Sometimes the Lord impresses a particular verse or passage of scripture on my mind with unusual heaviness. As I prayed this morning, it was this one:
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:23-28
I’ll pose to you the same questions I’m asking myself this morning.
Can you say to the Lord – “I am always with you…”?
Do you so consistently commune with the Lord in prayer and the Word that this would be true? Is Jesus so present in your thoughts and heart that you are always with Him?
Does the counsel of the Lord guide you in all your thoughts, actions & words?
The first question should be: Do you know the counsel of the Lord? Do you make a habit of learning the mind and heart of God through His word? If you do not know His counsel, how can you be guided by it? At the crossroads of decision or when wisdom is needed, do you first seek the Lord’s counsel through His Word?
Have you trusted so fully in the Lord that you can say “I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge…”?
Where is your safe place? Where is your place of comfort? From whom do you seek and find most comfort? Is it the Lord? Is He your refuge, or do you seek safety and comfort and peace from somewhere/something/someone else?
Do you tell of the deeds of the Lord to others?
This applies to both His deeds recorded in Scripture and His deeds in your life. When is the last time you told someone the deeds of God on behalf of Israel? The deeds of Christ on the cross? The deeds of the Father in your own life?
Do you find it good to be near God?
Is your heart filled with joy when you draw near to Him? Do you look for opportunities to be near God? Do you draw near to Him in His Word and prayer? Do you draw near to Him together with His people? If the rest of the world were to judge the goodness of God by your outwardly observable desire to be near Him, what would they conclude?
And lastly, the big one: Can you truthfully say, “Earth has nothing I desire besides you”?
What a revealing question! In the vast catalog of all the things of this earth and this life, is there ANYTHING which I desire above Jesus? Do I desire comfort more than Him? Do I desire safety more than Him? Do I desire a spouse more than Him? Do I desire family more than Him? Do I desire wealth and fame more than Him? Do I desire to protect my personal dignity more than I desire Him? Of all possible options, what do you desire most? Is it Jesus, or something besides Him? Be honest. Look at your actions to gain a glimpse at the truth.
Now, may the God of all delights take you by the hand and lead you. May you find daily nourishment in His Word, and thus be guided steadfastly with His counsel. May the Sovereign Lord be your refuge and strength, the One to whom you run in every moment of trial, and may others hear of His deeds from your mouth. And lastly, may your hearts desires be so fully met in Jesus that you desire nothing more than the goodness of being near to Him.