A Prayer

“Good God, what a mighty felicity is this to which we are called! How graciously Thou hast joined our duty and happiness together, and prescribed that for our work, the performance whereof is a great reward! And shall such silly worms be advanced to so great a height? Wilt Thou allow us to raise our eyes to Thee? Wilt Thou admit and accept our affection? Shall we receive the impression of Thy divine excellencies by beholding and admiring them, and partake of Thy infinite blessedness and glory by loving Thee and rejoicing in them? Oh, the happiness of those souls that have broken the fetters of self-love, and disentangled their affection from ever narrow and particular good; whose understandings are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and their wills enlarged to the extent of Thine; who love Thee above all things, and all mankind for Thy sake!

“I am persuaded, O God, I am persuaded that I can never be happy till my carnal and corrupt affections are mortified, and the pride and vanity  of my spirit are subdued, and till I come seriously to despise the world and think nothing of myself. But, Oh, when shall it be! Oh, when wilt Thou come unto me and satisfy my soul with Thy likeness, making me holy as Thou art holy, even in all manner of conversation! Hast Thou given me a prospect of so great a felicity, and wilt Thou not bring me unto it? Hast Thou excited these desires in my soul, and wilt Thou not also satisfy them? Oh, teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy Spirit is good; lead me unto the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake, and perfect that which concerns me. Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever; forsake not the work of Thine own hands.”

Henry Scougal (1650-1678)

O’ Lord, make this prayer my own, and please answer it according to Your faithfulness. The words, needs, and desires that were true for this faithful saint are true for me as well. I need You Lord, I need You above all worldly treasures, may I desire You more than the trivial things of life. Free me of my own self love, my own self-centeredness and conceit that only keeps me from loving others as I ought, and more importantly keeps me from loving You as I ought. You have given much more than I could ever speak, and blessed me much more than I could ever deserve. I am a man truly in awe of You, Your love, and Your grace. Transform me Lord…In Your Son Jesus’ name I pray….Amen

There is no escape…

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
(Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)

As I was meditating on Psalm 139, these verses struck me. As a child of God, it ought to be such a joy and a comfort to know that there is no place we can go that is away from the presence of God. I think generally we all know this in principle, or have a general head knowledge that this is true, yet I don’t know that we live as if it is. If we do get it, I don’t know that we actually take joy in it. I think there are times where we wish we could escape the presence of an all knowing God.(yes that sentence is a bit ridiculous, but aren’t we ridiculous sometimes in our walk with God?)

Many times I think we want to “make our bed in Sheol”. Even if it isn’t a conscious decision on our part to do that, that is precisely where we’ve ended up! The great thing though, is that even in that place, God is there. Many times in our walks with God, we’ve tried to flee as far away from God as we could. God would not allow that to happen. Many times we try to hide in the darkness, so that others cannot see our sin. Yet there, God is still present. Not only is He there, He is not hindered, for “even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Many times I think it is in these periods of darkness, or our periods of trying to flee from the presence of God that His light shines the brightest, as He draws us back, and even closer to Him.

God’s presence, God’s love, God’s grace, isn’t a burden. It shouldn’t scare us, it should bring us joy. We should delight in it! How do we not find joy in the fact that God is holding us, God is caring for us, God is loving us?!?!

Stop fleeing from God, stop trying to hide from God, perhaps I should even say, stop trying to make God love you. If you are His, he already does, and He is with you right where you are. Receive Him… Receive His love. Let Him hold you, let Him lay His hand upon you(v.5)…

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

(Psalm 139:13-18 ESV)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits…

What I am meditating on as Easter approaches…

Job 14:14

“Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death.”

Psalm 130

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”