Psalm 61:1-3 ESV
Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.
We all have days that are better than others. Sometimes a lot of emotionally heavy stuff piles on us all at once. Some days we do better physically than others. Especially the older we get, our bodies don’t work as well as they did when we were younger. I am 70 now, and I can definitely feel my age. My brain works slower. I get tired more easily. I don’t multitask like I used to.
And, the closer we get to our Lord in our walks with him, and the more that we listen to him and follow him wherever he leads us, the more Satan is going to fight against us, too. And, he will use those times when we are tired, when we are weak, and when stuff piles on us all at once as opportunities to attack us, and to try to get us down and out.
Sometimes it can feel like a dark cloud is just hovering over our heads. Or Satan will just keep beating up on us over some minor thing that doesn’t amount to much. But, he will keep at us, to try to make us feel horrible. For, his goal is to get us to doubt God, to run away, to retreat, to crawl in a hole, and to not do what God is leading us to do.
And, it is in times like these, especially, when we need to cry out to God for help. And, we need to ask others to pray for us, too, so that we are strengthened in our spirits, and so that we don’t grow faint at heart.
We need the Lord to lead us to himself, to his strength, guidance, direction and counsel. And, we need him to lead us to us putting our absolute trust in him in and for all things, and for us not to take matters into our own hands. For, his word teaches us that when we are weak we are strong in him, for his strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Co. 12:7-10).
I just know that when I am feeling under attack from the enemy, and when I am feeling emotionally or physically weak, and I call on God in prayer, and I ask others to pray for me, too, that God answers my/their prayers.
But, I still have to obey him. I still have to step out in faith and do what he asks me to do even when I don’t feel like it, and even sometimes when I have a headache, too. For, he has performed many miracles in my life when I chose to walk by faith and to not give into letting emotional or physical weakness get me down.
Psalm 61:4-5 ESV
Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
For you, O God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
What are our vows to the Lord? They are our faith in him, our repentance, our submission to his Lordship, and our walks of obedience to his commands. In them is our dying with Christ to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness. And, in them is our forsaking of our former sinful lifestyles in order that we might be in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. But, all this is from God and it is of God.
But, not everyone has this. Not everyone is “in Christ” – not even all who profess to believe in Jesus Christ. Our heritage (eternal life) in Christ is for those who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways, who do not deny him, who surrender their lives to him, and who honor, value, respect and obey him. This is what it means to fear the Lord.
So, if we want to dwell in the tent of the Lord forever, and to take refuge under the shelter of his wings, we have to walk in the fear of the Lord. We have to die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. We have to love, honor, respect and obey him, not in absolute perfection, but in consistent walks of faith in our Lord, dying daily with him to sin and daily putting on his armor so we can fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us.
Psalm 61:8 ESV
So will I ever sing praises to your name,
as I perform my vows day after day.
To perform our vows to the Lord is not a “performance.” We are not acting, putting on a show, or trying to look good while we are still living in sin. To perform is to do the work the Lord has called us to do. It is to work the works that he prepared for us in advance that we should walk in them, but as his workmanship, not as our own (Eph. 2:10; Tit. 2:14).
To perform our vows to the Lord day after day just means we walk in obedience to our Lord day after day, doing what he says, going where he sends us, and saying what he gives us to say. And, we do all this under his guidance, direction and counsel, and by his empowerment and in his strength. This is him working his will and purposes in our lives and out through our lives as we cooperate with that work of grace he is doing in us.
So, all the praise and all the glory goes to God for the work that he does in and through our lives. We take no credit. We should take no credit. For, the credit belongs to him. For, we are not saved in our own power and strength, but only by God’s grace through faith, which is a gift of God, not of our own fleshly works lest we should boast that somehow we did it (Eph. 2:8-9).
So, when God leads us to do something, and he empowers us to do it, and so we do it in his strength and empowerment, then if we are praised, we need to give that praise back to God. For, the credit belongs to him.
And, while we are working for him, we should be praising him and thanking him, too, in song, in prayer, in thanksgiving, or in whatever ways he gives us to express our gratitude to him and our praise to him for who he is and for all that he has done in and through our lives, and yet will do.
For, He is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.