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 138. Then, come back and read the following verse again.
“For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.” (Psalm 138:6 ESV)
Psalm 138 is a Psalm of praise speaking of the many ways that God is worthy of worship and far above any man. Even the most powerful kings of the earth will end up on their knees before Him because they amount to very little when confronted with His power and majesty. This creates an obvious gap between God and men, and so I am very grateful for and very sobered by verse 6.
God regards the lowly.
This is contrasted with His posture towards the haughty, as He stays far away from them. He moves towards the humble, but stays at a distance from the proud. This sentiment is echoed and repeated by James who says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 ESV).
I love how Spurgeon spoke of this. About God’s posture towards the humble he said,
“He views them with pleasure, thinks of them with care, listens to their prayers, and protects them from evil. Because they think little of themselves he thinks much of them. They are low in their own esteem, and he makes them high in his esteem.”
The flip side of that is a stern warning to the proud. Spurgeon again,
“To a Cain’s sacrifice, a Pharaoh’s promise … and a Pharisee’s prayer, the Lord has no respect … Proud men boast loudly of their culture and their freedom of thought, and even dare to criticize their Maker: but he knows them from afar, and will keep them at arm’s length in this life, and … in the next.”
Where are some areas in your life where you are living as if you don’t need God? Remember that He pays regard to those who don’t hope in themselves and keeps a distance for those who have no need.
Own your need. On your knees.
Father God, keep me humble. I know that is a dangerous prayer, but I would rather be laid low and have You close to me than I would be raised high and without You in this world.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)