Posted by: bellissimanh | January 19, 2009

Memory Monday – Operation Covetousness!

 

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The strangest thing happened this week! As I was working on my verses, I decided to put this particular set of four to music to help me remember them better. As I sang them over and over, I thought to myself, “This sounds reminiscent of an old Amy Grant tune!” Imagine my surprise when I came home and visited Holly’s place, and found THIS! Is that not funny? 🙂

Because I’m beginning the 5th stanza, I think I’m going to start by typing in only the verses from that stanza on for now. Once in a while I’ll post the whole thing, for accountabilities sake. As I learn the new verses through the week, I build on what I’ve already learned, so I’m repeating the whole Psalm several times a week. That’s important to me… but for the sake of space, I’ll limit the times I post the whole thing here. Ok. That seemed much more difficult to express than I intended! LOL

Here are my four verses for this week…

“Teach me, Oh LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law, indeed I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments for I delight in it. Incline my heart toward Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.” (Psalm 119:33-36)

Can I just tell you that I repeated that last verse several times this week? “Incline my heart toward Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.” Why is it we always seem to want what someone else has? Whether it’s talents, material possessions, or something else. Here’s one for you. This week I found myself craving someone else’s lifestyle. I have a friend, Jennifer, who was sharing about her “stay-at-home” day, and I was so jealous! Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. It gives me a chance to help with our finances AND I have the blessing of heading up our marketing department, which is something I LOVE (isn’t God cool like that?)… but there are days that I really miss my life before returning to the workforce. It was so much easier to stay on top of things like the housework, family appointments, meal planning, etc. I had HOURS each day to spend deep in the Word. I could curl up with a good book and read ’til my heart’s content. Yes… I think covetousness is an accurate way to explain how I was feeling about friend’s description of her day (although the literal rendering of the word implies unjust gain or profit by violence, and I can assure you I was not thinking of heading over to Jennifer’s to beat her up and steal her day!)

But the Lord reminded me that there are so many blessings in where He has me now. I have opportunities to share Christ with friends I never would have met had it not been for my job. I work in such a great office… it really is like a third family (church being my second). I am constantly challenged and growing. I feel as though I’m contributing to the organization in a positive way. The extra income is nice, particularly in these challenging economic times. I am blessed to have a job that allows me mother’s hours, AND gives me Thursdays off so I can lead my ladies’ Bible Study. There is a note tacked up to my board at work from my husband telling me how proud he is of me. And I have the confirmation of knowing that God led me to this place, that it was His desire for me to join the team at M&M, and that I am right where He wants me to be. I think that’s what makes it all worthwhile… knowing that I’m in the center of His will for me. If that changes, or He decides to move me… I’m sure He’ll let me know.

But what a gift if I could learn to be content. Most days I am. But once in a while (like this week) I yearn for something different. Those are the times when I need to meditate on His Word and trust Him even more. Father, incline my heart toward Your testimonies, and not to covetousness! Help me to be satisfied in You… in what You’ve so graciously given me… and not to desire anything else.

And so I prayed verse 36 several times this week. And then on Friday, between the sick dog and a sick boy, the Lord gave me an unexpected day off. Two, really… because I had forgotten that today is Martin Luther King Day.  Isn’t that just like the Lord? He brought me to a place of recognizing my sin (through His Word), turned my heart toward His testimonies, corrected my thinking, and then rewarded my repentance.

“Blessed are those who hear the Word of the Lord and then obey it.” (Luke 11:28)

The true reward, of course, is getting rid of the sin that created a distance between the Lord and I, even for a short time. He Himself is my exceedingly great reward (Gen. 15:1). But wasn’t it sweet of Him to then give me my very own “stay-at-home” day? I couldn’t help but smile at this extra gift. I was thankful for the change in my heart attitude, and that would have been enough for me… but no, He goes beyond my expectations — every time. I love that about Him!

For next week, I’ll memorize verses 37-40:

“Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way. Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments are good. Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your righteousness.”

Even now, before memorizing, I can tell that these verses are going to be life and water to my soul this week. “Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things…” How much time do I spend on things that will never satisfy? Things that take me away from what HE has for me? Way too much, that’s how much.

What are you learning this week? I’d love to hear it! 🙂

P.S. – The dog and the boy are both feeling MUCH better! Thanks for the prayers! 🙂

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Responses

  1. God reminded me this morning that I needed to spend less time taking about Him and more time talking with Him (ouch)! I needed to spend some time before His throne, just being with Him, talking with Him, listening to Him. Sweet release!
    Thank you for always using your blog to point me to Jesus!
    Blessings – Lisa

  2. I won’t start “at the top” either – it does get long!

    starting at verse 1:12 – 2:4

    For this cause I also suffer these things;
    nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.

    Hold fast the form of sound words which you have heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    The good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Ghost that dwells in us.

    This you know, that all those who are in Asia are turned against me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes,

    But the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onisephorus who oft refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain.

    but when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me,

    May the Lord grant to him that he might find mercy in that day, for the many things which he ministered to me in Ephesus you know very well.

    Therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

    The things which you have heard of me among many witnesses commit to faithful men that they may be able to teach others also.

    Therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,

    for no man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this world, that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

  3. what I thought about while memorizing…

    the word “dwell” popped up again. I checked out the Greek – and the idea goes with the message yesterday morning – the Holy Spirit (and faith, and God’s Word) dwell in us. This dwelling is the idea of living in AND having an influence on where you are at. So as these dwell in us – they have an affect on our lives.

    and the word “chosen” came up again – God has chosen me – for a purpose, for a reason. Sometimes I need to remember that – I’m not here for me!

  4. Just stopped by via the book club… We had the same answer to question number 4, we just worded it a bit differently…Nice to meet you 🙂

  5. Coming home this evening from work, listing our local Christian Radio station, Chip Ingram was talking about our own prisons. Prison of want…what ever we have our eyes on hold us in prison. A job, a man, a child, a new car, etc.

    I thought that was spot on…Lovingly, Yolanda

  6. I read “And so I prayed verse 36 several times this week.”:

    “And so I prayed this verse 36 times this week.” And I thought, she’s onto something there. It’s been quite a day here trying to maintain my equilibrium and I needed the reminders you had here. And I think I need to pray some verse at least thirty-six times (like Revive me in your righteousness) to turn around right.

    Kate

  7. Loved your transparency on this post. I think we all are guilty of wanting something that someone else has. As long as we recognize it for what it is and let the Holy Spirit sweep away the nastiness of it, I think God understands. It is when it consumes us that it is a problem!!

    Leah


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