"Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity and let me not eat of their delicacies!" ~Psalm 141:3-4
I've read verse 3 in the past and have prayed and thought about the Lord setting a watch over my lips to keep stuff from coming OUT of it that is not good. But this morning, in the context of verse 4 I prayed and thought about the Lord setting a watch over my lips to keep me from INDULGING it... to keep me from eating of the delicacies of this world. I'm not just talking about food, but I am talking about food too.
I believe the Lord blesses us with good things...food, clothes, cars, gas, houses...even things we don't NEED, extras, just because He's good. I believe He does this NOT because we're good, but because He is, for Luke 6:35 says He is kind to the ungrateful and evil.
The difference between the wicked person (we all fall under this category apart from being made new creatures in Christ) and a disciple of Christ is OUR response to the blessings and abundance we have available to us at God's supply. We, as Christians, have the opportunity and the calling to not INDULGE our every desire, taste bud, and fancy just because it's available to us and we can have it. We have the opportunity to rather let something that the world does not see as valuable delight us.
Verse 5 of this Psalm says, "Let a righteous man strike me- it is kindness; let him rebuke me- it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it." Jesus is the "righteous man" and He is the Living Word of God. His word, His righteousness, even coming through a vessel that might not seem so righteous to us, rebukes and chastens, yet it is oil and annointing for us when we receive it.
As Christians, we grow, we're strengthened, we're anointed and empowered, and enjoy a sweetness that is unexplainable when we let the Word of God rebuke us, and be as honey on our lips and oil on our heads. For Psalm 19:7-11 says, "The law of the Lord is perfect,reviving the soul;the testimony of the Lord is sure,making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right,rejoicing the heart;the commandment of the Lord is pure,enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean,enduring forever;the rules of the Lord are true,and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold,even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned;in keeping them there is great reward."
Hebrews 12:6 reminds us that the Lord disciplines, rebukes...chastens the one He loves as a son.
We're all tested in this as Christians. We're tested at times in not having an abundance to indulge ourselves in, and in those times we see if we will trust God to supply our needs and to let Him be all we need. But in times of abundance, in times when the wicked world's "delicacies" are at our disposal...every movie, toy, trinket, gadget, car, cup o' joe, cake, treat, restaurant...every thing we can imagine to satiate our senses is available to us, we are tested to see if we will let the Word of God be our desire, the gold and the taste of sweet honey that our souls find treasure in .
It's not that Reeces are bad (yum!) and a nice car is wrong. It's about sacrifice and choosing (we do have a choice) to live a life full in the Spirit rather than stuffed in the flesh.
I think of Jesus in the wilderness, having full power and ability to say the word and create bread out of stone for himself. Nothing WRONG in doing that, but He would not indulge in what was readily available to Him because His purposes here were not to enjoy tasty bread whenever he wanted it. His purpose here was to deny Himself all the way to the cross to show us the way and to save us out of this world that is perishing.
We can't turn stones into bread, but we can pick up a Snicker's bar anytime we want. We can watch a movie whenever we like. We can buy ourselves a new pair of earrings when we like them. We can, it's not WRONG, but is that our purpose here!? Has God saved us, created us new creatures and left us here in this world to indulge ourselves in delicacies?!
It's a strike to me! It's a rebuke to my own life! I feel like I'm surrounded constantly with "delicacies" at my disposal, but is that what I'm here for?!
God speaks Esther to my heart. And I do believe the church is an Esther in this world, not just me in my personal life.
I am in a house of an unbelieving "king" and I have much favor and honor here. I have all kinds of goodies available to me, but I also have a choice. I know of my people "out there" and of my people in the "kingdom" of my household, my children, who the enemy seeks to destroy through the "kings" of this world. Will I choose intercession like Esther? Will I spend time on my knees, will I fast, will I pray, will I risk rejection by my own "king" and by the "kings" of this world to be identified with God's people and to seek deliverance for them? Or will I just carry on enjoying my trinkets and treasures and the feasts of delicacies that are at my disposal?
Oh, Lord, help me! Help us! Set a guard over our lips...over our appetites! Help me not to indulge myself! Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus, the one who blazed this trail of faith I follow. Help me to follow Him- He is the Way! Help me to deny myself indulgences and to pray and intercede for others instead and seek Your word- even if it's a rebuke to me- to be my delicacy! Thank you Lord for what you provide! Fill my heart with thanksgiving when I do eat and drive and hear music and enjoy the gifts you've given. But help me to be wise in discerning what is just a temptation from the enemy to indulge myself in a little bread, or a little honor, or a little gadget...help me to discern the temptations and cling to Your word like Jesus!