(Psalms 143:7-12) Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge! Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.
(Romans 14:6-8) The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
The concept or principle of living our lives to glorify the Lord is one that is easily and often talked about, understood, and agreed upon, but much more rarely expressed. In the first six verses of Psalm 143, David cried out to the Lord regarding the difficulties and hardships he was experiencing. In these last six verses, he asks for the Lord's deliverance with a specific purpose in mind. He asks, not for his own benefit or pleasure, and not to ease his own burden, but for the Lord's name's sake.
David understood and expressed in his life, as Paul the Apostle did many years later, that his life was not his own but belonged to the Lord. Paul knew that what lay in store for him in the kingdom of God was far beyond any pleasure that he could even imagine on this Earth. He also understood that there was purpose in him being here and doing the things he was called to do. The purpose was not his own comfort or pleasure but to glorify God. Paul endured many difficulties and hardships throughout his life in Christ; many of them he could have easily avoided and still been rather effective for the Lord. His focus was not merely on being effective for the Lord in the most comfortable way possible but to find all of his joy, comfort, and contentment in doing what God wanted him to do the way God wanted him to do it and thus bringing the greatest glory to God in his life.
Cry out to God for the things you desire and for relief from those things that bring you difficulty and hardship, but do so with the heart motivation of glorifying the Lord. How do you know if you are succeeding? Evaluate your response when God's answer is different from what you want it to be.
Questions For Discussion
- How do you live your life to glorify God?
- Is God not glorified when you do work in His name even when it is not what He has directed you to do?
- How do you know if the heart motivation of your prayers is to glorify God?