Psalm 14

Is it true?
Are we “useless, unshepherded sheep, taking turns pretending to be shepherd”?  Am I so easily swayed by my fellows?  Can our culture’s lack of Absolute Truth so easily change my convictions from “‘I believe’ to ‘One does think’*”?

Protect my heart from their lies, Truthful One.  Give me confidence in the never changing verity of Your Word.  Give me the courage to stand by Your Truth come what may.

* I read this phrase in the C.S. Lewis book Surprised by Joy.

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Psalm 12

A gifted politician can talk anyone into anything.
He can promise success to the poor and relief to the homeless but his motives are never pure.

No, no one has pure motives but God alone and when He makes a promise, you can bank on it 100%.  God’s words are pure and true.  He is always motivated by love and He will never go back on His word.

Psalm 11

God has never failed us yet, why would we turn to anyone but Him in times of trouble?
Do you think He would abandon us because of our sin?  When have we ever been “good enough”?  When have we ever been without sin?

It is not our morality that earns God’s favor.  Our self-righteousness gets us no where with Him.  He is not fooled by a tidy exterior that hides shit-loads of pride and a stubborn heart that will not admit its need for a Savior.

The God of Heaven examines us all – He examines our heart and our motives for they speak far louder than our actions or our words.

Praise the God who has mercy on the one who admits his need for mercy!  Praise the One who lifts up the humble sinner who is willing to throw herself at the feet of her Gracious Judge.  He served the sentence of our sin Himself.  No one can be counted righteous except through Jesus our Savior.  Praise the One who would die in our place!  Because of His mercy we can bring our requests before the King of Heaven.

Psalm 10

I can’t think of one thing to complain about.
My life is not perfect, but my needs are all met and I’m feeling safe and confident in God’s arms.

No, I can’t complain about how tiny my house is or how many tantrums my kids threw today or even how much You are asking me to surrender to You.  I can see Your blessing in every one of those things.

But I can’t see Your blessing in the women and children who have been sold as sex slaves.  I can’t see Your blessing in the fact that millions of people die for lack of clean water or inexpensive medications.  I can’t see Your blessing in abuse, injustice, or people treating others as if they weren’t people.  Why have You turned Your back on all of this Father?!  How long will You ignore it?  Where is their blessing?  Where is their provision?!

I am their blessing.  I have been given plenty so that I can provide for others.  I, and the body of Christ, which is the church.  Why have we turned our backs on these people?  Why have we prioritized our comfort over their survival?  How long will we ignore it?  How long will we claim that it is not ours to own?

Father forgive us!  We know exactly what we are doing.

Psalm 9

“God is a safehouse for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times.  The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.”

Father, help me to know what it’s like to truly relax in You.  To take off my shoes in Your living room.  To not worry or even think about whether I’m doing things right.  To rest assured that too much or too little effort on my part will not change the way You feel about me; not enough humility and too much about me does not make You love me less.  Teach me to come into Your presence and just enjoy You; completely at ease together.

Psalm 8

Infinite God Your name is on the lips of everyone in my house.
My baby sings to You, “Dadada”.  My toddler shouts a song of praise, “Oh I love You!  You are always here.”  I find my strength in You and my husband looks to You for guidance.  Our house is built on Your name.  Everyone inside is created for Your glory.  Everything outside shouts Your glory as well: the trees in the park, the ribbon river, the beautiful clouds, moon, and sky shout, “God is King!  He has created us and we are His!  Praise the Lord!  He will be king forever and He is good!”

Psalm 7

Father, You are my rock today.
Spirit, You are my strength.
Jesus, You are my inspiration.

Cradle my tired mind, body, and spirit and let me rest in You.
Replenish my will to do the right thing, not the easy thing.
Fill my tank with love for difficult people.
Keep my tired eyes open looking for signs of You and Your work.

Psalm 6

My human emotions have been given to me for a purpose.  There is no shame in crying my eyes out before the King of Heaven; He invited me here.

He is not offended by my honest anger.  My feelings do not confuse, intimidate, or repulse Him.  God hears my cries and delights in comforting my soul.

When I would not be satisfied by Him, crying in anger that He was asking me to give up too much, disbelieving that He could or would say anything that would bring me comfort, He set out to assure me that He is enough.

He knows my needs and desires – even better than I do, for He created me!  He has promised that whatever He asks me to do, however I must suffer, He will give me the strength and Spirit to endure.  He will not leave me or forsake me.  I can be strong and courageous, not terrified or discouraged, because my God has promised to be with me wherever I go.

Psalm 5

“Listen God!  Please pay attention!”
[Have I ever doubted that God was listening?  Have I ever deigned to demand that He pay attention to ME?!  The answer is yes to both…]

“Can You make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries?” [My rote, thoughtless prayers, my 5 second prayers of what’s on my mind now?]

“King-God, I need Your help.  Every morning You’ll hear me at it again.”  [I need You every morning – will You hear me pray every morning or watch me flounder on my own until I reach the breaking point?]

“Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on Your altar and watch for fire to descend.”  [Let this be true.  Spirit move me towards You each morning – I bring my requests, plead my case to You and I wait and watch.]

Thank You for letting me be Your invited guest!!!  Let the God-party last all night!