Saturday, January 25, 2014

Claiming Psalm 73

Dear Heavenly Father,
This morning I come before you humbled. How foolish and wayward has my heart been? You know all too well. I have claimed your rest with my tongue but failed to claim it in the depths of my spirit. My words have spoken of your faithfulness and goodness but my heart has questioned your steadfast devotion and unfailing love. 
My small, pitiful faith has never been hidden from you. There is no corner far enough away from your all-seeing eye. At my worst you have seen me. You know my heart. 
God, this morning I cling to the words of Psalm 73, making them my own. The Psalmist writes, "But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold." I, too, Lord have slipped and stumbled. I have known in my mind how good you are yet my faith has been weak. I have looked upon the lives of the godless who seem to live in carefree bliss. I have envied them. I have longed to be freed from my own suffering and loneliness. I have cried out for a companion. I have cried out for restored health. I have cried out for direction, a road map to tell me where to step next. When I haven't heard your voice, received full healing or been surrounded by a company of friends, I have lost my peace and rest in you. My heart has grown anxious. I have lost my joy. My heart has grasped despair and grief instead of peace and rest. 
Oh Lord, my flesh is so weak. I am prone to want something in this world that I can grab hold of and cling to. All the while you sit in heaven, desiring that I cling to you and give you my full attention and devotion. You don't want my rest to depend on answered prayer. You want my rest to be dependent on the one who hears my prayer. Because you always hear my prayers and you are never ignorant of my heart's desires. 
First and foremost, above all else, you know that my desire is to know you more deeply. God, because you know this you are allowing me to be isolated from the world, set apart, so that I can become more intimate with you. You are fulfilling my heart's desire. 
You know that there are moments I see what the world has and I am tempted. I want what they appear to be enjoying. But you know that those pleasures are fleeting. The greatest pleasure, the ultimate joy comes from knowing you at the deepest level. 
"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge" (Psalm 73:28)
Father, forgive me for the moments my faith shakes and stumbles. Forgive me for seeking joy and peace in the offerings of this world and human relationship. Renew my spirit, refresh my longing for you and give me a thirst that only you can satisfy. Set me apart that I may know you more. If I need to be isolated from the world in order that I may hear your voice more clearly then so be it, Lord. You alone are my heart's desire. You alone are my refuge. Lord, capture my spirit, take residence in my heart and fill me with your rest, joy and peace, for your glory and your name's sake. 

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