There’s a bit of a story about today’s blog post. Last weekend I had already written Monday and Tuesday’s blog posts (the Psalm 25 posts), and my plan was to write today’s at some point during the week. When I got home from church on Sunday I wanted to play a computer game. It was my plan, it was my desire. But I had this quiet feeling in me that I should write Thursday’s blog post instead. So I hesitate, think about grabbing my notebook with all my Bible notes, but then don’t do it. But as I walk towards my computer I have that feeling again. It’s not a booming, overwhelming voice, it’s no house shaking commandment, just this small nudge that I should write the Bible blog right then. So this time I go back and I grab the notebook, and I take it and I sit down at my computer. But as I look at the computer and I see all the icons for my games, I have a terrible thought. I thought to myself, I just spent all morning at church, I can just play games for a while and it’ll be fine. So I start to click on a game and then there it is again, this barely perceptible nudge in my spirit. This time, I decide to listen fully.
I open up my notebook, open up my word processor, and then I get into prayer about the writing session. After prayer I got started, and the Psalm 26 stuff went according to plan. I had a lot of great notes on Psalm 26, and I followed along my notes, wrote about my impressions of the verse, and then moved to Psalm 27. And that one just exploded. My notes on this Psalm were actually pretty bare, but as I wrote on Sunday I had a fresh revelation from the Lord, just this beautiful picture in my mind of something amazing that verse was saying. I was full of joy as I wrote it, because I knew this was the reason I’d felt that nudge to write, because God had a fresh insight for me on that verse, one that hadn’t occurred to me when I originally studied Psalm 27. I can’t tell you how loved and just overjoyed I felt when I finished writing.
It’s hard sometimes to communicate the fact that this blog isn’t me, that it’s all God, but on this one it’s easy. God tapped on my shoulder, said get in the chair and get to writing because I’ve got something good, and I did what He said. I could do a whole blog post on not only listening for those quiet nudges in our spirit, but also on obeying them. I’m also feeling slightly convicted as I write this, because just last night I was talking to my roommate and criticizing the hesitancy of Moses when God spoke to him through the burning bush, yet as I had a nudge from the Lord last weekend I too hesitated to follow it at first. But I’ll save those for another time so we can get this show on the road today.
In this Psalm, David writes and is defending his integrity. As he does this he lays out certain parts of his behavior and something he said really just struck me as important.
Psalm 26:4-5 I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. 5 I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.
My mom’s always had a saying similar to this verse. It went something like “look at someone’s friends and you’ll know who that someone is.” David seems to have a similar view of things as he works hard in this Psalm to distance himself from bad folks. There’s one word in particular in this verse that I feel really sums this up. The word consort means to “habitually associate with someone”. I think that many of us can relate to this word. Most people have old friends, maybe from before you were saved, that aren’t good influences on us. Even after we’re saved, these friends endure. Maybe we don’t hang around them as much, and we usually don’t view them the same way as we once did, but it’s a habit to have them as part of your life. We consort with them.
I just felt so strongly that word consorting was the word that I was supposed to really key in on in this verse, so I just want to encourage myself and anyone who’s reading to really examine who you’re spending your time with. Who are we consorting with? Is there maybe a relationship that we need to step back from, maybe a person who we need to love from a distance and pray for from a distance instead of consorting with them and letting them take up too much time and have too much influence on our lives? I think even family members can fall into this category. You love them, but maybe they bring out the worst in you. Maybe they’re a huge gossiper and you fall into it with them every time they’re around. I think we need to closely examine all of our relationships not just once but on an ongoing basis. Anything or anyone that’s diluting or disrupting our walk with Jesus is something that we need to take a long hard look at.
Another Psalm of David, this one contained something that really flipped a switch in my brain.
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
I’m a very mellow guy. There are very few things on this planet that really get under my skin. One of those things is waiting on people. Let me be clear, I don’t mind waiting so long as people show up when they say. If you tell me you’ll come pick me up at 11 and at 11 you come pulling up, then I had no problem waiting. But man oh man, if it’s 11:03 and you’re still not here, my blood gets to boiling. I don’t know why, but it’s just one of the few things in life that has the ability to drive me crazy. And while it might not effect everyone so strongly, I think that being stuck waiting on something is a universal dislike.
So in my mind, when I see the word waiting, I equate it to a negative feeling. But as I studied this Psalm and this verse above in particular, something else began to crystallize in my mind. Think of a child standing at the door. Outside a car just pulled up, and the child’s dad steps out of that car. The child gets overwhelmed with excitement. For those of us who grew up with good fathers, we experienced this firsthand. For others, maybe you’ve experienced it from the other side, coming home from work and seeing your child excitedly waiting for you. Maybe you’ve just seen a video of it on the internet. Regardless, I think it’s one of the most beautiful things in existence, that overwhelming excitement a child gets as they wait on their dad to get from the car to the house. The children can barely contain themselves. They laugh, they start marching in place, they babble and yell, sometimes they hit the door excitedly.
When I was writing about this Psalm and how it says to wait for the Lord, that’s the picture I had in my mind. We are those children at the door, and we see our Father coming towards the house. And I don’t know about you, but as I just allow myself to exist within that scenario, I get filled with so much joy and excitement. There’s zero negativity in my soul or spirit when it comes to this kind of waiting. Because I know in my whole heart that the wait is short, and that the end result is going to be getting swept up in the arms of my heavenly Father who loves me with a love that goes beyond all human understanding.
There are four things said in this verse. We get told to wait on the Lord, and at the end we get told to wait on the Lord! In between, David says two things. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. I know the world feels dark, I know there are terrors and tragedies, and the idea of being strong and having courage can seem difficult sometimes. But when you realize that we’re God’s kids, and we’re standing at the door and we’re watching Him come towards us, strength and courage should just fill us to overflowing. I don’t care what’s going on around me in this world. Knowing that my God is coming fills me with all the strength and courage I need to endure until His arrival. And not just endure, but to have the boldness and courage to be about His work, to try and help others experience that same assurance that I have in Christ. Waiting on the Lord isn’t a negative thing, it’s a state of blissful joy, a moment to just get incredibly excited about what’s about to happen in our lives when the waiting ends and our Lord arrives.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, thank you so much for speaking to us. Lord, I don’t know all the ways in which you speak, but I’m thankful that I’ve learned to tune into some of them. I’m thankful for how you speak to me through your word, how you reach out to me through fellow believers, and how you guided me to write last Sunday with a gentle nudge. You didn’t shove me into the chair, you didn’t yell into my ear, you just lovingly encouraged me and I’m so thankful that I listened. I’m at the door, Father, and I see you coming towards me and Lord I’m just so overwhelmed with love at the sight. You don’t forget your kids, Lord, and just the confidence that fills me with is hard to describe. Lord, for anyone reading this, I just want to pray your voice into their lives. Speak to them, and give them the wisdom to learn how to hear from you. If it’s through the word then give them a hunger for the word, whatever the way it is you need to use to speak to them I pray you move them to tune into it. You are a God who speaks to His people. You don’t remove yourself from us, and I’m so thankful for that, Lord. I love you, I love that you’re a hands on Lord when we need to hear from you. You’re not a distant deity in the sky, you are my God, the God, one and only, mighty and above all things. Loving and wise, kind and caring, thank you for the way you speak into the lives of your children, Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
That’s it for this week of posts. I love all of you. Sorry today’s post ended up so lengthy, I try to limit that but sometimes it just happens that way. Next week we’ll have more Psalms and I might take a detour and talk about being offended Christians. Have a great weekend. God loves you, and I encourage you to walk in that truth each and every day.