"What does God want from me?" This is a question we might ask, because we wonder what is required to be in God's presence.
Is there some sacrifice we must make, or good deed we need to do? We may be convinced of the need to clean up and straighten up our lives to approach God, but these are not God's expectations.
He desires something much simpler, and perhaps, something surprising to many of us.
For the choir director; for flutes; a psalm by David.
Open your ears to my words, O Lord. Consider my innermost thoughts. Pay attention to my cry for help, my king and my God, because I pray only to you. In the morning, O Lord, hear my voice. In the morning I lay my needs in front of you, and I wait. [vss 1-3]
You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness. Evil will never be your guest. Those who brag cannot stand in your sight. You hate all troublemakers. You destroy those who tell lies. The Lord is disgusted with bloodthirsty and deceitful people. [vss 4-6]
But I will enter your house because of your great mercy. Out of reverence for you, I will bow toward your holy temple. O Lord, lead me in your righteousness because of those who spy on me. Make your way in front of me smooth. Nothing in their mouths is truthful. Destruction comes from their hearts. Their throats are open graves. They flatter with their tongues. [vss 7-9]
Condemn them, O God. Let their own schemes be their downfall. Throw them out for their many crimes because they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice. Let them sing with joy forever. Protect them, and let those who love your name triumph in you. You bless righteous people, O Lord. Like a large shield, you surround them with your favor. [vss 10-12]
(Psalm 5:1-12 GW) [Context– Psalm 5]
Key phrase— In the morning I lay my needs in front of you, and I wait
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Review the Scriptures above as you answer the following questions
What is the primary request the psalmist (King David) asks three times?
How does this psalm begin and end? What is expressed in-between the beginning and end?
Why do you think King David expresses this stark contrast between himself and others who don't trust in God?
How does the end of the psalm (vss 11-12) complete the request at the beginning (vss 1-3)?
The psalms are open and honest poetic prayers. They're designed to be sung as hymns, as a response of the heart to God.
Do you feel unworthy or inadequate to express your heart to God? Then start reading and praying through the psalms. Use them as a guide to express your heart to God.
What is God looking for? People who trust Him in an open and honest way. Hearts who trust in Him above all else, with a willingness to put first things first.
King David began his day by setting his heart to trust in God. He expressed his requests and trust in God, then expected God to answer (vs 3).
His confidence was based on God's mercy and faithfulness. He knew the Lord was his refuge and shield for whatever the day might bring.
Make it personal...
Read through the Scripture text again as you consider and answer these questions
Do you allow your doubts and struggles to hold you back from expressing your heart and trust in God?
Are you able to be open and honest with God in prayer?
Do you intentionally put your trust in God, or is He more like a last resort?
Do you trust in God's mercy and faithfulness even when others oppose or ridicule you?
Would you like a free study guide for your study of Psalms?