The Longest Chapter – Part 19 May 17, 2016

Amazing to me that we are approaching the end of this study.  I pray that it has given you inspiration and encouragement in your spiritual journey.

I pray with all my heart; answer me, O Lord! I will obey Your decrees.

I cry out to You; rescue me that I may obey Your laws.

I rise early before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in Your words.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about Your promise.

In Your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived by following Your regulations.

Lawless people are coming to attack me; they live far from Your instructions.

But You are near, O Lord, and all Your commands are true.

I have known from my earliest days that Your laws will last forever.

Psalm 119:145-152

In the first two verses of this week’s portion there is a very important message.  Notice that David prays with all his heart, he cries out to the Lord not for relief from his suffering or trials, but that by God’s grace he will obey the commandments of the Lord despite any distractions that his trials or circumstances may present.  How often do we cry out for relief for our own comfort?  We just want the difficulty or problem to go away!  David had a different attitude.  His priority in life was always the same: to obey the Lord and walk in close fellowship with Him.  Therefore, whatever trials or difficulties he was facing at the time he wrote this psalm, he viewed as circumstances trying to distract him from his highest priority.  What a message!

Life has its challenges; that’s just reality.  Our problem is that we get so focused on the challenge or difficulty that we lose sight of the primary purpose of life; i.e., to be a vessel of God’s presence in this world.  Oh, that we might learn from David to view our trials as opportunities to grow closer to the Lord, rather than distractions to turn our attention away from Him!

I rise early before the sun is up, David declares. Some of us may like to skip over that verse, particularly if we are not “morning people”!  But that’s not the issue.  The Bible has many examples of people who rose early to spend time in the Lord’s presence.  Here are some:

  • Abraham—Gen. 19:27; 21:14; 22:3
  • Jacob—Gen. 28:18
  • Moses—Exo. 8:20; 9:13; 24:4; 34:4
  • Joshua—Josh. 3:1; 6:12; 7:16; 8:10
  • Gideon—Judg. 6:38
  • Hannah—1 Sam. 1:19
  • Samuel—1 Sam. 15:12
  • David—1 Sam. 17:20
  • Job—Job 1:5

What’s so special about early morning prayer?  Like the Israelites in the desert who had to gather manna first thing in the morning or they would have nothing to sustain them physically throughout the day, our morning prayer time is spiritual food for our soul.  It also signals that fellowship with the Lord is a high priority in our lives.  We are declaring that He comes first before we enter into the day’s activities or responsibilities.  Some of you may have heard me say this before but it bears repeating.  I heard a godly man say many years ago that his motto was: ‘No bible, no breakfast’.  He refused to feed his body until he had fed his soul by spending time in God’s Word – a worthy practice to emulate.

David obviously thought so and made it his practice.  Is it any wonder that God called him ‘a man after my own heart’?

Intimacy with God and the obedient life such intimacy will yield is our highest calling in life.  Wouldn’t you like God to be able to say of you: He’s a man after my own heart or She’s a woman after my own heart?

May it be so of all of us.

Til next Tuesday, blessings to you.

 

 

 

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