June 21, 2016

OLordYouPsalm 33:22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.

This anonymous Psalm is a beautiful declaration of God’s acts, His character, why He is worthy of our praise, hope, and trust. This last verse then turns to God in a prayer that He would act according to His character toward His people. I think our requests to God would be much more accurate if we had the same sort of ratio: 21 verses of thanks and praise and adoration to one verse of request! Jesus did tell us to ask, seek, and knock, (Matthew 7:7) so it is certainly not wrong to make requests of God, but they need to be on the basis of who He is, rather than “gimme.” Just before giving us the general instructions to ask, seek, and knock, Jesus made it clear that our focus is to be on God’s kingdom and His righteousness, even more than on our genuine needs, much less wants. (Matthew 6:33) That has been one of the chief blessings of the Charismatic Renewal: reviving praise and worship as the focus of faith. Today churches of all stripes are likely to use at least some songs that focus on God rather than themselves, and that’s a very good thing. However, we are still all too likely to be focused on I-my-me-mine, and that is no way to experience the abundant life that God intends for us. (John 10:10)

This is something the Lord has been teaching me particularly for the past 40+ years. Starting out, I almost missed the baptism in the Holy Spirit because I was too focused on me! I have found, time and time again, that when things seem dark and difficult, the best thing without exception is to lift my heart, eyes, and voice to the Lord in praise and adoration. There are times when that’s not easy, but the results far exceed any other course of action. A particular song is often in my heart and mind. The author/composer is unknown, (just as with this Psalm) but I’ve translated it into Japanese, and it’s one I want sung at my funeral, for sure.

O Lord, You have been good;
You have been faithful to all generations.
O Lord, Your steadfast love
And tender mercy have been our salvation.
For by Your hand we have been fed,
And by Your Spirit we have been led.
O Lord, You have been good;
You have been faithful, You have been good.

When I remind myself of this, everything falls into perspective. I don’t have to be frantic or demanding or anxious, but just ask God to act according to His character and will, because I know that is the best thing that could possibly happen.

Father, You’ve been taking us through some tumultuous times recently. There are lots of things that I feel strongly about, and the devil is seeking to steal my peace and joy by making me anxious. Thank You for being absolutely trustworthy. May I be fully submitted and obedient to You so that I may be useful, rather than a hindrance, to You in bringing Your plans to fruition. May Your Name be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done perfectly, even on this earth, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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