“1 The Lord is my light and my salvation so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. 4 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. 5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. 6 Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. 7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. 11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. 12 Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Not only did David look to the Lord and live with the Lord but he also:
- Listened to the Lord vs 7-10
David focused on God by listening to His voice over the voice of fear or that of the cynical critics. Are you going to listen to the Lord and hear the voice of victory or that of the naysayers who want to fill you with fear? As David meditated in God’s Temple, he mulled over God’s word. Which means that he took the time to chew over his conversation with God, so that instead of choking on God’s Will He was able to swallow and digest it. One of the reasons we struggle to swallow God’s Word and have difficulty digesting it is that we don’t take the time to chew it. Our quiet time with God should involve contemplation not just conversation. If we fail to take the time to chew over God’s Word we will end up with indigestion, instead of satisfaction we will have a stomach ache. David chose to listen to the Lord which means he learned to let God speak, he didn’t try to control the conversation. How about you are you dominating the time and trying to dictate to the deity? Or are you letting Him lead while you listen? So often our prayer time amounts too little more than petitioning without paying attention. We dominate the time with our demands, ramroding our requests without ever realizing what it is that God wants to say. Is there a place in your prayer life to listen, a space for God to speak? When we create space for God to speak we learn to listen to the voice of counsel instead of confusion. When we chose to look to God, live with God, and listen to God we will come to know Him intimately. We will stop seeking a solution and start seeking the Savior. As we do we will be able to look fear in the face and by faith like David voice the victory, “5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. 6 Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.” Which voice are you going to listen to the victor and live in the victory or that of the enemy and live as a victim? Looking to the Lord, living with the Lord, and listen to the Lord will result in:
- Letting the Lord Lead vs 11-14
As David prays he acknowledges his need for God, which means that he is confessing that he cannot handle life by himself. When we admit our need for the Almighty we will turn to Him and learn to wait on Him. Letting the Lord lead means learning to rely and rest on Him. This means that David turned to God trusting only in Him to intervene on His behalf with concern and compassion, verse 7, “Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!” He also turned to God for guidance and protection, verse 11, “Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.” God desires to see child-like dependence, where we come to Him with all of our heart and say “I need you!” So often we miss God’s peace and end up living in the fear because instead of going to God for help we try to handle things on our own. What about you are you trusting or trying? When my children were little and became sacred they would turn to me and hold on tightly. Instead of facing their fears on their own they turned to their father and so should we. Verse 8 reminds us that we can be confident when we come to God because He is the one calling us: “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” How will you respond to God’s invitation to come and commune, are you going to seek His comfort or stay in the chaos? God cares about His children, He will never turn you away. Sometimes we are fearful to come to Him because we feel that we have let God down and He no longer wants us. David expresses this fear as he says in verse 9 “do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger… Do not reject me or forsake me…” But in verse 10 he focuses on the truth and rests in the reassurance that God will never reject us no matter what! As David chose to focus on God his fears dissipated and his heart grew confident that he would see “the goodness of the Lord” even though he had not yet received the answer he was looking and longed for. It is here that David gives us some of the greatest counsel concerning God, verse 14 to “wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart…” Like David we have many reasons to fear but we also have one greater reason to have peace. As we like David focused on the Lord and remember that he is the source of our Light, our Salvation, and our Stronghold we can have victory over fear. What about you are you going to live in the worry or wait on the Lord?