Growing in our relationship with God is an ongoing, daily endeavor. Someone once told me it is stumbling in the right direction. Often we look at the big picture, the long-term plans and goals and invite God into those yet dismiss or gloss over the every day. Psalm 37 gives us a great guide for approaching God in our every day to prepare for our day…especially in small things. I have found it helpful and productive to ask 6 simple questions every day before I begin my day:
How am I trusting God?
Psalm 37 say tells us to “trust in the Lord”. Of course, our default answer is “yes, I trust God”. But the question to ask yourself is HOW am I trusting God. Right now, currently, today…HOW am I trusting God? What do I need to trust God in my day today? Take a look at your calendar…what meetings and appointments do you have scheduled? Who are you meeting with? What obligations and opportunities will you have today? How do you need to trust God today? What seems too big for you to handle on your own? What seems beyond your capabilities or capacity? Where do you feel like you can’t…and that is where you can trust God today.
What good can I do?
After trusting in God, Psalm 37 tells us “and do good”. It almost sounds like something your mom would say to you as you walk out the door to school, “make good choices…be good!” Often we neglect the simple and profound impact of doing good every day. The Christian life, if misinterpreted can feel like a list of what NOT to do. So ask the question, what good can I do? Think through the people you will interact with today: coworkers, family, friends, waiters, baristas, clients, etc…what good can you do for them today. You may not be able to do something good for everyone who encounter today but do for one what you wish you could do for all.
Do I take delight in the Lord?
This is kind of an odd question. Taking delight is not a phrase we commonly use. The meaning here is to desire what God desires, enjoy what God enjoys, focus on what God focuses on. It is to allow my desires to line up and run parallel with God’s. Today, what objectives and plans do you have? What are you trying to accomplish today? In your daily tasks today, how can you take delight in the Lord? How can you accomplish what God wants to accomplish in the midst of your daily grind today?
Where am I not fully committed to God?
Psalm 37:5 tells us to “commit your way to the Lord”…and if you keep reading you see the benefit of doing so. It’s easy to commit to God in the “big” things, “God I commit to not murdering someone today”…well, that may depend on the intensity of your commute to and from work. But for the most part, we commit SOME OF our ways to God. But notice Scripture tells us to commit our WAY (not WAYS) to God. In other words, will you commit to allowing God to direct you today? Will you invite God to interrupt you in your day? And if God does interrupt you will you commit to your way or His way? Prayerfully prepare yourself to commit to God’s way today, doing things His way, following His way…even if it feels like an inconvenience or an interruption.
How am I trying to move before God moves?
Being still may be the most difficult thing to ask someone to do. In fact, that’s almost something we never ask, except of our kids. Instead, our day is full of “go go go”! So before you DO, before you GO, before you MOVE…see if that is what God wants. Be still before the Lord means to stop for a moment: to stop and pause long enough to approach God and see what He says. If we are constantly doing and going we may be running full speed ahead in the wrong direction because we never stopped to see where God was going. In your ambition and dedication today, stop and pause long enough to approach God in stillness before moving forward. Seek HIS wisdom, HIS council and HIS advice before making the decision on your own.
Where am I frustrated?
Take a look at your day and look for hurdles, obstacles, barriers…anything that may frustrate your plans or agenda. Where are you already frustrated or what has potential to be a frustration today? The opposite of frustrated is patience. When we are frustrated we have a great opportunity to grow in our patience. Psalm 37:7 tells us to “wait patiently on Him”. So ask the question and identify your frustrations to allow God to grow your patience. When you bring your frustrations to God first thing in the morning you will discover your ability to be patient increases throughout your day which in turn will lower your stress, anxiety and disappointment. Let your frustrations turn into patience opportunities.
Psalm 37:3-7 (NIV)
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.