I encountered some verses in Psalm 16 this morning that got my attention for they seemed to ask me: “Do you always start the day with God before you?”
I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope…. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (8,9,11)
When I asked myself that question, I confess that I didn’t like the awkward silence that followed. All too often I feel as if I am out in front, taking the lead and hoping that God can keep up. It’s silly, I know, but maybe you do the same thing from time to time? So here are a few initial thoughts on the question of what does it mean to set the LORD before me – always?
- It is something that I chose to do. “I have set” implies a conscious decision to place God out in front, to be intentional about my focus in life. “I know who goes before me” should be more than an inspiring song lyric. It should redefine how we approach every moment of every day.
- It is something I must continually do. Setting the Lord before me is not a one-time event. It is not something I do at the point of conversion that can then be forgotten or placed into the Salvation Box as having been completed once and for all. Although my position as his child may be eternally secure, my focus on Him must be renewed day by day.
- It is acknowledging what should already be my reality. He has said, “Come, follow me.” I cannot follow Him when I am out in front of Him. He is the Good Shepherd, leading me beside still waters, intent on restoring my soul. Yet, on all too many days, I insist on finding my own way – and fail to find the “path of life” and “pleasures” he longs to give.
- It positions me to live a life of abundant faith each day. When my focus is fixed on Him, I find it easier to believe that “because He is at my right hand, I shall never be moved.” It is far more difficult to believe that “with God, all things are possible” when I’ve left him behind somewhere along the trail. At those times, I feel like the overconfident child who wanders away from his Father on the trail because he think he can handle whatever he encounters on his own. Inevitably, I encounter something unexpected, scream like a little girl, and start running through the woods in panic.
- I expect to see Him on the daily journey. “You will show me the path of life.” When I set Him before me each day, I expect to see Him leading me as He chooses. No longer am I trying to carve out a path of my own through life’s challenges. No longer am I trying to summon up the strength to make it through whatever difficulties I face. Because my eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, I find my strength in following Him, seeking His direction in quietness and trust instead of charging off on my own.
The end result of always setting God in front of me is gladness and joy. “Therefore my heart is glad… in your presence is fullness of joy.” How often do I forego that satisfaction and fulfillment because O am trying to lead rather than letting the Almighty carve out my path each day. How many bruises, blisters, and wounds – both to myself and others – might I avoid if only I always set Him before me.
Just something to think about on this journey to live a life of abundant faith.
Do you struggle to set God before you each day? What tips have you learned to help you keep your faith focused on Him throughout a busy day? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
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