One Thing I Ask

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; 
    whom shall I fear? 
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life; 
    of whom shall I be afraid? 

2 When evildoers assail me 
    to eat up my flesh, 
my adversaries and foes, 
    it is they who stumble and fall. 

3 Though an army encamp against me, 
    my heart shall not fear; 
though war arise against me, 
    yet[b] I will be confident. 

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, 
    that will I seek after: 
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord 
    all the days of my life, 
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord 
    and to inquire[c] in his temple. 

5 For he will hide me in his shelter 
    in the day of trouble; 
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; 
    he will lift me high upon a rock. 

6 And now my head shall be lifted up 
    above my enemies all around me, 
and I will offer in his tent 
    sacrifices with shouts of joy; 
I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; 
    be gracious to me and answer me! 
8 You have said, “Seek[d] my face.” 
My heart says to you, 
    “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” 
9     Hide not your face from me. 
Turn not your servant away in anger, 
    O you who have been my help. 
Cast me not off; forsake me not, 
    O God of my salvation! 
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, 
    but the Lord will take me in. 

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, 
    and lead me on a level path 
    because of my enemies. 
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; 
    for false witnesses have risen against me, 
    and they breathe out violence. 

13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord 
    in the land of the living! 
14 Wait for the Lord; 
    be strong, and let your heart take courage; 
    wait for the Lord! 

Hi friends! Can you believe it’s February already?! Most years I feel like January is a year in and of itself, but it seems like this one is already flying to me. I pray that you’ve experienced the blessing of the Lord this past month, and that no matter what season of life you find yourself in, you are certain that God is good. That’s what I want to talk about today! The goodness of God, and having faith in his character. The 27th Psalm is a passage I have found myself coming back to over and over again these past several months. The faith of David as he wrote this is so evident to me I almost feel like I’m sitting next to him hearing him pour his heart out to God as I read it. So, I’m just going to jump right in! 

Something God has made very clear to me recently is how little discernment I have truly practiced in my life. I’ve always been one to walk through every open door, try things to see if they work, and hope for the best. In some cases, that’s worked out really well, but in most it’s caused me more pain than the potential opportunity was worth. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that we should be so afraid to make a wrong decision we never walk through those open doors or take those opportunities, but there should always be an emphasis on prayer, God’s Word, and seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit. I believe this Psalm paints a beautiful picture of those things! This song of David was written before he was anointed king, and most scholars believe during the time of a devastating war where David witnessed the cruelty, savagery, and horrors of war. Little did David know, that was just the beginning of the cruelty, jealousy, and life-threatening experiences he would have as king. He would go on to be constantly threatened by the jealousy ridden, former king, Saul, watch his best friend die, and have to serve the very king who was threatening his life. 

Luckily, David understood who he was and who’s he was. David was literally anointed king by God, through the hands of the prophet Samuel, but before he was even anointed king, he understood his place in the kingdom of God. He starts this Psalm off by establishing who God is. He proclaims that GOD is the source of his salvation and his revelation light. Then he goes on to proclaim that even when evildoers attack him, armies encamp against him, wars arise all around him, HE WILL NOT FEAR!! Why is that? Well, I’m glad you asked! In verse four we see the desire of David’s heart. It’s not to be the greatest king that ever lived, to be the most famous, to be recognized by nations for his military prowess, or smart business moves. His desire is to dwell in the house of the Lord! To gaze upon God’s beauty and to have an open line of communication with God. David understood what most people miss. If we delight in the Lord’s presence, he becomes a shield around us. As long as we’re dwelling with him, no evil will come near us, and in fact, the favor of the Lord is such a real thing, that the enemy’s plans will be turned against themselves! Now, am I saying that David’s life was a walk in the park? No! But because he knew God was good, he recognized that only good things come from God, and that if it wasn’t good, it wasn’t from God! 

            I remember one Christmas, all I wanted was a Polly Pocket racetrack set. It had two cars that raced one another down the track, and it even had a loop!! It was basically the girly version of Hot Wheels and I was OBSESSED. I was watching back home movies recently and found a video from this exact Christmas. I opened every present in awe. You would have thought when I pulled the candy necklace out of my stocking that I had won the lottery, and if my parents knew I was going to be that thrilled with a candy necklace they might have saved a little money that year. I remember they strategically saved the best for last, and I really thought I was not going to get it, but to my great pleasure the very last present I opened was that Polly Pocket racetrack! I then burst out in a spontaneous song that went like, “all the things I want, all the things I want!” The same way that my parents knew exactly what I wanted, God knows the desires of our hearts and takes pleasure in our joy and satisfaction. Philippians 1:6 tells us, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When I read that I just imagine God pouring out his gifts on his children and saying, “We’re just getting started!” What should our response to this characteristic of God be? We should do exactly what David did in verse six. He lifted a song to God and praised him for all he had done in his life! 

Often times when I read the Psalms of David I feel like I’ve opened the diary of a teenage girl. One second, he’s praising God and boldly proclaiming that God has overcome his enemies and the next he’s in what seems to be a full-blown panic asking God not to forsake him. But isn’t that the case in most of our lives? I’m thankful David was willing to be real with God so we would know it’s okay to be. It’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to make sure God is still there when it feels like he’s not. Just like David, sometimes it feels as though everyone has abandoned us, and because we often put God in our human boxes, we begin to fear that God will do the same. But here’s the amazing thing, God always answers our prayers! He doesn’t take pleasure in watching us suffer or struggle and as soon as we call out to him he is faithful to reassure us. When it seems like every odd is stacked against us, and the enemy is prowling like a lion, our prayer should be that of verse 11, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies.” 

The last two verses of Psalm 27 are my very favorite! I think we this is one of the fundamental teachings of faith and it shows us how David put it into practice in his life. This is a verse I find myself speaking over my life daily. “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” Every time I read it I just get filled with hope and joy for what God has in store in the days ahead. The former part of this psalm paints a pretty daunting picture. David is surrounded by enemies on every side, he’s calling out to God to protect him, and even though he can’t see the answered prayer yet, he believes God has already answered it. Friends, we can do the same thing! If you’re praying for healing, a miracle, breakthrough, deliverance, a restored relationship, you name it, you already have it in Jesus. Just like salvation, everything we receive from Christ was already given at the cross, we just have to receive it for ourselves. 

Lastly, I feel like David is just giving himself a little pep talk and reminder of what he has to do next. He says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Once we’ve prayed in faith, we just have to wait on God. He will prompt us on what to do next, and if we prayed for God to lead us on his path, he’s not going to lead us anywhere else!

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