Saturday, September 17, 2011

Psalm 143:8

Psalm 143, verse 8
David's Morning Devotion

"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You."

In David's many psalms, he gives us some wonderfully clear examples of his devotional life during various times and circumstances. In periods of exaltation, he cries out in exuberant praise, and in times of great trial, his pleas for deliverance are always coupled with brazen trust in God's mercy.  Here, though, in his 143rd psalm, we have a beautifully simple model for our morning meetings with the Lord.

"Cause me to hear Your loving kindness in the morning..."  First, he asks for God's loving kindness in the morning, echoing the familiar verse, "[Your mercies] are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:23) I need His mercy, His lovingkindness, His grace every morning! There is not a day that I do not cry out for it. With my young children, every day is full of endless serving and regular small crisis's, and to walk in peace and love the whole day through, I must have His grace from the very moment I get up. Yet, even on our most pleasant of days, we need the grace of God at work in our life, enabling us to bear fruit in all we do. A day lived out in our own strength, no matter how productive or smooth, is a day in vain. All that counts for eternity is what was accomplished by grace. Thus, David cries out for the lovingkindness of God first thing, for only upon this foundation can he live the rest of the day in perfect peace.

"...for in You do I trust..." David places his trust in the Lord, the surest path to receiving grace; for grace comes by only faith.  "For by grace you have saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) It is only as we lay aside our confidence in our own abilities and embrace the power of God available only to the weak, that we will truly know strength. For in our weakness, His strength is made perfect: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (II Chronicles 12:9). Grace is God's power for living out the Christian life, and we receive it by simple faith in His promise to give it to all who need it. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6)

"...cause me to know the way in which I should walk..." David asks the Lord for guidance for his day, to know the right course of action to take in every situation and to have a right heart in all circumstances. He is saying, in essence, "Lead me, Lord." There are many times throughout our days when we have an opportunity to make a choice. We begin with small decisions, like when to actually roll out of bed after we hear the alarm, and then progress through a series of trivial choices such as our clothing, breakfast, shoes, etc. While God may not really be concerned with "red shirt vs. blue shirt", He may have an opinion on low cut vs. modest, and to be led of the Lord is to heed that inner voice counseling you as to the way in which you should go. Decisions of another nature also begin at the start of a day. At any given moment, we all have the choice to walk in the Spirit: loving, serving, and forgiving...or to walk in the flesh: selfish, demanding, and bitter.  When your husband offends you, or your children irritate you, you have a decision to make. David prayed that God would "cause him to know the way in which he should walk,"in every and all decisions he may face that day.

"...for I lift up my soul to You..."  David offers up to God his very soul, in an act of both submission and trust. He is at once both asking for divine protection, with his soul kept safe in the care of God, as well as inviting God to be His Lord, governing his very actions and plans that day.  Each and every day of our lives, God has a purpose for us to live out. He knew us before we even were, and designed a special plan for our lives to fit us perfectly. As we surrender control of our lives to Him, He then gently leads us into all the wonderful works He has prepared for us to do.  Think of it! Knowing your particular tastes, desires, strengths, and weaknesses, He created a highly specialized position on earth for you to do exactly what you were made to do! Talk about fulfilling! Yet, this is the normal experience of those who in simple trust, "lift up their souls" to God in a sweet submission and anticipation. An average day becomes glorious when it is lived in the certainty that everything in it is a part of God's perfect and best plan for your life.

May the Lord bless you as you seek Him in His word and trust Him in everything!

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