I love the simple portions of scripture that serve to both abbreviate and capture the essence of what’s being spoken. I call them my life-lines or handles. They allow me to grasp, get a hold of, and hang on to the broader spiritual principals of God’s word and to be able to apply those principals to my life in more practical ways: Though succinct, they are the most effective reminders that I could receive.
For example, I have a problem with lack of patience at times and so the Lord gives me the verse, ‘the God of patience grant you to be like minded’ [Romans 15:5]. In times of personal impatience, whether with people or situations, that verse comes readily to mind, I appropriate it to my situation, I grab hold of it, and it brings me the calmness and the remembrance of the need for the patience I seek.
Likewise, I have a tendency to get negative at times and so the Lord gives me the following adage: ‘it’s easier to light a candle rather than to curse the darkness’ (Although this isn’t an actual scripture it’s based on so many scriptural admonitions on the subject of praise, as to sum them all up). At times when I get negative or feel upset, or like cursing, that adage will often come to mind. All I have to do is let it run through my mind and it’ll make me chuckle and I’ll say to myself “Of course, Lord, how simple!” Sometimes, however, I don’t let it catch me and I succumb to the negative situation; but that’s another story. Ha!
‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ [2 Corinthians 12:9], is another one of my handles. If I’m getting worried, hurried or flurried, responding to anything in a less than positive manner, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ works perfectly for me and reminds me that, “yes, I can handle that situation or person”, “yes, I can overcome that problem, tendency, or habit”; all I have to do is yield to His presence and let His grace be enough, and that passage, that handle, helps me to do just that. In such a manner it becomes more a work of His grace working in me than mere self-effort.
My most recently added lifeline is where God asks, ‘Jonah, do you do well to be angry?’ [Jonah 4:9] And I don’t have need of anything more to be said in a given situation. If I’m succumbing to a fit of profanity, this lifeline has the effect of firing an effective salvo across my bow and causing me to draw in those horns, as very rarely is my anger justified.
I only have a half-a-dozen or so such lifelines that I’ve appropriated for my very own but I’m able to put them to good regular use in areas that I need it. They act as tiny gears or cams on which the Lord is able to turn the wheels of His omnipotence in my life.