As I’ve continued to meditate on Psalm 27, I’m struck by how Psalmist David does say he wants only to focus on the Lord but he spends most of the Psalm bringing his concerns to the Lord. He cries out to the Lord for deliverance and protection. For instance, he writes,
12Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
And he writes about being confident and unafraid and yet writes,
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”
9Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
That’s what I love about the Bible. It’s honest! It shows where we’re really at. David is vulnerable in showing the fluctuating emotions within him. He’s confident and yet he’s afraid. He’s seeking God as his “one thing” and he also brings his concerns to God. He doesn’t just sit around humming a mantra–some phrase over and over again to clear his mind. He’s not in denial. He faces reality and says, “God, help me. I’m focusing on you. I’m seeking you. I expect you’ll help me with these very real things.”
Seeking God or Him being our “one thing” doesn’t mean we aren’t focused on other things.
David closes the Psalm with,
13I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.
It seems he doesn’t really expect instant answers. He knows he’ll need to be strong and take courage. In the Amplified Bible, the wording is,
13[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
14Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
In The Message, it’s:
13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.
The word “wait” in the Hebrew is: qavah. It means:
“gather together, look, patiently, tarry, wait for, on, upon A primitive root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting), i.e. Collect; (figuratively) to expect — gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).” http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/6960.htm
I like this aspect: “to bind together (perhaps by twisting)”. At times, it feels like we’re being twisted in knots as fluctuating emotions assail us. “Yes, Lord, I’m confident. But you are going to take care of my enemies, right? I’m seeking you, Lord, but it feels like I can’t see your face. I’m hoping and waiting, but my heart seems weak. Help!”
(Remember, our “enemies” can be things like pain, disappointment, discontentment, angry tendencies–anything that makes us not want to abide in Christ. For us, it’s not just an enemy who is trying to kill us like it was with David. It’s people or circumstances or temptations).
Maybe another aspect of “twisting” is when a rope has more and more strands twisted together, it gets stronger and stronger. The more you and I affirm our faith, hope and trust in God, the stronger our ability to wait upon Him grows. We’re being twisted but each time we keep our hope we are less likely to turn away the next time.
Of course, Satan is ready in an instant to accuse. “Wow! Look at your fluctuating faith. You are so weak. No wonder the Lord has turned His face from you. If your faith were perfectly strong, you’d get the answer to your prayer.”
That’s a lie from the Evil One. God doesn’t turn away from David and He won’t turn away from us. We are His children and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. We can bank on that.
I confess my faith is being twisted by pain and wanting it to end. I cry, “How long, Lord?” Yes, there’s been progress but pain is pain. And still not being able to sit at my desk is disappointing. And wonder if I never can?
Then I must focus on the truth: God is good (as verse 13 says) and I am living in His goodness even in these circumstances. He knows His plan for my good and His glory.
How is your faith being twisted today? Does your faith fluctuate? It’s all right. God understands. And He will be faithful to deliver you as he did David.