May Your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your promise; then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in Your word. Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in Your laws. I will always obey Your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts. I will speak of Your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, for I delight in Your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to Your commands which I love and I meditate on Your decrees. (Psalm 119: 41-48)
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Most of us have mastered the art of backing down during a "time to shine." You know... those particular moments in time where we get to actually show God off, illuminate His power, and make His love and glory known.
Maybe it was during practice, at a friends house a few weekends ago, the other day when you - once again - gave into those negative thoughts about yourself, last week when you choose to stay shallow in that conversation, or yesterday when you remained silent and watched as someone was alone and in need.
You see, we have all experienced moments when we missed out on a "time to shine."
David, today's psalmist, must have understood this. It seems as if he too had times where he found himself at a loss; a loss of words, prayers, truth, ways to silence his inner lies, and to overcome his unhealthy cravings.
And what he discovered was that God's word - His very power - was not as "ready" to him as he knew it should be. He would be hit with an opportunity to shine, yet sink back in fear.
Yet his response to this realization is today's passage...
He starts by greeting the Lord: "May Your unfailing love come to me..." Literally, he is asking for God to show up; to meet with him. He desires help; salvation from this struggle of backing down.
And this is what he states: "Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth." Though this is a very odd phrase, he is simply requesting for God's word to always be in his mouth. He wants it to never leave. He wants it to give him consistent wisdom, courage, knowledge, and boldness. David is praying to no longer be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths.
And in this moment, he is choosing to take ownership of his "times to shine." But know this: Incredible boldness comes from readiness. And readiness comes from the Word of God.
You see, you will never overcome that art of backing down if you do not seek readiness from His word. You will never be able to silence those lies without an understanding of the truth. And you will never have the boldness to stand up for another (whether a human or God himself) without His power in your heart and on your lips.
It is time that we too take ownership of our "times to shine."
And as the psalm continues, David proudly proclaims that he will "speak of [God's] statutes and ways before kings and will not be put to shame." When I first read this, I was thinking that He was talking about being able to boldly proclaim God to people in authority over him (much like he did with King Saul and King Nebuchadnezzar).
But then I realized something huge...
David is writing this at a time when he, himself, was King. So these "kings" that he is speaking of are not "authority," they are his peers. And though it does take guts to be unashamed towards people in authority, think about how much more confidence, boldness, and strength it takes remain unafraid and unshakable when among high-powered peers.
You see, David wants to be ready and bold - not just with authorities - but with his peers.
And this is what we need today. You need the readiness to stand up and take those opportunities to shine God's love, power, grace, and acceptance to those you pass every single day.
We pray that you do just that. What is something that you have taken from today's devotion? Feel free to let us know by commenting in today's Instagram post: Instagram.com/DeclareGlory,
Greg, Declare Glory