Read: Psalm 34
Reflect: Yesterday’s study was heavy. It was very hard for me to teach on consequence, God’s wrath, and punishment of sin without being face to face with you. I know it’s not a popular subject. I understand that we’d prefer focusing on God’s kindness and love than His punishment of sin. But, if we were sitting face to face, I’d tell you (with much passion in my voice) that it IS God’s kindness and love that drives His punishment of sin. Exposure of sin, discipline for that sin, and consequences that lead to repentance are all evidences of God’s GRACE. He refuses to leave His people in sin, because He knows that isn’t what we were created for.
When God exposed sin in my marriage years ago, life changed. It changed in every way. But, the way I want to share with you today is the new desperation I felt for God. At that time, I’d been a believer for over 30 years. However, I'd never needed Him like I did in those moments. In our chapter, Beth talked about desperation being a wonderful motivator, because it can make us want what we’ve always needed. That’s been true for my life. In the mess of my marriage, I suddenly needed God’s guidance more than breath in my lungs. I clung so tightly to Him, because I needed Him. Looking back, though, I wanted Him too.
When life began to return to “normal,” meaning I began to feel better and stronger, I began to pray one prayer regularly. I still pray it today…. God, never let me forget what we went through, what it felt like, and how perfectly you’ve cared for us. The desperation of that season changed my need for Him to my absolute desire for Him. I want to want Him all of my days.
Respond: The psalm I asked you to read today is one that has been special to me, because so many of the lines tell the story of my journey with God through a devastating season. For instance, during that time, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears (verse 4).”
Today, I’d love for you to read through this Psalm several times and write out verses that could have been written from your very own life. If there’s a phrase that you can claim as your own, because you remember a time that God did for you exactly what He did for David, write it out and thank Him for it.
Life is tricky, right? It’s possible and probable that each of us have plenty of opportunity to thank God for his work in our lives in the past even while begging Him to work on an area in our present. As you read through this Psalm, look for specific provisions God made for David that you need Him to make for you. Add those to your prayer list and pray for it.
Renew: Psalm 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart. All of us want the desires of our heart. We have to start with delighting in the Lord, though. Remember…. Our hearts alone can’t be trusted. They will deceive us every time. But, a heart that delights in the Lord is a heart that can be trusted. When we delight in Him, His desires become our desires, and this is what we want to direct our hearts.
Write out a simple prayer asking God to sanctify your wants.