Thursday, May 15, 2008
Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:3-4, NASB)
I've heard more than one sermon preached on Psalm 37:4--the verse isn't saying God will give his followers whatever they want. It's saying when you delight yourself in God, He will place within your heart the proper and right desires. An illuminating point.
But in my countless readings of the Psalms (I still use them daily in prayer), I am always more struck by the verse before it, 37:3. That phrase cultivate faithfulness. Whether we're talking about cultivating bacteria in a petri dish for research, or cultivating the soil for growing plants, the idea is the same. Cultivation means carefully tending. Providing the best environment. Removing anything harmful to what's being cultivated, and purposely adding in the good. It means cheerleading every bit of growth. It means constant vigilance, which requires planning your own schedule around this important work. For those who do this:
The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. (37:23-24)
A wonderful promise to God's followers. But first we need to cultivate faithfulness. We need to ask ourselves: what does cultivating faithfulness require in my own life?