Psalm 103:1-2 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, oh my soul and forget not all His benefits
King David was a man who knew incredible favour and amazing revelation of Jesus paying the price at the cross, utter depths of despair, robbery of everything but a few friends, restoration, vindication, and a walk with our Father that few knew existed in his day (Psalm 42:7). He had learned through his fellowship with our Father how to rise out of a heart of trouble on the inside, and from there regain blessing on the outside.
King David recorded be still and know that I am God in Psalm 46:10 . Bless the lord oh my soul, forget not all His benefits in Psalm 103:2; Psalm 104:1. David was well practised in encouraging himself to fight his way out of discouragement. Reading through some of the Psalms of David is like taking a journey from despair to seeing the wonder of God. What is changing as he is writing these songs is his attitude and focus.
His circumstances are not changing as he writes, but his focus on where the answers are does. He would commend his soul to observe and get involved in focussing on his heavenly Father’s greatness and all the blessing that He is to us, because he valued being filled with his Father’s loving presence – getting an encouraging hug from feeling His presence and David knew that staying in turmoil of discouragement and depression was not going to make that possible. David knew that he had to find a way to reopen his heart to God every time.
The ways he knew were to sing to God, sing about God and to speak out to himself all the good and great things about God. He would return to his vision of God as maker of heaven and earth and establisher of David’s throne or rule. David shows in his words that he has vision to rule, to fight and conquer, to manage men when all they seem to want to do is plot for their own ends. David was no wimp. He took on lions and bears as a shepherd boy and won but had good cause to be discouraged and depressed at times of his life.
Powerful men plotted against him, Saul hunted him like an animal and he faced open rebellion from his own family with squabbling and power-plays between his wives and children. What saved him was his decision to turn his attention off these very compelling issues and direct it toward our Father and his Father. Some of his heart cries in the psalms show him starting in a very dark place and coming out into a place of open heart where he knew God’s comforting presence.
We have a choice before us every day. To live like servant-sons of God or to live as servant-son-friends of God. That can sound like the same thing but it is not. We have a constant choice of heart to make
a) to live with God as Lord of your life in fear of Him, or
b) to live in knowing Him as wonderful friend, loving Father and compassionate, all caring Lord / Master.
The difference is found in Jesus description of 2 levels of family existence.
John 15:14-16 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it to you.
Jesus contrasts two levels of family existence here. He was clearly telling His inner circle that He had elevated them from the servant place to the friend place. In our walk today we are called to walk in the place of Jesus on the earth. Jesus knew always what His Father was planning and doing and about to do. He deliberately took time out to make sure of it. Several times He walked away from the people when He needed alone time to catch up with Dad.
Jesus walked as not only the Son of God, but as a friend to His Father. We get used to the limited Christian culture around us and unconsciously accept it as normal, when all along we carry a hunger for more.
John 9:5; As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
John 8:12; Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Matthew 5:13-16; You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its savour, with what shall it be salted? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and to be trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the grain-measure, but on a lamp stand. And it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
We are called to be the light of the world which was Jesus own walk – that the son knows the Father and what He is doing, the servant doesn’t.
The key is in what we choose to believe about ourselves and in how we pray.
How many of us have known a friend relationship with our earthly father – that closeness and camaraderie that goes beyond just living together or being together as family?
Looking at the parable of the two sons in Luke 15, which son was a servant son and which was a friend?
When you look into your own heart, how much servant of God attitude is there and how much friend of God?
What do you think we can do about it?