Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:56

56 This has become mine,
Because I kept Your precepts.

If you’ve seen the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, perhaps you’ll remember the scene where they’re entering the prison, and Peter Quill sees a guard wearing his headphones and listening to his music. He jumps in and shouts at him, “Hooked on a Feeling, Blue Swede, 1973 - That song belongs to ME!

That’s what I hear when I read this verse in Psalm 119: this has become mine.

It’s not a Finding Nemo seagull saying “Mine! Mine!”
Nor is it a child grasping at a toy, selfishly crying “Mine!”

It’s Peter Quill yearning from his heart about something so precious to him - a gift from his mother.

And it’s the same with the Word of God. When our Father speaks a word to us - He gives us hope, comforts us, gives us a song, strengthens us with His name - it becomes what I could only describe in verse 49 as an “inside joke”.

It’s something so deeply personal and intimate, even though the Bible is there for millions to read, you can honestly say, “this has become mine!

I have shared a couple of these “mine” words that God has spoken to me in:
Verse 14 (Freedom from the fear of death - Hebrews 2:14-15)
Verse 15 (Go, sell the oil - 2 Kings 4:7)

And I have dozens more. One that is most precious to me is 1 Samuel 17:25. It was through this verse that God spoke very clearly to me about His will for my life.

From the time I met the Lord in November 2005 until early 2008, I had been praying for a wife. But then God asked me, in effect, “How do you know it’s My will for you to marry?”

I said, “You’re right. I don’t know that for sure.” And I was honest with the Lord. I said, “Lord, I want a wife. But I want Your will above what I want. If you want me to have a wife, good. If you want me to be single and serve you that way - then I know that Your will is the absolute best for my life. And that is what I ultimately want.

So I went into neutral, so to speak, and instead of asking for a wife presumptively, I started praying, “Lord, do You want me to have a wife?” I prayed this for several weeks. And I’ve discovered that it’s not uncommon for the Lord to answer me very quickly - though sometimes I am slow to hear. And fasting is one way to shut out distractions and really focus on the Lord and hear Him more clearly.

So on Saturday, March 8, 2008, I fasted from food. And I only had one question: “Lord, do you want me to have a wife? I just want a yes or no. If it’s a yes, I’ll wait for You for further instructions, and if it’s a no, then I’ll rejoice in Your will for my life.”

The next day at the Sunday evening service, I bumped into a man I knew from the prayer team at church. In the middle of our conversation, he suddenly got a very intense look on his face, and then said quite pointedly:

Ben, are you praying for a wife? You need to be praying for a wife. The Lord says He wants you to have a wife.

My eyes must have been as big as saucers. I was just fasting and praying about this yesterday!!!

I went home totally stoked. Amazed at how God speaks to us so clearly to answer our questions and give us direction. He gave me a prophetic word - and not from some whacko off the street, but from a man of God I know and trust.

Even then - and this is so important - I wasn’t satisfied. The Bible says, “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things… “ 1 Thess 5:20-21

So I went home thanking the Lord for His answer, then I asked Him to confirm it through His word.

And within a day or two, I came across 1 Samuel 17:25:

...and it shall be that the man who kills him [Goliath] the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel. 1 Sam 17:25

And when I read those words… “the king… will give him his daughter.” Something happened in my heart. I didn’t have to pray, “Lord, please give me a wife” any more, because I was already married! Faith had been birthed in my heart, and as the Word says, “Faith is… the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 I couldn’t see my wife - but I had evidence of her existence.

And what is so marvelous to me is how deeply the Lord spoke to my heart’s desire. I didn’t want a wife who was just a nice, church-going girl. I wanted a wife who had such a relationship with God that she was “the King’s daughter.”

It’s another story how the Lord brought Aries and I together. But it was all His doing. All of it was Him keeping His promise that He made to me in 1 Sam 17:25.

So, people may use this story in the Bible to make children’s books, or give 3 point illustrated sermons. They may debate the existence of giants. Or whatever else they may do. And it’s all well and good.

It doesn’t change the fact that 1 Samuel 17:25 is mine. God spoke it to me, and He fulfilled it in my life.

It does my heart good to reflect on these memories. I hope it does your heart good to read them, and to be encouraged that God wants to speak to you through the Word of God. And when He does, you’ll be able to say with me and with the psalmist:

“This has become mine.”

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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