Prone to Wander

Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me. Psalm 5:8

Before David went into a mini-rant regarding his enemies, he continues to distinguish himself from that pack.

He knows what they’re capable of because he knows what he’s capable of. He know how they think and behave because it’s how he’s thought and behaved. He knows their ways because he’s live their ways before.

But he also sees hope. He knows how to “straighten out.” He knows that seeking God and doing His will will set him on the straight path.

He sees the problem, but his solution is infinitely better than the task.

Even though we don’t have a crown or a kingdom to rule, we’re very much like King David. We know what we’re capable of, how the wicked think and behave, and what our life once was.

We also know how to, as the Scriptures say, “come close to God and He will come close to you” (James 4:8).

The fact that we are not seeking God every single minute of every single day is a testament to our sinful nature and as the hymn writer Robert Robinson wrote:

Prone to wander,

Lord I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love.

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Cry Uncle

For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
    you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple. Psalm 5:4-7

David is making a clear contrast between the wicked and the righteous, e.g., himself. The difference between him and the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 story (Pharisee and Tax Collector both praying to God) is David knew his limitations. It’s not so evident in this Psalm but David knew his frailties. He knew when he was wrong and when he sinned.

Today, as you consider these words, think about how long it takes you to realize the “error of your ways.” Are you quick to repent, or do you prolong the obvious? If you’re like me, it’s the latter because I’ll find a dozen ways to justify my actions before I’ll “cry uncle.” Pity. So much time wasted trying to prove I’m right when I know deep down I’m not.

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Catch Up Conversations

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

As David weeps before the Lord, he’s bearing his heart. It’s a new day with fresh new ideas and potential. He not only prays but anticipates answers to his prayers.

It’s as a friend talking to another friend. Nothing to hide, nothing holding him back from the truth in his heart.

Recently a long time friend wrote me from Facebook. We hadn’t talked in over four years. We will soon.

What friend haven’t you heard from in years? Give him/her a call. Just to talk. No agendas. Nothing to hide. Just to catch up.

Bless that friend today with a catchup conversation.

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Consolation and Guidance

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray. Psalm 5:1-2

Most reading this will instantly be able to identify. You recognize that blood-curdling scream when you know your child is in serious danger (distinct from the same child’s cry of not getting everything she wants or when he just stubbed his toe). I don’t care what you’re doing, you drop everything to tend to that child.

You also recognize the sad, lonely cry where you only need to be a comfort. Nothing to say. Just to be there. The child is resting in your arms.

King David is mourning like this. He’s in dire straits and doesn’t know where to turn.

Will not the God of Creation drop what He’s doing (metaphorically speaking) to comfort? Will He not console and guide when He hears the cries of your heart, the sobbing of your soul?

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The True Prosperity Gospel

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:6-8

Perhaps we in the West have a lopsided perspective of prosperity. In the traditional sense it does mean money and “getting ahead”, but In God’s view, it’s much much different.

Living well is closer to the whole truth of the word.

  • Making a difference in the community
  • Doing well in business
  • Sleeping with a clear conscience
  • Trusting in God and reflecting the light of Christ.

Much better.

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