“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