Thursday, October 16, 2014

Psalm 76 - Awesome One

The one thing I ask of the LORD--the thing I seek most--
is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
delighting in the LORD's perfections and meditating in His Temple.
Psalm 27:4
1God is honored in Judah;
His Name is great in Israel.
2Jerusalema is where He lives;
Mount Zion is His home.
3There He has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy,
the shields and swords and weapons of war.
4You are glorious and more majestic
than the everlasting mountains.b
5Our boldest enemies have been plundered.
They lie before us in the sleep of death.
No warrior could lift a hand against us.
6At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob,
their horses and chariots lay still.
7No wonder You are greatly feared!
Who can stand before You when your anger explodes?
8From heaven You sentenced Your enemies;
the earth trembled and stood silent before You.
9You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God,
and to rescue the oppressed of the earth.
10Human defiance only enhances your glory,
for You use it as a weapon.c
11Make vows to the LORD Your God, and keep them.
Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One.
12For He breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear Him.

In Psalm 76 God confirms His majesty by delivering the humble from the attacks of those who refuse to hear Him. God does this by breaking all the weapons of warfare against His own.

God’s Name is great because He is God, the one, true and living God, unlike man-made gods. When I speak of man-made gods and I am not particularly talking about idols made of stone or wood, etc. I’m talking about anything and everything that I can make a god to myself.. Like money, material possessions, sports, hobbies, you name it and they can become gods. 

Pastor and author, James Emery White, talks about this in What is your god? 
"Whatever you love most, serve most, seek out most, give to the most, worship the most, and care about the most is your god. Your “god” can be your career, your bank account, the way you look, a particular position or degree, influence, power, or physical pleasure. It can even be something that is considered intrinsically good, yet you allow it to dominate your life more than God. Your “god” is whatever you allow to control you, to be the ultimate guide to decision making, the place of your supreme loyalty, and the source of your self-worth."

Idols or man-made gods get in the way of knowing God and service Him. They block me from  trusting God and loving Him. They steal from me - who I am - a believer - thus a follower of the LORD God. In Romans, Paul addresses being raised from darkness of sin and spiritual death - "Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." (Romans 13:11-12).

The Lord gives me windows of opportunities to serve Him that often don’t stay open very long. If I am not careful, I will find myself always planning to serve Christ without ever actually doing it. I can go though life thinking that I will get serious about serving Christ as soon as my present circumstances get better. 

So ask myself, "Who or what is most important in my life?" If I say, “Following Christ” then need to make sure that is the most important thing in my life. For example, when I decide between sleeping in or worshiping God, I’ll worship God. When an interesting program is playing, but I haven’t spent much time with the Lord lately, I’ll skip it and spend some time with the Lord.

Another area where I often get my priorities wrong is the two greatest enemies of right priorities: guilt over things I did in the past, and worry about the future. Too many times I live either in the past or in the future. Guilt is solved when I repent over sin and believe God when He says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) 

Worry is solved when I learn to believe God when He says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6). The answer is not to be nervous about doing everything right, the answer is to establish priorities and then made decisions based on them.

Anytime I make a promise - the Lord takes it seriously. The religious rulers fell into the trap of hedging their promises. It benefits me to give myself to God and follow Him in obedience. He requires me to fulfill my vows/promises because  He is the Lord God; to bring gifts because He is worthy to be feared; God’s paybacks are Inescapable because no matter how powerful a person believes he or she is - the only answer is to fear God.

There is only true and living God. If I truly know Him, I must trust Him, love Him and serve Him as best I can. Otherwise it is just lip-serivce and it means absolutely nothing to Him. My LORD God  is the One who watches over me, provides for me, protects me, blesses me, and saves me through faith in His Son. He alone is to be feared, respected, held in awe, praised, worshiped, and glorified.