Wednesday, March 23, 2011
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
so that those who love your name may exult in you
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover them with favour as with a shield.
- Psalm 5 (excerpt)
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 147:1-11 (excerpt)
Laying requests before God, waiting in expectation, bowing down in reverence, taking refuge, singing praises to our God, making music to our God, putting our hope in God’s unfailing love…
According to Psalms 5 and 147:1-11 these are the ways of the righteous… the ways that bring joy to God. These are also the actions that are put on the backburner when I get busy, which is most of the time. How about you? This realization has made me rethink the composition of my “enemies.”
Psalm 5:8 reads: “Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies – make your way straight before me.”
Are our enemies those things, situations, programs, meetings, and events that distract us from God’s way… causing us to (need to) pray this very prayer? I know that these same programs, meetings, and events (and assignments, might I add) are often being done “in the name of Jesus,” but when they begin to take up so much time that they prevent and distract us from prayer, praise, worship, and communion with God, they are moving into the realm of becoming enemies!
Therefore, this Lenten season, let us recommit to overcoming our enemies, “in the name of Jesus,” and let us prioritize the ways that please God to the top of our to-do lists. David often reminds us that he faithfully communed with God “in the morning.” That is a sure way to beat the enemies of the day, but that is only a starting point. It is to our benefit to recommit to even more communion with God, which means less programs, meetings, events, etc. (I think assignments are out of our hands). Limit those distractions you can limit, and increase your time with God, and you will be refreshed, renewed, and according to Psalm 5:11 (NIV), you will “be glad” you did!
Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder that our enemies are not always flesh and blood, but they are often those very activities that distract us for seeking and worshipping You! You are more than worthy of our praise, our worship, and our time. You reward those who diligently seek You… not those who can do the most work in Your name. Continue to lead us in your righteousness, because of our enemies… make Your way straight before us. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen!
Veronica M. Johnson is in her third year at McCormick. She is a wife (Curtis), mother (Curtis, II and Vanessa), entrepreneur, and an educational assistant (EA). As a member of Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland (Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr., pastor), Veronica aspires to become an ordained minister and a seminary professor.