Thursday, December 22, 2011

Psalm 27 - Seeking Him in the Battle

Psalm 27 is a page out of a warfare manual.[1] It is first of all prophetic of the warfare of JesusPassion. This psalm is of a soldier seeking God and abiding in Him in the thick of battle. Pray Psalm 27 when you are in the midst of the battle.

Note those involved:

Psalm 27:1 - The Lord. Lord, you are the light of wisdom and assurance. You are the source of salvation and trust and confidence. You are the secret place of safety. You banish fear and give strength to the weary and protection for the weak. Because of your character, let me fear nothing and no man.

Psalm 27:2 - The enemy. Lord, you protect from the wicked and rebellious who give pain. You are my defense against the Adversary and the adversities and troubles that seek to squeeze the life out of me. Evil thoughts, word curses, lies, and accusations, all these enemies that rise to devour my life, my joy, my future, my provision, and my family would overpower me but for You, O Lord. Cause them to stumble over their own words and arguments and fall.

Psalm 27:3-4 - The heart of a soldier.  You are my help when opposition arises. You are my help when my own distorted thoughts assail me. I have confidence that when they war against Your peace and security, you will keep me focused on You in your Word, free from fear and doubt. O Lord, I have one aim, one goal, one desire. I want to dwell in Your presence. Every  day I live. Every hour I have. Everything I am. I want to worship you and not myself or others. I want to gaze upon your face and not my troubles. I want to celebrate you instead of my circumstances. I want to worship You in your perfection and glory without looking for my own.

Note the assurance:

Psalm 27:5 – Protection. You keep me safe in the Abiding Place of your presence, O Lord. You hide me in the shelter of your presence. You set me out of reach, high on the Rock beyond those who oppose me.

Psalm 27:6 – Joy. You give me joy, O Lord, and triumphant worship. My heart sings and makes music in the faces of those who surround me.

Note the need:

Psalm 27:7-8 – Mercy. Have mercy, O Lord, and answer me. Send the help I need. I plead for mercy from your face. It is before your face that I find that mercy, so I seek you, Lord.

Psalm 27:9-10 – Acceptance. I know you will not turn your back on me. You have faithful to me through every other trial without anger or abandonment, for your Son Jesus took all that for me. Though my own mother and father hold my past against me, Lord, you love me and receive me. Rejection is broken because you accept and receive me. 

Psalm 27:11-12 – Guidance. Teach me your way, Lord. Lead me along the unmarked fearful trail (Isaiah 42:16). Don’t let me fall into the enemy’s hands. Don’t let the devil overpower me. He desires to steal, kill, and destroy. Cause the power of the Cross to overpower the theft, the killing, and the destruction with giving, grace, and growth. Cause the truth to overpower the falsehoods, the ill-conceived assumptions, the foolish arguments, the silliness that is so serious it can destroy families and businesses and churches and me with accusations of failure, of inadequacy, of the things I never did, never imagined, and never approved.

Note the Hope:

Psalm 27:13 -14– Restoration of the Future. Though I may feel like a flickering candle right now, your word promises that you will not break a bruised reed or put out a dimly burning wick (Isaiah 42:3). You will not crush the weak, Lord, and you will not squelch hope.  So I wait for you, O Lord. In your strength, I will not lose Hope or give up. I will take courage in You. I wait for you expectantly.

[1] Adapted from Sylvia Gunter, Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence, vol. 2, 75-77.