Embracing God

This month the world will celebrate the day of love—Valentine’s Day. For some, it is a time of special celebration. But for others, it is a time of special challenge as there is no special person with whom to share this day. If the latter is your experience and you are feeling depressed at the prospect, consider that the most special Person in all the universe loved you enough to give His life for you. And this Valentine’s Day, He is longing not only to embrace you … but for you to embrace Him.
Everyone needs a hug! And as you delve into the pages of your Bible, God will respond with His own arms opened wide. As you seek Him, you will find that He will draw you nearer to Himself in an ever more intimate relationship. So get into His Word each day and begin now to enjoy His embrace.
Instead of withdrawing or exploding or complaining, you and I need to run to our Heavenly Father, throw our arms of faith around Him, and embrace Him more tightly. Why? The Psalmist gives us three reasons:

Read Psalm 84

HE IS MY SONG (Psalm 84:1-4)

  • From Psalm 84:1-4, what are some themes for our song? Give the phrases.
  • Give phrases from the following verses that reveal a common theme: Isaiah 49:13; 52:9; Job 35:9-10; Psalm 126:5-6.
  • What is the common theme in Exodus 15:2? Isaiah 12:2? 2 Samuel 22:1? Give phrases from each verse.
  • Give phrases that reveal the common theme in Psalm 28:7; 18:1; 32:7; 126:2.
  • What are the phrases that give the common theme in Psalm 42:8? Psalm 59:16?
  • Which theme has been lacking in your life? If you have lost your “song,” do you need to tune your heart to all the themes given above?
  • What are some other themes that fill your heart with joy? Give the verses.

HE IS MY STRENGTH (Psalm 84:5-7)

  • From Psalm 84:5, what is the source of our strength? If you lack strength, what practical things can you do to draw from the Source?
  • From Psalm 84:6, what does God’s strength enable us to do? (Note that the Valley of Baca is the Valley of Weeping.) What do the springs represent? See John 4:13-14 and 7:37-39.
  • From each of the following categories of verses, what else does God give us strength to do?
    – Ezekiel 2:1-2; John 5:1-9; Micah 5:4; Jude 24-25.
    – Isaiah 63:1; 2 Samuel 22:40.
    – Mark 11:25 and Colossians 3:13 with Matthew 18:21-22.
    – Isaiah 30:15.
    – Psalm 73:26; Isaiah 57:10.
    – Hebrews 11:34.
  • What are you saying you can’t do? What phrase in Psalm 84:5-7 contradicts your protest? What encouragement do you receive from Deuteronomy 33:25?

HE IS MY SHIELD (Psalm 84:8-12)

  • Who is our Shield? See Psalm 7:10.
  • How does this relate to Ephesians 6:16?
  • What difference do you think our proximity to the Shield makes in its effectiveness?
  • What are the two primary things we must do to stay close to our Shield? See John 15:7, 10.
  • In each of the following categories of verses, how do we benefit from our Shield?
    – Nahum 2:5; 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 18:30; 91:4.
    – Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 18:35; 144:2; Jeremiah 51:11.
    – 2 Samuel 22:31; 1 Peter 1:5.
    – Psalm 3:3; 5:12; 84:11.
  • If God Himself is our Shield, what do you think could get past Him?
  • How do Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-6 indicate that when something unpleasant, unwanted, unexpected or unplanned comes into your life, it is only with God’s permission?
  • What has God allowed past the Shield that guards your life? Why do you think He has given His permission? See John 11:4; Romans 8:28; 1 Peter 1:6-7.

How long has it been since you wrapped your arms of faith around the One who loves you and embraced Him? Don’t let your problems or pressures or pain or pride keep you from doing so. Today, give the Lord a Valentine gift … something to truly delight His heart … your embrace of faith! ©2019 Anne Graham Lotz

 

Adapted from an article originally published in February 2011.

Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her latest book, “The Daniel Key,” is available from major booksellers.