Psalm 121:1-2 (ESV) I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
A car insurance company had an advertisement on television depicting a group of young people attempting to escape some kind of evil villain. Running out of the clearly haunted house, they are presented with two options. First, jump in the running car and speed away or go hide in the garage filled with chainsaws. The obvious point is that choosing their company should be simple. As a kid, I watched some of those scary movies that are spoofed in the highly effective ads. Whispering under my breath don’t go in there or run. Life is filled with choices. Each day a gift opened that is used how a person sees fit. Perspective changes the outcome of things. Too often driven by nature, society or basic instinct – people react to their environment rather than living by faith in the Lord who promises to be our help.
I lift my eyes to the hills.
What is your focus today? Is it getting the kids to school? Making it to work on time? Fulfilling your overloaded schedule? Meeting the demands of all those who depend on you? Stress, worry and burden is the enemy’s secret scheme to weigh you down so that he can overtake you. Like a mighty lion chasing its next meal, once close burying its claws into the prey so that it must now carry the weight of both animals to continue to flee. Tiring quickly from the extra burden, the animal grows weak and tired so that the lion must only wait until exhaustion takes over and he can easily steal the victim’s life. There is a roaring lion pursuing you today. He wants to distract, detour, and discourage you so that doubt will begin to fill your heart and overtake you. The burden of life becomes too heavy and God seems so far. He cannot take your life but simply waits for you to give it away. Well, I have wonderful news for you today!
Psalm 121:3-8 (ESV) He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
The Lord is your keeper. That’s right – He is with you always. In Psalm 139, it reminds us that the Lord knows us. He knows when you sit down and rise up. He is well aware of the words I speak. He knows what I am doing before I even do it. He goes before me and hems me in from behind surrounding me with His Love and Protection. His Hand steadily upon me. The Lord is ALWAYS thinking about me. Good thoughts! This psalm is written by David as many of them others, too. I wonder how many were penned sitting in a field tending sheep all alone. Isolation can be a deafening silence. The enemy of our soul uses it to try and convince us no one cares not even God. Simply not true and overcome by the simplicity of faith.
What is this simplicity of faith? I am so thankful you asked. Talking to a young woman at church whose heart had been broken and betrayed, she made the statement – “I don’t know how to put God first.” My response – “It is a lifelong struggle.” We speak faith. Pretend faith. Preach faith. Who really lives by faith? Before you raise your hand and voice your “faith”, hear me out. Faith is living in full expectation that what God said – He will do. It means living like the impossible will happen at any given moment. People with such a hopeful expectation are not consumed by earthy trivialities. They do not get caught up in “civilian affairs”. They are not whining or complaining on social media to draw the attention of others. They are not fighting one another for earthly causes but bound together by the Love of God to be the Light of the World pointing to the Kingdom. No, they are walking by faith. Faith in God’s Word with such confidence they look for their Helper in every detail of life.
What does that mean? They keep their eyes uplifted looking for their Helper to arrive. Faith walkers are talkers who decided to buy the hype and become zealous for the promises of God. They began to actually believe, like David, that He pursues them with unfailing love and goodness ALL the days of their life. They grabbed hold of the promise that He works all the details for our good. They envision the masterpiece of their life coming together so rather than keeping their eyes on the ground or looking around – they look up!
Matthew 17:19-20 (ESV) Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
The disciples were perplexed. They could not cast out a demon which was a high priority on the resume. Coming to Jesus for technical advice, the Lord dropped a truth bomb on his team. They were unsuccessful because of little faith. The Lord goes on to tell them that if their faith was the size of a mustard seed that nothing would be impossible for them. Faith is simple. It is small. It is contrary to human nature. Yet, the Lord saw fit to give us a measure to work with. He even says that those who have this faith can move mountains. Oh the mountains and other treacherous terrain! Rather than avoiding them, what if we looked for our Helper in overcoming them. That’s faith. Every hill and valley were created by the Word of God and His Workmanship therefore remain subject to Him. Look up! Look to that mountain you are facing – God is waiting for you right there! You must have faith in God. You must put your trust in Jesus. Not just in big things but even the smallest detail. When you are tempted to look around, push your head up. When your arms are weak, force them up in praise. When your knees are tired, fall down and pray anyway. That is the simplicity of faith. God first. Jesus in everything. Bit by bit. Piece by piece knowing that it will take a life time to achieve. We must start somewhere. Why not start now?
Whatever you are facing – no matter what it is – the Lord promises to work it out for your good. When the enemy enters your mind trying to commandeer your thoughts, find the promise! You don’t have to memorize the whole book – but find your Word in God’s Word and use it! You have the mind of Christ. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. The enemy is a roaming lion seeking the weak and helpless but thanks be to God – He shuts the mouth of lions sending them on their merry way. Help is coming! Look up! Your faith has summoned King Jesus and His Power and Authority is yours. It only took a few moments. A little reminder that God is with you. Know you have placed your eyes back on the Helper – see faith really is that easy. This is the simplicity of faith. Daily sowing new seeds in the fertile heart broken by life but being mended by the Lord! Look up – help is on the way!
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.