Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Complete Life

Recently, I've been memorizing and meditating on Psalm 34.  It has a lot to say about the benefits of fearing the Lord and His care for the righteous.  So I'd like to share some insights God gave me from the middle of the chapter.  Verses 8-10 say, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!  Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!  The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." 
It's quite a statement that we will lack nothing!  What a wonderful thing, but does it really mean what it sounds like?  I want a lot of things.  And for the most part, they're good things.  At least that's what I think.  God has the power to give me all of them, but He doesn't.  I know in theory that He knows what's really good for me and that some of the things I want are not good, just like parents know better than their children.  But can I believe that there is no good thing I lack?  Listen to Psalm 84:11.  "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor.  No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly."  So not only will we lack nothing, but God has promised He will not keep back any good thing from us when we fear Him!  And Psalm 23 says, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." 

What God is helping me to understand is, first, that the more I taste, meaning personally experience, of Him, the more I will discover that He is the source and the essence of all good, and that He is all the good I will ever need.  Secondly, God created me.  He knows what is good for me, even more than a parent knows what is best for their child.  He has wisdom without limits!  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

My heavenly Father knows what is truly good for me.  He knows that many of the "good" things I want for myself are actually dangerous to me because they will distract me or drive a wedge in my relationship with Him.  If all the good I need comes from Him, then anything that steals my attention away from Him is destructive to my soul.  Basically, if I fear the Lord, meaning I love, worship, adore, trust, and obey Him over everyone and everything else, then I have in Him all I need for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)  If there is something else I think I need that God chooses not to give me, and I won't let go of it, I'm fearing (worshipping and requiring) that thing over God. 

So I don't think our focus is supposed to be on the question of whether or not we can trust God to give us every good thing.  I think the real question is, do you fear God?  Who or what are you worshipping today? 

I leave you with one final thought from the Word of God.  Psalm 16 expresses the heart of a man who fears the Lord and has found the fullness of life in Him.  Listen to verses 1 and 2.  "Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.  I say to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.'"
And verse 11 is one I have long loved; it tells us the results of a life that is utterly dependent on the Lord...."You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."