Monday, July 6, 2009

psalm 27

one thing i ask of the Lord...
i am a part of a house of prayer that is being built in redding, ca. part of our commitment of being involved is to spend time during the week in the particular passage of the Bible that we will be praying out of during our worship/prayer set. i was so happy when the leader of the set i am on let me know that we were focusing on psalm 27 this week! this particular psalm is so near and dear to my heart that i just had to share a little about it and its significance to me.

first of all, my Bible, a nasb version, has a title underneath the psalm number: a psalm of fearless trust in God. a psalm by david. i have struggled with fear so much in my life. there was a point in my life, as a child, where i was plagued by nightmares so much so that i would lay in bed, and by my mom's advice i would quote Bible passages about fear, sing worship songs to God, and "change the channel" in my mind of what i was thinking about. when i was 14 years old, two of my close teenage cousins died on new year's eve in a terrible car accident drowning in 6-8 inches of water. this, as well as many other deaths of classmates, friends, and loved ones, uncovered a fear of death as well that was always just below the surface. i also have struggled greatly with the fear of man (the approval and acceptance of people over the approval and acceptance of God). this last struggle was so great it was debilitating at times to even being comfortable in my own skin. i felt many times as if i was acting a role in a play about someone else and was afraid that if i took of the "mask" i put on, i would be rejected as soon as people knew who i really was inside.

fear in these areas, as well as others, was an incredible struggle. i longed for freedom from fear, and i would look to the Word of God to find hope of one day being free from the fear that sometimes felt like such bondage that it kept me awake at night and gave my mind no peace. i underlined every scripture i could find in the Bible that had to do with fear and overcoming fear. one passage that became very near to my heart was psalm 27, both for the reason of what it says in regards to overcoming fear and because its author, king david, successfully overcame this struggle in his life over the fear of death and the fear of man.

psalm 27 - niv
the Lord is my light and my salvation-- whom shall i fear? the Lord is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall i be afraid?
when evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will i be confident.
one thing i ask of the Lord, this is what i seek: that i may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
for in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will i sacrifice with shouts of joy; i will sing and make music to the Lord.
hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "seek His face!" your face, Lord, i will seek.
do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. do not reject me or forsake me, o God my Savior.
though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.
teach me your way, o Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.
i am still confident of this: i will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
how do i get this victory over fear? it is in the one thing. this is the journey i am on: to seek the face of God, to behold His beauty, to dwell in His house, and I will be forever changed. no matter what else happens - if i am attacked, rejected by those closest to me, if the very worst thing i can imagine really does come true i can be confident in the God i serve. there is no one else i can wait on in the worst of the worst to be faithful to me but this One; He promises that i will see His goodness in this life and what a peace that hope brings!

this psalm is so close to my heart that when i found out that i was having a second baby boy, (i have three boys now), i asked the Lord what his name was supposed to be. the Lord has just broken through a huge battle with the fear of death after my 1st son was born and we nearly lost him when he was only a couple hours old and i had some personal health scares at the same time. while i was praying over my soon to be baby's name, the Lord pointed me back to this psalm that i know by memory. He spoke to me in my mind, like a clear voice that i could hear inside but not with my physical ears, "the Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall i fear?" i thought of a hebrew boy's name i had heard of, uriah, and felt compelled to find out what it actually meant. when i looked it up, i found that uriah meant the Lord is my light. i knew that this baby was called to be have a fearless trust in God and he was to be my psalm 27 son - a constant reminder that the Lord had given me victory over the battle with fear and that i could trust in His promise to see His goodness in this life. so, i named my 2nd child after this psalm.


i know there is so much more i could share about the context of this psalm in the life of king david or about the meanings of some of the hebrew words that would make it come alive, but for now i will leave you with my story. we have an opportunity to chose to wait on a God who is faithful when no man is faithful. Jesus made a way for a relationship with the very Creator God of the universe who never lies though men may lie. we have a choice to look at our circumstances and be frozen fear or look to a God who said He would be our light and our salvation if we would only chose to live or Him instead of for ourselves. i choose this one thing of seeking Him today, and i will choose it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. He is the only hope i have in this life.

charis

6 comments:

suzanne mogensen said...

I like this. I never knew the story of Uriah's name. Very special.

scomom said...

I didn't know why you named him Uriah...which I love...but it certainly fits him. He is fearless...which also means you have to keep an eye on him!

Charis said...

yep! he is my psalm 27 child. thanks for commenting!

Momma Mary said...

fear. i too often sing worship songs to try and fall asleep. the dark hours of night tend to make my imagination run wild.
a really great Bible study i started at one point (still need to finish) is a study by the Mack's (a father and son team) called Fear Factor.
it has a LOT to do with the fear of man.
check it out. it is really deep.

Charis said...

thanks mary! it sounds like a good book - just found it on amazon. i would love to read it.

brandyrose said...

thank you for sharing this, charis; inspired me to go read that psalm :)

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