How has your week been? I confess that this past week I’ve fought discouragement. And that opens a door for fear and doubt and accusation and the whole load of Satan’s favorite destructions. Will my eyes ever be healed? Will our finances be enough? (You would think the memory of God providing literally day for day for two or three months would be enough to never question that.) Last night I needed to talk to my Father about it. To repent and change my thinking. To confess and agree with what He says.
I’m reading through the Psalms lately because they remind me God is well aware of my humanness and has me covered. They encourage my honesty with God about what I’m feeling. I encourage you to read Psalm 25 today. Skip verses 4 to 11 until the end then come back to them. I found the Psalm coming together powerfully when I did. May I share with you?
The chapter got my attention when I read verse 20: Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. Psalm 25:20 (NASB)
David lifted up his soul to the LORD (Yahweh, the God who is passionate about our futures) because he knew that God did not see him cut off from God. Rather, God would transform him and bring him back into a more harmonious relationship.
Guard my soul
20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. Psalm 25:20 (NASB)
“Guard” means “to hedge about as with thorns.” When I read the word “guard,” I always think of Haiti’s fences. They are closely planted, thorny, dense shrub-like plants, growing close the ground. I envision pillars about 12 inches by 10 inches by four feet high, very close together. Nothing is going through it.
Unless it slithers along underneath.
Wait a minute. That sounds like the snake in the Garden of Eden. How does God guard my soul? Verses 4 – 11 provide clues.
He leads and teaches. He remembers versus what He forgets. He instructs even sinners and the afflicted. He pardons even our deliberate evil choices.
Ways, Paths and Truth
In order for that to occur, David made a request of the LORD.
4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5 (NASB)
Make me know is one word in Hebrew and it means to experience an intimate relationship. One with no fear and no secrets. To know His ways is to know His pattern for life. Not my detailed steps but His overarching purpose. His paths are my own course of life.
How will I learn this? How will I experience that kind of intimate relationship? The translation “lead me in Your truth” is misleading. The word “lead” means “to tread, to bend.” As in bending a bow to launch an arrow at Satan’s lies. Truth really means “faithfulness, stability, certainty.” It is connected to the idea of God’s unfailing love. “Teach” means “train for war.”
How is this important when my soul needs lifting up? We never escape the battles, do we? Like David fleeing from Saul, we are constantly facing battle. We must be ready for that battle, but the only way is because of God’s faithful and unfailing love for us. When we experience that and learn how He wants us to walk out our own purpose, we find stability.
I’m fascinated by the word play in the next two verse. Remember. Do not remember. Remember me.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD. Psalm 25:6-7 (NASB)
Remember who You are, God. Remember how much You love me but don’t remember how much I’ve failed You. Remember me because of the covenant You and Jesus made for me.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies . . . 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. Psalm 25:8-10, 21 (NASB)
I’m so glad the LORD is willing to instruct sinners! Otherwise, I would be in a whole heap of trouble! It comforts me to know that however He leads me, always with unfailing love and faithfulness (lovingkindness and truth).
Integrity and uprightness are powerful words. He will support and protect me because He has marked me for Him. He has never forgotten the purpose He had for me and He will keep transforming me until the end of my life. He still sees in me the infinite and exponential growth that will bring me back to His purpose.
12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. 13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. 15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:12-15 (NIV)
Let me immediately clarify the word “prosperity.” It refers in a general sense to good things, to living at ease from war because we walk His way. Many of our battles come from our own poor choices so His way will work much better.
I especially love verse 14. He confides in me and helps me understand just what this new covenant Jesus made really means for me. What does that covenant involve? An airtight agreement between God the Father and secured by Jesus the Son that provides those who declare confidence in His name. It includes deliverance from evil, health, forgiveness for all my sin, wholeness, protection, meeting all our needs.
Psalm 103:1-5 spells out those benefits. I pray you allow Him to explain all of this to you:
1 Praise the LORD, my soul! Praise his holy name, all that is within me. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and never forget all the good he has done: 3 He is the one who forgives all your sins, the one who heals all your diseases, 4 the one who rescues your life from the pit, the one who crowns you with mercy and compassion, 5 the one who fills your life with blessings so that you become young again like an eagle. Psalm 103:1-5 (GW)
When we allow God to guard out hearts, we have an anchor for our souls. An anchor for our thinking and emotions that keeps us steady in place. An anchor because He promised that covenant and He will not fail.
17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. 19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT2)
God has me in His hands
This morning we sang “Do It Again by Elevation Worship. Here are a few of the words. I pray they encourage you.
“Walking around these walls I thought by now they’d fall. But You have never failed me yet. Waiting for change to come, Knowing the battle’s won For you have never failed me yet. I know the night won’t last. Your Word will come to pass. My heart will sing Your praise again. Jesus You’re still enough. Keep me within Your love. My heart will sing Your praise again. I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains. And I believe, I’ll see You do it again. You made a way, where there was no way And I believe, I’ll see You do it again.
Your promise still stands. Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness. I’m still in Your hands. This is my confidence. You’ve never failed me yet.”
Today, I encourage you to ponder this Psalm, to lift up your thoughts and emotions to the One who cares passionately for you. Ponder the words of the song we sang. Whatever you face today, His Word will come to pass. Allow Him to guard your heart today. He is enough and you are in His hands. He is so faithful!
Carol Boggess, author and speaker at A Healing Journey
Rivers – A Journey of Restoration From Broken to Breakthrough and God Sees Broken Hearts
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