We’re all looking for stability in our lives. For billions around the world, their source of stability, at least statistically, is the Christian God. However, many people still relinquish their dependence on God, instead focusing on observable but very unreliable humanity. If you’ve been alive for any period of time, you’re aware that humans are a huge letdown. We’re selfish, often conniving, and prone to lose control of ourselves. Our allegiance shifts on a whim, and our opinion of others rests in what they’ve done for us lately.
We need stability. We need to be near to God. Our desperate attempts to correct ourselves are futile, and we must look beyond our humanity and focus on Jesus Christ to find salvation and solace.
David provides several insights in Psalm 71 that reflect an attitude of longing for God, an attitude worth emulating.
May continually resort (v. 3)
How often do we opt to live “without” the Lord? We permit God to be the overseer of our lives, yet hours or even minutes later check out like we’re ditching a cheap hotel. It’s scary how quickly forget how good we have it.
From my youth (v. 5)
Many Christians are leaving the faith, “discovering” that God and the Bible are myths. Unfortunately, many kids are told Bible stories as if they’re lofty tales reserved for the imagination when the Bible is a well-documented book of history and some of the most profound poetry ever written. We should remain as passionate as a child, yet adhere to its tenets tightly like a man that relentlessly pursues his first love. It makes a great case for integrity.
Forsake me not (v. 9, 18)
We already know this truth, that God indeed does not forsake His people, yet our love for Him should resemble the selfless love of a spouse longing to demonstrate his commitment. David’s request is not suggesting God would turn away, but that God would present Himself in all ways.
Be not far from me (v. 12)
This might seem absurd in the context of God’s omnipresence, but how often do we conveniently displace God in our minds to carry out our carnal desires? Our passion for the Lord should warrant closeness whereas the flesh has no dominion over our volition as Christians compelled by the Spirit.
I will hope continually (v. 14)
Situational hope is no hope at all; it puts stipulations on our trust in the entity in question. It’d be like a team only entrusting their coach to lead them to victory when they feel victory might be possible, even if they don’t have a full knowledge of the game plan or the coach’s intentions. It would debilitate the team and the coach’s effectiveness, would it not?
All the day (v. 15, 24)
I used to kid about the verse in Thessalonians that states that we should “pray without ceasing,” even skipping school in order to do so. Likewise, this verse indicates that David is speaking of God in the same way, but it’s likely this is a hyperbolic statement, emphasizing that we should have an attitude inclined toward God at the bookends. While serious all-day devotion to God — with the exception of perfect Christians somewhere in hiding — is impossible as long as we remain human, we should strive to pursue Him as Jesus commands us to do, daily.
Again (v. 20)
Is God faithful? Even when calamity strikes, He is good. Many would say this is the talk of delusion, but the very breath that allows scorners to speak is miraculous. His intentions are always for good; it is the mark of humanity that tarnishes His reputation on earth.