In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Is your soul weak? The Psalmist said he “walk[ed] in the midst of trouble” (Psalm 138:7). Are your enemies full of wrath? Join the club (Psalm 138:7). Are you feeling lowly? God is nearer! (Psalm 138:6).
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
Ever notice the blessings of God that we can claim? His lovingkindness in the day, and his songs in the night.
It’s interesting to note the connection to prayer – my prayer to the God of my life. He’s been our God from birth and He will be our God until death. And it is thru prayer that we access His blessings.
Do we feel lonely by day? Depressed at night? Claim His lovingkindness by day and His songs in the night!
Perhaps the opening theme from this radio program in 1962 sounds familiar?
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
What’s fascinating is that God’s presence is everywhere. Yet He allows man to hide from Him, and He also promises to go with man.
At first glance all three statements are impossible to reconcile. The problem occurs when attempting to relate God to man. The English scholars call this “personification” – attempting to explain God in human language.
In Genesis – Did Adam really hide from God’s presence? Or did he just attempt to? Obviously he just attempted to. We can’t hide from God.
In Exodus – Was God promising something special or was he just acknowledging the obvious omnipresence? Notice God was tying His presence to His rest. When we accept His presence as more than just an academic fact, or someone looking over our shoulder, but as someone who wants to be our Friend, we have extra blessings from Him.
So – there are three ways to respond to God’s presence:
Pretend to hide like Adam and think God will leave you alone.
Admit to an intellectual knowledge of God and live merely in fear.
Accept His presence and the blessings He provides in a personal relationship with Him.
If we have a personal relationship – let’s spend time with our Friend!
2 O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. 3Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. 4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
What a wonderful attribute of God – “thou that hearest prayer.” Nobody else hears our cries. The prophets of Baal found that out!
Just bullet pointing this section, notice what God does for us:
He hears us
He forgives us
He invites us
He satisfies us
Are you satisfied with God yet? Let’s call out to him and ask Him to satisfy our hearts desire.
Speaking of orayer – our good friend Patch has another song on this theme:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Have you ever stopped to take account of all the blessings that you are entitled to as part of God’s family?
Everything is part of God’s good plan for you!
You are being conformed to Jesus’ image!
You are a brother of the Son of God!
You are called, justified, and glorified!
You are always on the winning side!
You will be given anything you need!
Your charges have been dismissed!
Your shame is gone!
You are permanently joined to the love of Christ!
Thank God for the blessings He provides, and claim His promises. What do you need? He can provide! Do you need peace? He is the Prince of peace. Do you need wisdom? He is the giver of wisdom. Seek the Lord and claim His blessings!
I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
God offers to provide for all our needs. The children of Israel were hungry and He provided manna. They were thirsty and He provided water. They tired of manna and He provided meat. God was willing to fill them and He did fill them, yet the people did not listen to Him.
The amazing thing about prayer is not that Jesus said we could move mountains thru prayer (He made the mountains, moving them isn’t a challenge). The amazing thing about prayer is that we act like Ahaz says in Isaiah 7.
But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
We refuse to seek power from the All-Powerful, we refuse to seek medicine from the Great Physician.
Let’s ask God to help us align our desires with His!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Are we seeking His rewards? He wants to bless us!
The blessng of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Are we seeking His blessing – or are we seeking our own rewards? The key is to re-orient our desires to His desires.
Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Oftentimes we wonder why God didn’t let so-and-so fall in love with us, only for us to realize God had a better plan for us, and once we let Him give us new desires, we were fulfilled greater than we could imagine!
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Believe in Him (not just intellectual assent, but a belief that motivates action!) Let’s ask for help to believe, and to align our desires with His!
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.“
Our good friend Patch the Pirate has put a song together talking about those who worry.
What’s interesting is that Jesus addresses the basic needs of mankind. Food and clothing. Abraham Maslow categorized these as basic physiological needs.
If God can take care of the basic needs that we have, can’t we trust Him with all of the other needs that we have?
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
All my needs. Usually I look for the fine print on an offer like this. But the context says that this is even talking about financial giving. Was this a conditional promise to ancient Israel? No – this is Paul writing to the church. What about other needs? Is there something He will withold? Psalm 84:11 reminds us that “No good thing will He withold.” God will take care of us.
Personality conflicts at work. Financial needs in the home. Strength for the journey. God will provide our needs. What’s the process? All we have to do is ask.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: