Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Good to be Near God

For all of us it is inevitable...a person (or several persons) you know is (are) succeeding and you're not. This could be a c0-worker, a friend, a classmate, or even someone you don't know personally, but their success is right in front of you to highlight your lack of success. The worst of it all is that you know they are operating with an unfair advantage. Could be that they are a part of the "inner social circle" or maybe they are cheating, lying, or offering kick backs with money or even sex. The disparity between you in them pushes you to ask why and could even bring you to the point of temptation and cause you to want to give in.

If that's you, you have a friend in King David. In Psalms 73 he contrasted the success of others with his lack of success and painfully admitted in verse 2-3, "...my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked."

What do you do if that's you! If you are envious of the prosperity of the wicked?

One option would be to try to come up with a logical explanation. That's what David tried to do for 12 verses, but that got him no where. That's why in verse 16 he stated, "But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task."

When we focus on the why and how, we get wearisome and probably put ourselves in a more vulnerable place.

So what's the key? It's not the why and how that matters...it's the Who. Verse 17 says, "...I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end."

What's that mean? Verse 27, "For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you." Galatians 6:7 says, "Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap."

Let us not be confused or misunderstand. God is true and loving. His ways can be trusted. Immediate success and immediate gratification cannot be our guide, but it needs to be the promises of God found in Scripture. Others who mock the ways of God will be called into account and those who put their trust in God will be rewarded. We discern these things in the presence of our God (verse 17).

Now before you begin to take the place of Judge...I encourage you to take a step back. In the midst of the "wicked" succeeding, verse 28 should be our posture. "But for me it is good to be near God. I have made the Lord God my refuge that I may tell of all your works."

So what do we do when we are tempted by the success of the wicked? We get near to God. And in God's presence, we don't develop contempt for those who are succeeding, but rather God fills our heart with love and grace for them and we end up "telling (them) of all (His) works."