouragement

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com