Friday, October 21, 2016, 2:24 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “He Keeps Me Singing.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 63:1-8 (ESV).
I Seek You (vv. 1-2)
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
What does it mean to truly seek the Lord? It is certainly not a casual thing, nor a passing fancy. It is not something we do once a day in a 5-minute devotional, feeling as though, now, we have fulfilled our duty to God. This is also not something we do once a week in an hour or 2-hour long church service. No! This is daily, hourly and moment by moment. And, it doesn’t have to be done in a passionate fury (intensity), either. This can be done in the quietness and serenity of time alone with God, any time of day or night.
Basically, this is relational. It has to do with our connection and our communion with our Lord. If we have a casual (occasional, infrequent or indifferent) connection with our Lord, which may mean we don’t know him at all, we are not earnestly seeking him. He is certainly not in first place in our lives, and he is not truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives. Seeking him has to do with giving our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable and acceptable worship of him, and to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but to be transformed in the renewing of our minds so that by our lifestyles we prove what is the good, pleasing and acceptable will of God for our lives (See: Ro. 12:1-2).
If we are truly seeking after the Lord and his will for our lives, we also won’t compartmentalize our secular lives from our spiritual lives. We will see every aspect of our lives as belonging to him, and to be directed by him. As well, we won’t see our relationships with Jesus as just something we do, like cleaning the house, or like mowing the lawn, or like any other activity we might be involved in which has a start and a finish. When we truly seek our Lord with all our hearts, this is ongoing. It has no ending. We don’t turn it off and on. We are in continuous communion with our Lord to where we can speak with him, and he with us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without end. And, we are ready at any moment to obey him and what he teaches us.
I Praise You (vv. 3-8)
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Our Lord’s steadfast love for us can be compared to the love of a parent for a child or the love of a man or a woman for his or her spouse. A loving parent will not only provide life’s necessities, as well as protection, nurturing, affection, inspiration and encouragement for his or her child, but a loving parent will also lay down rules, will set boundaries, and will enforce those boundaries, as well as he or she will teach obedience and respect, because they love their child. A loving parent will also discipline his or her child, not just in correction and punishment for wrong doing, but in teaching the child how to live a godly life, holy and pleasing to God, and how to live a self-disciplined life free from indulging in the sinful pleasures of this world. And, a loving spouse will not only show affection, attention and caring for his or her spouse, but he or she will desire faithfulness and commitment to the marriage relationship and will not accept adultery as the norm.
In like manner, our relationship with our Lord should be like that of a faithful spouse, who does not wander here and there seeking after other lovers. We should also be like obedient children who give their parents the love and respect they require. We should consider that our Lord lives with us, just like a family member, and that he is with us and in us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so we should treat him as though he is with us all the time and not ignore him, nor shun his words to us, nor deny him the love and affection, and honor and respect he so deserves. He should be first on our minds when we wake in the morning and last on our minds when we go to sleep at night, and we should be listening for him to speak to our hearts even in the watches of the night. Our thoughts should be with him day or night, and our desire should be for him always.
In good times and in bad times, we should praise him, not just with our lips, but with our lifestyles. It is possible to honor God with our lips but for our hearts to be far from him, so praise is not just verbal, but praise for God is revealed by what we do, and how we live, and by how we respond to the daily challenges of life. Do we whine and complain when things don’t go our way, or do we accept life’s difficulties as part of God’s plan and purpose for our lives, and then submit our lives to his purposes? Singing also does not have to be out loud with our lips and our voices. We can sing to God quietly in our hearts, not just with literal songs, either, but with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving and acceptance of whatever he brings into our lives. I do love songs, though, and the Lord keeps them in my mind, which is awesome, because they encourage my heart, and they lift my spirit.
He Keeps Me Singing / Luther B. Bridgers
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low:
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain;
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Though sometimes he leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See his footprints all the way.
Feasting on the riches of his grace,
Resting neath his sheltering wing,
Always looking on his smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.
Soon he’s coming back to welcome me
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown;
I shall reign with him on high.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.