Psalms 63:1-4 ESV
“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.
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.”
In this world we will have pain and sorrow and sickness. People will do evil to other people. Satan will be fiercely against us and he will try every trick he knows to try to get us to sin against God and to not follow Jesus in obedience to his will and to his commands (New Covenant). But we must remain faithful to the Lord despite all opposition against us. We must continue in Christ and in his word despite all who turn against us.
And especially when we are weak physically and/or emotionally, and when we are being opposed and when people are turning against us and perhaps are even speaking evil against us, we need to seek after the Lord and not give way to the flesh. We need to be strong in the strength of the Lord and continue to do his will even when we don’t have the strength to go on. For as long as we live we are to continue to give our praise to our Lord.
Psalms 63:5-8 ESV
“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.”
Imagine the best meal you have ever tasted. God is way better than anything that this world has to offer us in the way of pleasure and enjoyment. So, we are not to be those who crave the pleasures of this world, but we are to be those who are hungering after righteousness and holiness, and whose desire is for the Lord, to obey him in all things. And we are to find our satisfaction and our pleasure and enjoyment in him.
So, instead of spending most of our time and words on giving praise to the things and people of this world, our mouths should be praising the Lord for all the things he has done and for how he has provided for our needs, and for how he has provided salvation from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we can now live free from bondage to sin, and so we are now free to walk in holiness and in righteousness in the power and wisdom of God.
And I like it how the psalmist talks about remembering the Lord on our beds and how he speaks of us meditating on him in the watches of the night. For this is the kind of relationship we should have with Jesus Christ. For he is not someone we just meet with for a few minutes each day for prayer and for reading the Scriptures, but he should be in our thoughts as we wake in the morning, and as we go to sleep, and even in the night when we awaken.
And this is what our prayer life should be like, too. Prayer is not something we just do once or twice a day at a specified time. For if we are believing in Jesus with God-given faith, and so his Spirit lives within us, we should have that kind of open communication with the Lord 24 hours a day 7 days a week to where we can hear him speak to our hearts at any time of the day or night and to where we can speak with him at any time, too.
Jesus Christ is not to just be the one who saves us from our sins so that when we die we get to go to heaven. Jesus is to be our Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives, and our lives are now to be surrendered to him to do his will. Our souls are to cling (adhere, stick, join, fit) to him, and the lives we live on this earth are to be about him and his will for our lives. And we are able to live for him in this way only in his power and strength and wisdom.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Psalms 63:9-11 ESV
“But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.”
Yes, when Jesus Christ is our life, and when our lives are all about him and not about the pleasures of this sinful world, we are going to have other humans who will oppose us, even many who call themselves Christians. For not everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ has genuine faith in Jesus Christ, and so they are not all living to please the Lord, but many of them are still living to gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh. And so many of them will be against those of us who have made Jesus our Lord (Master).
But think with me about this for a moment. Who were Jesus’ greatest opponents? They were the Jews, yes, but they were God’s people of that time, and they were the religious rulers in the temple of God and the instructors in the Scriptures (Old Testament). So we should not be surprised at all if our fiercest opponents are some of those who are claiming faith in Jesus Christ and who are in positions of spiritual leadership in churches. So, we may have pastors, elders, and deacons opposing us for our faith in Jesus.
And this speaks to the spiritual condition of today’s church, at least here in America, where so many people who profess faith in Jesus, and who are pastors and church leaders, are living not much different from the people of the world. They are living for the pleasures of the flesh and not to please God, and many of them are leading people away from genuine walks of faith in Jesus Christ to continuing in deliberate and habitual sin without guilt. For they themselves are living fleshly and not godly lives.
And so if you are someone who is following Jesus in obedience, though not necessarily in sinless perfection, but you are not walking in sin, and sin is not your practice, but righteousness is your practice, you may face some strong persecution and rejection from others who call themselves Christians. And if you are sharing the truth of the gospel (the whole counsel of God) with others, and if you are exposing the lies, you are even more likely to be faced with strong opposition, even from people closest to you.
But no matter how much or how severe the opposition is that we face when we are walking in obedience to our Lord, we should not let that discourage or dishearten us, and we should never cave to the opposition or back down or give up just because the opposition has gotten more heated. But we need to remain strong in the strength of the Lord and continue in his love and grace in doing what he has called us to do, and then trust him with the results. And then one day we get to be with him forever. Amen!
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 17:14; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]
By Anne S. Murphy, 1908
There’s a peace in my heart that the world never gave,
A peace it cannot take away;
Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud,
I’ve a peace that has come here to stay!
All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King,
When peace sweetly came to my heart;
Troubles all fled away and my night turned to day,
Blessèd Jesus, how glorious Thou art!
This treasure I have in a temple of clay,
While here on His footstool I roam;
But He’s coming to take me some glorious day,
Over there to my heavenly home!
Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine;
Constantly abiding, rapture divine;
He never leaves me lonely, whispers, O so kind:
“I will never leave thee,” Jesus is mine.
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