David was a man who experienced many victories. He also had many struggles and failures. Yet through all of it David continued to look to his Savior. David could have become arrogant about all that he accomplished or he could have let his troubles keep him in hiding. But instead of focusing on himself he kept his eyes above. David knew and remembered something very important: He outshines me.
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I am an indecisive individual. I swing back and forth between a desire to be seen and the fear of being seen. One day I want to promote myself, my work, and all my “good-girl” qualities; the next I want to shrink back not wanting others to see all my flaws and failures.
When David wrote Psalm 18 he had been in exile for 20 years. 20 years! — running from King Saul, who probably knew that the Lord had already anointed David as king over Israel. During this time David struggled with many fears and failures along the way, but he kept taking step after step toward the throne the Lord had given him.
As I hand wrote this chapter I noticed over and over again David’s use of the pronouns I, me, and my. At times it seemed like self-promotion. It almost seemed like the same look-at-me desire I struggle with.
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. Psalm 18:37-38
In other places of the chapter David’s words gave the impression that he wanted to give up out of fear that he might fail. Again, I can relate.
The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. Psalm 18:4-5
But if you look at the chapter all together, every mention of his troubles and his triumphs are to bring God glory. They are followed by verse that praise God for His goodness, His grace, and His glory. It’s as if David was repeatedly saying, “Look how bad I had it, but look, God heard my cry. I was able to do this, but only because God was my strength.”
He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. Psalm 18:16
For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. Psalm 18:29
It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Psalm 18:47-49
Unlike me, David kept his eyes on his Savior throughout his exile. During all his triumphs and failures he kept his mind on God. Yes, David recognized he had a difficult life. Yes, he celebrated his victories. But he never let the me outshine or over shadow the He.
Lord in heaven, please help me to follow the example of David. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you during the good times and the bad, during the victories and the struggles. So often I want others to see me before they see You. At other times, Lord, I remain paralyzed by the fear that I will fail, not wanting others to see my inadequacies. But You… You are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. You give me strength when I would otherwise fail on my own. You are the reason I am able to leap over walls and reach high places. It is all because of you. May I always and praise and exalt you. In Jesus name, amen.
The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted. Psalm 18:26
This post was written while moving quietly through the Psalms, a slow and simple practice of handwriting the Psalms verse-by-verse and word-by-word. If you are participating in this practice too, would you let me know by leaving a comment below or by sharing in the link-up?
For the time being the Quietly Through Thursday link-up is dedicated to those who are taking the Quietly Through the Psalms journey. You’re welcome to link-up your blog post, Facebook status updates, or Instagram posts that reflect on your time moving Quietly Through the Psalms. By scaling back the theme of the link-up I am hoping it build an intimate and thriving community of women (even if it is a small community) who are drawing near to God in similar ways. Thank you for respecting the intent of this link up.
Only by grace,
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