His Journey to Ascent (Part 2)
Updated: Feb 19, 2019
Psalm 73:23 (ESV), "Nevertheless, I am continually with You; You hold my right hand."
Everyone had left for the day, the sanctuary was quiet. You could literally hear a pin drop. He was sitting on the front row of chairs staring at the stage. As he was sitting there, he was praying that his leadership would continue and his heart would strive every day to be closer, in word and deed, to His Savior. His mind went through all the issues with sound, the worship team and lyrics that developed that morning. He had many thoughts reflecting on how he fell short in love to others, his family and his efforts in ministry that week. He thanked the Lord for the privilege to serve, even when his heart and will wasn't always right where they needed to be. As he continued in prayer, tears of joy covered his face because he knew that in all his question marks, God erased each one of them, sitting in His presence.
Asaph, our worship leader, singer and poet, had many questions concerning the wicked being prosperous and his current disappointments in ministry. However, in verse 17, of Psalm 73, (ESV), it says, "until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." When Asaph entered into God's sanctuary, he entered a place in his heart where all of his questions ended because they were explained by a Mighty God. The word "sanctuary" in this passage doesn't mean a building or church room. God resides in our hearts as believers, which tells us how important it is to stay in truth and abide in Him.
Many scriptures referenence our hearts. Matthew 15:18 (NIV), says, "But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them." Also Luke 6:45 (NIV) says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Love these scriptures because it hits on the ’infamous heart problem.’ Are we protecting what is entering our minds? What our eyes see? Who and what we centralize our conversations? Be sure of this, our enemy is looking for those to devour, distract, ruin, etc., so be alert, but most importantly, be absorbed in the things that reflect God.
I am a thinker. I tend to analyze everything and many times go to the negative instantly. Recently since my mom has passed, I‘ve noticed just how frequently I do this. I have been making more efforts to recognize and replace, turn and walk away, my thoughts and conversations to change and be centered on the characteristics of Christ. For instance, if an event arises in my life that overwhelms me, I think of a promise God completed in scripture. It took a while, but I listed all of those promises I have researched and found in God’s Word, on my IPhone under the notes app. I am now a ‘frequent flyer’ on this thing, but slowly I’m changing, slowly but surely Christ is changing me.
Many of us live between Psalm 73, verses 2-16. We never experience an awakening because we don't spend time dwelling in the presence of God, reading His Words, living life with fellow believers, and gaining an understanding of who He is. But when we enter His sanctuary, when our hearts gain an understanding of His greatness, it's there that a marked moment happens which creates a turning point in our lives.
Asaph goes on to say that even when he was his worst...like a brutal beast before the Lord, nevertheless, God was with him! Despite his inconsistencies, despite his questions and disrespect, despite his anger; God never left. Yes, God Never Left! What a beautiful picture of grace and unconditional love that only God can give.
Psalm 73:23-25 also shows us a Faithful God, always completing His promises. These past few weeks I have been involved in a bible study through BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). I have been a member of this organization for many years and it has taught me many biblical principles, revealed God's character and how to apply these attributes in my life. This year we are studying about the Promise Land. The Israelites struggled in obedience but after a time in the wilderness and a change in a generation, they entered the land God promised them. They saw God revealed in a promise kept after years of doubting by their former ancestors. I would've loved to have been a 'fly on the wall', to see the reaction as they entered and saw this promise come to life! Though we forget God's promises kept in our lives, we have detailed records in God's Word time and time again showing us His loyalty.
As the psalm writer continues in his thoughts, we see a total new direction, a new heart and a new attitude of gratefulness. That is what God does to us, His children, when we surrender our will to Him, openly confess in repentance and accept His guidance; ALL things become new in the eyes of a weary traveler, even Asaph.
As always, I'm learning right there with ya,
Thankful For His Grace,