No Lack

Psalm 34: 10

The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.

You know, I really didn’t mean to get waylaid on this “seeking” thing. However, I just can’t seem to get away from it. Today’s verse gives us a really good reason to seek God, i.e. to avoid lack.

Young lions have the power to meet their needs. No beast can stand against them. Lions have even been known to take down elephants. So, if there is any animal with the power and ability to avoid hunger and lack, it is the lion. By contrasting us with a lion the author, David, wishes to show us that in God, we are better sustained and even more powerful than the king of the beasts. We should have no lack, no unfulfilled desire because our Father is the most powerful of all. He is the best provider available because there is no lack in Him.

We pretty much get all that. I don’t think there is much revelation in that for you. What seized me, though, is David’s near insistence that we should not be in want of any good thing. So, I ask you even as I ask myself, “Am I in want of anything?” I would wager that many of you responded affirmatively. We don’t have all we want, for sure, and we may even be lacking something we need.

We need to get out of our heads and into God’s because He is thinking about this far differently than we are. Many people would choke on the idea that God is set on fulfilling our wants. That goes against many people’s theology but not mine and I hope not yours. However, that is a first hurdle we must get over. Psalm 37: 4 reads, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” That doesn’t say needs, it says desires and that is just another way of saying he will give you your wants. One of the reasons we are not receiving from God is because we have yet to reconcile this point.

Living in God’s provision and His will requires us to make a monumental but sincere decision. Do we choose to believe God’s Word? Is the doctrine of our culture or even our church louder than what God says? When will I decide that I am going to take Him at His Word and live? Maybe you can answer that with today’s date. The first step is believing the Word on its face without reasoning it away.

Second, we must seek. It just seems we cannot get away from this. God wants to bless us but it is clear that He will not overstep what He considers healthy boundaries. It is up to each of us to establish this provision link with Him. Think of it this way, let’s say you are a business owner and you initiate a new relationship with another business. Perhaps you wish to begin purchasing supplies from them. First, you must contact them. They may have marketed themselves to you, but you still have to initiate the relationship. This is just like God and the Bible. He has sent out His pamphlets telling you what He has to offer. Now it is up to you. The next thing that usually happens is that you set up an account with that business. They get some information from you and you ascertain exactly what their procedures are. After that, you order what you want, and they ship it to you. They don’t initiate the relationship, they don’t just send you product and expect you to pay heed to them. That would breach protocol. There are ways things are handled and we all must play within the scope of accepted business practices.

In like manner, Father has sent His advertising. He has told you what is available, but it is up to you to seek Him out and place your order. People get weird thinking of placing an order with God but if He has already told you what the availability is doesn’t it essentially boil down to putting in your request? And isn’t that comparable to placing an order? We’ve got to come to Him on the terms He set out even if that means we are a bit uncomfortable.

I really like this idea that we need to get out of our heads and into His. Our preconceptions are not helping us, in fact, they are crippling us. What helps is knowing what Yahweh thinks and even what He feels. He has told us today, if we will seek Him, we will have no lack nor even any wants. That is pretty straightforward language, but can you accept it? Can you believe God at face value?

Lastly, if the mandate is to seek Him, and it is, then the question becomes, how shall you do that? This is where your pensive time may be spent. I offer one piece of advice as you begin what I hope will be for you a journey into deeper fellowship with the Lord. Begin by taking your own inventory. How do you spend your time? It is not true that you don’t have enough time to apportion some to the Father. That is a lie and Father doesn’t believe it. So, inventory your time. You need time for many things. Look at how you spend the time you have. How many minutes of TV time do you have a day? How much time do you spend on the internet, Face Book, computer games, and other apps? Be honest with yourself. Remember, we are trying to get your needs and wants met. What is interfering with that? If you cannot find ten minutes in your day to spend with your Father, then you need to overhaul your calendar and start over. Make it a priority today to seek Him.

Request Granted

Psalm 21: 2 – 3

You have given him his heart’s desire, and You have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. For You meet him with the blessings of good things.

I hope you are enjoying this stroll through the Psalms. I very much am. The hardest part of this, for me, is choosing only one or two verses out of the psalm to send to you. There are so many verses screaming to be heard, like verse seven from today’s psalm. However, I have to choose so verses two and three are my pick because of yesterday’s selection. I can’t help but feel that Father is trying to make a point this week.

We should always consider the placement of Selah (for further reading on Selah see the Word of the Day for August 30, 2018). It should be like a flag going up when we see it. In today’s passage it is sandwiched between the two verses. The Selah connects them and puts emphasis on them.

There are two thoughts which occur to me about the authorship of this passage. First, we know that David penned it. It is interesting that he is so vehement about God giving him the desires of his heart. We have seen two psalms in a row where David proclaims this truth. And, of course, Psalm 37: 4 is hanging out there just waiting to be read. So, David is pretty insistent on this point. Also, he is not trying to convince anyone. David’s words are for the Lord. This isn’t even a statement of faith. It is a statement of fact. David experienced God going far beyond meeting his daily needs. He has Yahweh showing up with blessings for him.

The second thought about authorship is that though David penned this passage, God is the true author. It is the Lord who gave David his inspiration and his songs. Beyond that, we know that Jesus is the Word. These two ideas mean that this declaration that God fulfills the desires of our hearts and meets us with blessings of good things comes from Him. Yahweh is the one who wanted this text in the Bible. He is trying to tell us something. He is using David and his gifts to get His message out to us.

God knew when He inspired David to write this song that thousands of years later, you would be reading them. In fact, you might be the one person who more than any other inspired the Father to insert these words into His Bible. The Bible is His letter to you. It is here that He contained some of His most important ideas for you. You don’t have to depend on your ability to hear God’s voice. The words are lying on the page for you. And, as if that isn’t enough, He has now inspired and directed me to send them directly to you. They were sitting in your inbox this morning awaiting you.

So, what’s the point? The point is that God wants to fulfill all your heart’s desires. It is His idea, His desire. He wants to greet you in the morning with baskets full of blessings. Everyday is Christmas to Him so He has gifts for you. One of the key components for each of us is that we need to get this into our hearts. It is quite easy to accept these ideas in our minds, but your mind isn’t the key. Belief, real belief, happens in the heart. The mind can agree and can accept but belief is rooted in the heart.

David was fully convinced. You can hear it in His words. He believed it and he lived it. Guess which always comes first. He believed God even when he was hiding in a cave. He believed God even when facing a giant. His boast was always in the name of the Lord God and thus he lived the blessing of God. When we believe in the goodness of God the way David did, then maybe we will have something to sing about too.

Heart’s Desires

Psalm 37: 4

Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.

You have perhaps heard this verse quoted before. It is on my heart today so I took a closer look at it. I truly believe that our Father wants to give us the desires of our hearts and He seems to hover over us just waiting for an opportunity to pour into our lives. As I look at this verse today I find such a bond and closeness with the Lord that I want to bring you in to this warm glow with me.

First, let me share some other versions with you. as you know, I quote from the New American Standard Version unless otherwise noted. It is my favorite version but I read from many different versions, especially when I do verse or word studies because they shine the light from a little different perspective and can illuminate a subtle meaning. Today’s verse is a good case in point. The NASB leaves us wondering just a bit, doesn’t it? What does it mean to “Delight yourself in the Lord?” I bet most of us read that as, “Be pleasing to the Lord” or “Be good” and he will give your heart desires. The NIV clarifies this delight we are to know, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Isn’t that great? We are not being told to be on our best behavior and then Father will give us presents at all. We are being led to let our hearts take joy in our Father. That is a whole different perspective. I love where the God’s Word translation takes us, “Be happy with the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Are you getting this? This verse isn’t about our righteousness and good works at all. It is all about enjoying our Father and being happy with Him and in Him.

Your joy in Him just releases the bounty. If you are a grand-parent you know exactly what I am talking about. You want to do for those you love and you want to give them all kinds of things but sometimes they just won’t let you. Your Heavenly Father is that way too. He wants you to open up and let Him in and He is bringing gifts with Him. Yahoo! I don’t mind telling you. I like getting gifts. I like opening packages but in addition to all kinds of material and worldly things, our Father also brings all those intangibles with Him and we like those too, don’t we? He has healing and peace in His hands just to name two. So, tell Him what you want and then invite Him to the party. Enjoy His presence. Take delight in Him. That is really the greatest gift ever.

God is . . . not selfish

1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 5

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own.

We have thought about arrogance, egotism, and self-centeredness in this examination of what love is. As we continue looking at chapter 13 we reach this phrase, “love does not seek its own.” What does that mean but that love is not selfish?

God’s love is not self-oriented. He loves us not for Himself, but for us. In other words, He doesn’t love us for what it gets Him or what we will do for Him. Love does not focus the camera lens on itself but instead on others. This is the essential model of love and this is essential God.

Love does not serve itself, it serves others. Love doesn’t worry itself about serving itself. It isn’t seeking its own interests. Can you see this? Real love is not concerned with filling its needs. This is what we need to understand about God. His every thought is about our welfare, not what we can do for Him.

There has been such a misunderstanding in the body of Christ about our relationship with God. I used to think our relationship was all about the tasks He wanted me to do and the roles He wanted me to fill. Now I understand that He cares very little for those things. These tasks and jobs which we think are so big and so important are as a gnat to Him. The one thing which is important to Him is us and our welfare. Think this through with me. His greatest thoughts and ambitions are about us. How does that impact all of your theology? He wants to help us become healthy, whole and happy. Everything He does is towards that end. His vision is for us to walk in complete and total victory, the victory that Christ has already won for us. God didn’t have to give you cancer to make you strong. Your victory is in Christ. Jesus won the battle. God is our strength. Besides, there is no cancer in heaven for God to send to you. He has only good things.  So, understanding that God is love defines your entire perspective about Him and therefore your theology.

God did not call you to Himself so that you could serve Him. He called you to Himself so that He could serve you and care for you. Remember Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles? He is the greatest servant ever and though we model Jesus, God did not call us as servants but as children. True love, the God kind of love doesn’t serve itself. It does not seek its own wishes. God seeks to fulfill the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37: 4). Love is not selfish; God is not selfish.