Setting the Lord Always Before Us

“I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8 KJV

King David revealed one of the great secrets of his life, what kept him going in the midst of great adversities and tragic events: that he set the Lord always before him, being constantly aware of God’s nearness and presence. And we can say that this was also true of the Lord Jesus Christ, who lived a life of constant prayer and communion with the Father.

Let us consider what might be components of this significant guiding principle in life.

The first aspect is a determination, an act of the will, and a definite decision to practice this guideline.  We live busy lives in a world where “life seems to be organized for us”.  It is alarming how the years pass by so swiftly, and we often wonder if we have accomplished what we purposed to do.  We must insist, therefore, to take control of our lives and live it according to what we believe are the right paths, because if we do not, our lives will be governed by the tyranny of external events, the pressures of business, meetings, and day-to-day living, and we ultimately forget the needs of our immortal soul.

The second aspect of this practice is the art of recollection, speaking to ourselves and reminding ourselves of God and our relationship to Him.  Upon waking, we consciously dismiss thoughts of doubts and temptations and deliberately remind ourselves that we are children of God and heirs of eternity. And we meditate upon the implications and outcomes of belonging to God.

These components involve the action of diligently seeking the presence of God, to know that He is not simply a philosophical concept: He is a Person, and we can come before Him, speak and fellowship with Him.

One practical way we can attain this is to spend time reading the Bible, where God reveals Himself to us, and the more we read God’s Word, the more we are made aware of His Presence.  It must not be fitful, but rather a regular and systematic daily reading, to go through the book from Genesis to Revelation year by year. And we need to spend time in prayer, talking and listening to God.

These are the ways we set the Lord before us, and we must do it always, through trials and triumphs, through storms and calm, always.  And like King David, we shall not be moved, whatever befalls,  because the Lord is at our right hand.

Reference: David Martyn Lloyd-Jones Ssermon: Set the Lord Always Before Me

Photograph: Great Bear Lake by LCT

11 thoughts on “Setting the Lord Always Before Us

  1. Something that goes along with this that John Piper pointed out in his book Desiring God was that the righteous man ” meditates day and night (on God’s law)” (Psalm 1:2). Often times people just read the Bible to check the box and not to become filled and satisfied. Something I am constantly aware of falling in to.
    By the way, I appreciate how you are always posting about scriptural things that are deep. Convicts me. I don’t want to be one of those that says their a Christian in the bio but only posts about movies and such. I want to suite to action to the word, like you do.
    So thank you.
    ~N

    • Thank you for sharing this perspective of John Piper! Yes, just going through the motions to “check the box” would be so mechanical and lifeless, indeed! Our motivation to go to the Word must be to be filled and satisfied, and to find great joy. It is my humble privilege to share what I learned and gleaned from God’s Word and also through the thoughts of godly people who serve Him. Thank you so much for your insightful comments! God bless you richly! Dee

    • Hi Diane, have you ever heard of the book Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard? It’s a classic and I’d hhgliy recommend it if you have the chance. This scripture reminds me of this wonderful book.

  2. Dee, I love this piece for it is a reminder that not only should we keep our focus on the Lord, but to never forget that even when we don’t, He remains with us and in us (and waiting for us to see). I love this piece and appreciate the heart that could share its message of love. ~ Truly, Bobbie

  3. We set alarm clocks and timers to remind us to do something important, we write important dates on the calendar so we don’t forget them, we ask friends/colleagues to hold us accountable for completing important projects; yet, when it comes to something as important as our everlasting life, we tend to just “wing it!” And, as you point out, in the hustle and bustle of life today, communing with God often gets overlooked, forgotten, postponed, and neglected. Great reminder of what is vitally important to those who believe. Thanks for the encouraging words, Dee.

    • You’re exactly right, Ken. So we have to apply the same discipline to our walk with the Lord. Just as we purpose to wake up for a particular reason and “set the alarm clock”, we need to discipline ourselves and “set our internal alarm clocks” to have fellowship with the Lord. Great contribution. Thanks so much, Ken!

  4. I love it that even when I have lost my focus, I am not out of His sight for a moment! I used to feel so guilty when I missed my devotional times… Good thing God doesn’t think like I do, huh? 🙂

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