Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Psalm of the Day

All right, I know that I don't write every day and to call this the Psalm of the Day makes it sound like I will write about a Psalm each day. I won't. I know that full well. but I do read a Psalm each and every day. I am currently reading through Psalm 119, you know, that really, really long one that goes on forever. It is a pretty interesting Psalm. But I am not writing about that Psalm. Instead, I am writing about Psalm 141, which I also read this morning.

"O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you!" (Psalm 141:1 ESV) Like us, the Psalmist (who happens to be King David) would like for the Lord to listen to him when he calls out in prayer. Was he praying with his head bowed and his hands folded, eyes closed, whispering to himself? Probably not. I can imagine David standing in his chamber, arms spread wide, hands open, palms facing upward, eyes turned to heaven and calling out to the Lord, "Hasten to me! Give ear to my voice!" I can see David, heart open, mind given over to the Lord, begging the Lord to hear him.

Been there, done that. Many times have I cried to the Lord for myself, a family member, a member of the flock that I am serving, asking God to hear my voice, to hear my cry. Have you been there? Maybe not standing in the middle of the kitchen calling out to God, but in your heart you are doing just that. "Hear me Lord! Listen to my voice!"

And He does! I want you to hear that again. HE DOES! He listens to your voice. He hears you cry. He has said to you, "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you and you will honor me." He invites you to call to Him. He wants you to pour out all that is in your heart to Him. He wants you to bring your burdens, your cares, you concerns, your everything to Him. Are you upset? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Are you angry? Take it to the Lord! Are you scared? Are you unsure? Are you facing something that is overwhelming in your life and you just don't know what to do or where to turn? Cry out to the Lord.

Will He answer? Yes! Again I say, "YES!" Now here comes the hard part - the answer may not be the one you want. That is the part that we don't like. When we call upon the Lord, we want an answer and generally speaking, the only answer we want is the one we have asked for in our prayer. Do it this way, Lord. That is often the way we think. But it doesn't work that way. He does it His own way, the way that is best. How do we know it is the best way? Because He is omniscient (all-knowing). He knows what is best for us. Remember the show, "Father Knows Best"? The fact is that our heavenly Father does know best.

The challenge of faith is to trust the Lord when He brings forth His answer (in His own time!). Faith trusts the Lord. It says, "Father, I know what lies in my heart and what I want, but I trust what lies in Your heart. Help me to hold firm to You and Your will. Help me to not just say but to believe the words: Thy will be done."

That is just thoughts on the opening verse. I actually wanted to spend time on verses 3-4. Read it for yourself. Think about what they are saying to you. "Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds."  (Psalm 141:4 ESV) That would be a good prayer to take with you are you go out the door this morning. Do not let my heart incline to any evil. Instead, let my heart be inclined to that which comes from You, O Lord. Let me look to You for guidance of my mouth, my actions, my hands, my heart and my mind.

"But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless." (Psalm 141:8 ESV) You are my refuge in the face of great temptation, for today, I will be tempted. I will want to give in to that temptation. Do not leave me defenseless in the face of such evil. Instead, O Lord, help me. I seek refuge from the terrors of sin. (Do you ever think of your sin that way? As terrors? You should!) Help me today, O Lord. My eyes are not towards what is evil but towards You! Be with me today. (And for those of you reading this, may the Lord be with you today, being your refuge.)

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