The Lord Will Exult Me? | A Look At Zephaniah 3:17

I’ve always expected God to love me, but would He exult me?  That seems a little far fetched, but hey, I’m open to it.  Are you?  Check this out. 

Zephaniah 3:17 goes like this:

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

There’s the Scripture for you today to ponder with me, a daily devotional reading of sorts.

Now for those who like visuals, I found this beautiful meme with the thoughts of this Scripture embedded right there for you to see with your own eyes.  The words are slightly different, but the meaning and sentiment are still the same.  

Here:

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord Your God Will Exalt You

The Scripture has five major components to it.  That basic premise is pretty easy to see.

They are all promises too, and here are those promises:  

 

1.  The Lord God is with you.

Whether you “feel” Him there at the time or not, He IS with you.  Jesus Christ assured us God would be with us always through His Spirit.

 

2.  Through Him, you are saved.

It’s a good thing we aren’t saved through our own actions, but Christ has the right stuff to do so! 

 

3.  God is so happy when you are happy.  He rejoices in that!

Isn’t it just down right cool to think about the happiness our Heavenly Father has when He sees His children are happy! 

 

4.  During those not-so-happy times, we are covered with God’s love. 

We haven’t even begun to experience the depth of God’s love yet.  When we face those tough times here on this earth though, His love will be available to us so that we can find peace in it all. 

 

5.  God will exult you. 

The translation in the visual states this as God rejoicing over you.

 

I don’t know about you, but that last part kind of tripped me up!  

Oh yea, we’ve been taught all the other things throughout life, and they come naturally to our belief systems.

1  God’s Spirit is among us.  Check.

2  Christ came to die, rise again, and we are saved.  Check.

3  God is there is good times.  Check.

4  God is there in bad times.  Check. 

5  I am exulted.  Huh????

 

Those first four promises rely on the goodness and grace of God Almighty, something we can easily justify since God Almighty IS so good and great and gracious. 

But He will exalt US? 

That doesn’t seem to be just speaking highly of HIM.

Isn’t that saying something about US?  

See, here’s my confusion with this.  

That #5 promise above is STILL a promise. We can see that as a promise.  It’s just the exultation over me that has me asking “But why?”   

God will (WILL) exult.  He says that.  

Still….

Why?  

Does God NEED a reason to exult us?

Maybe that’s the key. 

OK, I really need to get hold of this because it just doesn’t fit so easily for me into those other four promises, mostly because this one seems to have something to do with you and me, not just God. 

…he will exult over you with loud singing.

So perhaps we should investigate what “exult” means?

Merriam Webster defines “exult” as “to leap for joy” or to “to be extremely joyful”. 

Dictionary.com defines “exult” as to show or feel lively or triumph joy.

YourDictionary.com says “exult” is to feel great happiness or joy. 

And finally, the the thesaurus gives these synonyms for the word “exult”:

Be delighted

Be elated

Be overjoyed

Cheer

Celebrate

Rejoice

I’m not sure you are seeing it yet, but I’ve finally come to see something I had not realized at the beginning when I first saw this Bible verse, and that is:  

He gives no reason there as to WHY He exults us.

God does not NEED a reason to exult us.  

Zephaniah 3:17 simply says He exults us, no qualification listed. 

You know, you (and I) must be pretty special as God’s creation, and His creation alone, for Him to rejoice in our being, celebrate our being, cheer our being, be overjoyed in our being, be elated in our being, be delighted in our being.

While God is all those wonderful things, even without any qualification or standards at all, we are precious in God’s sight, so precious He sings in mighty joy that we exist. 

We EXIST. 

Well, I guess I did stumble upon ONE qualification.  We EXIST.  

However, that’s not such a high standard to live up to though, is it?  … to “exist”… to “have been created”…  

The point is, you may have human standards you try, don’t try, live, or don’t live up to. 

You may be a success.  You may feel like a failure.  You may BE a failure by earthly standards.

The Heavenly Father above may rejoice in your accomplishments here for sure.

But He exults over your existence no matter what – simply because you are HIS accomplishment, and you are His child.  

And THAT is not saying anything about what you have done or not done.

It’s just saying God made you, and He delights in you, HIS creation, the child He loves. 

So the next time you feel as if you fall short of the glory of God, just remember that you ARE the glory that God exults.

It’s that simple.  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me.  

I was not just some twinkle in my parents’ eyes.  I am a direct creation of design by YOUR HANDS.  You made me; You wanted me to exist, and you made me just the way You WANTED to make me.  

You knew who I was, knew what I would be, knew what I would do and knew what I would mess up along the way long before I was aware of any of that myself.  Yet You still made me, and you exult over me, your creation. 

I’m so lucky, so fortunate, so blessed, so appreciative, so thankful, so grateful right now, Lord.  I sure haven’t done much to deserve the joy You are telling me that You have for me.  I sure haven’t done what I would think would be worthy of Your exultation. 

And yet, You exult over me.  You have said so in Your Word!  

Your character is above mine, and Your knowledge and understanding are beyond mine.  You are excited in the simple idea that I have come to “be”.  Wow, how blessed I am!  

Praise be to You that You are so gracious and so good. 

I still want to honor you though, Heavenly Father.  I want to be more, Lord.  I want to do more.  Please help me become more of that person You created, using my time, my life, my ME you created to do more and to live up to all that is possible in my life.

In the meantime and also no matter what…  it’s nice to know I’m that important to you, even if… especially SINCE… everything is completely dependent on Your goodness and grace… and not me… nor my works… and certainly not my successes of which I usually mess up pretty much most of the time. 

PS, It’s pretty cool thinking about the idea of You jumping for joy and singing loudly for me up there in Heaven.  That actually gives me hope.  

Thank you, Father.

Thank you.

In Christ’s name I pray for myself and for all reading this, 

Amen

Without Rick Perry as a GOP candidate, how should I vote?

We live in Texas, so many of my friends and family know how much I like Governor Rick Perry.  He has had a great career as a conservative governor and as a leader for The Great State of Texas.

When Rick Perry became a GOP candidate for President this time around, I was ecstatic.  It was even easier to back such a man as I researched more specific issues pertaining to his record, his character, and his platform.

I just really liked, and I STILL like, Governor Rick Perry and had hoped he would be the Republican nominee.

But alas, it did not seem to be going in his direction, at least not this time around.  Governor Perry felt the need to perform a “strategic retreat”, and he dropped out of the race.

See what a “strategic retreat” is here:  What is a strategic retreat?

I believe my first step in figuring out how to vote after that move was feeling just a little sad.  I think that was OK.  As I said, I not only liked our Governor, I personally saw what he did in Texas.  I knew how he stood in politics, and I thought he would be a great President of The United States of America.  It would be natural to be a little sad.  It would also be natural to be a little bit confused.

Without Rick Perry as a GOP candidate, how should I vote?

Rick Perry is taking a strategic retreat as a 2012 GOP candidate. So what am I supposed to do now then?

Well first of all and before you decide what you will to do in this nomination process and 2012 general election, keep these words on your heart:

“His Sovereignty rules over all.” – Psalm 103:19

Yes, whatever route you chose to take right now or whichever candidate you chose to support or not support right now, God will rule supreme in it all.

God is not asking you to rule the world.  He’s just asking you to do the part He has for you to do in this world.  If you do what the Lord wants you to do and then trust in God’s Ways, you will have done the right thing.  You will also have done no harm to what love, protection, help, discipline, care, or plans God for this world or for America in particular.  God is in control, so don’t worry whether your actions will produce what you believe they should or not.  Just live in God’s Will for you, and God will take care of the rest.

There.  That is true Scripture, and that should relieve some of the anguish you may be feeling at this time.  However, you do still have the responsibility to figure out what exactly God DOES want you to do from this point on.  What direction should you go?  What steps should you take?  Who should you vote for in the 2012 election?

Remember now, you are not ruling the world here.  You are only trying to figure out what God wants you to do as one piece of His puzzle!

If this helps you to find your own way in this, I believe there are a few steps you can initially take that will help you determine what you need to do in the short term, near future, and actually, for a longer period of time as well.

  • Hide Psalm 103:19 (see above) in your hearts.  God is in control, and nothing you do will stop His plans.  So don’t fret too much if your re-directed journey plans will be the end result or not.  Just figure out what the Lord has for you to do within HIS journey.
  • Be open to whatever it is God is going to call upon you to do.  Proverbs 3:5-6  says:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”  The way I see it, you can pray for guidance all you want, but if you are not REALLY open to God’s leading to begin with, you’ll never hear the direction God is calling you to to begin with!  So, free your heart to God’s Will (Psalm 103:19) and then open your mind to God’s leading (Proverbs 3: 5-6), and you will be ready for the next real “action” step.
  • Pray for guidance, and know that He will direct your steps towards God’s purpose and glory.  Romans 8: 27 says: “And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
  • Finally, be prepared for great things the Lord will do, whether it is now, tomorrow, next year, or the next millennium.  Continuing on from that last Scripture, Romans 8: 28 says:  “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose.”  God WILL do something for you and through you!  You may see it, or you may not, but God will help you and will bless what you do in His name!

That said, you can probably see that I don’t expect all Rick Perry supporters to follow the same path from here on out.  Oh yea, the national party may disagree on whether we should or not, but if you are a Christian or a person of another faith who wants to follow a Higher Power’s guidance, or if you are just a person who wants to make an individual choice based on what is important to YOU, then you will be seeking your own path to follow and going on from there based on things other than the GOP.

Just remember though, that just as God has made us each very special individuals in HIM, and He may call us to different routes to his ultimate ending to this election cycle, he needs us all, just as we are.  And no matter what, it will be OK.

Job 42: 2  “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”

And that even includes in politics!  🙂

For those of you who may be wondering what route I have found for me after Governor Perry’s strategic retreat, below is the list of steps I feel called to follow right now.  These steps may change.  Who knows, my entire route my change.  For now though,  in my sorrow and disappointment I sought the Lord, and for ME, this is where I am going.

Just remember, your path may be different, and if we are in this together IN THE LORD, all things WILL work together.  So be yourself in Christ and keep the faith!

Here is my new direction…

I had to have some time.  I thought I might need more time than this, but I feel the Lord has given me a path now, and I will take it.

I do not like any of the remaining candidates.  Oh yes, some are better than others, and I could probably even prioritize.  However, there is no one candidate I feel is worthy my “time”, “attention” or my “heart”.

Therefore, I feel at peace with what I’m going to do.  I feel these steps were first given to me by God after prayers for direction, and I can see the sense of these steps in all ways, at least for ME.

1.  I will not actively support or help any one Republican candidate right now.

2.  At the same time, I will not oppose any one Republican candidate right now either (with the exception of pointing out pro-life records and history of our candidates).

3.  I will NOT vote in the primary because I would only be voting AGAINST someone if I did and not FOR anyone.  Since I am not going to help or hinder any one of them during the primary, and since I do not feel any of them are well equipped for a presidential fight or right for the presidential role, I do not feel guilty letting the supporters of those candidates pick which one of the remaining candidates they want to put against Barack Obama.  I will let the remaining “consensus” of the Republican Party as a whole now choose.  They are the ones that picked those four GOP candidates to begin with, not me.

4.  When the general election time comes around, I WILL vote for the candidate the Republican Party puts up.  At that point, I feel I actually AM voting FOR that candidate because I want any Republican over Barack Obama.

5.)  If our Almighty God reveals some change of plan along the way, I’ll revamp my steps as He sees fit and as He calls me to respond.

Disclaimer:  I hope that many conservatives like me will be fed up with the current Republican National Committee and for the media, ALL the media, who have used their power to create untruths and misrepresentations of Governor Rick Perry.

Right along with that though, I also hope that many conservatives will take their own steps, as I have chosen mine above, to show those who have been guilty of misdoings, that we are not going to just simply go along with those misdoings, that we will not help them when they are involved in actions which are intolerable to us personally.  Being steadfast in our firm support of qualified and honorable candidates only (as they are available); remaining active and engaged in the circles of conservative politics, emails or phone calls to, or boycotts or blackouts of dishonest media outlets; even letters to the Republican National Committee, tweets on Twitter, or sharing information on corruption and dishonesty on Facebook groups should remind our political leaders, pundits, and reporters that Americans see dishonorable behavior and will not tolerate it without a fight.

While I don’t want to see our party system ripped apart, and while I pray for the overall safety and well being of our country, I believe there are steps each one of us can do to make our point, points which, when all combined, will not hurt our country but help our country become better, stronger, and more based on faith in God instead of money, power, and poll numbers.

Blessings to those fellow friends who were with me on the journey to make a Governor Rick Perry for President in 2012 a reality.  We have had some good times and have had some trials which, as even Governor Perry has mentioned, strengthened our faith.

We were together, and now we take our separate paths in this 2012 election, but as we go about our own callings, we can always know that our goal was noble and our calling was clear.

Now just find your new calling, and God will provide the goal for us now.

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord.