Soul Survival Everyday

Psalm 25 is hidden in my heart, but recently when I revisited it, the first nine words grabbed my attention like a diamond in a well-lit jewelry case. My eyes and heart were fastened to it, and I could not move further into the verse or chapter. Here are the first nine words to this beloved Psalm:

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

This is what saturated my mind as the Spirit of God had me slowed to a stop on these words.
God is the only One trustworthy to care for my soul.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

The Spirit undoubtedly directed David’s heart, and David knew that God was his absolute help for the eternal core of his being, whether in peace or crisis.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

Why wouldn’t I, too, lift up my soul to the only Soul Lifter?

Is there anyone more trustworthy than the Lord? 

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

To experience what David knew in the very first line of this Psalm, then certainly we have to go to the Lord to lift our soul to Him. We can not remain unaffected by this great God we know.

We can not hide in our super busy life avoiding Him.

We can not be puffed with pride in our significant space.

We can not run by Him in ministry mode.

We can not excuse our presence with Him because of a caretaking call.

We can not rest in complacency in our relaxation room. 

No, we must choose to go to God.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Are you overwhelmed that you can even approach God? 

God is available to every follower of Jesus. He is our Father, and He is there for us anytime, any day, any season of our life. But we must choose to stop our life, and go get His life each and every day.

Why not every morning say to Him…

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

The soul actually demands as much attention as the body…the soul was made for God, and without God, it is restless and in secret torment.

Billy Graham

Delight and Distraction

154 (1)Have you ever had a moment when God surprised you by answering a desire in your heart that was there a while? Usually, that’s the way desires work; they come, they linger, and sometimes many years pass before any action happens regarding them. Desires by their nature are things we often wait for.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 

This verse seems trite because sometimes we believe we’ve delighted in the Lord a long time, and a desire is still unmet? Why is that? One thing I’ve come to understand is the delight part of Psalm 37:4 is a command. That means in obedience, we choose to delight in Jesus whether we ever see the desire or not. The Lord knows His children, and He knows when we delight in Him, we don’t obsess on the desire.

If we only look for things that haven’t happened yet or something we don’t have yet, this becomes idolatry. The first commandment reminds us that God has nothing before Him. So, when we look to God and Him alone, somehow, He becomes our desire, and our desires become what He would desire for us.

We fall in love with Jesus.

We trust Him.

We trust His timing instead of having a “what have you done for me lately” attitude.

2 Chronicles 16:9 says that God is looking to strengthen the hearts of those who are devoted to Him.

Amy Grant wrote a song, and the lyrics went like this:

The Lord has a will, and I have a need to follow that will, to humbly be still, to rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it, following my Father’s will. 

This delighting comes down to submission to His care, giving Him control in our lives, following His plan…learning to love the GIVER instead of the gifts.

Indeed, throughout our lives, God does answer many of our desires. He loves us, and giving is in His nature to do.

One fantastic thing I’ve seen God do in my life is answer desires I didn’t even know I had!

When this happens, it reminds me my distractions don’t come close to what God really wants for me. My heart rejoices in this truth, and I’m aware of how good God is, how He really does hear His children; He really cares. Being a child of God through His Son, Jesus is truly delightful.

Sometimes, God will step in and give us aid from our distractions. Other times, He just can’t. Distractions cause us to miss the very thing God wants to provide us. Surely the Lord knows how we are made, and He protects us from ourselves many times. But I believe, His desire would be that we would look to Him as longingly as we would look at a diamond, mesmerized, and longing to be in His presence. This is our protection and where our desires come alive. We learn about His mind and intention toward us. We perceive His plans as clearly as a well-focused picture. There are consequences to choosing to wander from His protection. God has given His children the plan. Like any child is expected to obey their parents, His children are required the same.

My own wandering requires me to refocus, do a soul check, and decide once again, God is my delight, and He is my heart’s desire. Spiritual tenacity is required. The enemy of our soul has his agenda. This quote from Amy Carmichael sums up his intent…

“Satan is so much more in earnest than we are–he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.”

The enemy is laser-focused. He wants us distracted, humming along, thinking we are following Jesus. The reality often is, we have missed opportunities that had our desires in them. We want to run to lesser things. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit, who makes me aware of the distractions. If I want all of Jesus I can have, I will have to delight in Him once again.

When are you going to get sick of your desires? When will you see all the distractions keeping you from God’s desires for you? The enemy is busy stealing, killing, and destroying. How much of your life have you let him steal already? When your plans become about God’s plans and desires, you live in His delight, and then you are living.
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The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9