Daily Devotions

Don't Delay

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"But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!" (Psalm 70:5)

 

Being poor and needy is a paradox. No one wishes to be poor and needy. Yet, God blesses the poor and needy because they are the ones who are desperate enough to reach out to God. In a strange way, being poor and needy is its own blessing. The poor and needy cannot afford to put up walls of separation from God. Their poor and neediness become a blessing, as they become closer to God.

 

I have written devotionals for almost all of the first 70 psalms. Thus far, what is glaringly apparent is that the psalmist(s) are in a constant struggle with enemies, who disagree and disrespect the writer. The pain in most of these Psalms is nearly unbearable. The psalmist's cries are primal. Today, as then, suffering is real, and ultimately, the only lasting hope is in God's love and mercy.

 

My life has been blessed with very few moments where I felt the utter despair of a primal scream. But, as a pastor I have been with many people who felt poor and needy. I've tried to help people who were desperately poor and scared, not only for themselves, but also for their children. I've held the hand of spouses who lost their partner suddenly. I've stood by parents who could not extricate their teenage child from addiction. I've heard the primal scream too many times.

 

In moments of bitterness and primal screams, there remains hope. Often, modern medicine does not hold the answer. Death is the great equalizer. The Christian faith brings comfort amidst the pain. There is truth in the resurrection. Their is joy in salvation and the promise of life eternal. It gives us the strength to turn our primal cry, into a shout of affirmation saying, "Do not delay!"

 

Share any frustrations you have with God, in prayer. If your frustrations are high, even let out a primal scream. Warn your family and pets if they are in ear shot. Then share a passionate prayer, articulating your needs and fears. Conclude by asking God not to delay!

 

  

Submission

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"Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death."

(Psalm 68:20)

 

The New Interpreter's Bible commentary sums up this verse by stating, "Ultimately, salvation is to be found in submission to God rather than in the assertion of self." Humanity is incredibly powerful. We have accomplished amazing, if not miraculous, things. Yet, humanity makes very weak and unjust gods.

 

There are two key reasons why submission to God is necessary. First, humanity is corrupt. Sin is part of the human condition. No matter what humans touch, without the Holy Spirit's direction, if falls apart. Justice does not last long with human leadership. Second, humanity's power will never extend beyond death. Not only are human being morally and ethically corrupt, but we are powerless over death. Only God can conquer sin and death and bring us life eternal.

 

Psalm 68 calls us to submission before God. In your prayer today, focus on offering God your life. Take a few moments in your prayer and consider your priorities. What gets in the way of worshiping God? What is keeping you from a stronger, more consistent faith? What do you need to do, in order to strengthen your faith? Then close your prayer by calling on the Holy Spirit to guide your priorities. Be intentional, each evening sit down with your calendar and plan the following day, with a time of prayer on the schedule. God will bless your commitment.  

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