Spoken Prayer: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
What Do I Really Want?
by Dave Mann
Make a list of the words or phrases in Psalm 27 that express difficulties or dangers, such as, enemies, foes, the wicked advance, war break out, etc. Then make a list of the words or phrases in Psalm 27 that express desirable benefits, such as, confident, my heart will not fear, the stronghold of my life, etc. In the former category, my list contains nine items; my list of the latter category also has nine. What do your lists look like?
Though we may long for the calm and tranquility of an idyllic life, that is not what the heroes of the faith experienced – in addition to King David who wrote this psalm, there are Abraham, Moses, Paul, John, and many more. In addition, if we are to be followers, of Jesus, we will walk his path which was anything but calm, devoid of difficulties.
The promises of God have much more to do with the strength to meet the challenges of life – the courage to walk through not around problems – wisdom to make difficult choices.
At the center of Psalm 27, we find the heart of the psalmist. He is not asking for the Lord to snap his fingers and to make the enemies vanish. What is the one thing that the psalmist longs for? Check out verses 4 and 8. He is asking for the presence of God. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord…your face, Lord, I will seek. When I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what I need to confess, sometimes I am shocked to learn that I desire the gifts of God more than I want God himself, like an ungrateful prodigal son that wants the inheritance of the father more than he wants to be in relationship with the father. Yes, I would prefer to have a calm life to a turbulent life. But what the Holy Spirit does as he shapes me until the person God created me to be is that I become a person who longs for God to walk with me through the problems more than I long for God to remove my problems.
Holy Spirit, do your work in me as you did in the heart of King David the psalmist. May you craft my heart to earnestly yearn for your presence more than I desire your gifts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.