What I Read Today;
1 Corinthians 6; Matthew 22; Ezekiel 8; Psalm 143; 2 Samuel 8
Psalm 143 is one of my favorite Psalms. Let’s take a few minutes and go through it together.
Verses 1-2, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness. Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.” NRSV
This is a simple statement. Without the intercession of God himself, we cannot save ourselves. No one can. It eliminates all works-righteousness. It tears down the idea that one person is better than another person. All of us need God for our salvation.
Verses 3-4, “For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.” NRSV
It should be more evident today than ever before, that this world and the things in it can tear us apart. Our enemy has set up potholes along the road of life. Each day of our lives, human beings are like cars driving down the road, we hit these potholes. With every tire strike, a small amount of wear occurs in our lives. This happens until we reach a point where something breaks down. We find ourselves at the point where we are exhausted and drained.
Verses 5-6, “I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah” NRSV
So how do we keep our spirits from breaking down as we drive through the potholes of life? It starts right here in verse 5. We immerse ourselves in the word of God. We meditate on God’s very thoughts. We protect ourselves by studying what our Savior Jesus says.
Verses 7-8, “Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me, or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” NRSV
What else can we do to preserve our spirits? We can turn to God in prayer. It’s so essential that we pour our hearts out to God. God wants to hear from us. God wants us to rely on him. God honors our prayers. Even in those moments when we feel he’s distant from us, God is listening to us.
When we pray, we need to listen to what God is telling us. We need to be praying to seek out God’s guidance for our lives. Prayer shouldn’t be a to-do list that we expect God to do for us. No, prayer needs to be our way of seeking God’s guidance as we struggle through the road of life.
Verse 9-11, “Save me, O Lord, from my enemies; I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good spirit lead me on a level path. For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life. In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.” NRSV
Sometimes, we have to remember to let God drive the car. We are intent on controlling every aspect of our lives. Many times things that happen to us are completely out of our control. In those moments, we need to allow the Spirit of God to direct us. We need to let God drive the car. That is really hard for many of us. When we take our hands off the steering wheel and give God the control, amazing things can happen in our lives.
Verse 12, “In your steadfast love cut off my enemies, and destroy all my adversaries, for I am your servant.” NRSV
Finally, we need to let God deal with those who hurt us. Living with anger and resentment only hurts us. The pain we feel from past hurts will eat us up if we’re not careful. The bitterness will simmer beneath the surface until it boils over.
Our lives will be full of potholes. Getting through them will require us to change our approach. Living by the spirit each day, letting God drive the car, seeking out God through his word, throwing ourselves into active prayer, and giving over our bitterness and anger to God, will help us to make it through each and every day.