Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 61. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“Hear my cry, O God,listen to my prayer;from the end of the earth I call to youwhen my heart is faint.Lead me to the rockthat is higher than I,for you have been my refuge,a strong tower against the enemy.” (Psalm 61:1-3 ESV)
One of the great mysteries of Christianity that I believe makes it more hopeful than any other system of beliefs or ideologies is the incarnation of Jesus. God became a man and came to the world to rescue His creation. In doing so, He allowed Himself to have a fully-human experience in which He felt pain, despair, joy, temptation, fatigue, cold, heat, hunger, feasting, laughter, and pretty much anything else you can think of except sin. It is a wonderful thing to get your head around.God knows how you feel. He felt it too.But equally important to remember is that God is holy and completely unlike us, and so we don’t get to focus on the God who knows human experience without also acknowledging that He isn’t in any way restricted by humanity’s limitations.He is still God.His power is without reserve. He doesn’t now experience fatigue or discouragement or limitation. That makes the incarnation even more remarkable. That such a great God would be so kind is remarkable.Sometimes we forget the tension and we see God just as a peer-type figure. A therapist who dishes out helpful sayings, but isn’t really able to help us, even if He can identify with us. Psalm 61 helpfully shatters that for us.David knew that he needed someone not like him to save him. He grew faint and he needed someone who never grows faint. He was overcome by his enemies and he needed someone who never gets overcome. He was a mere man and he needed a strong tower, a rock that couldn’t be moved, and a refuge where he could be safe. He found all of those things in the sovereign God.Whatever you may be facing today, remember that you have a God who sympathizes with your weaknesses, but please also remember that you have a God who is not restricted as you are. You need someone who is like you to love you, and you need someone who is not like you in order to fix you.Jesus can do that.
Father God, thank You that You sent Your Son into the world. He is our sympathetic High Priest and He understands our weaknesses. Thank You also that You aren’t constrained by our weaknesses and are able to rule in all circumstances. Give us faith to trust You and humility to obey You.Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)