I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Psalm 16: 8
As I read this during my Bible study last week, I wondered…what did David do each day to keep the Lord always before him? As I considered the benefit (I would not be moved or shaken!), I wanted to try this out in my own life. So, each day I purposed to ‘set the Lord always before me’. While I often became distracted from doing this, two things became very noticeable to me.
When I set the Lord always before me, I could not be independent from Him for too long. As the old song says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it”, my heart and mind can meander down a course that seems to often leave God behind. My To-Do List? That’s something I need to accomplish and I’ll touch base, God, when I need You. I mean, most of these items are far too trivial to bother You with. My anxieties? First I need to wallow in them before bringing them to You, God. I might even call a few friends for their godly counsel too. Yet…when the Lord is always before me, I have found that even the most mundane things are accomplished through His power. I remember that I can do nothing apart from Him. The realization that even my breath and heartbeats are directly from His hand sends me into a posture of dependence. Setting the Lord before us is a reality check that He is the Potter and we are the clay.
Another benefit of setting the Lord before me always was that I was more driven to prayer. When I am alone in the house, it is very quiet. You won’t find me talking to myself out loud. But, when I’m with my husband or my children, there are conversations flowing with one another. When I purposed to set the Lord before me, I discovered that my conversation…my prayers…flowed more with Him. This, of course, stems from an understanding that I am not all alone, or independent from God. Remembering that He was there with me, always before me in all my days, was such a boost to my prayerful dependence upon Him.
David elaborated upon his own experiences of having set the Lord always before him too. In verse 9, he wrote this:
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices, my flesh also will rest in hope.
David’s benefits included a happy heart, glorious words expressing his good God and a calm and peaceful body because it was not entwined with anxiety, but rather resting in hope of this perfect God.
Are you lacking joy? Are your words revealing a discontented spirit? Are you full of worry and fears? I know I have personally struggled with some of these things lately and, when I examine my heart, I often find that I have begun walking apart from the Lord, my Source of Life.
“Oh, to grace, how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be, let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee.” What a glorious fact that grace is essential to our living with the Lord always set before us. Don’t resist it; allow the Lord to lavish His extravagant grace upon you!
…In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16: 11