Psalm 121:1-2 ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
When we are in trouble, or we have questions about life, or we need to make a decision about something and we are not sure what to do, where do we go for help first? When we are sick, who or what do we seek out first? When we are in financial need, or we need to know how to deal with a specific situation in our lives, or we need to know how to respond to someone who is being ugly with us, where do we first go for help?
The “Sunday School” answer is to say, “We go to the Lord.” But, do we always? Do we regularly? Is that our habit? Is it our normal practice, or our consistent “go to”?
Or, do we go to Facebook or our friends? Or, do we automatically call the doctor first thing every time? I am certainly not against doctors here, don’t get me wrong. But, should he always be the first one we call when we need help with something going wrong in our bodies? And, should the pastor always be the first one to call when we need spiritual guidance, or should a human counselor be first when we are feeling lonely or depressed?
I think that all too often we, as humans, have a tendency to go to all these other places first, and then when we have exhausted all of our human resources, and we have no other way to go, then we go to the Lord.
Yet, I am not saying that everyone does this. Some of us may still be there doing that, and some of us may have moved on beyond that, and truly the Lord is the one we seek first and foremost when we are needing help with life.
Yet, the point here is not to point fingers at anyone. The point here is to make us aware that we may not truly be seeking the Lord first and foremost when we need help, but that our automatic “go to” might always or sometimes be something or someone else other than God. And, sometimes the automatic “go to” may be something sinful or harmful to our bodies, minds and hearts, too, and that is even much worse.
The main point, though, is that God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – should be our “go to,” the one we call on first when we need help, because he is the one who made us, and he knows us inside and out better than anyone. Also, he is God, and he is all powerful, and he is the ONLY one who truly can meet all of our needs and who has the wisdom, knowledge and power to help us with everything. For, he alone is completely sovereign and in control over all that he has made.
So, we need to be encouraged to always go to the Lord first, ask him for guidance and direction, and then if he leads us to go to others for help, then we do. But, we do so under the guidance and direction and wisdom of our Lord, and always realizing that, no matter what human instruments God may use to help us, he is still the one giving the help, so praise his name!
And, always we are never to turn to anything sinful to meet our needs!
Psalm 121:3-4 ESV
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Our God is always on the clock. He is on call 24/7 to meet our needs whenever they arise. And, we can call on him any hour of the day or night, no matter where we are or what else is going on in our lives. But, we need to call on him in truth, and we need to seek him out with all our hearts, holding nothing back. For, we can’t receive his help if we are not willing to do what he tells us to do. If we ask, but we won’t listen, then it is pointless.
So, when this says that he will not let our foot be moved, and that he keeps us, we have a part in that, too. For, we are not marionettes on a set of strings. We still have free wills to choose to follow the Lord, or to choose to disobey the Lord. So, we have to cooperate with his work of grace in our lives. For, he died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness.
Although we can’t do this in our own power and strength, but only in the strength of the Lord, it is also true that God won’t change our hearts, attitudes and behaviors if we don’t want to be changed. So, if we want to move towards sin, we can move towards sin. But, if truly we are seeking his help, and we are doing what he says to do, and we are putting on the armor of God, and we are walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh, then we can have victory over the flesh by the grace of God, as we cooperate with him.
Psalm 121:7-8 ESV
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Again, the Lord will keep us from all evil but only if we submit to him and to his will for our lives, and only as we yield control over to him. But, if we are playing and flirting with sin, and if we are not willing to let go of pet sins or to let go of those things which lead us into sin, then we are choosing evil over God, and then we won’t be helped, because we don’t want help!
But, this doesn’t mean that we won’t be tempted by evil, and this doesn’t mean that Satan will not attack us or scheme against or use other humans to hurt us and to persecute us. Evil will still come against us. The Bible makes that quite clear to us. But, evil will not be able to conquer us and to overtake us if truly we are seeking God with all our hearts, and if we are following him in walks of obedience, and if we are truly seeking his shelter.
So, if we are tempted to lust after others, for example, but then we watch sexually suggestive or sexually explicit TV shows, movies, and videos, we are opening ourselves wide not only to be tempted of Satan, but also to give in to those temptations. If we are tempted to gossip, but we keep going where we know people are gossiping, and we listen to it and we entertain it, then eventually we will begin to join in and spread the gossip, too.
These are just two examples. And, the point is that if we truly want God’s help in whatever way or manner in which we want his help, then not only must we call on him first, and we must call on him in truth, but we must listen to him and obey what he shows us, or we have just wasted our breath. For, I hear people say they are asking for God to help them conquer sin or to change their hearts, but they aren’t willing to do what God says.
So, call on him first, yes! Call on him in truth, absolutely! But, call on him with the full intention to follow him in obedience if truly you want his help.
Broken and Contrite
An Original Work / May 13, 2012
I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.
Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.
Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019