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When being slapped across the face is a good thing

March 31, 2010

Psalm 36: 1An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. 3The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.

This is what I read this morning and I had a massive life changing reaction.  Recently, every time I read the Bible I come away being challenged to change and refine who I am, but this reading was in a completely different league.  This wasn’t so much a polite tap on the shoulder, but a slap across the face.  And I needed it.

It caused me to seriously assess some of how I was living my life which led to much confession, and a decision to reject what is wrong.  And this caused considerable grief and pain and yet, I knew in my head that my decision was right, even if my heart completely disagreed.

And then shortly after, I received a letter telling me that I was not successful with a particular ministry role I had applied for.  With both I was abundantly reminded of the importance of me doing God’s will rather than my own will.  As painful as it is, I will still choose God’s path for my life over whatever plans I might have.

And then I read the final part of Psalm 36

5Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. 7How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. 9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. 10Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. 11May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12See how the evildoers lie fallen— thrown down, not able to rise!

Wow!!  The promise for those who seek the Lord’s will!  God is good to those who seek after Him!!

I praise God for today, as painful as it has been I can see the hand of the Lord at work in my life.

God bless,

Mark Brown

http://twitter.com/RevMarkB

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20 Comments
  1. marilyn permalink

    Stay strong … God always has a better plan that awaits us. if we could only see the big picture it would be easy, but that’s where our faith comes in.

    • Donna permalink

      That is so true. His way is the BEST way. We only see for a moment in our life where God sees the whole picture and knows the exact path to choose. Isn’t He a good Father?

  2. John Whaley permalink

    Mark,

    So often I sense you are writing these devotional thoughts just for me for I too am facing some challenging and difficult days in ministry. But I know as you do that our God is faithful! Stay on course, keep your eyes on the Lord, and rejoice in His goodness!
    John

  3. Wow how amazing my hair on the back of my neck stood up,What great wonderful words spoken.Mark you give me such great inspirations everyday with your words.I am leaving to help my daughter when she gets out of Rehab,I ask for guidance and strength..I truly love and worship our God everyday,Thanks for the awesome words,My prayers go to you and your family…God Bless…………………….

  4. Today itself I was so sad no knowing which field to take in my education,, but through your message God spoke to me and I know what to do !!
    Thank you,
    God Bless

  5. drey permalink

    True Marilyn. And to keep us faithful we need to look back to those times when we did not get our way but the end result was good nonetheless or even better.
    Whenever I am feeling despondent about anything, I tell myself that my maker knows best and loves me more than I even know how to love myself.
    Rev Mark I will continue to lift your name in prayer every morning during my time of prayer. I have come to believe that we all need prayer, and to pray, even more than we need food.

  6. Brandy permalink

    Thank you so much for this. It’s been a very emotional few days for me in which I have been tempted over and over again in one particular area of my life that I’m still struggling with. This message hits home very deeply because I know God has more amazing things planned for me than what has been thrown in my path.

    Rejecting the wrong makes my heart feel like I’m passing up my opportunity of finding happiness in that way, however as the Lord said in Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

    I will continue to lean on God for this and praise His name through the storms.
    God Bless

  7. PTL!!!
    Our GOD is awesome in HIS ways of dealing with us! I enjoy reading your devotionals daily, for I to find strength within them. Sometime our FATHER has to slap us to get our hardheaded attention, even when we’ve been walking with HIM for years already. Please keep the writings coming, for there are many that need to hear a little extra from the LORD!!!
    GOD bless and good day,
    Rev. Barth

  8. Anita permalink

    When God closes a door, he always opens a window. Sometimes that window is not exactly what we want to crawl through but He is there to catch us if we fall through it and to get us back on our feet with the light of His path.
    May God bless you in all your efforts as you have bless us in helping us to get on and stay on the lighted path.

  9. leslene slamowitz permalink

    Pastor Mark, sometimes our will and our plan is not Gods
    sometimes he wants us to go in another direction, GOD has something else for you and if you be patient , he will show you.
    May God bless and guide you.

  10. Sometimes we need that massive slap, just to remind us that we need to wake up and think if we are doing the right thing in our life. we should thank God for this, because He love us, just like our parents, they only wants only the best for us. God will not do something that will make our life miserable. He always there to guide us and help us in our problems.

  11. joan m anderson permalink

    Wow !! that is sooo powerful ps.36:5-10. am sorry Mark i have to put that on my wall on fb .Mark ! 2010 is the year for divine favor .so be still ,God is not punshing u, he’s preparing u for a next level. praise u Jesus , i feel that. man God just give God the praise for wat he’s getting read to do for u .

  12. Marcy permalink

    Speak to all our hearts oh Lord, through your servant and son, Mark. Wow…that’s all I can say. This message is for EVERY Christian and I love how he uses mortal man to reach and teach us. Cherish the gift he has placed in you. Great things He has in store for you and for all his followers.

  13. Sister Pam OP permalink

    I have been where you are Father Mark and those are faith challenging times. One of the gifts given to us through Jesus’ sacrifice is knowing that no matter what happens, all will be well. Like our Lord, we must carry a cross and often suffer pain and humiliation. Only, we never suffer as much as Jesus did. Jesus remains our fountain of peace, love and salvation.

  14. Oh, did I need this slap today. I am so frustrated with my work situation that all I think aboutis poor little ol’ me instead of the people that my actions have an impact on. Every morning I ask God to use me but for soem reason I am not listening to him. Thanks Mark I and many other people need and adjustment from time to time. God Bless You.

  15. Lydia Reyes permalink

    Praise Jesus , God Almighty for all the people he is touching right here in this site. Holy Spirit fall afresh on us.

  16. Good morning Mark.We all need an attitude adjustment once in a while ( me more than others).God uses our attitude to determine our altitude,,may you rise in His eyes.God Bless and Happy Easter

  17. Terry~Lee permalink

    God is bigger and greater then any of our disappointments or lives even; it is painful to deal with rejection or disappointment and you are in my prayers at this very moment.

    It helps me to think of it as God is protecting me ….even though I don’t understand why certain things happen…but I love Him and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    We know the TRUTH in God’s WORD.
    God Bless You. 🙂

  18. Martha $ permalink

    This scripture reminds me of the song by Third Day giving music to this scripture. Such beautiful words beckon us to follow HIM and not ourselves. We are so wrong when we try to do it our way instead of HIS. Blessings as we all seek a closer walk in HIS path and not our own.

  19. tammy k storms permalink

    He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!!! God is so good to reveal Himself to those who seek Him with a heart to know Him and walk in His ways. May God continue to bless you on your great adventure! One of your posts was shared with me on facebook and I am very excited for you and all those who are associated with you as you walk in the works God created for you before the beginning of time. I am convinced that the process is as important as the final product. I came to know the Lord as a child, raised in a non-Christian home. He put a desire in my heart to know Him and walk in His ways. In high school I remember praying and feeling like the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “If you will read and pray I will keep you”. At the time I thought along the line of works – if I would do this good thing, He would do that good for me – what I understand now is that His word in my heart preserves (keeps) me – As I read
    and pray it’s like “breathing” spiritually – breathing in God’s Word by reading the Bible, breathing out by praying. God has been so faithful to me!!! Here today I was recounting in my journal praise to God for His great faithfulness through all the years with tears of joy for all He means to me over three and a half decades later. Not only does that Word preserve but it transforms. My prayer for you as you continue on this journey with Him is that you may know Him and make Him known! God Bless you as you keep your eyes fixed on the author and finisher of your faith and finish strong!!!

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