Posts Tagged “John Maxwell”

1Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.
2I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
Psalm 57:1-2 (NLT)

There are times when the only thing that brings relief is crying out to God – “Have mercy, oh God!” Times when the things of this world seem to rage against us with no relief. Whether it’s mounting bills or serious persecution, we all have places and times in our lives when we cry out to God for His mercy, when we look to Him for protection.

If we’re smart (and I’m not always smart), we run to Him sooner rather than later. And if we’re really smart, after running to Him, we hide in Him until the danger passes. I was so struck by this second phrase of verse 1 – “I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.” I’m afraid my tendency is to cry out to God, then go out to face my battles. How foolish of me! It’s like asking for an umbrella, being given one, then dropping it on the sidewalk as I run into the raging storm.

Running to God is great, but remaining in Him throughout the battle is where our protection and victory lie. God will fulfill his purposes for you if you go beyond crying out to Him. Cry out, then wait and hide. Wait for your answer. Wait for His strength. Wait for His timing. That’s where His Spirit is moving. That’s where His protection is. Stay in it.

Easy enough for me to say, right? How do you stay hidden in God when you must face the world? Well, books and books have been written about that subject, but I find three basics in these verses:

  1. Cry out to God again and again and again. And again. John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership says this: “What a person does on a disciplined, consistent basis gets him ready, no matter what the goal.” Be disciplined and consistent about crying out to God. Find triggers that remind you to cry out to Him – every time you reach for your coffee cup, every time you switch tasks, or every time you answer the phone, for example. Learn to cry out to God regularly throughout the day. The more you cry out, the more you will sense His response.
  2. Decide to stay in His peace – then do it. Period. “I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings” the psalmist wrote. It is much easier to allow ourselves to slip into worry, criticism or frustration. Don’t do it. Purpose in your heart that when you find God’s peace you will stay there. That means rejecting the temptation to leave it. When tempted to worry, pull your mind back to God. Cry out to Him again. Worship Him. Breathe deeply and let His presence and His peace fill you. It all starts with the decision – the “I will” – to remain in Him instead of letting your emotions rule you.
  3. Speak spiritual truths to yourself. The Psalmist reassured himself that “God will fulfill His purpose for me.” Make that your mantra. Or take a verse that God has highlighted to you and make that your mantra.

Three steps to remaining in the presence of God? Well, yes and no. Yes, I am fully confident that following these three simple steps will keep you in God’s presence. And no, it’s not that simple. Because God is both simple and complex. His Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand yet complex enough that we can spend all our lives studying it without having plumbed the depths of His grace and mercy. So start with these steps and trust that God will reveal more as you hide in Him.

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