Monday, September 26, 2016, 7:38 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “A Believer’s Prayer.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 16 (ESV).
Preserve Me (vv. 1-2)
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
The psalmist asks of the Lord that he keep watch over him, that he preserve him, and that he hold on to him and safeguard him. He loves his Lord, and he does not ever want to stray from him, or to look to any other to satisfy him. His desire is to continue in Christ/God, and in his love and in his Word, and that he would not part from his God in any way. And, so, he takes refuge in his Lord, i.e. he looks to the Lord to meet his needs and to fulfill the deep longings of his soul. God/Jesus is his owner-master, and he wants no other. So, he fills his life with the things of God, and he longs for his times of sweet fellowship with his Lord in prayer and in his Word. And, he does not run after other gods or thirst after the ungodly things this ungodly world has to offer him. May we all emulate his relationship with his Lord.
The Saints (v. 3)
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The saints of God are those who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord, and as Savior of their lives, who are walking in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. They have been sanctified and made holy by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross for their sins, and by faith in Christ and in his sacrificial offering for our sins. They have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and have been resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). They are to be honored for their walks of faith and obedience to God. And, we should delight (find pleasure) in them, for they are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In today’s world, though, even within the institutional church, sadly enough, the godly are not usually honored, and worldly Christians do not delight in them, either. In fact, the godly are often treated as though they are weird (crazy) or abnormal, and society is accentuating this very much these days.
If you are godly, and you take God and his Word seriously, and you do what he/it says, and you follow Christ where he leads you, and you tell people about Jesus, and you share with them the gospel of salvation from sin, you might be tagged as a religious extremist, a hatemonger, a bigot and/or as intolerant. And, you will, undoubtedly, be hearing many messages which tell you that you need to change, and that you need to not be trying to convince people about faith in Jesus Christ. They say you should just love on everyone, and accept (show lenience towards) people for who they are, right where they are, no matter their lifestyles of choice or their religious beliefs. We should love them as Jesus loves us, but we should not be accepting of sin or of other religions. That is called permissiveness. All this, of course, is working its way toward a one-world religion under the beast.
Other gods (v. 4)
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
Yet, those who malign Christ’s servants and messengers, i.e. his saints, and who would try to present the saints of God as people who need to be exterminated or reprogrammed, are those who are following after other gods which will never satisfy the deep longings of their souls. They are those who are chasing after temporal happiness that will never fulfill, and that is fleeting. They may or may not appear as happy people on the outside, but they will never be truly at peace, nor will they experience true lasting joy, for they are looking for love in all the wrong places. And, in the end, everything they sought after, i.e. the pleasures of this life, will pass away.
Pleasant Places (vv. 5-6)
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Instead of spending our lives going after what will never truly satisfy our souls, but will only bring much sorrow and emptiness, and will end badly for us, we need to choose God/Jesus as our only portion (sustenance or nourishment for life), which the Lord maintains (upholds, keeps). He keeps us in his care by the power of his Spirit now living within those of us who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And, he has given us a wonderful inheritance in Christ Jesus, i.e. he has given us eternal life with God, forgiveness of sins, his righteousness and holiness, and freedom from both the penalty of sin (eternal damnation) and freedom from slavery to sin, so that we can now become servants of Christ’s righteousness.
Godly Counsel (vv. 7-8)
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
I love how this psalmist describes his relationship with his Lord, and I identify with him. My Lord often gives me counsel and instructs me in the night. He might wake me up any hour of the night with a song in my head, and he might speak with me, through his Word, and through his Spirit, concerning just about anything having to do with my life or with the world in which I live. My Lord speaks to me all throughout the day and into the night, and in the middle of the night. That is how our relationship works, and I can talk with him any time of day or night, too. This, to me, is what scripture means when it says that we are to pray without ceasing. Because the Spirit of God lives within us, we are continually in God’s presence, and we should always be in an attitude of prayer to where we can hear him speak to us and we can speak to him any time of day and any place.
As well, if I set the Lord always before me, that means I do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that he is foremost in my mind and life all the time, even in the middle of the night, and that I am always conscious of his presence and of his voice speaking his words to my heart. It means, as well, that my life is not compartmentalized into work, social, family, entertainment and religion/faith, etc., but that my life is all about faith and my relationship with Jesus Christ, and that all else falls underneath my relationship with Jesus and flows from that. When we have this view of our relationship with Jesus Christ, we see him as always there with us, by our side, and therefore we don’t fear the enemy coming against us.
The Path of Life (vv. 9-11)
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
When we are in Christ through faith in Jesus Christ, we are under God’s care and protection. He promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us, no matter how bad things get in this world of ours, so in that we can rest secure. Even though humans will betray, reject, and leave us, our Lord will never leave us. He is always there watching over us, guiding and leading us in the way that we should go. The pleasure and joy that we find in our relationships with him surpasses by far any temporal joy or pleasures this sinful world has to offer us. So, we should give our whole hearts to him in unadulterated devotion, to walk in his ways and in his truth.
A Believer’s Prayer / An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.