Godly living in an ungodly world.
As 2023 draws to a close & we head into a New Year let us reflect on how to live for the Lord in these modern times. We live in turbulent times, amid constant change & with much ungodliness all around us.
We are saved from the world, for the world. In the world but not of it (John 17:11, 14-15). We are those, equipped & empowered by the Lord, who can make a positive difference right where we are. Nothing is new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9) & Psalm 141 offers us some really helpful principles to enable us to live well for the Lord.
LORD, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Psalm 141:1-2 NKJV
Psalm 141 is a cry of David’s heart unto the Lord. A prayer & heartfelt cry for protection & safekeeping from wickedness. As so often in times of trouble or difficulty David looks firstly to the Lord for help, strength & support. David sought God who was his strong tower, shield & shelter. This is the kind of habit & discipline we need to build into our spiritual lives if we are to thrive in the midst of a hostile host empire.
Four principles that we could see as potential spiritual disciplines are identified by David in this psalm. They are part & parcel of David’s life in & with the Lord: Lifting his hands in prayer, Guarding his lips & mouth, Watching over his heart, Looking up to the Lord.
We will look at each in turn over the coming days.
The great news & strong encouragement for us is that God has given us everything we need for life & godliness (2 Peter 1:3). We do however need effective spiritual practices, & disciplined lifestyles, to enable us to access & apply those spiritual resources in our lives. If we can do so, perhaps by actioning the 4 above (or using others similar to them), we will truly shine like stars in the midst of a crooked & perverse generation (Philippians 2:15). We will then be living in a Godly way in this ungodly world. Hallelujah!!
- How effective am I in utilising spiritual disciplines?
- In what ways do I cry out to & look unto the Lord in the midst of trouble & difficulty?
- Meditate upon the what a Godly lifestyle encompasses.
A song related to this theme:
Thank you that You are my shelter, shield & strong tower,
That You are always there for me in every circumstance of life.
Jesus thank you for Your example of living in God’s world, God’s way.
Teach & train, strengthen & sharpen me to do the same.
Holy Spirit thank you for every resource you bring to me,
Help me to find effective ways to access, apply & action these in, & through, my life.
This I ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Written by Gareth Jones