Daily Devotion for May 19, 2020

“Some people trust in chariots, others in horses; but we praise the Lord’s name.  They will collapse and fall, but we will stand up straight and strong.”  Psalm 20:7-8

By Scott Carlson

The other morning, this scripture from Psalm 20 touched me.  Unfortunately, the first thought in my mind felt a bit self-righteous, “Of course I will praise the Lord’s name.  Of course, I will trust in the Lord.”

Immediately feeling convicted, knowing how easily I can be distracted, I asked, “But what are the chariots and the horses in my life that I do place my trust in, if I am not careful?”  I went for my morning exercise thinking about the things that, I allow to compete with and replace my trust in God.  Mind you, I am not proud of admitting this, but there are times when it would be easy to put my trust in things like; relying on a church building to do ministry; building my pension (or financial security); being comfortable in life / my routines, etc.

What about you?  If you are not careful, what are the chariots and horses that can distract you from trusting in God?

Knowing how easily I can be distracted, I am working at being diligent about growing in my faith.  One of the reasons I take time to pray and journal each day, is because it helps me to stay connected to God.  It helps me to grow in love with God.  It helps me to remember to trust God, even in the midst of change.  Maybe this struggle within me is why I like the imagery from Nikos Kazantzakis (from The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises).

“My prayer is not the whimpering of a beggar nor a confession of love.  Nor is it the trivial reckoning of a small tradesman: Give me and I shall give you. My prayer is the report of a soldier to his general: This is what I did today, this is how I fought to save the entire battle in my own sector, these are the obstacles I found, this is how I plan to fight tomorrow.

“My God and I are horsemen galloping in the burning sun or under drizzling rain. Pale, starving, but unsubdued, we ride and converse. ‘Leader’ I cry.  He turns his face towards me, and I shudder to confront his anguish.  Our love for each other is rough and ready, we sit at the same table, we drink the same wine in this low tavern of life.”

Gracious Lord, thank you for loving me enough, to invite me back from my wanderings.  Teach me how to focus on you. Teach me how to live, so that your love can flow through me to this world around me.  Break through the boundaries of my life and the limitations of my vision, so I can be called to help your church go, where you need us to go in this time of change.  In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen