Stand in Your Love
The note at the beginning of the psalm is original. It wasn’t added by your Bible translation for reference. David wrote Psalm 63 while he was exiled in the wilderness, running from his son, Absalom, who was trying to kill him (see 2 Sam 15-17).
Even though David was a godly man, a faithful king, a “man after God’s own heart,” he wasn’t excused from the wilderness experience. The question is not whether we, as God’s people, will go through the wilderness. The question is: How will we go through the wilderness? How will we endure the problems and challenges of life?
Psalm 63 (NIV)
Psalm 63 (NIV)
David endured the wilderness with increased trust in God. How can we have this kind of trust in God? Where does this kind of faith in God come from?
Trust comes when we focus on God more than the wilderness. Faith grows when we are more occupied with the Lord than with our problems.
David is writing these words from the wilderness, running from his own son who’s trying to kill him. Yet, he doesn’t complain. He spends most of his time talking about the goodness of God…
“With this psalm David teaches us one of the most important and vital lessons we can ever learn: the more occupied we are with God and his heart of love for his children, the more bearable our trials and difficulties will be” (Roger Ellsworth).
Sometimes we need to get out of our own heads… stop naval gazing… stop feeling sorry for ourselves… stop playing the victim… stop being so easily offended… we need to look around at what God is doing… we need to stop focusing so much on our own problems and see what other people are struggling with, remember that God loves them, and ask how we can help.
Caleb & Masha Ellis’ letter… “Lockdown is boring. Starving to death is worse.”
Application: Look to Jesus...
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Trust comes when God has roots in every area of our lives. Faith grows when we yield ourselves fully over to the Lord.
Exposition (v. 8)
“I cling to you...” Interesting word-picture David is drawing here. In Hebrew, this word was used to describe dirt clods clumped (clinging) together.
“your right hand upholds me.” When we clump together with God, He sustains us through the drought.
Illustration: I recently tilled up a spot in my back yard to plant a garden… grass was so tough the tiller couldn’t cut through it… it’s roots went throughout the layer of sod and held the soil together even when I tried to till it up!
Application: Does God have roots in every area of my life?
Trust comes when we remind ourselves that God still works, even in the wilderness. Faith grows when we tell ourselves again and again what the Lord is doing, even in the midst of our problems.
Exposition: Look at vv. 2-5, 9-11… David is reminding himself and others that God is good, God is just, God’s love is better than life—even in the wilderness!
17 Consequently faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the preached word of Christ.
The more you share what God is doing in your life, and the more others share with you how God is working in their lives, the more our faith is strengthened…
Just this week, someone from our church family was a facing a difficult work-related decision. This person prayed with a friend for direction, and within a few moments of their prayer, the answer came clearly through.
Application: Rom 10:17 — Are you preaching the word of Christ to yourself and to others?
This prayer was found among the papers of a young African pastor who was martyred in Zimbabwe over one hundred years ago:
“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”
May God give us the courage to keep on keeping on until He calls us home!