Ordering the desires of our heart

Psalm 27

When we face turmoil in our life what symptoms do we display?  Does our mind go into overdrive?  Do we lose focus on what our priorities should be?  Perhaps we have physical reactions such as headaches, feeling sick or becoming overtaken by tiredness.  We could find that we have a spiritual reaction, it may be difficult to pray, we want to withdraw from worship, we start self-blaming.  One of the bible teachers I find particularly helpful, in both his writing and talks placed on Youtube, is Tim Keller.  He uses the phrase ordering the desires of our heart.*  This is a conscious act, in Psalm 27 David goes through this process.

In a time of darkness he sees the Lord as his light. ‘The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear?’ v1  It is easy to get lost in darkness but to him the Lord is light and draws him towards it and that gives him confidence. v3 

David has learnt that spiritually he needs to remain in the presence of the Lord and if that seems distant he must seek after it.  ‘One thing I ask from the Lord, and this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.’ v4  Jesus made this promise to his disciples about remaining in the intimate presence of God, ‘As my Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.’ John 15.9  While in the presence of the Lord, David can worship and seek understanding. v5

David has learnt the power of praise when surrounded by difficulties.  ‘I will sing and make melody to the Lord.’ v6  Paul and Silas grasped this when they were in prison having been flogged and their feet placed in stocks, they volubly prayed and praised God, and then an earthquake freed them from their bonds. Acts 26.26,27 

As David remains in the presence of God his desire turns to learning from God as this will guide him. vv 7-12 

Waiting on the Lord v14 is not a passive resignation, it is an active expression of confident hope.  The word translated ‘wait’ in the ESV in psalm 25 is translated ‘hope’ in the NIV.  Putting the two words together conveys a positive action in the same way Paul urged Titus to, ‘wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ Titus 2,13

David then, ordered his desires: he turned to the light of the Lord and chose to remain in his presence.  There he offered a sacrifice of praise and learnt from him placing his hope in God his Saviour.

Great is the darkness: (Come Lord Jesus)

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