“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.” (Psalm 17:8–9)
David prayed these words as his enemies were bearing down hard upon him, opposing God’s purposes for him and breathing threats against him. As such, these are words of desperation—a heart-felt cry to God in the face of a merciless adversary. David needed God to intervene and deliver him from the sword of the wicked (17:13).
Whereas David’s opposition was external, yours is internal. The wickedness you have come up against is that of your own flesh. For your flesh stirs within your heart ungodly desires which do nothing but pull you away from receiving the fullness of God’s love.
Your flesh, just like David’s enemy, is absolutely merciless. Therefore, you must be absolutely merciless with it: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). For this to occur, you have one recourse, one option—you must do as David did; you must run to the God who can hide you in the shadow of His wings. In the inner depths of your heart, you must turn to Him and let Him defend you against your flesh. Stop trying to fight your own battles and put your heart at ease in the embrace of His steadfast love. It is as simple as that. Your flesh will die the miserable death it deserves when you get desperate enough to rest in God’s love alone.
This Sunday, God wants to stir this kind of desperation within you. He is calling you to once again return to His love as your only resting place. Through the truth of His Word and the witness of His people, He will remind you of the sufferings of Jesus, who was wounded by the sword of the wicked on your behalf: “the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners” (Matt. 26:45). Because He suffered, you and I can run to the cross together—the place where the battle was won. There, we can sing these words with confidence:
I’m singing in the victory
The victory of the cross
I’m resting in the shadow of Your redeeming love
I’m standing on the promise
The promise of new life
‘Cause I am Yours forever
And Jesus You are mine
The flesh doesn’t stand a chance when this truth—the truth of God’s love—goes down into the depths of your heart to do its transforming work. So won’t you let it? Won’t you rest in this?
PRAYER AND REFLECTION:
- In what ways does your flesh habitually get the better of you? How have you tried to fight that battle on your own? Return to the cross and rest in God’s love today. Take a moment to be still and crucify your flesh by returning wholeheartedly to His presence.
- Pray for God to speak powerfully through His Word and through the witness of His people this Sunday. Ask that the church would come ready to receive all that the Spirit wants to say and do among us; ask that we would respond to Him in worship, repentance, and faithful obedience.
Set List for Sunday, January 05, 2020:
- Center My Life
- All Hail King Jesus
- Singing in The Victory
- Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me
- Heart Abandoned