Friday, October 30, 2020

From WoLVeS to WoRTH

  I was first called to consciously share the world of childhood trauma in 1992.[1] It continues to stand as the beginning of the most painful journey I have ever faced. 

  Along the way, I learned a lot of helpful things about what trauma does to us, the effects of our self-protective strategies, and how wonderfully the word of God addresses every imaginable wound a child (of any age) could ever experience.[2]

  One of the most helpful acronyms for understanding what childhood trauma does to us is in the letters WLVS,[3] which our home church has expanded as WoLVeS to help make the point all the clearer.

  WoLVeS stands for the Wounds, Lies, Vows and Strongholds that harass us at every turn when we have never experienced healing and freedom in Jesus Christ. In short, it simply refers to what happens when we are Wounded as children (or any age) and the devil comes in and Lies to us about who God is to us and who we are to him. If we take those Lies to heart, we then make self-protective Vows to never let ourselves get hurt again (even though that never works). This sarky/fleshly pattern becomes so ingrained into us that it creates a Stronghold of always shutting down when we are triggered (often preceded with an explosion of some sort).

  The last two days, my time with God in his word brought my mind to consider how I would express an acronym to stand against our WoLVeS. It is one thing to identify what is wrong with us, but we need some expression of the “good news of great joy” that comes to us in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.[4]

  I had just asked Father if there was anything from my past he wanted me to remember that would give me opportunity to renew my mind with his truth about those things. His answer was not to lead me to remember anything that happened to me, but to remember things about him and my relationship to him, things that are easily forgotten when the WoLVeS attack.

  This brought me to the WoLVeS acronym where I remembered that the one part of this imagery that does not change in our freedom work is the “W”, the “Wounds”. There is nothing wrong with wounds. They happen. Jesus was wounded and it didn’t cause WoLVeS (it actually gave us our salvation). Paul was wounded, and no WoLVeS (it actually gave us most of his letters to the churches!).

  Why did Jesus, Paul, and others, not have WoLVeS?

  Because they did not believe the devil’s Lies, they did not make self-protective Vows, and they did not give the devil Strongholds from which to work.

  The message is not that we ourselves, especially as children, knew how to do this. The good news I am sharing is not primarily focused at making churches where everybody gets this right all the way from childhood and never needs help.

  Jesus did not come to seek and to save the well, but to seek and to save the LOST![5] He came into the world to save SINNERS, of whom Paul saw himself as the best (or worst) example.[6]

  God gives his children something that no worldling will ever experience, something called being transformed through the renewal of our minds.[7] When someone receives new life in Jesus, and becomes a new creature in him, part of this newness includes a new mind and a new heart.[8] This means that we can think in new ways, believe new and wonderful things, and walk in “newness of life”![9]

  As I have only begun considering an acronym to contrast with our WoLVeS imagery, what came to mind is quite fitting, that our WoRTH defeats the WoLVeS.



Wounds: they happen, not the problem.

Wounds: they happen, not the problem.

Lies: filling our minds with falsehoods about God that immediately steal our thoughts of running to Father for help.

Reality: filling our minds with what is real about God and ourselves so that we want to run to him for help.

Vows: setting up self-protective walls to make sure we never get wounded again.

Truth: letting ourselves bond with the Truth in mind, heart and soul so that our wounds always increase our attachment with the Triune God.

Strongholds: accepting bondage-strategies as both necessary and normal so that we are unable to walk in the light or in the truth no matter how brightly or truthfully it is presented.

Hope: attaching to every promise of who we are to God, what he is doing in us, where he is taking us, and what he will complete in us, knowing they all will be fulfilled no matter how wounded we have ever been.

  This is not, for me, about how well I have matched the WoLVeS acronym with something of my own. It is about the realization that, when we ask God what he wants us to “remember” about our pasts, don’t be surprised if he skips memories of things that were done to us and takes us to realities about our relationship with him that we have forgotten (or never knew) because we have believed the devil’s lies.

  Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”[10]

  Abiding doesn’t merely mean spending time; it means attaching. In other words, when the lies inside us are replaced by the realities of attachment to Jesus, that is when we truly become his disciples (followers), and in that attachment to him, that is when we really come to know the truth (since Jesus IS the truth), and in our attachment to Jesus as the Truth, Jesus sets us free in himself.

  While 1992 is the year I was thrown into thoughts and feelings of childhood trauma like I had never known before, that is not where my journey started. My testimony begins earlier that year when God opened my ears to how he speaks through his word, opened my eyes to how he shows us what he is doing, and opened my will to how we join him in his work.[11]

  The wonderfully gracious thing is that our Father in heaven was leading me into what was Real about walking with him every day of my life before showing me how much damage the Devil’s lies had done to me and people I love. He was already opening my heart, soul and mind to his Truth to give me the weapons that “destroy strongholds… arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” and lead us to “take every thought captive to obey Christ…”[12] And he was already flooding my inner being with Hope that all his children can experience everything he promises for our healing, freedom and maturing in Christ in this lifetime, and the perfection of our eternal life at the return of our Savior.

  What do we do with this?

  We ask our heavenly Father to show us any Wounds that haven’t been healed, any Lies we have believed, any Vows we have made and any Strongholds we have created so that we can come into his presence with our Wounds, attach to the Realities of who we are in Christ, bond with the Truth that sets us free, and “hold fast to the Hope set before us… a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul…”[13]

  And, if you are one of those rare people who has experienced no hindrances in your walk with God because of childhood or other trauma, ask Father who needs the kind of help we are exploring here and go join him in his work of healing the brokenhearted and binding up their wounds.[14]


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)



[1] I was obviously living in the effects of childhood trauma for most of my life but had not had to face it head on as began that year.

[2] I share this with the belief that, contemporary problems and understandings of the human condition do not need to be mentioned in the Bible to be considered valid, but our understanding of what God will do to help us with anything at all in life does come from God’s word and is promised to us in the new covenant in Jesus’ blood. We seek to know what God has given to us in our justification by grace through faith that makes us right with him, what he is doing now in our sanctification by grace through faith in which we keep growing up to maturity in Christ, and what he will complete in our glorification by grace through faith when we finally become fully like Jesus when we see him as he is.

[3] This was introduced to us by Marcus Warner in his resource, Understanding the Wounded Heart. Marcus is the leader of Deeper Walk International ( Just a reminder to not assume that someone sharing something they have learned from a ministry means they endorse everything about that ministry! I’m just giving credit where credit is due.

[4] Luke 2:10-11 (context: Luke 2:1-20)

[5] Luke 19:10

[6] I Timothy 1:15 (Note: Paul was not saying that he was living a life so sinful that he was always the “foremost” of sinners. Rather, in a similar way to how Wayne Gretzky, at time of writing, holds the highest points record in the NHL even long after he retired from playing, Paul saw himself as the chief example of a sinner even long after he was no longer living a life of sin).

[7] Romans 12:2

[8] II Corinthians 5:17; I Corinthians 2:16; Ezekiel 36:26

[9] Romans 6:4

[10] John 8:31-32

[11] One of the most helpful Scriptures in this regard is Philippians 2:12-13 where I considered what it looks like for God to work in us to will and to work for his good pleasure resulting in us working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Such serious realities require sincere attachments.

[12] II Corinthians 10:4-5 (context: II Corinthians 10:1-18)

[13] Hebrews 6:19 (context: Hebrews 6:13-20)

[14] Psalm 147:3

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Morning Time With God: God Sees Man’s Sins.

This morning, my focus was on the description of God’s assessment of the world of Noah’s day. What stands out is that there is a huge contrast between what God sees and what man sees. 

Why, in such a few generations, had man become so evil that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”?[1] 

I am often appalled at how rebellious little children can be when they clearly know what is right from wrong and they have it all figgered how they just need to wait until we are not looking to disobey. Why is that? 

Because, in their puny little minds, they do not have any comprehension that they are immature and ignorant and that we know better than them. Plus, their total depravity means that they already have that inherent propensity to be different from God.

Guess what: whenever we do anything contrary to God’s will for us, including the mindless escapism that is wasting so much of our time, we are caught in an arrogant, immature, ignorant, depraved intention/thought that we have things figgered better than God. 

This especially applies to what we call our “justice-issues”. These are the deep beliefs that God allows injustice by letting people get away with their sins against us (while we never grieve that he is being so kind to us in our sinful arrogance towards him). The claim of injustice on God’s part comes from our tiny, self-centered, dust-based view of life. We simply do not know what he knows. 

I am really seeing what it means that “self-justification” is at the root of all sins. It is always the same ignorant, depraved, immature, arrogant, self-centered rationale that our puny little bit of tunnel vision understands the whole wide world and can tell God that we have found a better way of doing things than his. And so we “justify” ourselves as having the right way while we condemn God as unjust for… (drum roll please)… not doing things our way!!! 

I believe that our daily meditations on God’s word are a personal relationship between us as the beloved children of God (if that is who we are) and the Holy Spirit of our heavenly Father whose work in our lives is to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance things Jesus has already taught us. 

I believe that, in God’s perfect wisdom and knowledge, in his omniscient consciousness of everything, whatever he is saying to us through his word on any given day is the best thing for us to hear, and whatever he shows us he is doing (usually in us first) is the best thing we could be doing as well. 

Today he is confronting me with the glory of his vision, that he sees and knows everything, and the incompleteness of my understanding of anything. It is a humbling experience of God’s grace when we find ourselves admitting to our poverty of spirit. It means we are already blessed with the love of a Father who will not let us die in the arrogant and ignorant immaturity that believes our way is better than his.


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)





[1] Genesis 6:5

Morning Time With God: Father’s Supremacy Over Relatives

I’m continuing in the helpfulness of yesterday’s reminder that all the wicked and evil people who were destroyed in the worldwide flood were Noah’s relatives, including his siblings. It is helpful because it puts our relationships to family members into perspective. We must put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior no matter what anyone thinks of us, including family. 

Yesterday, the spotlight of God’s word was on the fact that the generation of wicked and evil people surrounding Noah were all his relatives. Today it panned from them to center stage where one person was standing: Noah’s real Father. 

What stands out is that Noah is not an example of a strong man who was so self-satisfied that he could do as he pleased without regard for what anyone thought of him. Rather, he had a faith that was so attached to God as his real Father that the worth of knowing his Father was supremely greater than the worth of knowing his relatives. 

It also stands out that Noah’s faith in God was real enough that all three of his sons wanted to attach to his faith in God rather than to their relatives’ attachment to wickedness and evil. 

I feel like I have just walked through a doorway into a room full of treasures waiting for me to explore, but these two things were uppermost in my mind as I got ready for my truck route prayer walk: Jesus teaching us to pray, “Our Father in heaven,”[1] and Paul’s starting place in prayer as, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…”[2] 

This is what Noah understood in his day, that “every family in heaven and on earth” originated from “the Father”. So, when there was a conflict between the evil of his relatives and the goodness of his Father, his faith was in his Father no matter what his family thought of him. 

God is not calling people who are addicted to things we value more than him to be heroic and follow him anyway. He is calling us to find the treasure hidden in the field, a kingdom where we are fully restored to relationship with the Father, so that we will attach to him in faith no matter what any mere creature of dirt is doing around us. 

It is still true that, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”[3] Come and get to know God no matter what your family thinks of you. Your relentless testimony might show them that your way in Jesus Christ is actually vastly superior to their way in themselves.


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Matthew 6:9 (context: Matthew 6:7-13)

[2] Ephesians 3:14-15

[3] John 17:3

Morning Time With God: The Un-Relative Life of Faith

I would imagine that all my cyberspace friends know I absolutely believe the Bible’s history of the world, especially and including the account of a worldwide flood that took place during the days of a man named Noah.[1] 

This week I continued looking at how Noah’s life of faith encourages God’s children to this day and something surprising stood out. 

The reason for the worldwide flood of four-plus millennia ago was that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”[2] 

Hold it a minute! Who were all these wicked and evil people?! 

As it turns out, every one of these wicked and evil people were Noah’s RELATIVES! 

Yes, that wicked and evil generation included Noah’s brothers and sisters, his uncles and aunts, and every description of cousins that we could imagine.[3] 

What’s the lesson? 

When we read that, “By faith Noah… became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith”,[4] we are hearing of what a man did in the midst of a family that was full of wicked and evil people. 

In the negative, Noah’s example shows us that wicked and evil people of any kind, particularly those among our own immediate relatives, cannot stop us from having the life of faith in Jesus. 

In the positive, Noah’s pursuit of faith in the midst of a family of wicked and evil people exemplifies how we can pursue knowing God by faith in Jesus Christ no matter what anyone in our family is doing. 

While I would never claim that my faith is as exemplary as Noah’s, I still know this to be true, that we absolutely NEED to know Jesus as our Savior, Lord and Master, no matter what anyone in our families thinks or does. In HIM is life, and THAT life is the only light that sets us free.[5] 

We are clearly “in the days of Noah” that Jesus talked about a couple of millennia ago.[6] Salvation from the coming judgment is no longer for the few who entered the ark, but for the multitudes who come into Christ by faith. Just like Noah.


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)


[1] Note: the historical sciences affirm all the worldwide evidence of a worldwide flood and debunk all the claims and explanations of the evolutionary religion to get away from the obvious conclusions.

[2] Genesis 6:5

[3] I can never remember all the meanings of the numbers to cousins (first, second, third, etc) and when to use the “once removed” and its variations! However, with how long people lived back then, it would have been a crazy mess of trying to identify how everyone was related. It’s just that they were ALL Noah’s relatives in a way that doesn’t stand out to us quite so much in our day (even thought we are all related as direct descendants of Adam through Noah).

[4] Hebrews 11:7

[5] John 1:4

[6] Luke 17:26

Monday, October 26, 2020

Home Church Video: The Promising Reward of Eternal Joyful Realness

If it wasn’t bad enough that getting older forces us to think about the 100% death rate of humanity, there are also covids, cancers, sicknesses and diseases of every kind constantly threatening to shorten our lives all the more. 

With all the talk of these threats, with the worst-case scenarios measured in numbers and percentages of deaths, we need to have a good talk about how to be ready for what comes next. 

Here is our latest home church video encouraging us all to draw near to God our Creator through faith in Jesus Christ his Son in order to receive the reward of eternal life that saves us now, and secures our place in God’s Forever Home. 



© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8



Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Now and Then of Real Knowing

As I consider the reward of future grace,[1] and the inconceivable realities of being glorified in God’s glory forever,[2] I am awestruck with thoughts about being real. None of us know what that will be like to have our WHOLE heart, our WHOLE soul and our WHOLE mind exactly who we are in God. 

This verse captured my attention once again: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”[3] 

God’s children all have a “before”, a “now”, and a “then”. Our “before” is what we were once like when we were dead in our trespasses and sins.[4] Our “now” is what we are presently like as the justified, adopted, being-transformed children of God.[5] Our “then” is a perfection of Christlikeness that we cannot fathom because we are presently harassed at every turn by our sarky selves.[6] 

At a recent prayer meeting, our home church was talking about how our eternal life is all about knowing God.[7] That is why we aren’t satisfied with externals. We aren’t impressed much with people just doing the right thing. We are always listening for testimonies of our people getting to know God because that is what our lives in Christ are all about. 

As we keep considering the motivation of faith that we believe God rewards those who earnestly seek him, our “now” is full of opportunities to get to know God better than we have ever known him before. There is a promise of daily rewards for whoever wants them. 

However, even this is motivated all the more with the coming reward of complete realness. Right “now” we are “fully known” but not fully knowing. “Then” we “shall know fully” as well, something that will be the most satisfying, fulfilling, restful experience of genuineness ever. 

In response to this, my meditation and source of prayer is this wonder of one day feeling full knowingness with God while knowing I am being fully known at the same time. No being afraid of anyone finding out what I am “really” like (which is never our real selves, by the way), because I will be so perfectly my real self in God’s realness that I will not have one shred of fear or insecurity that someone could find out something about me they don’t like that makes me undeserving of continued relationship.[8] 

A quote that has stuck with me for decades is this: “Out of wonder worship is born.”[9] It has encouraged me so much over the years to let my heart have its way with wonder (awe). The mere wondering at the wonderful things God shows us will lead our hearts to feel the worth of God, and when we feel his worth, we will enjoy telling him how we feel about him and what he means to us.[10] 

As I was considering how much work God has done in my life to transform me more and more into the realness of being like him,[11] I had a memory of trying to “do” a devotional as a teenager at a youth camp. I recall going through “devotional” books for teens to try finding something I could share. 

What stands out is the sense of panic I felt to come up with something. I had no sense of having a personal walk with God that gave me endless stories of God’s work in my life.[12] I did not think of my “testimonies” of coming to know God was watching over me as a child, or receiving Jesus as an adolescent, or confirming my faith as a young teenager, were actually of significance to anyone but me. 

I do not know what I came up with for my devotional, but I do remember very well how I felt about sharing it. I was so scared (traumatized), and my talk was so disconnected from my real soul-condition, that my face was literally twitching with fear. I would have loved to know what the adults who were leading the retreat saw or thought, or whether any of them had let themselves wonder what was going on in my life at the time, or how I was doing in my walk with God.   

However, when I contrast what it was like back then to squeak out a devotional from a heart that had no personal experience of whatever I was talking about, to what I am like now when I can’t stop sharing what it is like to get to know God better every day than I have ever known him before (along with an insatiable desire to share it with others for their encouragement!), I can tell my real-life stories of how coming to know God better is the best thing we could ever do. 

When I think of all the things our heavenly Father wants us to believe about becoming our real selves in Jesus Christ, the question that keeps returning is, “How do we respond to this hope while waiting for its fulfillment?” 

The answer comes in what Jesus said is the reality of eternal life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”[13] 

In our justification, we have been made alive to know God. In our glorification, we will know God fully even as we have been fully known. In our present sanctification, we pursue getting to know the Triune God better than we have ever known them before. 

And that, my brothers, is what your eternal life is all about. If that just happened in the sharing of my story, that is YOUR story of God helping you to know him. Get into the word of God every day and make knowing God better your way of life.


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)




[1] The idea of “reward” is part of our present journey through Hebrews 11:6 that talks about us believing that God rewards those who earnestly seek him. “Future Grace” refers to the continuing grace of God leading us into future things, those undeserved blessings of the new heavens and the new earth.

[2] Romans 8:17, 30

[3] I Corinthians 13:12

[4] Ephesians 2:1-3

[5] Justified: I Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:7. Adopted: Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5. Transformed: Romans 12:2; II Corinthians 3:18.

[6] Romans 8:28-30; I John 3:1-2

[7] John 17:3

[8] To understand what it means to be real we need to follow the thread of God-likeness that runs through Scripture (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 8:29; I Corinthians 13:12; I Corinthians 8:3; Galatians 4:9; John 10:27)

[9] I know it was from G. Campbell Morgan, but not sure which of his books.

[10] This song video definitely encourages my feelings of wonder that lead to worship:

[11] II Corinthians 3:18 shows that this is our daily growth towards complete maturity in Christ.

[12] When I say “stories”, I hold to the treasure of multi-generational groups telling their real-life stories to one another in order to encourage attachment among the generations, and to encourage the younger generations to listen to those who are still running the race of faith ahead of them and want to help them along the way. The world’s idea that “story” means fiction is just one of their fictional stories! Also, the world’s idea that we can only choose between “fiction” and “non-fiction” might be convenient for libraries but leaves out the most wonderful contrast between the world’s “fiction” and the Christian’s attachment to “truth”! Jesus is not “non-fiction”! He is TRUTH!

[13] John 17:3

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Song: I See Love Looking Down (The Sovereign Lord is my Strength)

The present decline of the world around us easily draws our attention into sight-focused reactions. However, God is still on his throne, reigning supreme, sovereignly ruling over both the spiritual and material realms, and we will feel a lot better in the here-and-now as we look up to God in his eternal glory. 

This song has helped me express myself to God when I know I need to look up to him instead of around me at the world. I hope it encourages you as well. 

© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Sark-Denial Now For Soul-Glorification Then

Just in case my title is confusing, “sark-denial” is another way of saying “flesh-denial”. The Greek word translated “flesh” sounds like saying “sark” in English, so our home church often uses that word to address how easily we can be “sarky” (fleshly) instead of Spirit-filled.[1]

The over-all theme of my time in the word lately has been the eternal nature of our rewards.[2] There are many rewards of faith that happen in the present time, but there are some components of our salvation that are waiting for the return of Christ, and learning to wait well is part of our present growing up to maturity in Christ. 

(Star, Asterisk, Flashing Light) Some of us have never gone through the stage of maturing that is supposed to begin happening in our third year of life where a dad lovingly starts training us to do things we don’t want to do and to handle delayed gratification.  

SELF-TEST: how do you respond to God as a Father when he shows you what he is doing and it requires you to do something you don’t want to do, and when joining him in his work would mean an inferior gratification must be denied in view of a superior gratification that is coming later? 

This should set the stage for how you relate to the rewards of drawing near to God that are coming later, especially those that are waiting for us in our heavenly home. 

When Peter expresses his praise for God’s great mercy that has given us the new birth into our living hope, he also identifies that our salvation includes, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”.[3] 

It is interesting that getting older seems to increase the focus on inheritances. As people die, dealing with their estates cannot be avoided. It often brings out the worst in families. 

However, the reality of an inheritance is a huge part of our relationship with God.[4] And, while our earthly inheritances may be in jeopardy from all kinds of influences, our heavenly inheritance is an absolute thing.[5] What our inheritance is cannot change, and neither can the fact of it being ours in Christ and with Christ. 

All that brings me to consider what it is like from God’s side of things when I fit Asaph’s description of himself when he almost slipped because he envied the wicked.[6] Asaph described himself like this: 

When my soul was embittered,

    when I was pricked in heart,

I was brutish and ignorant;

    I was like a beast toward you.[7] 

Everything he says there is that he was “empty-minded”. He was stupid like a cow. His mind was detached from truth and his heart was pierced with grief because of the stupid thoughts in his head (not things that were really happening). 

At that very time, God was still absolutely true. God’s wisdom and knowledge were ready and willing to help Asaph understand what was true. The sanctuary and the word were standing by ready to fill Asaph’s mind with truth, his heart with joy, and his soul with life. God was still being fully himself even while Asaph was losing touch with who he was in the only true God. 

Which brings me again to that amazing expression that comes next: “NEVER-THE-LESS”. 

NEVER-THE-LESS, I am continually with you;

    you hold my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

    and afterward you will receive me to glory.[8] 

When God brings us to our senses in the sanctuary,[9] and we suddenly realize that all our amazing ideas of rejecting the hard life of doing things we don’t want to do, and giving up on denying ourselves immediate gratification, were just plain STUPID, what do we find when we turn around on the spot and look to see what is on God’s face?[10] 

This is what blows me away right now. Even while we are envying worldlings because we are overcome with addictive attachments, and we are ignoring God because we are as ignorant and stupid as a cow, we are continually with God.[11] 

Where will we find God when we finally come to our senses and contrast the destiny of the wicked to the destiny of the righteous? He will be right there at our right hand showing his children that we were in his hands the whole time.[12] 

What about when we have let our sarky minds counsel us in all manner of pride, and self-importance, and self-justification, and self-protection, and we have given God’s counsel the bird, so to speak, because our childishly immature and ignorant hearts were so convinced that we had superior understanding to our Creator? What will we find God doing after we have maligned him like that? 

We will find him guiding us with his counsel! That’s what we will find! 

And, when we come to our senses and allow ourselves to see where worldlings are headed, and what is soon to come of them, and we realize that their demise is not worth any immediate pleasure in the world, and we admit that we have been so stupid as to imagine their pleasures could be greater than the fullness of joy in God’s presence and the eternal pleasures at his right hand,[13] what have we done to our relationship with God? Have we ruined anything? Have we lost our inheritance? Have we been disowned for being so stupid?! 

No. NOTA (none-of-the-above). Asaph says that “afterward”, meaning, after a lifetime of being continually with God, being held by our right hand, and being guided by God’s counsel, “afterward you will receive me to glory.” 

As I run the race into my seventh decade (ouch, but that happened fast!), I am so aware of both the brevity and meaninglessness of this earthly life if there is nothing more. Enduring bad government at every turn would be unthinkably hopeless if this world was my home. Even living with religion that was nothing more than external activity would be utterly meaningless if it were nothing more than the manmade attempts to please a holy God. 

The earthly pleasures that seem so bright and glittery as children and teenagers lose their luster as the years go by and experience after experience proves that they neither last nor fulfill the deepest desires of the heart. 

However, in the Never-the-Less of God, the blessings of God are never less than the deceptions offered us by the world. In fact, God’s grace is never-the-less than our sinful stupidity that chases after our adulterous friendships with the world.[14] The always-the-more grace of God is so much greater than our sin that, no matter how we trample on our Father’s love by imagining that the world offers us so much more, we never stop being his, we never stop being loved, and we never stop hearing his shepherdly voice seeking us, and finding us, and bringing us home. 

Somewhere in this past couple of weeks I was deeply impacted by the reminder that Jesus’ sheep hear his voice and follow him.[15] This means that, when Jesus’ sheep are lost because of their stupidity in envying worldlings, Jesus is speaking his voice through his word, through his Spirit, through his church, so that we will hear him calling us to announce ourselves. Our Savior is calling us to bleat out our acknowledgement that we are lost and tangled in sins and addictions and we have heard him coming for us and desperately want to be found. 

In the four lines of Psalm 73:23-24, three of the lines describe what we will experience in this lifetime when we daily meet our Savior in the sanctuary and let him constantly bring us to our senses about everything. We are continually with him, he holds us by our right hand, and he daily guides us with his counsel. 

The fourth line adds the beautiful, hopeful, glorious and gracious reminder that, “afterward you will receive me to glory.” And sometimes we need just that reminder about future grace to help us do something our sarks do not want to do, and to accept that some of the gratification of our eternal life is kept in heaven for us, awaiting the end of our earthly life and the return of our Savior. 

When we contrast our “afterward” of glory with the worldlings’ “afterward” of terrifying ruin, we can receive the encouragement of God’s word that says, “Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”[16] 

Asaph in Psalm 73 serves as an example of someone who became as stupid as a cow when he envied worldlings but came to his senses when he went into the sanctuary. When he saw again where worldlings are headed, and what was ahead for the children of God, his whole attitude and focus changed because right beliefs express good emotions. 

Question: when God seeks to motivate you by showing you his future grace, what do you learn about yourself, and how can other believers in your church join you in joining God in his work?


© 2020 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Paul’s contrast between the sark/flesh and life in the Spirit is very clear in Romans 7-8 -

[2] This is based on Hebrews 11:6 where we see that part of our motivation in drawing near to God is that he “rewards those who earnestly seek him”. Some of those rewards are now; others are yet to come.

[3] I Peter 1:4 (context is I Peter 1:3-9)

[4] Ephesians 1:11, 14 speak of this in the context of Paul’s expression of praise for everything we have in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-14).

[5] I mean this, of course, as it relates to everyone who has been born again into the family of God through genuine faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

[7] Psalm 73:21-22

[8] Psalm 73:23-24

[9] Psalm 73:16-17

[10] We have recently looked at Scriptures that describe God’s people drifting so far away from him that he had to put them under discipline, including what we learn of Israel’s exile into Babylon, and God assuring them that, no matter how they have offended him with their adulteries and idolatries, he is ready to draw near to us when we come to our senses and draw near to him. See: Deuteronomy 4:29; II Chronicles 7:13-14; Jeremiah 29:3; James 4:1-10, especially James 4:7-8.

[11] Just go for a drive somewhere when there are cattle on the back roads and try getting past them. You will quickly understand what Asaph was describing about himself.

[12] John 10:28-30

[13] Psalm 16:11

[14] See James 4:1-10

[15] John 10:27 (context John 10:1-42)

[16] I Peter 4:19