PSALM 17:7-8: “Reveal your miraculous deeds of mercy, O Savior of those who find refuge by your side from those who attack them. Guard me as if I were the pupil in your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Can I ever be too close to God? David cries out for intimacy with the Lord and protection from his enemies. He throws himself upon the mercy of God his Savior. He wants to abide by His side. He wants to be so close to the Lord that, if possible, he could be the pupil in the Lord’s eye, the very center of His will. He runs to hide in the shadow of the mighty wings of Jehovah. David knew the place of safety and refuge. David knew that he could never be too close to God!
There are many times in my life when I have felt that God was not present. I would pray and not receive an answer. I would read the Bible and not hear His voice. I would worship and not sense His presence. I felt like I was in the middle of a dry desert land, far from abiding under the shadow of His wings. I would cry out – “Lord, where are you?” Had God forsaken me? Had I failed so miserably that He had rejected me? If you read the book of Psalms you will find that David also experienced these times when God seemed distant. And in all of them, I have learned, as did David, that when God seems distant – God never moved, it is I who have moved.
Drift in life happens. This is why David continually cried out to the Lord for revelation regarding his condition. Listen to some of David’s prayers…
- “Let my soul have new life so that it can praise you. Let your regulations help me. I have wandered away like a lost lamb. Search for me, because I have never forgotten your commandments.” (Psalms 119:175-176 GW)
- “Examine me, O God, and know my mind. Test me, and know my thoughts. See whether I am on an evil path. Then lead me on the everlasting path.” (Psalms 139:23-24 GW)
David knew that it was easy to drift away from the center of God’s will. It is not always an act of rebellion or sin that causes us to drift away from God. Many times it is simply the cares of this life, the limitations of our human condition, or our penchant to rely on our own wisdom or experience. God allows us to experience the desert – so we will desire the rivers of life. It is the desert experiences that call us back to the Good Shepherd who alone can lead us beside still waters, who can cause us to graze upon green pastures, who can restore our souls.
To live in the center of God’s presence and will has become my deepest desire. Am I always there? No! Do I drift away at times, not knowing I am growing distant, until I sense that once again I am in the desert? Yes! Yet, I have learned to quickly repent. I am learning, like David, to quickly call upon the Lord. I run to His Word. I open my heart. I cry out with all sincerity, as David cried – “Examine me, O God, and know my mind. Test me, and know my thoughts. See whether I am on an evil (desert) path. Then lead me on the everlasting path!”
When I do this God always answers this prayer. He is my Good Shepherd! He is my provider and protector!
- “The LORD is my shepherd. I am never in need. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside peaceful waters. He renews my soul. He guides me along the paths of righteousness for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because you are with me, I fear no harm. Your rod and your staff give me courage. You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD’s house for days without end.” Psalms 23:1-6 GW
In Jesus Name!