Intro: During this Lenten season, every devotional will begin with a quote from C.S. Lewis (author and theologian), followed by two readings: 1) A passage from the Psalter and 2) a writing from one of the Old Testament prophets or New Testament authors. We will look at both passages as a whole through the fulfilling work and wisdom of Christ—Truth.
Although it may be tempting to exalt our selfish desires and expect life to revolve around us, we must guard ourselves against doing so, because that path will never lead us toward the character of Christ.
“The characteristic of lost souls is ‘their rejection of everything that is not simply themselves.” (CS Lewis; The Problem of Pain)
An exalted love of self is one of the key indicators of living in the ‘last days’ (2 Tim 3:1-2). In our passage from the Psalter today, the City of David was to be a holy place; however, it was filled with all kinds of internal issues of violence, abuse, destruction, and lies. God’s people also had external enemies who constantly threatened them.
God calls us to be a holy people being made in his image; filled with his love and goodness. It is our responsibility to live out of that holy place. Yet, we internally can hold on to some very sinful tendencies and when we do we certainly seek to justify them. We endure the evil that is external, because apart from Christ, we cannot control things in the world. Yet, we sometimes tolerate the intrusion of evil in our own souls. Evil wants entry into vulnerable hearts so it can gain a foothold of power.
In our passage from the Psalter, David is dealing with an adversary—enemy—who was once a friend. David is so broken about the situation, he turns to the Lord in prayer and asks for help. In this world we will face ‘frenemies’—a person who pretends to be a friend. We can either stress in these times or we can commit them to the Lord and ask Him to keep us safe.
Psalm 55:15-19 NLT
Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.
But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me.
Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.
He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me.
God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them. Interlude For my enemies refuse to change their ways; they do not fear God.
Jesus is our True Friend and he understands our anguish in these situations; think about Judas and his betrayal. Christ brings so much Wisdom to us in how to handle life during distressing times. Therefore, we must grow in our knowledge of Christ and, in the power of the Spirit, learn to share his divine nature and qualities—which the greatest is LOVE. Do you have a desire to grow in the divine nature of Christ? If so, you have been chosen by God to be an example of grace and righteousness.
2 Peter 1:4-10 NLT
4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for choosing us to be tabernacles of your divine nature. Please continue to work your character out in us each day. We yield to your plan and purpose for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.