“Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Psalm 27:7-8
Begin today by reading Psalm 27.
“Being wholly given over to God now is the essential and best possible preparation for future service.” (James Montgomery Boice, Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions for Spiritual Refreshment). Psalm 27 strikes me as a preparation Psalm. Whether we are preparing for battle (a big project or facing a difficult task) or whether we are worried or afraid of whatever we are facing, we need courage to be ready. We need to feel confident and secure in the Lord’s presence and protection. How do we gain courage to face what is before us? We fix our gaze on the Lord God and seek our protection in Him. We remind ourselves of the strength and majesty of the Lord. God is light; He does not dwell in darkness or evil but directs us in our paths and to what is good. He is our salvation and deliverance. Our God is a stronghold; He is a place of safety and protection. Rather than looking at the obstacles, problems or people who oppose us, we need first and foremost to focus our minds, emotions and will toward the Lord our God. I want to encourage you to find the patterns that most help you to join with David in seeking safety and security in God. But allow me to offer some practical ideas. When we first wake in the morning, it is good to offer a prayer of commitment for the day. “Father in Heaven, you are good, and you are great. You are my Savior and Lord. I commit myself and my day to You. Lead me, protect me, and accomplish Your good purposes in me. Amen.” Then throughout the day as the difficulties mount against us, we can offer the quick prayers of “Lord help me and keep me safe in You. Keep my attention focused on You and may your Holy Spirit guide me and enable me to do what is right and good. Amen.” Then, at the end of the day, review how God has been both faithful and glorious and offer a prayer of thanks. “Lord God, You have been good to me today and been my help and strength. Thank you for taking care of me today. Thank you that you are a good and glorious God. Amen.” Each person must find their own words and patterns, but I offer these prayers as a guide to help create this dwelling in the presence of God. We must include time in the Word of God, too. But to align with this Psalm, I think it is a helpful guide for our practice of prayer. Note what happens to David as He seeks the Lord. We have already mentioned his increase in confidence. But he also finds songs of joy (a joyful and thankful heart); an ability to face difficult people and not allow them to defeat him; a willingness to be taught by and led by God; and a stamina or ability to stay engaged in the battle. All summed up, he finds his hope in the Lord! Waiting on the Lord is finding our hope in God and not in ourselves, others, or the things of this world. “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (vs. 14, ESV). Our Lord Jesus Christ understood focus and He is our example to follow. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:1-3, ESV).