Watching and Observing

1 I said, “I will watch my ways
    and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
    while in the presence of the wicked. Psalm 39:1

Whether we know it or realize it, the “world” is watching us. They are watching us for authenticity and realness. They know to know that what we have to offer them is real and not just some gimmick.

So what does this mean? It means that we need to especially guard our tongue. It’s so easy to become complacent and to think that what we say will just have no real effect on how others think about us. But as I stated above, people are watching us – perhaps not consciously but certainly subconsciously.

Are you building others up?
Are you using foul language?
Are you criticizing your bosses?
Are you badmouthing coworkers?

Oddly enough, those friends and relatives “watching” us don’t expect perfection. Oh they may gleefully tell us when we mess up, but deep inside they’re rooting for us to succeed. They will probably never say it. but the point remains, they’re carefully observing us.

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A Daily Foxhole Prayer

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior. Psalm 38:21-22

Most might consider this a “foxhole prayer,” something that is prayed as the bullets are flying overhead in the heat of a battle.

The wise, however, would do well to pray this daily, as you’re getting out of bed, just after you arrive at work, and when you’re on the roads every day. We certainly need the help every day, and not just when the battles are the greatest.

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Mini-Breakthroughs

19 Many have become my enemies without cause;
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good. Psalm 38:19-20

Spiritually speaking, it is the enemy’s job to oppose you. To claim it’s unfair is to miss the point completely. It’d be like NBA greats Kobe Bryant or Lebron James telling the coach that every time they try to score, there are five very tall men who are doing their utmost to stop them. They’re supposed to try to stop them! It’s their job.

Similarly, it’s the enemy’s job to prevent you from doing good. Ministry and doing good isn’t easy as some have made it out to be. If you’re doing everything you know to be right, and you’re still coming up against roadblocks, rejoice! If you’re being opposed at every turn, it’s often a good sign that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Relish in the mini-breakthroughs. God will bless you for your efforts.

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Always Wooing

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin. Psalm 38:17-18

While we don’t know what David’s sin was when he wrote this, we can safely assume that it’s similar to what we experience. Being a king doesn’t exempt a person from sin and lawlessness. He had the same temptations we have. He had the heightened temptation of pride and wanting to control things through his power and resources that most of us don’t face. Still, though, sin is sin, and temptations are temptations no matter your position or status.

We, like David, need to be keeping short accounts of our sin, and confessing the sin. And yes, we should be troubled by our sin. It should grieve us. If it doesn’t grieve us, perhaps we need to step back and re-evaluate our relationship with the Lord. He’s always there, wanting us to draw closer, always wooing us to Himself.

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I’m Patient But Please Hurry Up

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.” Psalm 38:13-16

It’s a bit of irony that David tells the Lord over and over again that God will indeed provide and deliver. While this may be what is written, I still see a subtheme of “I’m waiting for you but could you hurry up the answer a bit!” Of course he never said it, but he didn’t have to. It’s what we often think and occasionally blurt out. In fact we often tell God how we think He should answer our prayers. Obviously God knows far better than we do how to answer prayers; He’s been doing it since the beginning of time!

Lest we miss a great point, the important thing to remember, though, is to pray. How it comes out and how it sounds to others should not be of great concern to us. That we do in fact pray is much more significant.

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