Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
“He’s making a list and checking it twice…” We hear this and other secular songs loudly playing over our dizzy heads as we buy everything from milk to clothing. The music seems to lure us into those impulse buys that will either sit on a shelf with the elf or be consumed as useless calories. (Not boasting, but I am a professional in this area of life.)
“Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…” The world tells kids to behave well because Santa is watching. This tool of discipline has been around since the invention of the mythical character, Santa Clause. But did you know the real St Nicholas did his deeds in the dark of night to help the poor, without being seen, so only the God he adored would get credit? He loved Jesus and wanted to please HIM! Wait, what? Yeah, how many know THAT part of the story? (I strongly suggest reading, “Santa, Are You for Real” to kids…and to grownups who have not quite, well, grown up!)
Sometimes we treat God like the mythical Santa. We make a list and give it to him each day. We think He checks it over and delivers what we ask IF we are good. We assume we are bad if He does not deliver exactly all we asked for on the list. This is a very immature way to look at an all powerful, all knowing, gracious and loving Father who protects and provides for our real needs as He sees them. He created us. He knows what is best for us. Our part is to trust and obey what God has invited us to be and do. God is looking all over the earth to see whose hearts are completely His. (Chronicles)
“Do for God what you said you’d do–
He is, after all, your God.”
When we say yes to God, our Father, we need to do our best, with joy and enthusiasm, knowing God will help us, so that others will know and follow Him, too. It’s not about us. God doesn’t even need us but He invites us along for the ride of a lifetime. Our work is for HIS glory and our maturity. Our goal is for God’s glory to be seen in us when we do what we told God we would do.
God cares enough for us to watch over us when we do it! Those who care are there. God cares more than we know.
“Let everyone in town bring offerings to the One who Watches our every move.”
This can be good and better, never bad. Knowing that we are doing a work to please God first and always, instead of pleasing ourselves and other humans around us makes us do more than is expected and be more than is required. And what does God require of us? Reminder:
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8, NIV)
ON ANOTHER NOTE…
Sometimes in our zealousness to serve and be known as God’s person, we say yes to God AND to all the activities humans put in front of us without asking God if that is what He wants us to do. Then we wonder why we get frazzled and winded. One of Satan’s greatest tools of evil is to strike a too busy, tired person with all kinds of temptations. When we say yes to many things, more than what God has asked of us, our “self inflicted yoke” becomes to heavy to bear. We are tired all over. We are weak. The foe strikes and can tear down all the good in one fatal blow. We begin to do many things with half effort because we have too much on our plate. It has taken me a lot of years to learn to do a FEW things, God ordained things, really well. That is HIS assignment. Jesus comes to the rescue with good sound teaching:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)
Did you get that? HIS yoke is EASY. HIS burden/work given to us, LIGHT! Joy of His salvation restored!
Yes, God is always there watching us to help us. He is God and we are not. We need Him every hour!
“Nobody gets by with anything, no one plays fast and loose with him. (God).”
This is a good thing. Knowing God is watching over us, helping us, keeping our wild and crazy minds focused is a benefit not a punishment.
Psalm 76, The Message
An Asaph Psalm
1-3 God is well-known in Judah;
in Israel, he’s a household name.
He keeps a house in Salem,
his own suite of rooms in Zion.
That’s where, using arrows for kindling,
he made a bonfire of weapons of war.
4-6 Oh, how bright you shine!
Outshining their huge piles of loot!
The warriors were plundered
and left there impotent.
And now there’s nothing to them,
nothing to show for their swagger and threats.
Your sudden roar, God of Jacob,
knocked the wind out of horse and rider.
7-10 Fierce you are, and fearsome!
Who can stand up to your rising anger?
From heaven you thunder judgment;
earth falls to her knees and holds her breath.
God stands tall and makes things right,
he saves all the wretched on earth.
Instead of smoldering rage—God-praise!
All that sputtering rage—now a garland for God!
11-12 Do for God what you said you’d do—
he is, after all, your God.
Let everyone in town bring offerings
to the One Who Watches our every move.
Nobody gets by with anything,
no one plays fast and loose with him.
Is God shaking His head right now at all we have on our plate? How can we remedy the situation?
Do you believe in the One Who Watches our every move with love and care? If not, why not?
Healthy fear of the Father is wanting to do exactly what God has asked so that He is praised and adored. If we believe in the Father of Creation and the work of His One and Only Son who paid for our sin, how can we tell someone else of the benefits of a loving Father who watches over us?
Do you believe in the one called Satan?
Some think he is also a mythical character, but his real and alive. His work is to be in direct opposition to all the God is and all that God does. Be aware, alert but do not glorify him with half effort and disobedience to God the Father. Our temptation thoughts to do things for self praise come from him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You make all things right and good. You watch over us with care. Nothing gets by You. You save us. You correct us. You love us beyond our wildest and highest thinking. It is You we praise and adore. It is you we turn to always. Continue to help us be at our best doing our best for You. Our lives are in your hands. Put your message on our lips. Yes, and Amen.
In Jesus Name, Amen