October 3

Psalms 27:1, 4 (NIV) 1The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

4One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

David declared the LORD to be his light and his salvation. It was the presence of the LORD in his life that enabled him to see things as they really were, that kept him from stumbling in the darkness. It was the presence of the LORD in his life that saved him out of all his difficulties. The LORD was his salvation. He didn't lean on self to understand or to get him out of danger. He recognized that his help came from the LORD.

He goes on to say that men cannot make him afraid. If God is sovereign, and He has become my light and my salvation, what can man do to me? With the LORD as his stronghold, he always knew where to run for safety. Do you turn to God first in all your fears and concerns? Is He your light and salvation, the stronghold of your life? Without that, men will cause you to fear. Situations will overwhelm you. With that assurance, you will always know that the will of the God who loves you will be done. He will see you through anything men or demons can dish out.

And if you are called home, you will be in His presence forever. What is the worst man can do? Kill me? Then I will end up where I long to be, gazing upon the beauty of the LORD and seeking Him in His heavenly dwelling place. David may have been referring to the tabernacle, but I think his mind moved from the earthly to the reality in heaven. His great desire was to spend eternity gazing upon God. Somewhere in those years of shepherding or training under Saul, he must have had a vision of the beauty of God. That became the one thing his soul sought after. We need a vision like that so that He becomes our one thing. Then, if illness strikes, or men threaten, like the Apostle Paul, we can say, "To die is gain."

Consider: Make the LORD your one thing.

October 3

Ephesians 4:26-27, 31 (NIV) 26"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Anger can be a warning to us that something is wrong in our heart. Like a warning light on the dashboard of our car, it means to stop and check inside to see what is going on. Often times our pride has been wounded. Good! Exalting self above others needs to be more than wounded; it needs to die on the cross.

It may take some time to get down to the real problem. It may be deep-seated issues of receiving the anger of others, a sense of unfairness, or any number of other issues. Once we find the cause, we must deal with it in accordance with the new nature in us. Our renewed way of thinking must examine that issue in the light of truth. This does not mean it will immediately go away, but that we learn how to look at the issue in a new light.

It is important to not let anger go unchecked. That gives the devil a foothold. It can turn into bitterness, rage, brawling, slander and every form of malice. If any of these would characterize how you feel or behave toward another, the devil has a foothold in your life. That grieves the Holy Spirit. He is not comfortable dwelling in you when you allow this behavior to remain. You are not exemplifying the life of Christ, but that of the world.

God's solution is to get rid of it. It is the simple and obvious answer, but you can only carry that out by surrendering to the love of Christ. Remember how He forgave you for worse offenses than the party that has made you angry. Look deeply into His love and grace and know that He wants to express that same grace through you. That does not mean that you have to trust or enable that person to harm you or others again, but it does mean your attitude of bitterness must go. This change is nothing short of a miracle. God will do it in you if you are willing. The Greek verb tense implies this is done at a point in time and remains done. Get rid of it! Don't go on grieving the Spirit. He will help you.

Remember: If your warning light is on, deal with the problem.