THE FORMULA OF FAITH Psalms 42: 5-10

At times we think and write in a stiff and mechanical way.

We like detail and can get swallowed up and consumed with it.

God’s Word is intensely enchanting.

But, pulling out the particular expressions of God’s Word and analyzing

in formulaic patterns can appear boring

In the Word we are listening to God’s voice and that’s an amazing privilege.

There’s intense value in being swallowed up by its technicalities and structure.

So why not get tangled up in the oddities of outlines

and why not capture the feeling of its interaction in our soul.

In Psalm 42 we hear the panting after God’s voice in the poetry

The poet writes:

PSALMS 42 PRIVATE PASSIONS AND OUTER OBSTACLES

I have secret passion. I feel them pounding like a drum in my heart.

But there are obstacles.

Each day the barriers and impeding forces appear almost overwhelming.

I was pushing Jill up a hill.

The wind was whipping at us off the bay.

The autumn sun was bright, warm and blinding.

But the shock, was my body. It is not what it used to be.

Jill has had grizzly surgeries.

We both feel we’re constantly facing new challenges.

We’re trying to tie together a variety of loose ends in ourselves.

THE FOCUS OF OUR FEELINGS V.1-4

CONTENT ONLY WITH THE SUPERNATURAL V.1

DYNAMIC DESIRE

As the Deer pants after the water brooks

DEPENDABLE DELIVERER

so pants my soul after You, O God.

When things are not working as smoothly as we’d hoped we get immersed

in our feelings of needing to feel the Lord Jesus.

Not just for us, but for those we love.

We wonder over others but especially our loved ones.

We’re thinking how can we be supportive and best touch others for Jesus?

We are panting after God’s solutions. We’re weak and out of breath.

How can I support anyone when I can barely push my wife up this blustery

incline of life. I start thinking odd thoughts. Then I tumble into weird feelings.

CRAVING COMMUNION WITH THE CREATOR V.2

INNER OBSESSION

My soul thirsts for God,

IDENTITY OPTIMISM

for the living God:

INDELIBLE OPPORTUNITY

when will I come and appear before God?

We need God. But really we always do. But feeling weak makes us lean more.

He allows us to feel it by letting us touch our weakness.

Then we wonder. Are we praying the right things?

Should we have organized our schedule differently?

It’s so common to feel self defeated when you’re constantly bumping

into exhaustion.

REFUSE DESPONDENCY V.5

Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?

REFLECT DESIRE

hope thou in God:

REHEARSE DELIGHTS

for I shall yet praise him

RECALL DELIVERANCES

for the help of his countenance.

RECOGNIZE DESPAIR V.6

O my God, my soul is cast down within me

As ridiculous as it all appears.

We have lows in our physical and emotional state.

So how are we going to be of any help to anyone when we can’t get

past our own physical and emotional challenges .

Sometimes I feel like all I do is wonder around gasping in crazy puffing

and wheezing. We want to remember our past high moments.

REMEMBER DETAILS

THE HIGHS OF LIFE

therefore will I remember You from the land of

Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar

THE LOWS OF LIFE

Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterspouts

all Your waves and Your billows are gone over me.

The Jordan is strangely referred to as the river of death.

It flows lower and lower. It goes down and down and down.

Finally it empties into the Dead Sea which lays 1500 feet below the

Mediterranean Sea.

The poet is capturing this immense downward exasperation through

the gorges of the surrounding hills.

THE CONSTANTS OF LIFE

GOD’S TENDER TOUCH V.8

SPECIAL LOVE

Yet the LORD will command his loving kindness in the daytime,

STEADY LYRICS

and in the night His song shall be with me,

STRONG LONGING

and my prayer to the God of my life.

God is faithful. It’s not about our performance in prayer.

It’s not about our mighty faith or wry insights.

I’m a scrawny weakling that can’t climb the heights anymore.

I’m soft and weak. But God is my rock.

GOD’S RELIABLE RESOURCES V.9

I will say unto God my rock,

THE MISCALCULATIONS IN LIFE

WHEN WE FEEL DISCARDED

Why hast thou forgotten me?

WHEN WE FEEL DOMINATED

why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

WHEN WE FEEL DEGRADED

As with a sword in my bones,

Yes, I bump the bottom now and then.

Jill and I make an awkward visual with me panting,

and her gripping her wheelchair.

We may feel stabbing pain, but it’s a joyous plunge into loves firmness;

where we can feel God as our rock.

It’s not about my performance.

It’s not, did I pray enough, or pray the right things. I never do.

No, it is God.

He is our mighty rock.

He is faithful,

He is compassionate, and deep in His love.

When we go down deep, He goes down deeper, to lift us up to Himself.

He is always there, controlling the wind, and the waves.

The brisk storms of life are His hands drawing us closer.

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