Updated: Sep 16, 2018
If you had to pick a single word to describe our society, perhaps the most accurate word would be 'pressure'.
We live with uncertainty in almost every area of life, and that can bring great pressure.
There are 'Family Pressures' - Finding a strong life partner when commitment has become such an unacceptable practice, where divorce is so prevalent and so easy.
The pressure of raising godly children in a world becoming increasingly anti God and amoral.
Economic problems where the dollar will not stretch far enough.
Difficulties with a dramatically changing worldview
The pressures of conforming to the concept of 'gender fluidity'
And of course our own lifestyle pressures brought on by the choices we make.
No doubt you can add to this list. In the middle of all these pressures there is one thing that determines the course of your life: the consistency of your priorities. Your priorities will set your direction, they will determine your path and they will flow from what you love the most. Whatever it is you truly love you will prioritise, you will never be too busy to do what you value.
We all have priorities whether we define them or not, subconsciously they are there. Clearly defining your priorities will help you have a clear response when you get under pressure.
KING DAVID UNDER PRESSURE
Psalm 63 was written by King David at a time of immense pressure.
During his reign his son Absalom led a rebellion against Davis
He needed to flee for his life and for a time David lived in the wilderness of Judah before crossing the Jordan river into the land of Ammon.
Now I'm guessing if it were me in that situation I would be praying something like this; God, I don't deserve this, I've been faithful to you, please I need your help right now, get me out of here.
But as David sits in his cave or tent considering his plight there are no petitions to God, no pleas for help, nor calls for vengeance or godly retribution. Instead he begins to reflect on the greatness of his God and writes a song, a song that displays his heart and his priorities before God.
1. DAVID'S FIRST PRIORITY - Relationship with God (Psalm 63:1-2)
David was a man with a deep longing for God's presence - Listen to his language:
O God, YOU are MY God
It is a language that is very personal, intimate - He remembers the time he has spent in the sanctuary in Jerusalem, he remembers the intimacy of God's glory and power, seeking God with his whole being. He speaks of seeking God early. The word translated 'early' from the original Hebrew means ardently, diligently and with great passion.
He speaks of his thirst in his soul, desperate for inner fulfillment, declaring that he pines for God, yearning for Him. He was not ashamed to own God, nor was he afraid to confess his dependency on God. He had learnt from an early age as a young shepherd boy to seek God. The more he SOUGHT after God the greater his passion became.
Do you have a genuine passion for God's presence, are you a seeker or are you content to wear the badge of Christianity without relationship?
2. DAVID'S SECOND PRIORITY - Delighting in God (Psalm 63:3-5)
Most people delight in things - Possessions, pleasures, a satisfying career, even a good family with children can become a priority, filling the vacuum that God placed there for Him. However, it is rare to find contentment in these things.
DAVID DELIGHTED IN GOD BY CHOICE- 'Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise you.' David took great pleasure in being with God. The Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:8 says 'I count everything to be nothing compare to knowing Jesus Christ.' Paul was a Pharisee, a member of the ruling political party, he had studied under one of the great teachers of the law, and was recognised as an up and coming leader amongst the political powers of his time, yet he willingly throws the political power, the riches, the fame away to know Jesus Christ.
King David declared (Psalm 63:5) 'My soul shall be satisfied. . . . .' The NIV translation of V5 says 'You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of joy.' Praising his God brought great delight and satisfaction to him.
3. DAVID'S THIRD PRIORITY - Meditation and Dependence on God (Psalm 63:6-8)
A.W. Tozer in his book "The Pursuit of God" wrote: "To seek after God means that there is always more, because God is an infinite person. If you figure that you've reached a level of maturity in your Christian life where you can put it in neutral and coast, you're in trouble."
David was dependent on God, He knew he needed to prioritise thinking about God, who He is, His Character, His Person, His Methodology. 'When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in night watches' (v6). David chewed over, ruminated on the things of God.
Today not many people think deeply about a subject, to do so gives great insight. I have solved many dilemmas laying on my bed, thinking logically through a situation or sitting with pen and paper in my study engrossed in how Jesus might handle a particular situation. It is only as we recognise God as the source of wisdom and the Holy Spirit as the revealer of truth that revelation comes. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 119:105-106 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep your righteous judgement's.'
We cannot coast, there is always more to our God, meditating on God is both a challenge and a discipline for those who trust in Him.
4. DAVID'S FOURTH PRIORITY - Maintaining confidence in God His defence.
David knew God had been a help in his past (V7), He knew God's support (V8) and so he knew he could have confidence.
His language demonstrates confidence in god as his protector. Look at verses 9-10 'those who seek my life to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.' They shall fall by the sword; they shall be prey for the jackals.'
David did not need to concern himself with reprisal or vengeance, he only had one other important thing to do 'the King shall rejoice in God: everyone who swears by Him shall glory.'
In a world of uncertainty, a world of pressure to conform, where priorities for many are unclear we MUST learn to call on the name of the Lord, to discover and acknowledge that our strength must be in God. we need the power of God's Holy Spirit as never before.
IT IS TIME TO GET OUR PRIORITIES RIGHT. Will you take up the challenge and become an effective tool in God's hand for His Kingdom.
Matthew 6:33 says 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.'
GET THE PRIORITIES RIGHT and let God take care of the details.