“Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; For I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; Save Your servant who trusts in You! Be merciful to me, O Lord, For I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; And attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me.”
Psalms 86:1-7 NKJV
Talking to God
I remember when I first began to talk to God. I tried to do it like all the others, more mature in the faith, who were around me, trying to speak to Him in formal, reverent tones.
I approached with a manufactured reverence, lacking any real passion. I was but a baby in the faith, and though I knew Him in my mind, my heart had not yet been convinced.
Then the breaking began.
Many small health struggles began to pile up, leading up to three weeks laying on my back at the Mayo Clinic, a tumor on my spine, a future in doubt, and a heart that had been shattered and made ready for the Lord.
In those days, I cried out to Jesus, loudly and often, seeking answers initially, as I demanded to know what was next. In my fear, the Lord met me, often in the early hours. In those moments of quiet, I learned to talk to God, taking my petitions to Him, conversationally, informally.
Throughout that time I thought of God with Adam, in the cool of the day, reflecting on the events, of all the new discoveries. God had become personal for me, for He was no longer a stranger, but an all powerful friend.
Psalm eighty six is like a templet for the follower of Jesus who desires to know God and call out to Him with heart of dependence. The psalm was likely penned by David, either when he was pursued by Saul, or perhaps Absalom.
From the moment I began to call upon from my heart, the fear that I had faded, and I was able to be still. I began to rejoice as I knew that the Lord was with me.
“Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works. All nations whom You have made Shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And shall glorify Your name. For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
Psalms 86:8-11 NKJV
Those quiet times, alone with the Lord, in the quiet the morning became a foundation for me. After my time of prayer, I would open my bible, and it was as if the very printed words, which previously had been stagnant and dead, became alive and leapt into my heart. The distance between mind and heart was shortened, as the word began living in me and transforming all of me.
I wanted to know His way, I wanted to have HIs heart, seeing all as He the Lord did. He rewarded me, and began clearing away the dross in my life, as he gutted the old me, making room for himself.
“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. O God, the proud have risen against me, And a mob of violent men have sought my life, And have not set You before them.”
Psalms 86:12-14 NKJV
In the aftermath of my first trial by fire, I couldn’t help but glorify the Lord in the midst of the congregation. I had become intimate with Him, and my life would never be the same, as His presence had changed all of me, from what I consumed in media, to music with which I listened and worshipped.
Brothers and sisters, we must talk to our God. Let us foster a familiarity with Him, for Jesus came to earth as one of us, God living with man, taking on the sins of the world, and then taking those sins to the cross. May we seek Him often, calling on Him, knowing that He is for us, even as the world is increasingly against us.
“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant. Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”
Psalms 86:15-17 NKJV
Let us glorify the Lord today, glorifying the One who is in the midst of our darkest days, and holds the promise of the greatest light that awaits in our eternity with Jesus.
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