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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 37’

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.

–Psalm 37:3-6

Here is the “to-do” list from Psalm 37:

  • Trust in the LORD and do good
  • Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness
  • Delight yourself in the LORD, and wait for Him to fulfill your desires
  • Commit your way to the LORD and trust in Him, and wait for Him to bring forth your righteousness and justice and make them bright

One thing that I notice from the list is that very little outward action is required. Most of what God is asking of me is internal, e.g. trust, delight, wait, and commit. Several of the other seemingly “action” words He uses are really about internal concepts as well.

For example, dwell is speaking to us of living the Christian life-a life of promise. In the Old Testament the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, finally came into the land that God has promised Abraham many years before. That entry into the promised land is analogous to the New Testament believer living the abundant life-life based on the promises of God after being born again.

Feed on His faithfulness sounds like an action, but it is really a state of mind. The idea is that we would live and prosper remembering that God is faithful to the promises He has made to His people.

So I am to trust the LORD – rely on Him, to have confidence in Him.

I am to dwell in the place He has placed me and be sustained by His faithfulness as I live there.

I am to delight in the LORD. This is easy because He is my exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4). The image that God brought to mind when I was thinking about this was that of a dog rolling in green grass, arching her back and just enjoying the stretch, the warmth of the sun and the scratch of the grass on her back.

I am to commit my way to Him, but why wouldn’t I in light of the promises He makes to me. Here are just 2 found in this short passage:

  • He will give me the desires of my heart
  • He shall make my righteousness and my justice bright like the sun at noon-day, so that everyone will know-there will be no way to hide what He has done in my life

How great is our God and how wonderful His promises!

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Hot Potato Prayer

When I was in elementary school and it rained, a regular occurrence where I grew up, we would play indoors at recess and lunch.  One of our favorite games was hot potato – you probably remember it.  The teacher would start it off by handing an object, usually a chalk board eraser (I do date myself) to someone, who had to pass it quickly to the next person, and so on.  If you were left holding the hot potato when the bell or whistle sounded, you were out and had to wait quietly in your seat until the game was finished. The children who were best at playing this game were successful because they never held onto the hot potato any longer than necessary before passing it to someone else.

The Lord reminded me of this game recently, when I was feeling disappointed with the outcome of my prayers.  For a long time, I had asked Him to fix my situation and had a clear picture of what the result would look like.  In fact, I prayed that way for many years.  So when my trial finally came to a conclusion – and it was clear that God’s direction was not exactly what I’d hoped for – I was confused.  All along, I had assumed He was moving in the direction I thought He should.

The problem with this kind of praying is that it can lead to confusion – or even worse, despair – if our requests aren’t answered according to what we want or anticipate.  Not the easiest lesson to learn.

“God didn’t answer my prayer!” many will protest, and some will even get angry with Him.  Maybe the best thing to do in a situation like this, perhaps what He would really have us do, is release whatever it is that troubles us and pass it to Him like a hot potato.  I can’t think of anything better than to toss our ideas in His direction – making suggestions, sure – but leaving the results to Him.

 

References:
     Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret-it only causes harm.
     1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

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