Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Psalm 4: Tremble but don't sin

I want to learn to pray, so I'm reading the Psalms and praying through them. This is what I read in Psalm 4 this morning.

"Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have freed me from my troubles. Have pity on me, and hear my prayer!  You important people, how long are you going to insult my honor? How long are you going to love what is empty and seek what is a lie?  Selah  Know that the L ord  singles out godly people for himself. The L ord  hears me when I call to him.  Tremble and do not sin. Think about this on your bed and remain quiet.  Selah  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness by trusting the Lord .  Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Let the light of your presence shine on us, O L ord .  You put more joy in my heart than when their grain and new wine increase.  I fall asleep in peace the moment I lie down because you alone, O L ord , enable me to live securely." Psalm 4
Lord, you are my righteousness. I have no righteousness of my own, only what you have given me in Christ Jesus. You have freed me from my troubles, yet I still desperately need you to show me mercy and hear my prayers. Unlike David, I don't have any important people insulting or attacking me. Thank you for that. And you know that I don't feel like I have a lot of "honor" to be insulted. If someone were to insult and attack me, I would probably deserve it. It is sad that so many of the world's important people are chasing that which is empty (fame, fortune, gratification of their urges). They have believed a lie. Lord, please wake them up to your reality.

Lord, you single out the godly for yourself. That sounds like the NT phrase "set apart" that is the root of the word "holy". The struggle I have is with the word "godly" because if I heard someone say "you who are godly please stand up", I would stay seated. I am not godly... or am I? I know that you chose me to be "holy and righteous before you" (Eph 1), so there must be some sense in which I am godly (god-like). When I look at myself I see all the ways I am not like Jesus, but hopefully there are some parts of my character that are Christlike, godly. Because I am your child, your "saint" you hear me when I call. I should call out to you more often.

"Tremble and do not sin." Thank you for this reminder Lord. When I feel stressed and worried that is when I fall into old patterns and sin. There are "triggers" that tempt me to sin. High stress and uncertainty is one of them. I need to learn better how to handle these negative emotions without falling into old patterns of sin. Instead of sinning I need to meditate and be quiet. Nighttime is a good time to do a little introspection. Negative emotions can also trigger me to call on you, to examine my heart, to allow you to "search me and know me and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Through trust in you I can offer you a good and acceptable sacrifice. Today Lord I offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to you. So many are pessimistic. When I watch the news I feel like carrying a sign "Repent, the end is near." What I need is to experience your presence - may the light of your presence shine on me today. May it shine on our office, our workers, customers and the ladies we serve. Lord, you give me a joy that is beyond anything material goods can give, beyond any accolades that worldly accomplishments can offer. I fall asleep at night in peace knowing that you are my security. Wow! You give me your presence, your joy, your peace, your security and your righteousness. All of these are mine through my Lord Jesus. Thank you Father. Today I want to experience your presence. Thank you! Amen