The Lord is my strength and shield

Just recently I have been studying some of the Psalms, with the help of a big hefty devotional commentary.  It goes through the whole Bible in a year, and has some really meaty insight too, which is good.  Today’s theme, and actually a recurring one over the last few days, has been trusting in the Lord during times of trouble.  David, while on the run from Saul, persecuted, hunted, betrayed, attacked, always remained confident that no matter what happened that God would protect him and achieve His purpose in David’s life.  Today in particular I read of how David was hiding in a cave, and Saul his enemy happened to wander in on his own to relieve himself.  There was an ideal opportunity to kill Saul and take the throne, or so David’s followers though.  But no, David knew that doing wrong was not the way to become king.  God had promised that David would sit on the throne, and as such David didn’t have to worry about forcing that to happen – God was in control and would bring about his intended purpose in his own time and in his own way.

This is actually quite relevant for me at the moment.  In only a few weeks’ time I shall be getting married, moving into a new house, paying a new set of bills.  The responsibility of having to provide financially for the two of us has weighed heavily on my mind recently, to the extent that I even started looking for a new job that would bring me more money.  What I’ve been reminded of this morning is that actually my current job is one that God gave me, and to go looking for something better is to imply that God’s gift isn’t good enough.  God knows I need to pay the bills, God knows that I can’t provide for Ellie and myself without money, and I must trust that God will see to it that those needs are met, one way or the other.  Of course that doesn’t mean I can just sit back and expect all the work to be done for me, but neither does it mean I have to take on the whole responsibility myself and not let God work in my life.

Can I afford to get married?  Probably.  Can I afford to pay for Ellie and I to live in a house after that?  I hope so.  And that is not a half-hearted hope any more, but a secure hope in something certain – that God loves us.  God will not desert us in our time of need.

It puts all sorts of things into perspective, thinking this way.  I have long been excited about the whole concept of wedding presents, making a long list of all the things we’d like to have.  Sure, some of them are things we will certainly need, but a lot of them are just nice things.  Things.  Objects.  Possessions.  Living my life for God doesn’t mean I reject all earthly things, but that I keep them in the proper perspective – they are just things, and are effectively worthless, regardless of how much we pay for them.

So, can I afford to live?  I have every confidence that God will not fail us on this count.  All my income comes from the Church, which means that God is paying my salary, which means God knows how much money I have coming in and how much I need to spend.  If I can’t afford it, maybe that’s a good indication that God doesn’t need me to have it right now!  I would love to have a new computer, a new guitar, a new guitar amp, and money to spend making my Mini go faster, but those things clearly aren’t important right now.  Right now what’s important is that I need to actively trust in God for my immediate future, to trust that my needs will be met, somehow, and that I have no need to fear.  Only yesterday I had a phone call from another church asking for a web site.  God really does have a sense of humour!  And I trust him because of that.

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