25 March • Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent
1. Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men,
2. who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually.
3. They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
4. Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men,
who have planned to trip up my feet.
5. The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
and with cords they have spread a net;
beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah
6. I say to the LORD, You are my God;
give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD! 7. O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8. Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah
9. As for the head of those who surround me,
let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10. Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire,
into miry pits, no more to rise!
11. Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
12. I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and will execute justice for the needy.
13. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.
The Psalmist is under severe attacks from evil men. They put him in danger, give him no quarter and grant him no rights. He feels the affliction of the soul. He pours his woes before God with strong words against the evil men. We do that too, sometimes.
He asks God to maintain his cause for freedom to live a godly life without harassment from the enemy.
Legitimacy of a cause determines the level of commitment to it. Some causes are worth contending for, whilst many others are not. In a war for instance, those with a worthy cause would be highly motivated to fight. Those without a worthy cause would quickly flee.
Think about the causes that you devote your resources to. Then look at your limited resources and consider how you are managing them. You can be pulled in many directions by your commitments. They compete for your limited resources and create conflicts within. It can be very stressful. Sometimes it leads to resentment and affliction of the soul.
Some commitments must go while some others maintained. It is hard to decide which to keep and which to kick. Remember to stay the cause. There is a tendency to give up worthy causes that carry high commitments. It is easy to forget the primary cause. Jesus said, “For this purpose (cause) I was born and for this purpose (cause) I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37).
Jesus was clear and resolute about His primary cause in life. He came to bear witness to the truth. His cause is also our cause. We must maintain this cause and testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Other causes in life must take reference from this primary cause. Our many commitments must also be curated with reference to this cause. God will help us, by His grace, to maintain this cause.
Help me Lord, to sieve out unworthy causes and give me strength to stay the cause to testify to Your salvation to the world. Help me Lord to drop commitments that are associated with lesser causes and help me maintain the commitments that spring from the cause of Christ.
List five commitments that are exacting a toll on your resources. Evaluate each of them and identify the cause from which the commitment springs from. Re-order the list by reference to the importance of the cause. Resolve to devote your resources to the various commitments commensurable with the order of importance of the cause.
Pastor Lawrence Chua
Living Sanctuary Brethren Church