Sunday, September 21, 2008


Here is my life-goal: to be able to read Psalm 27 and say every word with conviction, especially this part:
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

4 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.

5 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.

I've been reading I & II Samuel, and I am so struck by the complete trust that David displays. I don't mean to imply that David never feared or faltered, but time and again he acts, risking everything, in complete trust. His faith is completely real and practical. For instance, he consults G-d about military decisions (ex. II Sam. 5:17-25), and unhesitatingly takes the answers he gets as clear and trustworthy. I want to have that kind of radical abandonment to G-d's sovereignty, and that kind of clarity when I seek His will.

I want it so badly because I don't have it now. So often I catch myself thinking of praying as a self-help deal, or as a bonding exercise, or a good habit to teach kids, or as a demonstration of belief, when really it is a direct appeal to the Almighty, which, regardless of how the pray-ers feel during or after the prayer, has unfathomable capacity to invite G-d's intervention. When I pray, I don't often get a definitive-feeling answer--certainly nothing as concrete as the replies David gets. When I feel like I'm risking something, I don't have the rock-hard conviction that David expresses in this psalm. And I want that.

I want to feel and live consistently with what I say I believe.

But for now, I'm going to memorize the psalm.

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