"But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one."
2 Thessalonians 3:3, NRSV
This is the verse I chose. At first it seemed too short to be worthy of memorizing, like the Word of God has to justify itself to me by its length. I read the ones other people posted on Beth Moore's blog and they were a lot longer; some people even memorized whole passages. They must be like, way more Christian than me. After I had the talk with myself that it is not a spitting contest, I came back to this verse. I had prayed this morning that God would lead me to a chapter to find a verse in. I'm sure I heard the whisper of Thessalonians. Since He didn't specify which one, I read them both, and couldn't put it out of my head all day. I had trouble choosing just one verse.
This verse spoke to me because of the two promises: He will strengthen me. Good, because trying to do it myself by being "good" only gets me so far. He will guard me from the evil one. Even better, because any time we step out in faith we are stepping into someone else's arena. I have had many times in my life where I could definitely feel the evil around. I don't like to think about or bring up these times, but through the authority of Christ Jesus, I can claim authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will hurt me. (Luke 10:19). I am learning not to be afraid to call a spade a spade, instead of justifying something as a quirk or addiction, to recognize the source. We, as believers, have authority over the enemy. To have the Lord promise to guard me from the evil one gives me great comfort.
Jabez update: I didn't write this week because there was a bit of drama in my world, but new territory is being claimed for the Lord. I had an opportunity to share with someone who is caught in a downward spiral of addiction the hope found in the Word. To remind him of what he knew to be true 20 years ago, but has since turned into a faith needing proof and feelings to accompany the Word. God has been showing me many opportunities to share His Word and His hope. I am praying daily that He put His words in my mouth when I need them, to build relationships His way instead of my over-enthusiastic, self-centered way. To strengthen me His way, and protect me from evil. Amen to that.