Sunday, August 25, 2013
1 O Lord, I give my life to you. 2 I trust in you, my God! Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat. 3 No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. 4 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. 5 Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You. 6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and unfailing love, which You have shown from long ages past. 7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of Your unfailing love, for You are merciful, O Lord. 8 The Lord is good and does what is right; He shows the proper path to those who go astray. 9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them His way. 10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep His covenant and obey His demands. 11 For the honor of Your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity, and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. 17 My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! 18 Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! 20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. 21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
22 O God, ransom Israel from all its troubles.
Suppose Jesus Christ came up to me and said, "Hello, my name is Jesus, I am the Son of God and I came into the world to save sinners and give them complete happiness and everlasting life. By my death and resurrection I have atoned for sin. And by my wisdom and knowledge I can show you how to make choices that will bring you the greatest life and joy. Will you trust me?"
And suppose I said, "Well, I do want to be happy. I like the idea of having all my sins forgiven. I certainly don't want to go to hell. But I have looked over some of Your directions for the good life and I just don't agree with some of your ideas about how I can be happiest. So I accept your forgiveness now, and I really appreciate it. But I think I will go with my own ideas of how to live."
What would Jesus say about me as I turned to walk away? Well I know exactly what He did say when that happened once. He said, in effect, "It's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone to enter the kingdom of God who thinks he knows more than Christ about the way to be happy."
Do I really trust God? Do I trust Him for who He really is—a sin forgiving Savior and an infallible guide to everlasting joy? If I do, I will aim to make His counsel decisive in all my decision making. Often I am unsure about the will of God in certain situations, but with all my heart, I want to know God's ways and God's paths. So in all things I seek His counsel:
In what I watch on TV, what job I take, whom I marry or whether I marry, how I spend leisure time,
what courses to take, where to live, what kind of car to drive, how much to eat, how to dress, and how to pray and read the Bible.
In Psalm 25 - David is struggling with fear, loneliness, guilt, and confusion. There are at least 18 petitions in this psalm. And what David does in these petitions is come to God in every aspect of his situation. David prays in every circumstance.
He asks God to guard his life and deliver him from the foes (v. 20). He asks God to turn to him and be gracious and relieve his loneliness (v. 16). He asks God not to remember the sins of his youth (v. 7) but to pardon his guilt (vv. 11, 18). And in verses 4 and 5 he asks God to take away his uncertainty and confusion by making him know God's ways and leading him in truth.
In other words David comes to God with his fear and his loneliness and guilt and confusion and pleads with God to make things right and to lead him in the way of love and faithfulness (v. 10).
God guides me by bringing my heart and mind into harmony or sympathy with His own heart and mind so that when I study a situation, I am able to discern ( might even say intuit) what path would best accord with the character and purposes of God that I know from Scripture.
So what I ought to be asking when I pray, "Lead me in Your truth, and teach me." In other words - that God would create in me a spiritual and moral conformity to Himself and that He would help me see all the relevant factors that relate to the decision I am about to make. God teaches me His way by alerting me to significant facts of the situation and by awakening me to the implications of His character and His purpose.
The counsel that I hear in Psalm 25 is . . .
First, as I walk with Him, there is going to be trouble, and I will struggle with fear and loneliness and guilt and confusion.
Second, when I do, I should come to him in prayer and bring all my struggles with no hesitation.
Third, that the basis of my expectation when I come is not that messages are promised in visions, but that guidance is promised in humility and in the fear of the Lord.
The decisions I make will shape my life and either contributes to His kingdom or takes away from it. I need the guidance of God. That is why I must pray 24/7.
As I pray - I can see what I must do. I must admit my sin. I must humble myself before the Lord. I must keep His covenant and His testimonies. I must fear His name and trust His mercy and His counsel.
As I seek Him in all things - God draws the blueprints of my life - all that matters then is what pleases Him. The quest for guidance is the quest for holiness! Not in ecstatic heights but in spiritual depth.
Posted by Colleen at 10:29 AM