Tag Archive: faithful

i think the first very interesting thing to note with this psalm is the intro:

‘For the director of music. A maskil  of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelek.”’

if you read the first seven verses you see David’s response to basically ‘being told on’ and he is not amused. should we learn from that example of David and go to ourselves, ‘ah cool, so that makes it okay to rant publically about someone?’

i would suggest no. i don’t think this is a teaching passage that ends in ‘Go and do likewise!’ – but i do think we can take some kind of relief at seeing how this ‘man after God’s own heart’ still got really annoyed with people and even lost it to some extent in a public way. David lost his cool. does that mean i should lose mine? no, but it makes me feel so much better when i do. i am in good company.

we see this later with the disciples trying to get rid of the kids that ‘are bothering Jesus’, we witness this as Peter valiantly pulls out his dagger and removes the ear of one of the guards come to arrest Jesus and we have seen this in Moses smashing the tablets with the ten commandments on them because he is so pissed off by the Israelites actions.

it’s not the right way to behave… but we ‘get’ it.

and then it’s like he manages to pull himself together right at the end and finishes with a focus on God. kind of like he is saying, ‘I am mightily pissed off right now, i’m so angry, i’ve been so hard done by… but God is faithful. This too shall pass. And what does any of it really matter because i have God on my side and He is loving and faithful.

‘But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.’ [vs. 8-9]

 [To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

God parts the Red Sea using Moses

“Just part one ocean in front of me, once, God, and i will never doubt you again!”

that’s how i think sometimes. but a huge part of me knows it unlikely to be true. it wasn’t enuff for the Israelites [a day later they were whining about water so God made  it appear out of a rock, then it was food and God made bread appear six days a week, then it was about the fact that it was bread and so God sent meat and then finally when Moses goes up the mountain to meet with God they get tired and ask for an alternative God to worship…  [it doesn’t end well]]

but it’s a nice thought to have anyways – if God just does this big amazing impossible thing then i will believe-Him believe Him for ever and ever.

tonite, in the room of inspiration, i came up with the term ‘Pramnesia’ which i think a lot of us are inflicted with:




A partial or total loss of memory linked to matters relating to answered prayer.

we see or experience God answer prayer [in some small or big way] and then the next time we are faced with an obstacle or a difficult person or a huge loss, we forget completely how faithful God has been to us and either rail against Him, or forget about Him completely while we try sort the thing out in our own strength, or just completely fall to pieces.

now this becomes a ‘thing to hold in tension’ or a ‘the mystery of God piece’ when we add it to the fact that God is not a big one-armed-bandit in the sky – say the prayer, pull the leaver and instant win… sometimes God’s very real answer to prayer is “No!” and other times it might be, “Yes, but not now” and even other times it might be, “Absolutely yes, but completely not in the way you are expecting.”

another part to hold on to is this description of God in Ephesians 3.20: ‘to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,’

actually, the Message sums it up pretty well: God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.’

and therein lies the point: God is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than ALL WE CAN HOPE OR IMAGINE.

i say this a lot, but i want to encourage you to start believing that perhaps we need to start hoping or imagining bigger. or at least more consistently.

so if you have been struggling with pramnesia, then my advice is to stop it.

let the answered prayers of the past be the catalysts for the bigger prayers you are going to pray for this day – i’m not talking prosperity doctrine at all but about kingdom doctrine – His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven… or another way to look at it, ‘what this earthly kingdom would look like if God was King here.’

why not try this… for the next week, at the start of each day, pray a simple prayer inviting God to present an opportunity for you to: show Love to someone who is feeling down/speak to someone about something God has done in your life/have a conversation with someone you know by name but whose story you have never heard/highlight a person who you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from… whatever it is doesn’t matter, but pray a prayer inviting God to action in your life… and then be on the look out for the opportunity and take it.

and i’d love it if you returned here and shared some of those answered prayers once they’ve happened…


another psalm from David and again, it appears as if he hadn’t committed his major facefall yet as he is still muttering about those who have “no fear of God before their eyes.” [vs. 1]

but once he has gotten over looking at “them” and “their awful sin” he has some useful things to say [so useful we turned them into songs… from songs into other songs that it]

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take 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.

so much so that i want to just share it like that, so all the poetry and music can drip from it… it is amazing how when a poet/songwriter/artist gets it so right, they can transport other people along with them on their journey and i feel that happens here – basically the writer is shouting out, “God you are big in this way and huge in that other way and just so incredible in that way” and uses amazing language to take us right there with Him…

Your Love reaches to the heavens [which are not necessarily a physical up there, just past the stars, kind of place, so really Your Love just goes on and on and on]…

Your faithfulness is like the mighty mountains [you know, standing firm, unmoveable, unshakeable, You are trustworthy]…

Your justice like the great deep [going way beyond what we see and can experience and even know about or can safely enter into without super special hectic gear – it just keeps going and is much greater than we can imagine]…

and on and on… God you are Huge and Great and Mighty and everything about You is just desirable and mind-blowing and life-transforming…

it is great, and necessary to every now and then [or really regularly actually, which is why i love corporate worship times cos that is a place i feel encouraged to do so] just lose it in your praise and adoration of God, for who He is and what He does and what He has done…

when last did you do so?

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. [vs.9]

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

verse 23 jumped out at me:

‘Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.’

my translation says, ‘The Lord preserves the faithful…’

and i found it an interesting contrast – faithful vs proud – because i don’t think we would naturally see them as opposites…

yet when i think of being faithful the immediate connection is the idea of ‘faithful to someone, or something’ and that will generally require humility and service, which are much closer to being the opposite of proud

my nickname “Fish” stands for ‘Faithful In Serving Him’ which is something i aspire towards more than can claim i achieve, but it really is an incredibly high value of mine, and when i get it right it is when [as in luke 9.23] i am denying myself and inviting God to take charge

my friend Mugabe [no relation] used to say something like this: ‘When God is on the throne of my life, i have to be on the cross, but when i put myself on the throne of my life, it means i have once again condemned Jesus to the cross.’ it is as if i am crucifying Him again.

Joshua looked at the people and said, “Choose this day who you will serve.” [Joshua 24.15]

Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; you will hate the one and love the other” and yeah he may have been talking about money in that specific account but the principle remains – there is only space for one king in your life. who is it going to be today?

there is a whole lot more of juicy stuff in psalm 31 [it’s a long psalm] but i think that’s good for now… maybe something else stood out for you and i’d love to hear it below…

this is a great psalm… so rich… but i am just going to pull out one or two things as usual and once again would love to hear what stood out for you…

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?’ [vs.1]

such a strong, powerful start and the reminder to us that this is a great place to be in – one where you are reminded of the bigness of the God you follow… this reminds me of the principle of ‘audience of One’ – live your life as if God was the only One in the audience cheering you on – the only One you were trying to impress… and not so much because you have to try to impress god [you don’t, He starts impressed, loving, extending grace] but because it can be so helpful to not be feeling the need to impress everyone else around you… live for Him and know that if you do that, you don’t need to be afraid!

‘When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.’ [vs. 2-3]

these verses, to me, just add to the focus on God’s faithfulness – look at the progression – ‘when the wicked advance’ to ‘though an army besiege’ to ‘when war breaks out’ – hopefully not too many of us are facing those particular circumstances, but just the encouragement of no matter how bad it may feel now or even how hugely it may escalate, God has this thing, you can trust in Him. [the disclaimer that needs to be attached to this is that just because God is bigGER and has your back doesn’t mean He will necessary keep you safe or comfortable or even physically alive, but His kingdom is bigger than all of those things and in the bigger picture you will come out on top, as He defines ‘on top’.]

and so much more… but want to leave you with the last two verses of this psalm which don’t even need commentary but exist as a great place to land this: ‘I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.’ [vs. 13-14]

continuing my journey of reading through the psalms at a leisurely pace, making some observations as i go along, inviting you to jump in to the comments section with a verse or idea or question or wrestle that possibly jumped out at you as you were reading this particular psalm:


‘Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But…’ [verse 2]

i think this stood out for me and possibly not for the same reasons the psalmist intended, but really the sense of a lot of people around him looking at his belief in God and ridiculing it or disregarding it and kind of writing it off… followed by this giant BUT.

As in, people around me may not think there is much significance in the God i serve or call out to or worship, but i have experienced it differently and i trust that my God will come through for me.

that followed by the beginning of verse 5 which interestingly reads, ‘I lie down and sleep’ which, for those who know me, may not seem like a verse i would rush to as sleep has not been a big theme of the recent years of my life… but it stands out because you have this guy who seems like he is on his own and he is crying out to God and yet there is this sense of confidence that when he lies down he will sleep. That speaks of his faith and trust in God and i really like that. Reminiscent of Psalm 23 and ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me and Your staff and rod they comfort me.’

we serve a God who is real. and He is faithful. and that is exciting. and worth writing about and testifying to.

[To continue on to Psalm 4, click here]

[To return to the start of this series on Psalms or some other Bible things, click here]

i was thinking about this the other day and it’s a pretty silly semantical thort but it was mine and that it was too. [eh hem]

and hopefully someone is already penning me an email [can one do that?] to tell me i spelt ‘faithful’ wrong, without reading the blog post [those are some of my favourite people] but actually that was the thort that ran thru my head the other day

God is faithful, for sure, i have no doubt of that and especially so after experiencing it [albeit on many 11 hour 56 minute occasions] many times the first half of this year, but He is not faith full as in full of faith, because God doesn’t need faith like we do.

Why not? Because He knows Himself. i think some dead english guy wrote the phrase “to thine own self be true” which is what God absolutely is. God cannot not be true to Himself. He is Love and Justice and Mercy and Grace and Faithfulness and Wisdom and all of those descriptors get a capital letter when speaking about Him because that is when they are at their absolute truest.

So God doesn’t need faith in Himself – hope that He will act in the way He should, because He is God and that is who He is and He will absolutely always act true to Himself and His character.

So God is definitely not faithfull. He doesn’t need any faith.

But what He is, is Trustworthy.

Which we have learnt from experiencing His faithfulness.

the beautiful val and i started the year trusting that the belief i had that God was wanting us to wait on Him for plans for this year was a valid one and so we waited and prayed and asked and answered other peoples questions using the phrase ‘i don’t know’ to good effect and then two possibilities came up – the Simple Way which we are doing and an internship [for tbV] with IJM [International Justice Mission] which we are not [at the moment anyway]. the process happened pretty smoothly and at the end of april we were invited to join the Simple Way in Philadelphia [those who have read ‘The Irresistible Revolution’ will know what it is, those who haven’t should!] for 19 months with val working in crisis management and emergency services and me being involved with the hospitality house which deals with people coming to check out the work and happenings of the Simple Way and hopefully some communications stuff as well.

which left us with the big 5 – getting someone to take over our apartment, selling both our cars, getting visas, buying air tickets and getting rid of our stuff [with a 6th one – paying off val study visa and car loan – lurking quietly in the background] which have now largely been taken care of thankx to incredible provision by God and people who love Him [and love us which is really cool] – getting no salaries from Feb [and then having the two salaries we were meant to get in April not arrive due to a clerical error] meant that we really had to trust God a lot that we were being obedient to what He had said – and sometimes literally the night before we needed money it would appear in our account, with no-one knowing that we needed it. The visas are on hold as we wait for some info from the Simple Way which we should get later today and it seems like we will get better ones than we were applying for. We were blown away by a gift from a good friend last nite that will allow us to, as val would say, punch number 6 in the face. So it is all looking good.

Did we triumphantly trust God the whole way with no doubting or second-guessing or getting ready to panic or stress or make a plan B? Absolutely not. We had moments of weakness and struggle and panic and doubt. But we continued to trust through it all and God, as always, continued to prove faithful and show us, in His perfect timing that He has us. And a lot of the time He did it through His church, the Christ-following people we are fortunate enuff to be in relationship with. And not always the ones we suspected it would be. We have been pleasantly surprised time and time again.

So God doesn’t need faith. Therefore He cannot be faithfull.
But God is trustworthy, not always in the ways we expect, and so He is absolutely faithful.
Church, when it works, is incredible.
and some other fourth thing…

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