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your everyday, ordinary life

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:1-2, The Message

never leave

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]'” – Hebrews 13:5, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, ‘I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!’” – Hebrews 13:5, Amplified Bible, (AMP)

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be ·satisfied [content] with what you have. [L For] God has said, ‘I will never leave you; I will never ·abandon [forsake] you [Deut. 31:6].’” – Hebrews 13:5, Expanded Bible (EXB)

 

 

protection

In Isaiah 30 God sent this message to the descendants of Abraham.  They had run to  Egypt to be their covering and protection.  Literally their choice was to not run to God.  They had made a treaty with Egypt because they did not trust their God.  He told them that because they made that choice it would only bring them disgrace and shame.

The Lord said,

‘How terrible it will be for these stubborn children.
They make plans, but they don’t ask me to help them.
    They make agreements with other nations, without asking my Spirit.
    They are adding more and more sins to themselves.
They go down to Egypt for help,
    but they didn’t ask me about it first.
They hope they will be saved by the king of Egypt.
    They want Egypt to protect them.
But hiding in Egypt will bring you only shame.
    Egypt’s protection will only disappoint you.
Your officers have gone to Zoan.
    Your messengers have gone to Hanes.
But they will be put to shame,
    because Egypt is useless to them.
Egypt will give no help and be of no use.
    It will cause them only shame and embarrassment.’” – Isaiah 30:1-5, International Children’s Bible

In the Jubilee Bible 2000 it uses the words “cover” and “covering”.

“…to cover themselves with a covering, and not by my spirit…” – Isaiah 30:1, Jubilee Bible 2000

These words could have been written about me.  At two key times in my life I have chosen to be under the “protective” covering of two different people instead of my God.  Because I was not depending on Him, in both instances these alliances had disastrous endings and became “…only shame and embarrassment“.  From experience I can say that it truly matters who/ what we choose to be our covering.

humble

When we worry we are actually operating in pride.  In essence we’re saying that it’s up to us to come up with a plan because we either haven’t asked God to take it, or we want to have a safety net in case God doesn’t come through.  On the other hand, if we completely trust God with an issue we will be humble before Him, and operate in His peace while we wait.

(paraphrased from Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, 1995 ed., chap. 12, p. 126, par 1)

covering

If you want to get the picture of what is going on in the verses I’m going to talk about, read at least Isaiah 22:15-25 if not the chapter before (21) and the following  chapter (23).  Shebna is the Prime Minister to the king.  God has a very strong message for him from the prophet Isaiah.

“Behold, the Lord will hurl you away violently, O you strong man; yes, He will take tight hold of you and He will surely cover you [with shame].” Isaiah 22:17, Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.

God also names his successor: Eliakim, and gives him the following news.

“I will dress him in your robe, gird him with your sash of office, and invest him with your authority.”  – Isaiah 22:21, Complete Jewish Bible.

Now here is the same verse from the Good News Translation.  “I will put your official robe and belt on him and give him all the authority you have had. He will be like a father to the people of Jerusalem and Judah.” – Isaiah 22:21.
The robe and sash (belt) obviously signify authority.  I think of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.  No one, not even her husband or any of her children, would dare to wear her royal robe or crown in public because the robe and crown signify her authority over Great Britain.  Yet here God is forewarning Shebna that he will be stripped of his position and official garments.  Then they will be given to another who will have more favor than he has had.
What we are covered with, whether seen or not, is significant.  If we are covered in favor, blessings, title(s), they can be stripped away and given to someone else.  For me, it is a warning to watch my attitude and how I live in private, or what I have been given can be taken away by the One Who knows the condition of my heart.

cover

Psalm 91 is an awesome chapter that is full of promises.  But before we begin to claim them as our very own, know this vital fact.  Verses three to the end of the chapter are contingent on us fulfilling our part.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!” – Psalm 91:1-2, The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.

Once those conditions are met, we can now say the rest of the chapter.

You can go to him for protection.
    He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies.
    You can trust him to surround and protect you like a shield.” – Psalm 91:4, Easy-to-Read Version (emphasis mine)

same verse, three versions

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” – Isaiah 26:3, The Amplified Bible

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” – Isaiah 26:3, The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

“You, Lord, ·give [preserve/keep in] ·true peace [complete peace; L peace, peace] ·to those who depend on you [T whose mind is stayed on you; L whose purpose is firm], because they trust you.” – Isaiah 26:3, The Expanded Bible