Episode 190: A Godward life

May 20, 2024Dave Lambert
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A number of years ago I read a book by pastor and teacher John Piper, entitled, A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life. This book was a collection of many pastoral letters written to his congregation. He wrote those letters to encourage them to be intentional about living daily with a focus on honoring God and “practicing the presence” of Christ. It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend it. So, what is a “Godward” life anyway? Is it a meditative lifestyle? A life focused on social justice? Taking time to worship? In today’s passage, King David gives us a few clues. Let’s join the psalmist and see if we might begin to get a handle on what a Godward life might be:

…The LORD hears when I call to Him. Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.  Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD.  Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD! You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety. (Psa. 4:3-8)

In this passage, David has several conversations. In the first few verses, he is encouraging us to call on God. He notes that when we pray God is listening. Wow! Isn’t that encouraging! Then he gives us four pillars of living a life focused on God. Let’s listen again: “Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the LORD.” So here are the four pillars: Tremble, Meditate, Offer Sacrifices, and Trust. David reminds us that living with God means ordering our thinking and our conduct around Him. Then David changes direction from his meditation with a question. “Many are saying, ‘Who will show us any good?’” Notice that he doesn’t ask “Who will tell us any good?” Today, we are surrounded by people who want to tell us how to live our lives, tell us what will work for us, tell us how to slow down or speed up, and tell us how to get what we want. But when we focus on God’s ways in living our lives, we move from telling people what to do to showing them how we can live with God. Have you ever heard someone tell you all about sacrificing for God, when you know that person has never really paid the price of sacrifice? Conversely, have you ever spent time with someone who has truly lived a life of intimacy with God? You might not know how to describe the difference—but you know it when you see it!

As we order our lives around God, we begin to live Godward. We trust more. We fear less and we love more. Then, others begin to be changed, too...and that is very Good News!

Thanks for listening, everyone. To learn more about Dave’s devotions, get a transcript or replay a broadcast, visit teachmi.com/Dave. And please join us again for a new devotion on Wednesday.

© 2024 Dave Lambert