Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You Have Taken Hold...

"Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel, You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:23-26

These verses really emphasize the power, pursuit, and persistence of God. They are beautiful because they reveal the weakness of man and the strength of God. God is continually with me not because I am living day in and day out keeping up with everything I ust do in order to stay in stride with Him. What the words do say, however, is that I am continually with Him because He has taken hold of my right hand and is leading me. It is God who has come after me and it is He who is not letting go--I am continually with Him!

And knowing that my hand is clasped with His, that this intimacy has been established by God Himself, do I go to Him for counsel? Do I have enough trust in God to know that if He has taken me by my hand, that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and that I am His child--in all these do I trust in His counsel? Do I trust that God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, breathing life into all things, desires to counsel me correctly, according to His will and good pleasure? Do I know that He is just and right all the time, even when it seems not to be in my favor? Fact is that the Lord does and will guide me with His counsel, but I must continually look to Him to trust that, to understand that, and not to resist that.

"Whom have I in heaven but You?" What a beautiful question that elicits such a simple response--no one. But it is the statement afterward, which lead to a question that may be much more difficult to answer. The question in response to that statement is "do I really desire nothing but You on this earth?" How many times do I try to let go of the hand of God and seek pleasure in the comforts of this world? How often do I attempt to grab meaningless things off the shelves of comfort and convenience with my left hand as I am walking with the Lord my God?

This is also a confession of my weakness and need for dependence. "My flesh and my heart fail." There is no secret to the fact that we are all sinners, that nobody is perfect. In my everyday living I fall short; my heart and my flesh are so weak, that is, apart from Christ. "By You I have been sustained from my birth" writes the Psalmist (71:6) and here I recognize that God is the strength of my heart; He is my portion forever! I can not deny that my life is engulfed in the power and majesty of my God. He is my hope; He is my confidence. He takes hold of my right hand; He guides me; He leads me. I am continually with Him; I rest in the shadow of His wings. He is my portion; He is my strength; He is my song!

Whom have I in heaven but You?

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