I have this little book of daily devotions I try to read each morning. I found it at a thrift store for 79¢. I guess publishers in 1996 weren’t feeling super creative because the title is simply, “365 Devotions.” But at least there’s no confusion on what it’s about! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Today’s devotion was good, and usually they all are. Once I finished reading it, though, I wasn’t done. I needed encouragement from Psalms so I randomly flipped to a chapter. Landing on chapter 19, I began to read. The single verse that stood out the most…
“Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me.”
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in things I enjoy: photography, camping, planning camping trips, writing, movies, YouTube, Twitter, etc. It’s not like those things are wrong, but when they come before prayer or reading the Bible, or they replace time I could be talking to God, that’s not a good thing. So I love that even David, the legendary king from the Old Testament, was aware of his weaknesses; sins that he participated in with full knowledge. A few verses down from that, and I had no idea this was coming, is a verse that’s part of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs. I’ll share it below. Listen to the bridge (I think?) and you’ll hear, “Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight.” Isn’t that what Christianity is? If it ever feels more complicated, something’s wrong.
My favorite section of chapter 19 is verses 7 through 10. First of all, the 4 verses are very encouraging. That was something I needed this morning. They list some uplifting qualities of God– the instruction of the Lord is perfect, His precepts are right, the fear of the Lord is pure. And what we get from those qualities is a physical reaction and an emotional one… Our hearts are glad. Our eyes light up. I don’t even know if that can be contained in science. God is so much more than our little minds can comprehend!
As I read, I couldn’t help but notice what these 4 verses were saying, as well.
The Lord is perfect! The Lord is trustworthy! The Lord is right! The Lord is radiant! The Lord is pure! The Lord is reliable!
How can we NOT be encouraged by this?? All our hope can be in God, even as we/I feel the pull of our/my natural self towards things mentioned before (entertainment, chasing excitement, pride, endorphins, the rush of new technology, etc) as well as hurtful things. None of those are reliable. They aren’t trustworthy. They aren’t perfect. Internally, I often come back to a thought recorded in the New Testament, “…to whom shall we go?” Only Jesus has the words of life. Among all the great things Jesus is, he’s also…
That last one is huge for me. He’s reliable. He’s reliable!!! I have a challenge for myself and for you: Give him a chance today. Just today. If the day ends in utter failure, tomorrow you can try something else. But when we have something weighing heavy on our shoulders, or anxiety about an upcoming decision, tell Jesus about it and find out if he’ll carry it all for us like he’s promised to do.
Thanks for dropping in…
-Out of the Wilderness