Set Him Always Before You
By: Twila Belk, 1.cbn.com
I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 AMP
Do you ever forget anything? I do. Sometimes I’ll get on an elevator and wonder why I haven’t reached my floor. And then I’ll discover it’s because I hadn’t remembered to push the button. I forget where I’ve put things. I forget the names of my kids. I forget why I went to the other room. And if I’m not careful, I’ll forget meaningful dates or events. If I don’t keep a sticky note or some sort of reminder in front of me, I’m in trouble.
Several years ago on an August day, I realized how important those reminders were to me. I went about my business as I normally do, but I had a niggling feeling that I was forgetting something. Halfway through the day, I came across a significant document while sorting a stack of papers on my table. It was the first day of school, and I had forgotten to take my kids! Yikes!
Because I hadn’t kept that important information at the top of the pile and smack dab in front of my face, I had to put up with friends and school personnel who laughed at me and questioned my mental stability.
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a clichéd expression, but it’s proven to be true in my case.
Unfortunately, that’s also often the case with many of us regarding our relationship with God. If we don’t keep him at the “top of our pile,” we forget that he’s with us. We forget that he wants to help us. We forget that he is I AM. And because of our forgetfulness, we’re troubled needlessly with a load of care.
David wrote the words in Psalm 16:8 shown above. He knew the key to being still or (unshaken) was to have a constant awareness of the Lord’s presence. Here are some of the ways he kept the Lord continually before him:
- Talked honestly with God and carried on a running conversation with him
- Meditated on God’s words
- Journaled his thoughts and prayers to God (see the Psalms)
- Passed down his God stories to the next generation
- Sang praises to God
- Proclaimed God’s goodness
- Talked to others about God
- Danced before God
- Opened his eyes and heart to notice God at work
- Immersed himself in the truth of God’s Word
As with us, life wasn’t always easy for David. He faced storms, dealt with wicked people, confronted giants, had to make difficult decisions, and wrestled with inner turmoil. But because he knew God intimately and kept him at the “top of his pile,” David was able to trust him. God proved himself to David again and again and will do the same for us.
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘Simon called Zelotes.’ Luke 6:15
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:5–11
Christian zeal feeds itself upon a sense of gratitude.
‘Loved of my God, for him again, with love intense I’d burn,
Chosen of thee ere time began, I choose thee in return.’
Look ‘to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged,’ and you will see abundant reason why you should spend and be spent for God. Zeal for God feeds itself upon the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot but bestir itself. Zeal for God thinks of death, and hears the hoofs of the white horse with the skeleton rider close behind. Zeal for God feels that all it can do is little compared with what is wanting, and that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. Next, zeal for God feeds itself on love to Christ. Lady Powerscourt says somewhere, ‘If we want to be thoroughly hot with zeal, we must go near to the furnace of the Saviour’s love.’ Get to know how Christ loved you, and you cannot but love him. Do but know how he was spat upon and despised, and how he bled and died for us, and we cannot but feel that we can do and bear all things for his name’s sake. Above all, Christian zeal must be sustained by a vigorous inner life. If we let our inner life dwindle, if it begins to be dwarfish, if our heart beats slowly before God, we shall not know zeal; but if all be strong and vigorous within, then we cannot but feel a loving anxiety to see the kingdom of Christ come, and his will done on earth, even as it is in heaven.
For meditation: While misplaced zeal is a worthless and dangerous thing (Romans 10:2; Philippians 3:6), the Lord is zealous (Isaiah 9:7; 37:32; John 2:17) and he expects his people to be zealous too (Titus 2:14; Revelation 3:19).
Streams In The Desert
By: L. B. Cowman
Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son… I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven; …because thou hast obeyed my voice (Genesis 22:16-18).
And from that day to this, men have been learning that when, at God’s voice, they surrender up to Him the one thing above all else that was dearest to their very hearts, that same thing is returned to them by Him a thousand times over. Abraham gives up his one and only son, at God’s call, and with this disappear all his hopes for the boy’s life and manhood, and for a noble family bearing his name. But the boy is restored, the family becomes as the stars and sands in number, and out of it, in the fullness of time, appears Jesus Christ.
That is just the way God meets every real sacrifice of every child of His. We surrender all and accept poverty; and He sends wealth. We renounce a rich field of service; He sends us a richer one than we had dared to dream of. We give up all our cherished hopes, and die unto self; He sends us the life more abundant, and tingling joy.
And the crown of it all is our Jesus Christ. For we can never know the fullness of the life that is in Christ until we have made Abraham’s supreme sacrifice. The earthly founder of the family of Christ must commence by losing himself and his only son, just as the Heavenly Founder of that family did. We cannot be members of that family with the full privileges and joys of membership upon any other basis.
–C. G. Trumbull
We sometimes seem to forget that what God takes He takes in fire; and that the only way to the resurrection life and the ascension mount is the way of the garden, the cross, and the grave.
Think not, O soul of man, that Abraham’s was a unique and solitary experience. It is simply a specimen and pattern of God’s dealings with all souls who are prepared to obey Him at whatever cost. After thou hast patiently endured, thou shalt receive the promise. The moment of supreme sacrifice shall be the moment of supreme and rapturous blessing. God’s river, which is full of water, shall burst its banks, and pour upon thee a tide of wealth and grace.
There is nothing, indeed, which God will not do for a man who dares to step out upon what seems to be the mist; though as he puts down his foot he finds a rock beneath him.
–F. B. Meyer