A Psalm of David- The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 David had confidence and peace, not because there were no serious storms in his life, but because God was his refuge. When we look to the GREATNESS of our God, instead of looking at the greatness of our problems, our anxiety and fears will fade away. We have a God who is the Light - He guides us… a Saviour to rescue us, and a Stronghold to protect us. We have ultimate security, and therefore can have true peace and confidence. In the midst of his difficulties, David kept focusing on God and not on his difficult situation. It was because his eyes were on God that he was able to say, “Of whom shall I be afraid?” Let us shift our focus from our problems to our God. Let Him be our refuge and stronghold.
I’m all the time being asked by people, ‘How do ya feel closer to God.’ And I kinda always want to say ‘I don’t know.’ When I read the lives of most of the great saints they didn’t necessarily feel very close to God. When I read the Psalms I get the feeling like David and the other Psalmists felt quite far away from God for most of the time. Closeness to God is not about feelings, closeness to God is about obedience… I don’t know how you feel close to God. And no one I know that seems to be close to God knows anything about those feelings either. I know if we obey occasionally the feeling follows, not always, but occasionally. I know that if we disobey we don’t have a shot at it.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
An old man was asked, ‘How can I find God?’ He said, 'In fasting, in watching, in labors, in devotion, and, above all, in discernment. I tell you, many have injured their bodies without discernment and have gone away from us having achieved nothing. Our mouths smell bad through fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility.’
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalm 43: 5)
I know you’ve heard it before, in every Disney movie but to a Christian this isn’t often very good advice. Our hearts are small and stoney; they’re not reliable like God is. On a good day listening to your heart doesn’t sound so bad but on a bad day listening to your heart just might break it. Just look at the Psalms. There are many Psalms where David is down in the dumps because he is listening to his heart rather than listening to God. Above is a powerful passage from Psalm 43 where David listened to his heart rather than God and all he heard was the measure of his heart, how he felt because of his actions, all he heard from his heart was: unworthy, alone, abandoned, sinful, how could God not reject you?
David begins to believe his guilt-ridden heart and his soul becomes downcast yet still something in David says No! It isn’t true! You’ve probably felt that voice too, on those dark nights when your heart cruelly reminds you of all your failures and shortcomings. A small voice screaming from within: Why is my soul forlorn? Why does my being cry out when I am so adored by the Most High? When I have been lifted up by the Holy of Holies? When I have been saved by the One True King? Why are you cast low my soul when you have been bought with the blood of Christ?
Stop listening to your heart. Start listening to the Truth. Put your hope in God not your heart because regardless of how you feel God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He loves you the exact same incalculable amount He did on that day when you were amazing and did everything right on the days were you can’t win for losing and your heart has nothing but shame. Unlike our stone hearts God never changes His mind, His heart is pure and always true. Listen to His heart for you and find the truth.
19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3: 19-20)
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
•••Tag someone who might need to be encouraged to wait on God’s timing!•••
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
- Psalm 37:5-6
As this beautiful psalm of David proclaims, we must commit our way to the Lord no matter what we do. Not just when it comes to relationships, but even as singles! So don’t waste any time! God has given you this life and now is the opportunity to make the most of it, and you don’t have to be in a relationship to commit your way to the Lord.
Don’t do anything just to pass the time. You are SO much more valuable than that! Don’t allow yourself get into situations where you are:
1. Texting/calling back and forth for weeks or months and nothing has come of it.
I know it may seem harmless, but take the time to really pray about giving so much of your time to someone who isn’t serious about you, or even more importantly, if they are not serious about the things of God. I understand that it may feel comforting just to have someone to talk to, but remember, as believers, we’re not the kind of people who do things “just because.” Because of Jesus, our lives are filled to the rim with purpose, and we have to operate in that even when it comes to those ongoing texting threads with that guy who is not being intentional about you at all!
2. Settling for someone who is not on the same page as you spiritually
2 Corinthians 6:14
If you and a friend sign up to run a marathon and your friend decides not to train, you probably don’t want to run the race with that person anymore. Because they were not willing to put in the same amount of work to prepare for what’s ahead, if you were to run together, it would be miserable. Realize that in this life, we are running a race. By reading the word of God and living like Jesus we are training for what’s to come. This doesn’t mean that you have to wait for someone perfect, but wait for the Lord to send the one who is not just doing things “just because” but is being prepared by God!
Biblical context and further reading: Psalm 37:1-9, Psalm 62:8
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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10
As this Psalm of David so beautifully proclaims, we as believers must allow God to come in and clean our hearts. And yes, this applies to men too! There ARE men out there who desire for God to renew them and restore them of their brokenness through Jesus Christ (Ga 5:1). So many people deal with insecurities and heartbreak and the guy you find yourself interested in is no exception to that. Understand that in this very moment, God might be cleaning his heart out and he just might not be ready to be in a relationship. Pray for him, and let God do the matchmaking, preparing you for the one who is ready, and:
1. Not perfect or trying to be, but a sinner saved by grace, and ready to enter a relationship that glorifies God
2. Doesn’t just want to text/send messages for weeks, months, or years without ever making it known what his intentions are
3. Not afraid to talk about the word “marriage” because he knows that God is preparing him to not just date as a hobby
4. Seeking God in his life decisions
5. Doesn’t just want to flirt/date endlessly without commitment
6. In love with Jesus more than anyone else…even you
I know some may be reading this list saying, “these guys don’t exist” but I am here to tell you that they do. There are men around the world who are followers of Christ and praying for their future wives, and God is preparing them more and more everyday. A godly man is not a man who comes wrapped in a package with a pretty bow who knows all the right things to say. He is a man after God’s heart…and there ARE men who desire this, no matter what our culture tries to tell us. So let’s continue to pray for our brothers AND sisters in Christ that we will all ask God to clean out our hearts in preparation for whatever future God has in store. Only God can make us “ready” for the future He has for us!
Biblical context & further reading: Ps 51, Mt 5:8, Acts 15:9, Gal 5:1