Author: Sallie Ross
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 116:7-9
Rest, here, is footnoted as “a state of unthreatened well-being”. It is not implying that the world is safe, that faith is unchallenged, or that human or even spiritual resistance has fallen by the wayside. What is said, instead, is that the soul may rest because the of the Lord’s goodness. It is not a matter of the world being in the right posture; it is a matter of the heart of the Father.
Psalm 62 begins with the words: “My soul finds rest in God alone.” Jesus knew this as He walked this earth; how often we read of Him tucked away with the Father. We know the words, but how often our lives are lived out in frantic opposition to this? Where else do we look?
The psalmist continues by listing the wonderful and tender things God has done for us: “Delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,” so I can be alive, not cry and not fall? No, so “that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
To walk before the Lord is to be in the stance in which we were created to be. As we see by our Lord’s life, to walk before the Lord will not always put us in safe places, but we will be with Him. To walk before the Lord will not guarantee success or prosperity, but there will be an incomparable steadiness of spirit in which true Life will flow.
–Lord God, my soul does find rest in you alone. But so often the rest is found and then forfeited in pursuit of a seemingly greater glory. Turn my eyes to Jesus. Let me look at His earthly walk as a model. He was forever seeking to be with You—so much so that He was willing to go to the cross. I want to walk before You in righteousness; I have no righteousness of my own. In this week as I remember your journey, may I have your strength to stand at the foot of the cross and receive the righteousness that was poured out for me.
How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? Psalm 116:12
Grace is unmerited favor, and in some ways it drives us nuts! It drives us nuts in that there is no way that we can repay it; we don’t have anything comparable to offer.
But as we walk through this week, as we look at our Lord and know what is soon to happen to Him—willingly– we can begin to see how we might repay our Father.
The word to be dealt with here is “willingly”. How can we repay God? We can yield our wills to Him. We know, we really do, the things that He is asking of us. Sometimes we may allow life to get very loud when He begins to make requests of us, and so we might miss the specifics. But even the increase of activity and volume indicates to us that He is speaking, and we are not yielding.
Often we land on the ten commandments, take them one step at a time, and really feel pretty good about our accomplishments. But it is more. It is about the posture of our hearts as we love Him; it is about the generosity of spirit that we offer or withhold; it is not just about the words we don’t say–careful not to dishonor God–it is the words we hold back when they could have carried life for another. It is not only about what we are called not to do; it is also about what we are called to do.
How can we repay the Lord? We must come before Him; we must let Him fill our vision, that our hearts and our minds might be changed from self to other. We must remain with Him, noticing His signature on our lives, hearing His whisper as He calls us forth. How can we repay the Lord? We must be His and no one else’s–willfully, daily. And life will open in more wonder and fill us with more awe and delight than we ever could ask or imagine.
–Father, I tend to say “no way could I repay You!” and stop there. Forgive me. Let me give my life, pouring myself out for You; I learn how by watching You. Let me meditate day and night on your goodness–the goodness that gives me life. That the goodness I see would move my heart to serve You alone. Lord, hear my prayer.