I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
I read verses like the ones above and I respond to God with a resounding, “HOW!?” – I mean, how does God instruct me in the way I should go? Does He talk to us, like how Obi-Wan talks to Luke as he approaches the Death Star?
…and then, just like that, I’m reminded of how our God is infinite and eternal, and that we aren’t doing ourselves any favors by making assumptions on if or how God communicates with us.
He speaks through His glory, that is seen in all of Creation. He speaks through others, or He would speak straight to us. The line to eternity is uninterrupted… and that’s even with the not necessarily absolute implication that God is only reached via long-distance phone call. With that I’m also reminded that Jesus Christ is in us, and we are in Jesus Christ – He is, in fact, so close that He knows our thoughts, and He surely knows our spoken prayers and the ideas we never have or will never share to anyone else in this world.
But the thing is, I believe He is closer still. Or, at least by way of going through these verses, I am led to believe that our Savior is THAT close, but He is closer still, that the thoughts and words and ideas and pictures that do come up in our minds are not without His power and peace, not without His grace and glory. So I guess with that said, we now say that we go wherever we go, we guide ourselves and others, but not without God’s instructions, teachings, and guidance. And let’s not forget that the greatest of God’s instructions, teachings, and guidance are not found in writing, nor are they found in some hidden tome in the middle of nowhere… no, it’s all in Jesus Christ, who is the Living Word. We do what we do, say what we say, knowing that we are never without the Living Word. And from the other point of view… we do what we do, we say what we say, knowing that Jesus Christ is God’s instruction, God’s teaching, God’s guidance, God’s tutelage ALIVE in us.
Hear my voice, o God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
I don’t think the Psalmist would be so rash as to waste his words here.
First of all, the first line implies that there is voice involved in his meditation – apparently you could do that, versus the popular notion that you have to do absolutely nothing when you meditate. Now sure, it may be a mantra, it could be a chant… but when you think of it, it could also be in the form of a prayer (spontaneous or read from a book or spoken from memory), just as it also could be a fast praise song, or a slow worship composition.
I could say all this about voice… but just now I am reminded, this is meditation. Granted, there is nothing to gain from being overly critical about techniques and approaches and methods to doing it – but all our time and all our efforts are wasted if the intention to actually meditate is gone.
The Psalmist goes on to share that in his meditation, he calls on God for rescue, and protection from “fear of the enemy”. No, not the actual enemy. He was pretty precise – it was fear he wanted deliverance from.
And now that I think about it, it’s fear that makes the enemy. I mean, it’s fear that validates our enemy’s existence AS our enemy, but more than that it’s fear that validates the deeper enmity, to begin with.
Fear, as in terror, is focus on the enmity. Now for us in the body of Christ, we do not say we do not fear – oh, we are just as capable, just as vulnerable to fear, just as the next guy is – but see here, this is precisely why we have the Holy Spirit – instead of reeling in condemnation and moving and acting out of the resultant fear, the Holy Spirit’s assurances to us would remain.
What am I saying? Brother, sister in Christ, fear could not stay in our beings, for the Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness. How does that figure in? It’s as if, in the process, we are consistently being refreshed by God’s everlasting and perfect love for us. Therefore, we are also consistently being rinsed and purged of fear… which, by the way, not only threatens our minds and/or our bodies… Friends, the Psalmist points out in his choice of words that fear is a real threat to our literal lives.
The enemy is fear… but through Christ’s finished work we have been brought into perfect love… which casts our all fear.
By one man’s disobedience we were made sinners – the sin was what was so close to us that we were literally being dragged into death in every single moment, and in every single moment we were existing with major fear present. This was who we were.
But oh, we give all glory to Jesus, who by His finished work has been brought so near to us that He inhabits all aspects of our beings… We give thanks, we are so grateful to God, because we have Christ, who is the greatest demonstration of God’s everlasting, eternal, infinite and ultimately perfect love for us. And now, it is CHRIST who is so close to us, that our beings are saturated with perfect love, casting out all fear, preserving our life.
Truly, what a friend we have in Jesus!
“All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; For they shall wisely consider His doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and trust in Him. And all the upright in heart shall glory.”
May the Lord continue to guide us, through Christ, as we begin another month.