In the LORD, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Your vows are binding upon me, O God;
I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.
In God, whose word is worthy of praise, let us put our trust. No one can stand against Him, so we are completely protected. Thank Him because He’s already delivered us from death. He’s already protected us from stumbling. He’s already preserved our lives.
God’s strength is greater than that of man. His word is worthy of praise. He is trustworthy. But we are weak. We must trust Him for everything.
Praise Him. Praise His word. Trust Him. Thank Him. He has already saved us, proving His trustworthiness.
There is every reason to trust Him and no reason not to. When we forget this, we become afraid or we try to take control ourselves.
If nothing else, Jesus is the proof that God has already preserved our lives, protected us, delivered us from the hand of our enemy.
If this truth becomes fully alive in us we will trust God in all things. He’s calling us to trust Him more.
Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions.
We need love, and we need to give love. God has shown us love, and He has shown us how to love through Christ, His Son. He wants us to love as He has loved us.
God doesn’t want us to stir up strife, but to love one another, forgiving sins, preserving peace. Sadly, though we have seen His love for us through the blood of Christ spilled on the cross, we must be reminded to love rather than hate.
When fellow believers sin, we often look for ways to expose their sins, to bring them to justice. (Now, there comes a time when – if a believer refuses to repent – sins must be exposed in the course of biblical church discipline. We have not reached that point – we’re talking here about beginning this process from a place of love.) Instead, let’s ask God to change our desires. Ask for the desire to love them, forgive their transgressions, and keep peace.
Love. Don’t hate.
Forgive. Don’t condemn.
Unless we believe, unless God is at work in us, the Gospel is foolishness to us. The truth is we are the foolish. God is wise beyond measure, so wise that our “wisdom” cannot stand before Him.
We have to trust God’s wisdom more than that of men. It’s only by His grace that we are called and can receive both salvation and wisdom.
He is infinitely wise, and the only wisdom we have comes from Him. When we forget this truth, pride takes over. We need the wisdom He offers and the humility that arises from knowing that need.
Let’s have the humility to ask for and receive His wisdom, to learn to actually trust God.
I recently finished Pastor Timothy Keller’s latest book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, and wow. What a phenomenal work. It’s got a permanent place in my library, now, folks, and I highly recommend it to each of you.
As a Christian, and especially as a worship pastor, I believe prayer is of utmost importance, but I’ve always struggled with it. That’s why 2014 was the year of prayer for me. I pray everyday, but I made it a personal goal to find the prayer life God had for me.
I read two books last year that had an impact on my prayer life:
- A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World by Paul Miller
- Deeper Places: Experiencing God in the Psalms by Matthew Jacoby
I’d recommend them both to you without hesitation, but Keller’s book is the one that’s left the most lasting impression on me.
Keller provides the reader with a deeper understanding of what prayer is scripturally and historically, as well as what it is not. And he gives practical tools that focus your prayers on God, rather than your own needs and wants.
In the couple of weeks since I finished the book, I have applied Keller’s wisdom, and I’ve seen the difference. In all honesty, I’ve experienced God in my prayer time in ways that I never have before.
There’s no magic here. Keller simply points us to Scripture as our source for the power of prayer.