Thursday, July 15, 2010

Psalm 73: Rescue the Perishing

"For behold, those who are far from you shall perish." (v.27)

I was not designed
to be on my own
to author my own story
to compose my own rules
to live with me in the center.
I was not designed
to look for life outside of You
to treasure the creation
to love people, places and things
more than You.
I was not designed
to rely on my wisdom
to trust my imagination
to rely on my thoughts
to igonore Your revelation.
I was not designed
to follow the path of my craving
to be enslaved to my desires
to be ruled by my passions
more than I am by You.
I was not designed
to put created things in Your place
to look to the creation
to fulfill the longings
that only You can fulfill.
I was not designed
to live for the moment
to ignore what is forever
to covet what is belongs to others
forgetting I've been given You.
I was not designed
to question Your goodness
to bring you to the court of my judgment.
to be bitter in my assessment
of the things You do.
I was not designed
to let my heart fill with envy
to be constantly accounting
to be jealous and untrusting
instead of resting in You.
I was not designed
to forget Your right hand that holds me
to ignore your good counsel
to not see that You're with me
I will be in glory with You.
I was not designed
to think I am living
to ignore the evidence that I'm dying
to forget that we perish
when separate from You.
So I acknowledge this morning
it is good to be with You
to make you my sole refuge
to speak daily of your workings
Whom do I have but You?
I praise you for rescue
for always holding me near You
for owning my hearts desirings
My life is You.


At 1:05 AM, Blogger vicki johnson said...

Thank you for sharing such heartfelt words. It's kind of like you are still learning and growing. It's good to know that temporarily, we struggle in this "broken world" yet, brother, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we have hope. I was just thinking recently that because God chooses to grant you breath, you encourage many to go on to make the name of the Lord famous. I will pray for you that you will continue strong in ministry. You have been a source of growth for me and I have been blessed as you point out answers in the Word.
Gratefully, V. Johnson

At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Pete DeSanto said...

Did a teenage girl write this? Such drama!

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Robert Barnes said...

Paul, thank you, this a helpful, prayerful format for communicating these ideas. I look forward to tinkering with it a little and using it in our congregation's worship on Sunday.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Joshua said...

Paul, this was a powerful and thought-provoking post. The Lord challenged me through your words as I read read it through several times. I am a consumer in a world I did not create. But, as you encouraged us, I want to submit to the Lord and not despise His providence. Thank you for taking the time to blog and do the hard work of a faithful minister. Will you be continuing this psalm, or is that it for now? I'm also working through your new book on marriage and have found it clear, concise, extremely perceptive and making me in need of much grace! Thank you for your ministry.
Joshua Spacht, Grace Immanuel Bible Church, Jupiter, FL

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Joan said...

I am a pastors wife of 30 years, my husband died 2 years ago of Lukemia.My daughter gave me Shelter in the Time of Storm and Broken Down House. She said those books deeply encouraged her..mine are totally marked up, highlighted and underlined. My husband was my security and I did not realize how much I depended on Him until he was not here. You have reminded me of my source of Joy in Jesus and my comfort in Him as I walk this journey of grief..I desire to finish well like my hubby did. Thankyou for sharing truth from Gods word and reminding us that only by God's grace can we have Victory in this broken world. God has truly gifted you to communicate so that we can all understand God's plan. May God bless your family and ministry. Still held in his grip,Joani Reynertson

At 5:16 AM, Anonymous yohana said...

thank you for shared this powerful contemplation.

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At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Lori Ventola said...

I appreciate the intention here -- but it doesn't ring true. Was I really designed for God alone to meet all my needs, to fulfill all of the things he created me to be? I really think he designed me to interact with his creation, including other people and all the things he placed in my heart, to build something unique that fulfills my purpose and thereby glorifies him. Encouraging me to always "keep my eyes on him" doesn't help me to focus on the things he's given me to do and love the people he's given me to love. Thanks for letting me respond.

At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Responding to Lori, I once felt "me and God" was the whole deal but later came to realize I was using that position as a super-spiritual dodge to avoid the hard conversations that come with real God-honoring relationship. I hear what you are saying -- the horizontal relationships are important, both to us and to our Father. I think the key in Paul's meditation is his use of "more than." When the creation, God's people, relationships, etc. take God's place in our hearts, when we look to them to do what ONLY God can do, we often find ourselves unwittingly in bondage to the very things that were created for God's glory and the blessing of both others and ourselves.

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