Journal Ps 37-38 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Fret not yourself because of evildoers…
Trust in the Lord and do good…
Delight yourself in the Lord…
Commit your way to the Lord…
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…
Refrain from anger and forsake wrath…” Ps 37:1-8
Observation: Sometimes, to be able to get to definite actions, I have to do exercises like this in just focusing on the directives from the Holy Spirit that pertain only to my responsibilities before the Father.
Analysis: These can be so difficult to do. Jesus is kind and merciful in that almost with every one of these 6 extracts, there are “because” clauses: “…because the Lord will give you the desires of your heart…(v4)”; “…evildoers will be cut off…”; “…those who wait on the Lord will inherit the land…” (v9).
These make the 6 clauses I have laid out a bit manageable to bear doing. But do I focus on the “reward” of doing a thing like not fretting and perhaps being still before the Lord and I neglect the godly character building that the Holy Spirit is instructing?
In my daily life, the Holy Spirit is telling me (for example) not to fret—and that should be my everyday character that I exhibit. Why shouldn’t I fret? Fretting (or wringing my hands in anxiety or worry) is declaring to the heavens and to the face in the mirror I have a trust issue with God.
Example: I have fretting issues on these three things—my wife’s health, my pending retirement and finance issues, my relationship with my children and grandchildren. I could add more… Are there evil doers in sight? Maybe not but fretting about anything leads to not being able to be still before the Lord, delighting before the Lord. Fretting can lead to despair and anger.
And that is just fretting about things, being anxious. What about being “still” before the Lord? What does an incapability of being “still” lead to? (Certainly, being self-dependent and self-reliant is a partial answer…)
In every “bumper sticker” and “wall hanging” scripture, if I dig down even a little bit, I can find that the same reference has “Seal Team 6” training implications. It’s tough, but it is what we are called to fight for every day.
Prayer: Father, “put to death sin in my mortal body” (Ro 8:13) is one reference that I can glaze over because it doesn’t click in me. What does that mean? Well, reading Ps 37 gives that scripture some meaning with sound direction. Thank you for being able to explain what to do through reading your Word and allowing study to be my guide.
Ricky Two Shoes