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2 Ways to Make Your INSTEAD Stronger

Have you ever seen a weaned child versus an unweaned child sitting in their mother’s lap?  They provide two completely different images.

For an unweaned child awakened in the middle of the night, momma is helpless to comfort, because the baby wants to nurse.  The child would be restless and agitated in her arms. Dad is now assigned full time night time duty until the child is weaned.

This is the current situation for a friend of mine right now. Living and breathing this very scenario and each are exhausted. It painted for me a vivid picture of what the opposite of Psalm 131:2 describes.

Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” NLT

I have turned to Psalm 131 in the past, but when it resurfaced this weekend the image of myself being the unsettled child fidgeting in my mother’s lap was the picture that came to mind.

Why? It begins with verse one. “LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.”

INSTEAD, I have concerned myself with matters that are too difficult for me to grasp. And if I am honest, I have pridefully thought I could do better than God in current situations.

INSTEAD, I have” are the strategic words placed in the center of this simple yet complex three verse Psalm. The God’s Word translation puts it, “Instead, I have kept.” These words spin the trajectory of our actions around like the rinse cycle on a washing machine. If we follow the opposite of verse one like I did we are soggy, dripping wet and miserable.

INSTEAD, if we lean into the last two verses, we will be released of the weight of worry and the burden we bare from something we were not intended to carry.

Choosing INSTEAD, I have requires intentional effort. Here are two ways that have helped me wean myself from struggling with God sized matters.

  1. INSTEAD requires selecting an alternative action to replace the pride of carrying it by ourselves or leaning on our own understanding.

When I was asked by a friend out of love, “Do you REALLY trust God?” The question was directed towards one of our current situations and I wanted to be offended because my desire to trust God is strong. I know He is faithful and trustworthy, but the question probed me to look deeper.  I realized I had not fully surrendered the situation to Him.  While I thought I was trusting Him, I was not. Do you ever deceive yourself? (James 1:22-25)

INSTEAD I needed to fully release the situation into His care and I asked for accountability with my commitment to fully trust. (Psalm 131:3) What is your INSTEAD action?

  1. I have kept insinuates ongoing action that keeps eyes focused on God over the circumstances at hand. As an alternative to whining and pulling on His robe or pulling away from His hand to wander off on our own; we need to look to Him, crawl up in His lap and listen to His Voice. This action needs to be placed on the repeat cycle. (Isaiah 30:15)

The messages in my head played tunes of gloom and doom. The choice to make myself aware of my internal dialogue, measuring it up to the truth of God’s Word and rejecting the irrational beliefs and outright lies is an ongoing battle that must be fought. How are your internal messages?  Is it time for an upgrade? (2 Corinthians 10:5)

I have kept for me means I will continue to hold my thoughts captive on this matter, rejecting the dread that robs me of my joy.  I will keep being thankful and keep remembering God is the owner and I am the steward. What is your, I have kept action(s)?

The quiet calm of a weaned child is more appealing than a fidgeting restless unweaned child. When we choose to live by these words, “Instead, I have kept,” we will be able to live the outcome. “…Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O your name, put your hope in the LORD – now and always.” Psalm 131:2-3, NLT

Thank you for reading my blog.  I have also written a Bible study for women, Image Wearers to Image Bearers.  Gather a couple of your friends together and join me in learning the truth of what God’s Word has to say about who you are and who you are meant to be!

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