Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Our relationship with the Lord must go beyond the realm of forgiveness (verses 1-5) to a place of intimate friendship. Sometimes people wait until there is a catastrophe, like a flood (verse 6) to try and cultivate a deep relationship with the Lord. The Psalmist warns us that if we follow such a course, God may not be found. (verse 6)
The key is to make the Lord our hiding place and refuge in every aspect of life. If we do this we will be preserved from every trouble. This does not mean that we will avoid trouble, but we will be protected from harm, as we walk through any and all difficulties.
The ultimate result of making the Lord our hiding place is deliverance from every danger. I have often walked through difficulties, waiting on the Lord and somehow, I knew when deliverance was coming. It was like Elijah praying for rain and then seeing but a single cloud the size of a man’s hand. Elijah knew this meant the end of the drought and a great downpour of rain was imminent. Somehow, like Elijah, God will let you know when deliverance is coming.
An intimate relationship with God places a person in a position where God can easily lead them. The psalmist says that we must not be like a horse or a stubborn mule who must be guided by a bit or bridle. Instead, we delight to hear the voice of the Lord and respond in obedience. Joyful obedience is truly the way to experience the love of God. Joyful obedience is so wonderful that it will make you shout!
Do you regularly cultivate an intimate friendship with God? How might you do that? Is obedience to the Lord an easy and joyful matter?
O Lord, you alone are my hiding place. You prove yourself to me as you preserve me through every trouble and surround me with shouts of deliverance. Forgive me when I am like a stubborn mule who must be forced to do the right thing. Let your guidance and obedience to your will, be my great delight. Amen.