Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Savoring the Word of the Lord This Morning, part 2

And now, here I am following my heart to sup and savor on another verse and allow the sweetness of my Savior’s words flow to me through it. And with joy I find that it is a verse from the precious Book of Mormon. I could not bring just the one verse. The surrounding verses (2 Nephi 4:31-34) are so delicious to my soul. Why? Because through them, the great prophet Nephi teaches me by precept and by example the way I (and we all) need to relate to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Deliverer and our Redeemer and our God:

31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?

32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

And using Nephi’s words as my guide, I pray, even as one with Nephi, even as one with Alma (Alma 36:18), even as one with the Nephites who He dwelt in the midst of (Nephi 19:25) for He dwells just as surely in my “midst,” or in other words in my heart.

31 Oh, Lord Jesus, wilt Thou redeem my soul (body as well as spirit)? Wilt Thou deliver me out of the hands of my weaknesses, my addictions and in influence of my fallen nature represented by the corruptible blood that carries mortal influences throughout my body? Wilt Thou most literally, shake me within, dear Lord, at even the appearance in my mind of the temptation to separate myself from Thy heart and mind and will for me.

32 May the gates of hell–the influence and enticing of the Liar, Satan, be shut continually before me, dear Lord–through the intervention of Thee and of Thy righteousness. Allow me, O Lord, to walk always within the gates, within the bounds, the safety of Thy righteousness. Let me never forget that it is Thy righteousness and none of my own that will keep me in the degree of humility and strictness of the plain path I must follow in regards to my addiction. I see once again, Lord, that it is only in Thee that I can find the humility to be satisfied with a life of such plainness and strictness around my weaknesses.

33 And thus I must cry out unto Thee, dearest Christ Jesus–even as Nephi, even as Alma and even as all others who have come to know their own destitution without Thee. O Lord, wilt Thou encircle me about in the robes of Thy righteousness, for my life has proven that I have no righteousness–no ability to chose the right–that can ever triumph over my enemies–Satan’s legions? Wilt Thou make my path straight before me and empower me–in Thy grace and Thy righteousness to walk it? Wilt Thou bless me to never forget that is not through a single merit of my own that any good work is done, but wholly through Thy merits and Thy power that I am empowered to chose the right? Wilt Thou bless me to never forget that there is no safety and no hope and no comfort that can keep me safe from Satan’s desire to drag me down into hell even from this moment except to cleave to Thee and allow Thee to hold me close to Thy heart within Thine own robes. Wilt Thou keep me safe from wandering even one step away from Thee, dear Jesus, for immediately I find myself stumbling and falling over the fearful thoughts my enemies taunt and torment me with. Wilt Thou hedge up the ways of my enemies, dear Lord? Wilt Thou keep them from reaching me with their lies?

34 O Lord, I have trusted in Thee! I see that so plainly now. I trusted in Thee and followed Thee into this mortality just as is symbolized by Lehi’s dream in 1 Nephi 8:5-8. And just as Lehi, I have also traveled for “many hours in darkness,” until I did become desperate enough to cry out unto Thee, my Savior, and open a channel of communication with Thee heart to heart. Oh Lord, I will accept Thy invitation, Thy longing plea to me to receive Thee and surrender to Thee as my Lord and my God and allow Thee to rule and reign over me in and through Thy heart which Thou hast placed in me, even as Thou promised in Ezekiel 36:26-27:

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

To be continued . . .

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