Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Psalm 118:18
The law is something that tells a person what he can or cannot do. It is often seen as stifling or constricting upon a person. Very few people like to have laws made that are set ‘against’ them. It is acceptable for laws that are for the other person or to protect oneself, but not against oneself.
People like their freedom to do what they want, when they want, and how they want with no one to tell them anything different. So because of this, laws are often disposed or ignored. They do not see any or little value in the laws that are made.
In this psalm, the writer asks God to open his eyes up to the wonderful things in His law.
Just as many in the world do not like laws or rules, there are many believers who do not like the commands and laws of God. All they want is the freedom that is pronounced in Jesus. They are quick to point out that God is full of grace and mercy and that there is freedom. This is done to justify their sinful nature.
Since God is perfect and holy in all that He says and does, His law is also perfect. God put the law in place for a purpose. It was for the benefit of all people.
Following the law of God will not save a person, but it shows how a person is to live for God. Jesus fulfilled the law in providing the perfect sacrifice to save a person, but He did not abolish it. It is still there to guide a person on how he should think, speak and act in this fallen world.
The eyes of a believer need to be opened up by God’s Holy Spirit to reveal how great His law is, to be able to see the value in God’s law in this world.
Do not despise God’s law or reject it as old and of no value. Seek God’s word and see the value in what God had to say. Find out why the law was put into place and how you can apply it to your life to live a life that God wants you to live.
Trust in Jesus for your salvation, but live following God’s ways and commands. His law is perfect for how to live this life.
I pray today that God will reveal His law to you; that you will open your heart to seeing God’s law for you; that you will trust in Jesus for your salvation; and that you will live according to the commands of God.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
Promotion of what is evil can be found all over the place in many different forms. The world does not see evil as evil, but as good, fun and entertaining. People feel that they have the right to think, listen, say, and do whatever they want, how they want and when they want.
Music, games, movies, TV shows and books will promote lies, cheating, killing and other evil deeds as acceptable, or just ‘not as bad as….’ Many evil things are hidden behind the mask of comedy, making light of something bad and evil.
The psalmist encourages those who love God to hate evil. The reason for that is that God is protecting the lives of those who are faithful.
Loving something that is evil is putting oneself into the enemies hands and danger. It is purposefully allowing oneself to be harmed. It is also putting oneself against God, bringing on His wrath and anger.
Jesus died to remove all sin and evil from the life of every person. To follow Jesus and turn back to that evil is to deny Christ.
Seeing any evil, in any form, should break the heart of a believer. What is being seen is sin and shows people who do not really know God or have allowed themselves to walk away from Him.
Love will only want what is good, right, holy and pure. Every believer is to live their lives as Jesus lived, only doing what is good, right, holy and pure. They will allow God to control their thoughts and actions to do only what will please Him. This is not done to earn salvation, but because one is saved, it is done out of love.
Jesus has removed all sin from your life. Do not allow yourself to go back into it or be entertained by sin. Hate all evil, in every form and flee it. Allow your heart to break at those being bound up in evil.
Fill your heart with God’s love, knowing the love God had and has for you. Love what God loves and hate what God hates. God loves people, but hates evil and sin.
Doing these things will fill your heart with God’s love and peace, rather than fear and death.
I pray today that you will allow God to transform your thinking; that you will love God with all of your life; that God will help you to hate all evil doing; and that your life will shine God’s love in this world.
Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. Psalm 31:21
Being under attack is never a fun thing to do. As it is occurring most people feel that God has left them or that there is no God. All they see and feel is the pain and suffering at the moment. They see the horrors of the attack.
This can happen whether it is a physical, spiritual, verbal or mental attack. The point of the attack is to hurt or destroy and no one wants this. During an attack, the world will always put up its fists and fight back. All love for anyone or anything is lost as they fight for what they want.
David had been under attack many times. At times the enemy had laid siege to the city. This is surrounding the city, not allowing anyone or anything in or out in attempt to starve the city into submission. During this time David praised God because he still saw the wonders of God’s great love.
Seeing God’s great love while under attack takes a different focus in life. It is not focusing on the horrors of what is happening, but on what God is doing or has done. It is focusing on God, instead of the problem.
God is love and therefore everything He does is love. With the right perspective, one can see love even in the darkest of circumstances in this life.
Some things that David may have seen God’s love in while under siege are: he isn’t destroyed yet; they still had food; God’s presence was still with them; God was preserving them.
Instead of looking at the problem in one’s life, one must look from God’s point of view and see what he is blessed with. See God’s love in and through every situation and how God can work things out for his good.
As with everyone, you will have times when you will be under attack by the enemy. It could be a physical enemy, or one of the mind or body. While under the attack look up to God. See His great love for you.
Read the verses that talk about how God is for you and not against you. Read how God loves you with an undying love. Read how you will win with Jesus in the end.
Instead of seeing just the problem, see the wonder of God’s love for you.
I pray today that you will know God’s love and presence in your life; that you will focus on God in times of trouble; that you will be amazed with God’s love for you; and that you will give God praise for His love.
Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
So they took the away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
After looking at several people of faith through the Old and New Testament, we come to one who has the perfect, ultimate faith–Jesus. It is only because of Jesus that anyone can be saved and have a real faith in God.
Although volumes could be written on the faith of Jesus and throughout the gospels there are many examples of Him showing faith, I will only be looking at a couple of areas. Each of these are things Jesus said and did that showed His faith in the Father.
Looking at John 5:19 Jesus states what faith looks like, although He does not use the word ‘faith’ in His comment. He states that he only does what He sees the Father doing. Although this is talking about seeing, and faith is about not seeing, this does show faith also.
Doing only what God is doing is showing faith that you believe that what God is doing is the best thing to do. Think about this for a minute. Often we state that we believe God, but then He tells us to do something and what do we do? We begin to question it, rather than have faith and believe it.
God is never going to ask you to do something that is not in your best interest. Whatever you do should bring you or someone else closer to God. Your life is to be a light shining the gospel message of Jesus to this world.
In order to be that shining light, you must have faith in God. You must have faith in what Jesus said and did. You must have faith that what God said He will do. Jesus did all these things.
Now let’s look at one time Jesus showed His faith in the Father. It is found in the story of Lazarus dying and Jesus raising him from the dead. Lazarus had been dead and buried for several days. In the eyes of the world, there was no more hope for him, it was over. Yet, Jesus goes to raise him from the dead.
As He gets ready to raise Lazarus up, He talks to the Father out loud. He thanks God for hearing Him. This was done to be a witness to the people. Jesus was saying that He had faith in that the Father would hear Him and do what was needed to be done.
As soon as Jesus had said this, He called Lazarus to rise up and come out of the grave. Lazarus did rise from the dead immediately.
You can have that same faith today. Listen to what God is saying and doing and then do the same things. God will hear you and answer your prayers, when offered in faith, believing. These are not selfish prayers, but prayers and actions that do what God is wanting to do.
The final act of faith that Jesus portrayed was when He was in the garden preparing for His death upon the cross. When He was going to die upon the cross, He would go through not only physical pain, but emotional and spiritual suffering.
Think about this for a moment, Jesus had been with His Father for all eternity and now He would be separated for a time from Him. Not only would He be separated, but Jesus would also have to bear all the anger of God against all sin of all mankind for all time.
While Jesus was in the garden preparing for the death, He actually asks the Father if there could be some other way to do what needed to be done. Yet, He did not stop there. Jesus was willing to do what the Father said needed to be done–die on the cross.
You may be wondering now how does this show faith. Good question. It shows faith, because Jesus was going to be struck by His Father with great anger and wrath. He was going to be killed.
For most people, when they die it is over. There is no more life. There appears to be no more hope.
To walk forward into death appears to be giving up, suicidal. Yet, Jesus had faith that God would raise Him from the dead when it was over. He had faith that this was the best way to save every person on this earth. He had to have faith that the Father knew He was perfect and did not have to die for His own sins and stay dead.
How can this help you? Just as Jesus went forward to a extremely painful death upon the cross for you, you must be willing to go forward with what God has planned for your life.
There will be times that God will ask you to step forward into doing something that may appear to be the finish line for you. It may look like death to you. It can be scary and painful. Yet, it is what is best for you and everyone else.
Do not back down, but go forward in faith, believing, as Jesus did, that what He asked you to do is the best thing to do. Jesus gave His Holy Spirit to empower you and guide you in the ways of God. He did not leave you alone. Have faith that God is with you.
When you are struggling in life or God asks you to do something crazy, think about what Jesus did. Look at His faith and draw upon it for yourself. Go forward with the faith of Jesus in your life and walk with God. Have the ultimate faith!
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17
There is a difference between seeing and really seeing. People see with their eyes all the time what is physically happening in front or around them. Yet, they do not see what is happening underneath the surface of things. They do not see the mental or spiritual battles that are occurring.
On the surface a person may be looking like he is doing one thing, but underneath the surface, at the real heart, the actions are something totally different. Organizations in this world claim to love people and are doing good for women, yet are committing murders all the time against people. There is a different spirit at work.
The Arameans were surrounding Elisha and his servant to kill them. The servant was scared, because they appeared to be surrounded by the enemy and all alone. Elisha prayed that God would open his eyes to see the real picture of what was occurring. When his eyes were opened, he saw the hillsides filled with chariots of fire. God had His spiritual army fighting for Elisha against the enemy.
Individual believers often feel like they are all alone, no other believers or help anywhere. Yet, God is with them. Along with God is all of His great host of angels to help. God alone with someone is more than all the rest of the world without God. Then add in the number of angels with God and the number with the believer is astronomical.
A believer does not need to ever fear the enemy when God is on his side. Yet, in order to see that, the believer must have spiritually opened eyes to see what God is doing.
God is also in control of your life. If you open your spiritual eyes you will be able to see God at work in every area of your life. Life may look like you are on the losing side and are about to be destroyed, yet, God is with you.
Allow God’s Holy Spirit to open your spiritual eyes to reveal who is with you and how small the enemy really is in comparison to God and His host with Him. Know that God has everything under control and there is nothing to fear.
I pray today that God will open your spiritual eyes; that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; that God will remove all fear of the enemy; and that God will use you to touch this world.