Seeking First 

Psalm 143:1
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications!”


In Matthew 6:33 Jesus told us, in the difficulties of life, we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

In Verse 1 of this Psalm, David cries out to the Lord and we see a very clear example of what seeking the Lord actually looks like. “In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness.” First, notice the basis of coming to the Lord was not his righteousness, but God’s faithfulness. One thing that keeps us from seeking the Lord, is our feelings of unworthiness. Those feelings are warranted; on our own we are not worthy. The word ‘righteous’ speaks of our best accomplishments, but even those are not enough to provide access to God. Our access is always based upon the work of God, not our own works. The cross gives us access to God on our best day, and on our worst.

In Verse 5 David states, “I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” Second, seeking the Lord involves getting my attention off the circumstances I am facing, and onto the Lord. Both words, ‘meditate’ and ‘muse’, speak of filling the mind with thoughts of God. David could do this in two ways. First, he could think back to the stories that filled the pages of his Bible. Stories of God parting seas, providing manna from heaven, causing rain in the wilderness, or knocking down the walls of Jericho. Second, he could think back upon his own life, to the times when he faced obstacles greater than himself, and God had been faithful to help. Like a movie reel, his mind could play back for him the bear, the lion, the giant, and countless other untold stories of the faithfulness of God. Seeking the Lord involves looking back at His faithfulness in order to find assurance that He will deliver in the present.

Verse 6, “I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land.” Next, we see David with his hands lifted high, calling out to the Lord. Notice, there is a sense of desperation as he realizes that his hope resides in the Lord alone. He describes himself as one longing for the Lord, like a thirsty land longs for rainfall. David may be describing his posture in private worship, but this is something that should affect our corporate worship as well. Too often, we allow ourselves to be affected by the style of music, or concerned with what the people around us might be thinking, instead of simply realizing that we need God, and we need to go after Him with all our hearts. It is hard for me to imagine David, under these circumstances, looking around the room, continually checking his watch, or thumbing through the bulletin for the fourteenth time.

“Answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails!” (Verse 7) Finally, as David seeks the Lord, he brings his personal needs before the throne of grace. In the final verses of the Psalm, he lists a series of personal requests. Obviously, he is pleading for deliverance from these trying times, but his petitions go much deeper. He cries out for a better understanding of the nature of God, the will of God, and the ways of God. Our difficulties are often designed by God to help us see that His ways are different from our ways. Often, as we seek the Lord, the first thing we begin to realize is, there are some changes that need to take place in our lives. Our priorities might be out-of-order, or we may be neglecting to make the necessary spiritual investments in our daily lives. Seeking the Lord will always result in taking inventory of our lives, in light of the ways of God. Instead of crawling our way through the present condition of our lives, let’s follow the example of King David and seek first the kingdom of God.

Pastor Jim

 

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