I am continually amazed at the time we live in and all the turmoil in the world that seems to be fulfillment of prophecy. But I must occasionally take a step back for a minute and simplify things. One thing I like to do when simplifying is to read from the Book of Psalms. Have you ever gathered yourself in a remote place or some location where you are alone and simply read aloud from Psalms?
First of all, keep in mind that you were made to glorify the Lord. Then, realize that you were also made for God’s good pleasure. Then, read out loud His word to Him. After all, He uniquely created you. When you speak His word aloud you are in a sense reading it to Him. This is a type of communion experience in which you are drawing closer to Him. In a time when you do not know what to pray, the Book of Psalms has a way of putting you in a frame of mind to draw closer to your heavenly father.
One of my favorite Psalms is chapter 34. I would recommend committing several verses from this chapter to memory. It is believed that this is one of the Psalms written by David (not all of them were). It is considered a Yahwehistic Psalm. Yahwehistic Psalms (Psalms 1 – 41) are dominated by their reference to Yahweh and this divine name (mentioned 272 times in these Psalms. Perhaps, that is why I like Psalm 34 so much. The attention in Psalm 34 is given to God and His divine and all encompassing nature. When we give attention to God and put our gaze on Him, everything else tends to fall to the background and He becomes pre-dominant in our lives. His absolute power and ability to solve any problem becomes more apparent to us. As a result, our spirit is renewed within us.
Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them.
David must have been comforted knowing that he was protected wherever he went in his battles against the Philistines and King Saul’s assailants, also. Similarly, we, being the Lord’s children, are protected by His angel. As a matter of fact when the Bible mentions the Angel of the Lord making an appearance, there is clearly the understanding that this Angel is the Lord Himself, (Gen. 16:7; Judg. 2:1, 6:22, 13:2-22) Indeed, many scholars hold the view that this Angel is the pre-incarnate Christ. How amazing to know that the Lord personally is encamped around us and is personally involved in our protection.
Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.
Notice, what happens when we make the conscious decision to stop doing bad things. We have a desire to do good. This should not be mixed up with a false belief that to get to heaven when we die we must do good works. After all, the thief who died on the cross next to Christ was assured that he would see Him in Paradise (Luke 20:40-43), and we know he didn’t have time to do any good works before he repented and placed his trust in Him. Instead, what this passage alludes to is our very nature as humans to either be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6:17-19). When we put our trust in Christ and become born again, our heart is changed and we have a desire to do good things in appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. Also, anyone who suffers from the sin of addiction (alcohol, drugs, sex, money, food) knows that when they stop practicing that addiction (doing evil) the best thing to do to continue live holy is to start doing good (living for God, spreading the Gospel helping widows , prisoners, and orphans).
Psalm 34:15 – The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.
How awesome is this verse?! If you have put your trust in Christ and are not counting on anything else but Him to get you to Heaven, then you are positionally righteousness. That means as a child of God, He has His attention on you and is open to hear your prayer anytime because your sins have been blotted out by Jesus’s payment for them. So, cry out to Him for your needs. More than likely, what you pray to the Lord will be directly what He has revealed to you that you need to bring to Him. I was recently in a dry and waterless place spiritually and as I was driving somewhere in my car, I just uttered those very words to Him. I told Him I really needed His rain (spiritual empowerment). Suddenly, as I drove, I felt His presence and grace overcome me and I began to cry. It was just the personal encounter with El Shaddai that I needed and the experience empowered me for the activities that followed shortly after. Praise Him, as He is surely deserving of Praise! Amen!