Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I ... "

Day #146

Scripture Reading:  Psalms 60 - 62 …

Should God suddenly open the spiritual eyes of every person on the face of the earth to see Him as He is … to behold His glory, His majesty, His perfection … they would most certainly turn from their sin and bow down in worship before their Creator.  But the spiritual eyes of those who have not been born again by the very Spirit of God remain blinded to the truth. These foolishly pursue the "gods" of this world, the things of this world, and live their lives without God and therefore, without hope.  Such is the lot of all people who do not know the LORD, the Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

But there is a remnant, a small group of people known to God whose eyes have been opened or will be opened.  Three thousand years ago, among the people of Israel, the one nation chosen by God to whom He had revealed Himself, there were some who, like David, knew God and loved Him and trusted Him, even though He brought judgment on the nation as a whole.  David saw that God was angry with Israel … and rightly so, for they had turned to idols and rejected His Word.  "BUT, for those who fear You, You have raised a banner!" (60:4).  David pleads, "Save us and help us with Your right hand, that those You loved may be delivered" (60:5).  He rightly understood that "the help of man is worthless.  With God we will gain the victory" (60:11-12).

It appears today that fewer and fewer people even believe we need saving.  "We will save ourselves!  We will save our planet.  We will bring peace to earth.  We will … we will … we will …"  Whether individuals or nations, those who trust in their own power will perish.  Even if you "succeed" by the standards of the world, you will one day stand before the God of Israel and give an account of your sins.  So David cries out to the LORD:

"From the ends of the earth I call to You, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" (61:2).  God is called our “Rock” throughout the Psalms.  In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the ROCK" (Matthew 7:24).  The "rock" is the symbol of a firm foundation and Jesus Himself is the "solid Rock" upon whom believers stand firm.  Amid the shifting sand and changing fads and the supposed wisdom of man, God's truth never changes because God never changes.  The writer of Hebrews says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!" (Hebrews 13:8) … and then says, "Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings" (13:9).

What do you have to hold on to in your life?  I see young and old alike facing trials and suffering with nothing firm to stand on.  Suffering and trials and even death are part of life in this world, but David understood that with God there is MORE!  He said, "I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings" (61:4).  All who know God will desire the same thing … to escape the burdens of this life and enter into God's presence.  "Then will I ever sing praise to Your name and fulfill my vows day after day" (61:8).

Think about that!  The only way to experience God's presence today, as you and I live in this world, is if you know the ONE who is HIGHER than you … the One true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Knowing Him produces peace because you know you can trust Him, even when you don't understand what is going on in your life and in the world around you.  You can be at peace because you know He is with you, not against you.  But only those who confess their sin and who trust in Jesus Christ can know this peace that passes understanding.  Others may fool themselves into thinking all is well, but it is only the cross of Jesus and His blood spilled for our sins that brings us the assurance of God's forgiveness.

David goes on in Psalm 62 to declare his faith in this God:  "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken" (62:1-2).  Can you say that?  At this moment do you have confidence that nothing and no one can cause you to fall because it is God Himself who holds you up?  Listen again to David's words as he speaks to himself:  "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge" (60:5-7).

If you are reading this it is because you either know Him or you are seeking Him.  Together we must pray David's prayer:  "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I!"  Our hope is in God and your soul will find rest only when you trust in Him alone.  My prayer for those who read these words is that you will hear GOD's voice and find your refuge in Him.  Life's storms can be hard and the uncertainty in which we live from one day to the next can be met either with anxiety or faith.  Everyone has "faith" in something, but only those who hope in the LORD, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, will not be disappointed.  Only we will stand firm because God Himself has opened our eyes and our minds and changed our hearts so that we trust in Jesus and are saved.

This is the truth that sets us free and leads us home where one day we will live in His perfect presence forever.  One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. While many face His judgment, we who believe know that Jesus took our place and bore our punishment and "by His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).  Praise the Lord for leading us to the Rock, our Savior and our Lord!!

"O Lord my God, in YOU do I put my trust.  I declare today that my hope is in You because You have opened my eyes to see Your glory and have drawn me near through Your Son Jesus Christ.  Thank You for sending Your Spirit to change my mind and my heart and to move me to believe in Jesus and to live for Him.  Finish Your work in me, O Lord, that I may be Your instrument to declare Your praises and to lead others to the Rock that is higher than I!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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