From Pretense to Power #4 Instructions for Living


Hear ye, hear ye. All who love games and those who hate them: Today, we’re going to play a pretend game. Suppose God assigned us to live for a time through someone else’s life. We would make our own choices. But we would live through their lifestyle and circumstances.

Who would you choose? Someone from a different time or culture? What if you could walk in the shoes of Joan of Arc or Mother Teresa? Take a moment to decide and if you’d like to share your answer, add it to your comment at the end of this post.

Yesterday, I asked my husband to play this game. His immediate response was “I wouldn’t want to live anyone else’s life.” You guessed it! He’s a non-player.

“It’s just a game,” I said. “Come on, who would you choose?”   

After he named a colleague we’ve known for years, he added, “When he entered the room, it was as if God had walked in.”  

I was amazed, but totally agreed. This man isn’t famous for accomplishing great things. However, he is one of the most humble, gentle yet profoundly wise people we know. The key: He understands how to live the godly life even though he’s not God.

In essence, God has chosen to play His own game, on our behalf. However, it’s a game of power rather than pretense. His reasoning is also different than ours. Like my husband, we would probably choose to live through someone we admire and respect. Someone who inspires us to be more than we can be.

Not so with Jesus. There’s an old song that says He left the ivory palaces to enter a world of woe. He could have come as a king to rule over us. Instead, He came as a servant to die for our sins. And now, the resurrected Christ has chosen to live His life in and through those who put our faith in Him.

When God fills us with Himself, a new dynamic takes place. Our pretense is replaced by God’s power. No, we’re not able to live the godly life. But He is. In fact, He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us . . . . ” (Ephesians 3:14-21) That’s a promise.

Our goal for this series has been to glean insights from Psalm 119. In closing, I offer you what I call:

The Blessings of Being, a Dozen Directives from Psalm 119

  1. Be blessed – “Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” v. 2
  2. Be pure – “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” v. 11
  3. Be teachable – “Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders.” v. 27
  4. Be delighted – “”for I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” v. 47-48
  5. Be obedient – “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.” V. 59-60
  6. Be hopeful – “May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” v. 74
  7. Be comforted – “May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.” v. 76
  8. Be wise – “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies for they are ever with me.” v. 98
  9. Be led – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” v. 105
  10. Be sustained – “Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live.” v. 116
  11. Be encouraged – “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.” v. 143
  12. Be secure – “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant for I have not forgotten your commands.” v. 176

Now, my friend, let’s play one more game. Let’s choose a directive to pray specifically for one another. I’ll go first. Of course, I need all these, but I ask you to pray #9 for me. Please pray I’ll be led by God’s Word and allow Him to light my path, wherever He leads me.

Now, which directive can I pray for you? I promise I’ll pray if you’ll play.

praying friends

5 Responses to “From Pretense to Power #4 Instructions for Living”
  1. Barbara Plachta says:

    Hi Liz, sure do miss seeing you weekly like before, but love reading your Devos & Dumplings. You can pray #3 for me. That God will make me teachable so that I can understand & follow him in his teachings as well as some day teach his word to others that I meet. Thank you for this blog, even though I don’t comment I do read all of them.
    Enjoy your July 4th as well as the rest of your summer. Love, Barb

    • Thanks, Barb for checking in. I’ll definitely be praying for you to be teachable. I believe God has already answered that for you. You are one of the most teachable people I know, like a sponge. I love that. And thanks again for all your encouragement.

      I miss seeing you, as well. I’ll look forward to seeing you at church and hopefully on more of a regular basis.
      Love you, my friend

  2. Kathy Biedenharn says:

    Hi Liz,
    Please pray Number 11 for me. I’ve been trying to take control of several things I cannot. I too read your words of wisdom. Like me you thrive on encouragement. You have always been such an inspiration to me and I wish there was a way I could tell you daily how much your teachings have meant to me since I first asked Christ into my life while YOU prayed almost 28 years ago. That prayer changed and saved my life and though I falter, I always know where to go because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit that lives in me because of your prayer. Thank you always.
    I love you and Jesus loves you too,

    • Oh Kathy, thank you so much for your kind words. When I read them to Jay, he had tears in his eyes and said, “That’s a keeper!” I will definitely pray for you to be encouraged by God and His Word, but also by other people. I pray God will surprise you by bringing others into your life to encourage you when you need it most. May He grant you serendipities along the way to offset the difficult circumstances. I wish we lived closer to one another so we could be there for each other.

      By the way, Millie is moving to San Antonio in August to work with a ministry called Redeemed Girl Ministries. I will have her contact you when she gets settled. Meanwhile, the gal she’s going to work with is leading a women’s study at a church that meets in the Old Blue Bonnet Dance Hall, I think. Perhaps you could check it out.

      Love you dearly, my friend and sister in Christ, Liz

  3. harriett salley says:

    4, 9,10,11–4, Who wouldn’t be delighted to sit in God’s presence and to share his love!
    9, I need more disipline in my studies!
    10,11,12 all are things I wish for and when I ask, He always answers, just as he says in
    Ephesions —infiinitely ,more that I could ask or imagine! How could that be possible?

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