BY REV. DAVID NIX - ANCHOR CHURCH IN SPIRIT LAKE
As we travel through life’s highway, we need to keep our eye on the path and watch what is ahead. We cannot worry about the stuff to the left or right of us, and we definitely should not worry about what is behind us. We need to watch ahead and head to where we want to be. We can not let the distractions pull us left or right, and we need to keep moving forward.
When we travel along and move from one phase of our lives to the next, we have to keep our goal in front of us. Where you look and where you meditate, there is where you will go. Have you ever wondered why, in a one-car accident into a tree, that it was the only tree in a mile? Yet the car hit the tree.
Well, all trees have magnets in them to pull runaway cars to them — no, just joking but what happens is the driver looks at the tree going "I hope I don’t hit that tree" and the driver watches the tree right up to the point of hitting it. They hope they don’t, but they do not pull their eyes away from the tree — they watch it to the impact.
Proverbs 15:21 (ESV) 21 — Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
A wise man walks straight ahead he does not look back and wonder if he would have this or that, he also does not blame others for what happened to them in the past to make them like they are today. They love, live and forgive, then they forget. When we hold onto the past, we never grow past the past and, when we do not learn from the past, we cannot move past the past. There are people that are 30 and 40 years old that do not have 30 and 40 years of experience they have one to three years of experience 30 to 40 times because they do not learn but repeat the lessons over and over.
There is a reason Psalms 22 is before Psalms 23. Sometimes we are in Psalm 22 and sometimes we are in Psalm 23 — and often the two are not far apart. When beside the still waters, feeding in the green pastures, praise God. When trapped in the rubble of doubt and despair, cry out to God, and Jesus will lead us to safety.
Psalm 22 (ESV)
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8 "He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.
10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me;
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.
25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
26 The afflicted[d] shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
28 For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.
30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
Psalm 23 (ESV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.[a]
3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord forever.
He delivered himself to the Father, and was delivered: "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission (Heb 5:7)." Translation: God will rescue and reassure those who are honest with him, not because he does not know what is in our hearts, but because he wants us to know what is in them. When you have storms and trials, remember the Lord is with you and he will give you peace and comfort if you ask him.