My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26)

Allison Stevens —  September 13, 2010 — 20 Comments

This is the verse that we discussed yesterday in church. It was in the context of marriage. When our spouses won’t, or can’t meet our needs, we can rely on the promise of God that He is our strength and all that we need.

It’s hard to completely grasp what that means when a spouse doesn’t meet your needs. I mean, what if it’s a pretty big need, and he or she just isn’t rising to the occasion at all. What if he or she is absolutely failing at giving you what you long for?

Depending on the circumstances, whether you stay in your marriage, or leave it, God gives us the security and significance we need and desire.

I need to know I am loved no matter what. I don’t have to be perfect; I’m loved as I am. Don’t have to work for it and can’t do anything to lose it (Romans 8:38-39.)

I also need to know that what I do today has eternal value, that my work here isn’t going to end when I die.  I want to know that I matter and that I can make a difference in my relationships that will last forever (Ephesians 4:11-16, James 1:12, 1 Corinthians 13)

So, it’s good to remember that whatever my spouse isn’t giving me doesn’t need to define me. I am not a prisoner to what others can do for me. Yes, it hurts and it hurts badly sometimes. I can look for comfort in healthy ways, like talking with a trusted friend, reading Scripture, discussing it again with my spouse, etc. But I don’t have to believe any lies that my enemy whispers in my ear.

God wants me to know that I’m secure and significant.  My enemy wants me to believe that I shouldn’t be so sure of myself and that I’m not all that important.  Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing he softly speaks, “Hm, you and your marriage mustn’t be all that great if your husband/wife won’t (fill in the blank.)”  or “You deserve to have all your needs met by your wife/husband so you go ahead and demand it” Or “There’s no one who can take care of you. It’s up to you to take care of yourself.”

Let’s reject the lies and grab a hold of the truth that God wants us to believe to set us free.  Through Jesus Christ, we can have our deepest needs met.

Allison Stevens

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20 responses to My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26)

  1. This is exactly what I am dealing with right now…and it has felt as though God Himself has abandoned me to it…the lie that “There’s no one who will take care of me. It’s up to me to take care of myself.” Is pretty much it.

    I want to be secure and know that I matter…but it’s so hard to believe any more. I need to see God moving in some way…His hand, His presence…something…just to know that He is watching over me and hasn’t “cast me off”….

    Freedom is knowing truly knowing that He utterly loves me…

  2. This is just so much harder than it sounds.
    Trusting Jesus to be all that you need, I mean. Part of me wants to grab hold as hard as I can, for dear life. Part of me is afraid Of God, of Jesus and the whole idea of fully letting go. I feel like I’m being torn in half. If realizing you really can’t do it alone and trusting in an invisible being to give you worth, strength, purpose and to believe that “I don’t have to be perfect; I’m loved as I am. Don’t have to work for it and can’t do anything to lose it”, (Romans 8:38-39 as written above)
    is the key, I just don’t know. It seems way to simple doesn’t it? It just seems that there has got to be more to it. You always have to prove your worth, earn your worth or love or acceptance or whatever. To say you don’t have to do anything, nothing, zip?
    Not even from a god who you would think would expect the most? If freedom is truly knowing that he loves you (me or anyone), what are you free from?

  3. I wish I could turn back time. I’m separated since 2001 and worked in america until 2007. now I’m back in Manila and I hope that God will see my situation. I know God will find a way to heal my relationship with my daughters, and can see them even twice a month.

  4. God is always good September 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you for being there.

  5. Been in church whole life always trusted God to prosper me and not harm me.He allowed my only child to die and I can’t have children, also no grandchild.I don’t believe in love anymore.A loving God would not have left me all alone my whole life.Every time I meet some Godly christian man and marry, they go to titty bars, drink, gamble, lie, cheat and steal.We are living in the last days and I want my life to end.I can understand we all face adversity but not every 5 minutes.It is easy to believe God loves you when you are constantly blessed.I did not deserve the lies and gossip of church goers either who never bothered to come to me and get the whole story not rumors and gossip.I have tried other churches and southern baptists are all the same.I have given people the shirt off my back but when I needed help none was found.Sign me sick of being the female Job and didn’t deserve it.

  6. Man JJ, I get where you’re coming from.

    I have never trusted Christians, God or Jesus, then I met this guy (professional rel.) a few years back who is a Christian. I couldn’t stand the fact that he was a christian at first. God this, Jesus that, it infuriated me. Then he kind of set my world out of kilter because he didn’t fit my preconceived belief about “all” Christians. I kept waiting for him to prove me right, but it hasn’t happened. Confuses the life out of me, and I don’t like that. Honestly, the things I have always hated about Christians or religious people, he hates as well. That was a shocker. I don’t trust all Christians (mainly because of what I was always taught about them and some of my own experiences with them in the past), just like I don’t trust “all” people. I’m learning to look at the individual rather than cluster them all in the same boat or church or religious group. I’m trying to do the same with god, but it’s proving to be more of a challenge. Trying to determine if what I was taught about god and Jesus, and what I grew to believe about them, is accurate or not has been a long trip and I’m not there yet.

    I also get the “want my life to end” deal as well. I’m there in a big way, but I keep on breathing for some reason. I think the biggest struggle in my adult life is believing that this God actually loves me. In my head I keep hearing “Yea right! Oh sure he loves you. Remember everything he’s done for you? C’mon, love? Where was he when ____, and _____, and_____, and _____ and_____, huh? Youve always had to do everything alone because he didn’t give a rip! What has he ever done for you!?” It’s kind of been my mantra. When I said it once or 500 times to this guy (Christian), he responded (without anger or self righteous bull) that he had died for me, given his life for me. I have trouble trusting it JJ. Partly because of all the mess that’s gone on in my life (of which much has been out of my control). Why would a loving god, all powerful, all knowing, and whatever the third thing is, not intervene, Not protect. Not rescue. Not comfort, etc. etc. etc. Man alive I still wrestle with that. Honestly, it infuriates me, and I just don’t understand it. That whole “He died for you” thing though, I can’t come up with a good response. It kind of shuts me up, which I’m sure is a relief. I believe he died, but for me? I guess I sort of believe it, but the whole “for me” thing makes me uncomfortable, and I’m not sure why. If it’s true then it makes it hard to accuse him of “never” doing anything for me.

    I guess one other thing I’ve learned is that “Baptists” are not necessarily Christians, nor are any other Church names/affiliations, necessarily. The way it’s been put to me, if I have it straight, is that Christians are “Christ followers,” and that their life or behavior I guess is supposed to reflect Christ. Not meaning that they never screw up, but that they want to be different. Not in a religious way, but I guess in a real way, or something…..

    I think I’m mixing all this stuff up, it’s just that your post hit me square between the eyes, because I so get it. I don’t even know why I keep feeling drawn to come back on here and read the posts. I’m not glad your life has been so hard, I’m sorry, but somehow it struck me as, “I’m not alone.”

  7. Thank you sister Invisable, and God bless you for your words on Sept. 17
    It is words like yours that keep me allways being drown back to the LORD Jesus Christ whom I love and give all the prais.
    Please continue to seek the truth.

  8. Invisible & JJ…first let me say thanks for being so honest with where you are at. People, especially Christians, are way to quick to pretend their life is going better than it is…That is part of the plastic religiousity that Invisible’s Christian friend seems to dislike so much…too which I add–Amen!

    I understand why people question God’s love and struggle with believing He is there for you…I’ve been there myself on more than one occasion. I can’t resolve your issues with God, but I can tell you that one of the things that helped renew my faith was realizing there is someone else to blame when terrible things happen other than God or ourselves… and that someone is Satan.

    Satan is not character of the past. He’s a current daily reality…And more often than we realize, he is the one who is ultimately behind the awful things in that go down in this broken world. And even if he doesn’t arrange for bad things to happen, he has a field day getting us to blame everyone but him. And yet despite his role, he tends to get a pass. Seriously, when was the last time you heard someone go through a tragedy and blame it on Satan or take his name in vain? He’s just not a daily category that most people think about.

    Basically what I’m saying is that it helped me a ton to reframe how I looked at the bad things that happened to me and others in a way that is consistent with the fact that Jesus tells us that that there is a thief who is out to kill, steal, and destroy the life God wants for us (John 10:10).

    And I pray seeing things that way also helps anyone struggling to believe God is good.

  9. Wow, that was a good question. ” …when was the last time you heard someone go through a tragedy and blame it on Satan or take his name in vain?”

    I guess I’ve never really thought about that. I think I probably use God’s name as a swear a lot. I say I think because I don’t really think about it. It’s a habit. True enough though, I don’t use the devil’s name as a swear or curse. I’ve never even thought about it. I’ve never heard it done and I’ve never done it.

    I do believe there is a God and a devil, so that’s a fair question. I appreciate the way it was asked. Not accusingly, just, why is that? Think about it. I’m thinking about it and tossing it around, but not having much fun doing it. To be honest, I don’t like these questions. They bug me for some reason. In fairness though, I’ve asked a lot of questions of Christians that they’ve wrestled over and tried to answer, so I’ll try to do the same.

    So,I still see God as the cruel one and the one to be feared. This question has been brought up to me before(The fact that I fear God and believe he is cruel but do not feel angry towards the devil or blame or seem to fear him.), but I always disregard it. I don’t give it much thought and I don’t want to, and I don’t really know why.

    I don’t think I blame God so much for the things that have occured, but I do blame him for not intervening. That’s another issue I think, but I don’t ever feel that the devil is to blame. The thought just doesn’t even cross my mind.

    I don’t fear the devil. I have never heard much about the devil, other than from those who dabbled in worshipping him. But they only talked of his power and what he could do for you. I wasn’t interested. Most of my memories are of hearing about how cruel God is. How he doesn’t love people he just punishes them. He expects you to be perfect and then punishes you for not being perfect when he knows it’s an impossibility. I haven’t honestly considered the devil having an intricate part in the evil in the world. Since I believe there is a devil I guess on some level I believe that, but not to the degree that I’ve ever really thought about it. I think part of the reason for that is that I wonder… why? Why would he bother? Why would he care what I think or how I feel about God or anything else. It’s not like I’m a threat or anything, so why would he have a field day getting us to blame others or God, rather than him? What does he have to lose or gain by doing so?
    Just to make God made?

    I’ve been told that he fears people believing in Christ. But why?

    Some of it I just don’t understand and don’t see the logic behind the beliefs.

    Even so, whether I like it or not, I’m thinking about it.

  10. Invisible,

    I’m glad that you are thinking.

    You said, “Why would he(Satan) bother? Why would he care what I think or how I feel about God or anything else. It’s not like I’m a threat or anything, so why would he have a field day getting us to blame others or God, rather than him? What does he have to lose or gain by doing so? Just to make God made? I’ve been told that he fears people believing in Christ. But why?”

    Here’s my take…Before God created the world, there was a time when Satan was the mightiest and most magnificent of God’s angels who enjoyed the full benefits of a life with God. Sadly, he lost it all when he when he became full of himself and turned on his Maker (Isaiah 14:12-14). One of the reasons he bothers with deceiving and messing with us is because he doesn’t want us to have and enjoy the life with God he walked away from and can never go back to. It’s the old, “If I can’t have it then I don’t anyone else too either.” And believe me, he and his minions will try to get us to believe all sorts of junk about God, ourselves, and others to keep us from finding what God is offering.

    And oh…by the way, we do pose a threat to Satan…He’s afraid of who we can become in Christ. He knows that the more we come out from the influence of his lies and more we are transformed and recreated in the image of Jesus, that we become a dangerous force for God’s larger purposes. And we start taking back contested ground that he has stolen from us and from those we love for generations.

    Hope that gives you something more to ponder.

  11. It did give me something to ponder. I recently asked a similar question (Why would Satan care one way or another what I believe?) of this Christian guy that I know and his answer was pretty much the same as yours. He wants more than anything to keep people and me from trusting and loving God because he hates us because he can’t have what God offers (or something to that affect). He also talked about satan delighting every time I doubt God or am afraid of him (God).

    I understand what you’re saying but honestly, I am nothing. I mean, not a force to be reckoned with. Which is why I have trouble believing and understanding it. I rarely even let my voice be heard, so, that’s not much to be worried about. Believe me, he’s got nothing to worry about, so why keep messing with me?

    The transformation thing…into Jesus’ image, how long does that take exactly?

    I’ve heard a number of the stories in the bible in recent years, and I’ve just had a difficult time believing them. Some of them anyway. I’ve never really put much stock in the bible. I mean no offense by that, it’s just that it’s a book, you know. I know it’s supposed to be written by God so I’m not saying it’s not true, but I’m not sure how you “know” if it’s all true.

    I feel like I will struggle with all this God stuff forever, and then it will be to late. I just can’t believe something because someone says it’s true. Again, I mean no offense by that.

    I find it hard to believe that I could ever be a force that satan would fear. If it’s true that he’s been the one manipulating how I see God then he’s done a great job. I am terrified of God and I try, and I try to listen and trust what I hear, but in the end I usually run the other direction. I’m starting to wonder about him (God), all the time. I want to hear the stories, though I didn’t used to. They kind of suck me in now, but more than that I want to know what makes some people (Christians) tick. It is so different.

    I want to know what it feels like to be close to god. Sometimes, when I’m being told some story from the bible I just feel like crying because I want it to be true so badly. Some things I do believe now but others just seem to good to be true, so I don’t even want to venture to think about the what if’s.

    I don’t know. I think I’ve traveled way off the topic. I’m sorry. The thing in the article above that really caught me was when the writer said ” Through Jesus Christ, we can have our deepest needs met.”

    Man, what a statement.

    Who would ever even dare to dream of having all of their needs met?

    Not me, which is why it just seems “to easy and to good to be true.”

  12. Invisible,

    It sounds like you have come a ways in your belief. You still have a ways to go, as we all do. As I was reading your post it reminded of a father of a crippled son who once cried out to Jesus as he was struggling to believe healilng for his son was too good to be true, “Lord, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”–Mark 9:24

  13. Yes, I think that describes how I feel pretty well. Yet, he’s silent.

  14. Preston Chancellor September 26, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Pray for me for God to take over my life

  15. Thank you for your honest post. Thank you for reminding me of how very much God loves and cares for me. And he proved that love too.
    We struggle way too much with believing God loves us because, Why should he?
    We like to think that we deserve God’s love but we do not. We like to feel that somehow we are good enough that he ought to love us, he ought to always come through for us. We treat God as though he exists for us and not us for him.
    I know because I have been this self-centered person much of my life (even as a Christian).
    Lord forgive us our selfishness, pride and arrogance. I was not thinking about God at all but my own self.
    When we are ready to admit our sin and self-centeredness, then I believe God will move heaven and earth to reveal more than enough reasons why He does so love us. Not out of obligation, but, because we’ve now approached Him rightly about the subject.

  16. My heart breaks for all those who are suffering pain in their lives and I pray God will reveal himself to you, pour out His love in your hearts. He does love us all and all good comes from God.

    But I must say also that I hear a lot of “me, me, me”, my needs being met. First of all, no one person can fulfill someone else’s every need. Yes, being with someone whom you love can bring joy into your life but if we look to another human being to fulfill out needs we will always be disappointed. They are human also. Turn it around on yourselves, what if someone wanted you to fulfill all their needs? That’s a difficult task for many reasons but the biggest reason its difficult is that there is a place in everyone’s heart that can only be filled by Jesus and God. When you try to put another person in that place it is making that person your god.

    The other thing is that I have found that the greatest joy I have ever experienced is when I was giving myself away to others, doing something to bless others. The saying “its better to give than receive” is not just a saying, it blesses me as much as the other person. We reap what we sow is another point…if we give love, we receive love, if we give friendship, we get friendship so in helping someone else with what they need is planting a seed to have our own needs met.

    Did you know that God wants to use each and every one of us? Those of us who have been blessed here on earth are not blessed to make life easier for ourselves alone but to be able to reach out to those God puts in our paths to help, so we can help others less fortunate than ourselves and it does not have to be money or something big. If all we can give is a kind word, a smile, a hug or a dollar for a cup of coffee, it is all that God is asking of you at the time. And know this, goodness is not us anyway, it is God working through us. Even Jesus said “why do you call me good”? there is only one who is good..God.

    All I have ever wanted was to love and be loved with a partner in life and I have lost two husbands and am now alone. I don’t blame God for not saving them or keeping them alive. We live in a fallen world, people die, people go away but Jesus, God, will never leave us, nor forsake us. We are the ones who leave. I think sometimes we have a skewed idea about “our needs” and what they are and what we want. Need and want are two different things. Even one of the apostles said “I have “learned” to content whether I have a lot or little” because I think he had Jesus. “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desire of your heart” and when you “delight in the Lord” your desires seem to change. The true desire of your heart is “Him”. When “He sheds abroad in your Heart His Love” you will then know what our true desire is…to love and follow Him.

    Am I always able to do all of this? No and never on my own, I am not capable..but He is capable..thus “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” I wounded sometimes through life’s cruelty? yes, but He gets me through. The difference between those of us who believe and those who do not believe in our loving God is not a lack of trials and tribulations.and we all have had our share..this world is difficult…it rains on the just and the unjust..the difference is that we have this loving God to help us get through it all and to give us a new purpose and hope in life and that is to serve Him the best that we can. Lord, help me today to be a blessing to someone else”.
    All of this is in God’s Holy Word the Bible which is one big love letter to us, God, who has pursued us with His love from the beginning and will never give up on us no matter how bad we are. Praise God! and remember Satan is a liar! God is good always, evil is bad.

  17. Maddnolonger,

    I know where you’re coming from. I certainly can see God for who He truly is when I’m not stuck in a self-centered rut. It certainly creates some major God-blinders. But let me add that thankfully God will still work to reveal Himself to us even when we remain self-absorbed. I’m thinking of Job, who maintained his “innocence” in the midst of incredible loss, until God revealed Himself in a way that exposed his pride and self-focus. In the end, he was humbled and began to see himself and his God in a whole new light (Job 42:1-6), but not until after God showed Himself. Or take Moses, when God showed Himself to him in the wilderness (Exodus 3-4). Judging by all of his excuses, he was still camped in a pretty self-centered place. And yet God still revealed Himself to him.

    It’s not an excuse and we should take our selfishness serious for a number of reasons. but thankfully part of the pattern we see in the Bible is that God meets us where we at, including self-centeredness.

  18. I have some questions. Who are you Jeff Olson? Are you a pastor, are you the blog owner? When I try to find out who owns these blogs (to which I found on the RBC website reading Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest) I can’t find any information. I’m just curious. Are you just a normal person throwing out questions to generate responses, are you a connected with RBC, are you some bored college student filling a need in your life? What is your Christian background? Will you even answer these questions? Do you have a blog I can go to that answers these questions? Again, just curious.

  19. God bless u all. I’ve helped by your post

  20. “There’s no one who can take care of you. It’s up to you to take care of yourself.”

    Let’s reject the lies and grab a hold of the truth that God wants us to believe to set us free. Through Jesus Christ, we can have our deepest needs met.

    I’ve been searching the sight tonight for something to grab s hold of and hang onto. Something, anything to remind me thst there is hope. It all seems so distant. I don’t fit in the “Christ follower” community. I don’t fit with people of this faith and yet I long to. I long to belong somewhere or to someone.its not just that its ive seen the difference in a lot of them. honesty, even when its hard to hear it. forgiveness when you dont deserve when you unlovely and unloveable. No matter how hard I try to understand all thtas shared and believed my “faith” is so empty. i have come to love jesus. he died for me. i know i cant repay that or ever make up for it yet i so wish i could.

    is it self centered to just want to belong somewhere? i ask for nothing. I expect nothing. i take care of myself. i wonder now is it wrong to ask jesus to just give you hope. to give you a reason to hang on and help you learn to trust.ive prayed that and now i fear that maybe it makes him angry that you would pray for your own need instead of praying only for others needs.

    I don’t understand the quote above. That all our needs can be met by jesus.How?

    He cant fill the whole of the loss of a marraige. the agonzing loss of your children. he can’t make you visible or seen or heard. he doesnt come sit with you when all you want is to not be alone in the silence for just a moment. maybe to be able to cry with someone or be held just for a moment.not because you have to beg someone to do it but because there is someone who just does. a brief moment of human contact to remind you that you are here.

    I dont understand what you need to do to get jesus to want to meet your needs.what if you just can never be usefull to him? If you have tried and told him your’re sorry and you wish you were different does that only make him angry or couldnt he understand or give you what you meed to be able to serve him?to be worthy of him filling your needs? i have tried to go to church and its so hard. I tried to serve but i just cant be what i need to be. to afraid of people. to afraid of failing again.ive been reading the bible, or was, and sometimes i just want to run from it.

    why is god so silent? what does he want you to do in order to hear him? I will do anything.

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