Journal Ps 141-143 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door to my lips! Do not let my heart incline to ANY evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds…” Ps 141:3-4a
“When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk, they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: There is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul….” Ps 142:3-4
“Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! Enter not into judgement with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.” Ps 143:1-2
Observation: The cry of the burdened, the stricken man; wallowing in despair and struggling with the absence of hope—hold on, this is a Believer talking, not an unbeliever…
Analysis: Good stuff belongs to the victorious in Christ; bad stuff belongs to the Unbeliever: That is the way to read the Bible, right?
The Word of God exists so that God’s Ways can be known—objectively AND subjectively. Psalms is a good case in point: It is not written with doctrine primarily in mind—it is the thoughts, feelings, musings, and emotions of the Psalmist out there…SO THAT, people who are coming behind can know how to feel and (when off the track) can SEE where the Psalmist got back on track…and follow his footsteps.
I read all three of these Psalms today. I am aware of these truths in my mind; not so much when the rubber meets the road. My reaction to the everyday challenge? “Why should I change? Why shouldn’t THEY change? Why should I give up stuff? Why shouldn’t I be victorious?”
As a servant is not above his master, so it is with me: Jesus had all the right in the world, no…creation, to rise and say, “NOT me. Sin is not MY issue; Man—fix yourself.” Satan tempted Jesus (in the Wilderness episode) to rise up for himself; to look out for Number One; to not consider ANYBODY else as more important than himself. Paul wrote about it this way:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Phil 2:3
This is getting my head on straight about what God expects from me, a wanna be disciple.
After all, I cannot be a disciple without showing or going through the bumps and bruises that it took to get there.
Prayer: Father, In these 3 verses I am aware of the constant battle I go through in implementing them. In your Word there is life; a life that is not defined the way the world defines it.
I succumb to the feeling of “no one cares for my soul” even when I know that is not true. But I fall just the same.
Hear my cry, O God! Hear me when I am faint; hear me when I am choked up beyond all ability to communicate or talk about the war inside me; hear me when none of my plans, wants, or desires goes the way I dream.
Only You, O God; be my focus all my days. Make me serve your purposes in this, my generation.