Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cultivate Faithfulness


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?

5 comments:

Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

I just used Ps. 37 as the basis for the devotional in my newsletter--awesome verses...and so applicable to life. (Well, duh, that's why we HAVE the Bible, right?) I also love the verses about God holding my hand. As my life pathway grows more treacherous and dark, I can rest in the knowledge that I am not alone. He is with me, and He will give me what I need to fulfill my responsibilities to His kingdom (which includes, right now, my writing ministry as well as meeting the needs of my family). Thanks for the reminder, Brandilyn. Greatly appreciated.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Great thoughts, Brandilyn. Thank you for posting this.

Becky

Grady Houger said...

Thanks for sharing Brandilyn I needed to hear that.

Pam Meyers said...

I've loved Psalm 37 for years. It has spoken to me in so many situations. Verse four in the NKJV gripped my heart a couple of ACFW conferences ago. In that version it reads:

"Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness."

At that time I was struggling because my agent had stopped agenting and I'd come to conference bent on finding a new one. My agent appt. fell through and every other agent at the conference I approached had no time or was basically unapproachable.

I started reading Ps. 37 and those words jumped off the page at me. God was telling me that right at that moment I should cool my heels and look at how faithful He'd been to me so far. Feed on that and be sustained. I stopped fretting and enjoyed the rest of the conference. A year and a half later I signed with my new agent. God is never too early or too late. He's always right on time!

Pam Halter said...

Cultivate faithfulness ... what a huge target to aim for! I like it.