Saturday, January 31, 2009

Delight Yourself in the LORD - Jan 31

Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:3-7)

In my last post I took a commentator (now persona non grata) to task for his overall nastiness. I wrote about the banality of evil and how it produces people of mediocre character. We - including Christians - often think of evil in comical terms when the truth is in fact much more nuanced. Why do so many of us struggle in life? The answer lies in our selfish nature and our relationship with God.

Our Desires: What We Dwell Upon Is Where We End Up

We struggle daily over the concept of righteousness because we have separated ourselves from God. That is, we do not delight in His ways. That has been our sorry lot since the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. All of us have desires. Without them, our lives would be pointless and aimless. Desire and ambition are therefore good things. The economy would collapse if people didn't get up, have their coffee and muffin and get to work. But do we have the same ambition when it comes to waiting on the LORD? Why doesn't God give us everything we want?

Sensual Desires

It's the oldest battle: Flesh versus the Spirit. Human wisdom versus God's wisdom. Immediacy versus discipline. Impatience versus due diligence. On and on it goes. Let it be understood that God is not some cosmic sugar daddy. What we want may destroy us. Or we may mismanage or abuse the gift. I think it's a general truism that the more we want it, the more likely it will hurt us. The greater the influence of the flesh, the more immediate the desire.

Bad Timing is a Killer!

What if we put away our earthly proclivities (always easier said than done) and still don't get what we've asked for? The problem could be one of timing. We may want someone to marry and start a family but we may lack the maturity or be unable to meet the financial obligations. We may want the perfect job (that's on my personal wish list) but we lack the training. He knows all and sees all and wants nothing but the best for us. But there's the catch: We ought to delight in His perfect timing. It is then and only then do receive His very best.

Judgement and Consequences

So what happens to the poor sod who ignores God?

You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
(James 4:2-3)

Anger. Frustration. Disappointment. Deception. Even death. I think of so many who narrowly wanted it their way only to have it come to a tragic end. What do we gain by mistrusting Him? Nothing. It amazes me how anyone would trust their horoscopes and other soothsayers more than the Almighty. Who's the superstitious one here? Jesus isn't some imaginary friend! He's real, and He wants to bless up mightily. However, the blessing is entirely conditional: Trust and delight in the Lord's provisions. If you're not a Christian (like what's-his-name) you will not receive anything if you continually reject Jesus Christ as Lord. Everything starts with salvation. Will you trust Him today?

Johnny Cash

An X-Def Update: I have changed the way you can comment on my blog. You now have to have a Google account (No anonymous posts!). Should that pinhead resurface, I will disable all comments entirely.

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