Flip open the middle of your bible and chances are, you’ll land in the Psalms. It’s the longest, but easily one of the most readable books in the bible. You don’t need much background knowledge to understand them, and yet almost anyone who reads the Psalms finds their hearts recognizing the same intense outpouring of the human spirit to God. It is divine poetry. Whether it is spiritual worship, or a dialogue with God in the midst of pain, it grabs you. At times the yearning for intimacy with Him fills the pages. Out of the 150 psalms collected over a thousand years of Israel’s history, almost half were written by David, a few by the Levitical priests; the rest remain anonymous.
How can we best use the psalms in our spiritual journey? I would like to suggest three ways. The first is to use them to cultivate a deep prayer life. Have you sometimes run out of words to pray? Pray the psalms in your heart. It’s okay to be honest with God and ask ”why?” and “how long, O Lord?” The psalms also help us behold again God’s greatness, to trust in Him and not despair, to sing His praises and hope afresh!
Secondly, use the psalms to grow faith in your heart. How? By praying the psalms of faith aloud in your devotions and meditating on them. For faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17). You could pray aloud Psalm 1: “I shall be like a tree planted by the river, my leaves shall not wither and in all I do I shall prosper!” or Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, who shall I fear?” The Psalms are mother lodes of faith. Mine them.
Here’s a third way. Use the psalms to cultivate a lifestyle of thanksgiving. It’s a weapon that destroys the enemy of doubt and envy. “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God (Ps 84:12).” Moses had his song to sing (Ex 15), and David his hymn to praise God with (2 Sam 22 c.f. Ps 18)! What’s your Psalm today? As we begin a series on “Psalms that Overflow”, may He unleash the power of Psalms in your life!
2017 YEAR OF OVERFLOWING LIFE
Ps Dr Philip Lyn