The Practice of the Presence of God
Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” (NIV)
Satan loves a vacuum in our hearts, and when he finds one you can be assured that he will work havoc and chaos in our lives. Remember the words of Jesus about a man who had an evil spirit cast out of his heart, but nothing was done to replace it with spiritual power, and as a result the evil spirit plus seven more evil spirits returned to the man (Luke 11:24-26). Successful spiritual living requires that we be filled with the spirit if we are to live holy in this world (Ephesians 5:18). You can’t beat something with nothing, and if anything is true in the Christ-led life, it is that we can only share the abundance or overflow from our heart (1 Thessalonians 3:12, Romans 15:13). The simple spiritual truth is that our attitudes and our confidence must be controlled by our inner relationship with Jesus Christ, and not the changing circumstances of the world.
So when we come to Psalm 59, like many psalms before it, we must remember that the genesis of this psalm comes directly from a crisis in David’s life, when King Saul attempted to kill David by pinning him to a wall with a spear. Failing that, Saul sent men to watch David’s house so that he might kill him (1 Samuel 19). I have never been hunted as a fugitive, but we can all get a sense of the stress, fear, and discomfort that occurred in David’s life. It’s at times like these that if we have nothing of spiritual substance in our heart we will grow discouraged, fearful, and drop out of our godly walk. David did not choose this way, but he chose a better way, the best way. David made a decision to put God at the center piece of his thinking, communicating, and decision-making. His confidence in God was off the charts, and he negotiated this hazardous and difficult time of his life in confidence and peace that God’s strength would deliver him from any person, place, or thing.
In our devotional text, there are three tips of confident living for the believer that David practiced in his life:
1. David practiced the morning hour alone with his God. He says “I will sing of your strength in the morning…” Do you practice the morning hour as David did?
2. David practiced the presence of God by acknowledging God’s sufficient strength and great love for him personally. We all live in the moment, and in every moment we must be aware of God’s presence in our lives. Do you practice the awareness of God’s presence as David did? If you do, you will never be lonely, powerless, or helpless, regardless of where you are at and what you face.
3. David practiced turning to God in all trouble, change, and challenge that he faced in his daily life. There are key words to describe how David thought and how he acted, which include “fortress” and “refuge”. David was absolutely confident that if he called out to God, he would come with sufficient strength to address any obstacle David faced. Are you confident in God’s ability to be an ever present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)?
Unless we practice the spiritual life and develop godly habits in our lives, we will come undone when the storms rage. Please remember that the only place to be in the power of the storm is safe in the boat with Jesus (Luke 8:22-25).
FATHER, HELP ME TO PRACTICE THE DISCIPLINED SPIRITUAL LIFE EVERY DAY, SO THAT YOU MIGHT BUILD ME UP AS A FIT INSTRUMENT TO BE USED EFFECTIVELY AS A BEACON FOR OTHERS IN THE STORMS OF LIFE. AMEN!