Keep Drawing Near (2008 Rerun)

Heading up to the homeland this morning. Grandkids are on spring break, so I’m taking a few days to hang with them (and their parents). This morning I’m digging into the archives. Warming up a meal from 15 years ago to chew on.

You’ve gotta love the candor of the Scriptures. Far from shying away from the tough questions or denying the reality of the human experience, the Father instead acknowledges our failings and frailties and uses them to point us to Himself. Such is Psalm 73 . . . .

Asaph, the writer of Psalm 73, is pretty up front about his struggles. He begins with a bottom-line statement of belief, “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart.” (73:1) This he believed . . . this he knew to be true. However, what we know to be true and what we see as the reality of life sometimes are in conflict. He goes on, “But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.” (73:2-5 NLT)

Some serious doubts here . . . things not lining up with what he expected of the “blessings of following God” . . . almost to the point where he stumbled, lost his grip, cashed it in . . . as he considered that perhaps the way of the boastful and self-sufficient might be the better way. It really bugs Asaph . . . what he knows to be true and what is actually happening seem to be way out of kilter . . . “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me” (73:16 NKJV) So how do you work through these doubts . . . how do you reconcile things that don’t seem to line up?

“When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me –– Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.” (73:16-17) When Asaph entered the sanctuary of God, then things became clear. And we’re not talking so much of the sanctuary as a place of God . . . but more as the presence of God. I think the idea here is that of getting “up close and personal” with the Father . . . seeking the place of God’s glory . . . boldly approaching His throne of grace. In his doubt and questioning . . . during that time he was near to stumbling . . . Asaph determines to continue to make his way to the sanctuary of God . . . to seek the face of God . . . to draw near in faith . . . to trust that His word is true. And, in that determined pursuit for the mind of God, God answers the questioning of his heart, “Asaph, it’s not about how the wicked prosper now . . . its about what happens then . . . when they stand before Me.”

Oh, how gracious God is to the doubting heart and confused mind if we’ll but determine to continue to seek Him in the holy place. Asaph recognized how foolish and ignorant his doubting was (73:22) as he came to understand in a fresh, real, way, “Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory.” (73:23-24) God is faithful . . . God is true . . . let all other “realities of earth” be understood and interpreted in that reality. My focus needs to be on “things above” . . . “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ” (73:25-26)

“It is good for me to draw near to God” (73:28) Amen!!!

My Redeemer Is Faithful And True”
(Steven Curtis Chapman and James Isaac Elliott)

As I look back on the road I’ve traveled,
I see so many times He carried me through;
And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my life,
My Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

My heart rejoices when I read the promise
‘There is a place I am preparing for you.
I know someday I’ll see my Lord face to face,
‘Cause my Redeemer is faithful and true.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

And in every situation, He has proved His love to me;
When I lack the understanding, He gives more grace to me.

My Redeemer is faithful and true.
Everything He has said He will do,
And every morning His mercies are new.
My Redeemer is faithful and true.

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1 Response to Keep Drawing Near (2008 Rerun)

  1. brent94380af445 says:

    Sharing, thanks Pete. Enjoy your kids😉

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