Psalms 16 – 17

We’re moving into the final few weeks of the first 24 Psalms now.  Today I found some recent themes in my life coming back up in these verses.  It’s awesome to me how the Bible can speak to your current circumstances.  It’s almost like God causes the verses that you really need to know in your current situation to jump off the page at you as you read His word.  It’s something that’s happened to me constantly as I’ve dug into this great book for the first time in my life.

Psalm 16

This is another Psalm of David, and in it he speaks about God blessing and saving him. There was one verse in here that really just stood out to me.

Psalm 16:5-6 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

It really is a beautiful inheritance we have as a child of God, isn’t it? We were nothing without Him, and yet he adopted us into His family and gave us full royal privileges and a grand inheritance. We get an undeserved eternal life, but it’s not just an eternal life. It’s eternal life devoid of sadness and badness and sickness! Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the day to day race that I forget to think about what lies beyond the finish line.

As I was reading this Psalm, I really loved how The Message translation presented this same verse.

Psalm 16:5-6 (The Message) My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. And then you made me your heir!

I love the idea that we think we’re choosing God when in fact we find that He chose us first. It’s an often taught idea, but one I still love. Paul writes about this adoptive quality of God beautifully in the opening of Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

Not only did God choose me, He chose me before the foundation of the world. That’s nuts, isn’t it? He predestined me for adoption. There’s a serious and deep level of confidence and love that comes from understanding this truth. God chose me long ago. He looked forward through time, saw me, and said “this one here, he will be one of my children.” If you can’t draw an insane amount of confidence and purpose and love from this truth, then I’m really sad for you, because to me this is the foundation for a confidence filled life. You want to tell me that I’m not good enough? Sorry friend, but the God of all creation chose me before the foundation of the world. As true believers and followers of Jesus, we should stand in that confidence and purpose every moment of our lives.

Psalm 17

Another Psalm of David, here he’s asking God to test him because he doesn’t deserve the current bad circumstances of his life. As he defends his life, David offers something that really jumped out at me.

Psalm 17:5 My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

In my last blog post I talked about something similar, the idea of spiritual footing. These verses just keep leaping off the page at me. Have you ever had a nearly perfect day? One where you thought the right things, did the right things, said the right things? No one is perfect, but when you have one of those days where you keep God as the absolute priority, when you fill your mind and your minutes with Him and His purpose, when you think right and speak right and do right, it’s like the greatest feeling in the world. It’s like the above verse, you can get to the end of the day and say with confidence “My feet have not slipped.”

I don’t know how common those days can be. I’d like to think it’s possible most days, to look with confidence upon our day and say we didn’t slip at all as we walked the path of Christ. But the fact is, we’re always going to be flawed and we’re always going to come up short. Even if we might not achieve them as often as we want, I think it’s important that we’re striving for more of those days where we can feel like our feet have not slipped. Sometimes I feel like people use the bible as an excuse not to seek perfection.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

To me, that verse isn’t an excuse to sin more, or to give up a pursuit of perfect Christ-like living. Yes, it’s a confirmation that I’m not perfect, but don’t you still want to try? If we’re truly trying to model our lives after Jesus, that means we should be striving for perfection. It means we’re looking to be sinless. Just because I know that I can’t achieve it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get as absolutely close to it as I possibly can. It’s crazy to me that we’d ever consider anything less. Can I be sinless? No, I don’t believe so. I believe that the bible is pretty clear that it’s just in our nature, that no matter what we’ll always have our stumbles. But I want to lessen the severity and the frequency of my stumbles. That, I know, is achievable.

CLOSING AND PRAYER

For prayers today, I just want to pray for joy.  I’m playing bass this week at my church and we’re doing a song called God’s Great Dance Floor.  When I play this song, I’m reminded how joyful a life in Christ really is.  Sure, there’s a lot of seriousness when it comes to religion, but when we’re saved, when we’ve secured our eternal reward, then we’re living a life of victory.  I don’t always remember to walk in that.

So today, pray with me and just pray about joy.  Thank God for the joy we have through Him, thank Him for all the joyful things in our life, thank Him for joy itself.  He is the author of all that is good.

I love you guys, and I’m excited to be starting a new week of blogs.  I’ve been reminded a lot lately about just how incredibly blessed my life is.  God’s been so good to me and my family, and my prayer is that you’re walking in the blessings of the Lord also.  God loves each and every one of you, in the good times and the bad.

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