A man has to make his try, and when that didn’t work he had to try something else. Try and keep trying. Endure, and try again.”
–Elmer Kelton (The Time It Never Rained)
“Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”
–Romans 13:11 (HCSB)
One of the most important things we can do is be honest before the Lord. Why people try to hide things from the Lord is beyond me. There is that one luminous word–omniscience. God knows everything. A sinner might even try to use it for an excuse. “Well, the Lord knows my heart,” he might say. That is surely true, even the things hidden in the heart. Even when the heart doesn’t even know itself.
This week we take a look at the first part of Psalm 17 (HCSB).
1 Lord, hear a just cause; pay attention to my cry; listen to my prayer—from lips free of deceit.
2 Let my vindication come from You, for You see what is right.
3 You have tested my heart; You have examined me at night. You have tried me and found nothing evil; I have determined that my mouth will not sin.
4 Concerning what people do: by the word of Your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5 My steps are on Your paths; my feet have not slipped.
6 I call on You, God, because You will answer me; listen closely to me; hear what I say.
7 Display the wonders of Your faithful love, Savior of all who seek refuge from those who rebel against Your right hand.
8 Protect me as the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
We worry about things that we cannot see; about those who reside over the mountain and we hear they are coming to get us. David proclaims that God is our protector. If so, why don’t we let Him protect us? W. Graham Scroggie said, “He who is heard, held, and hidden by the Lord need not fear the fiercest foe.” Worry, worry, worry, and what does it get us? Ulcers, high blood pressure, fitful nights with poor sleep, unrest, unsettlement.
I remember back in the winter of 1971. I was recently married and two things loomed ahead of me going into 1972: graduation and the draft. Vietnam was still raging in 1972, the last large year, of course we did’t know it at the time. Annie and I talked and I went down and enlisted in the Air Force in February of that year and would be heading to basic training right after graduation. I had been taught that I could trust in the Lord to take care of me. If He couldn’t take care of me in Vietnam, He couldn’t take care of me crossing the street in the good ol’ USA.
It is important, however, that we stay on His paths. That we walk according to His will. He will not slumber and He will order our steps. God desires one thing from us–total commitment. He does not expect perfection for He knows our heart, and our inclination, but He does want obedience to His Word. I did not have to have a tour of duty in Vietnam, I was fortunate, but it was all in God’s hands.
“Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth;
Shelters thee under his wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desire e’er have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?”
Today in the Texas Revolution: Fannin, commander at Goliad, receives Travis’ plea for help.