The Lord Watches Over You

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

The Lord watches over you. So true. Because God is awesome, he’s so faithful, his steadfast love goes beyond the clouds. Psalm 108 :4 For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

What does it look like?

But what does that look like? When the Lord watches over you, it’s not just for protection, but also for sanctification, meaning changes in our life to be more godly and more like Christ.

When a person goes through hardship, he or she is driven to seek the Lord, and through those times, especially if the person responds to take a fast and prayer, the Lord notices that, there is a serenity that dawns upon the person, speaking from experience. But it’s more than that, because as we cry out to the Lord, humbling ourselves, with prayer and fasting, because we know there is no way out, I sense my ego begins to evaporate. When ego evaporates, I find a very different personal mood, in a much humbler posture. That’s why monastic experience is very precious, for us to get away and just focus on meditating psalms and scriptures, and prayers and worship. It’s a refreshing spiritual experience, and I have done it a few times. It’s a wonderful posture to be with in front of God. Psalm says God is with those who are contrite in heart. Psalm 57:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Those who are self-confident, arrogant or apathetic, full of themselves will be lied low, but those who are humble will be lifted up. Matt 23 12 “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The thing is God is doing something beautiful when we go through hard times, or being disciplined. I see that as a one stone two birds thing. One is we are , of course crying out, for God’s help, like David always does in Psalms, and the other one is actually through the process, it brings transformation to our hearts. We get less agitated, more calm, and more at the mercy of our God. This is when we focus on God’s mercy, goodness, compassion and sovereignty in humility like prayer and fasting. Just like in Israel when they sinned against God, and God judged them by letting them be defeated, they would put on sackcloth and ashes on their heads in mourning and crying to God. It is exactly the same. The beautiful thing is “The Lord watches over us”. How beautiful and comforting when you know that the Lord watches over you in your ups and downs. The worst thing is God is apathetic, doesn’t care our going up or down. You don’t want that. The most important thing is you know the Lord our God loves us and watches over us, though on the outside he seems to be quiet. And that’s because , I think, he is holy, and glorious, and cannot be understood by human fleshly understanding and perception, we need the Holy Spirit to reveal his heart to us. That’s why we can’t feel him half of the time or more, honestly, because our God is divine and transcendent, and we are mere mortals saved by the absolute grace of God, his mercy, one hundred percent, nothing that we have done.

So no matter how long it takes, there will be a turning point, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. God will not leave us by our own, but will always be with us as a shepherd watches over his sheep. The trouble is our perception of him, just because we don’t perceive his presence with us, doesn’t mean he is not watching over us by His Spirit. He always is. The Spirit of God lives in us now. We can even grieve his Spirit when we sin. Let alone his watching over us. Our perception of him will be much sharpened by our prayer and fasting and humbling ourselves on a regular basis. That coupled with daily meditation of God’s word is a touch down. God loves his people come to him and cry out to him, and commune with him. He is absolutely relational, not legalistic.

Most often than not, God can’t change our hearts at certain specifics, even though we may even be meditating God’s word daily, the only way for him to do that is through times of trials and that forces us to seek him. He’s got our attention, when we have no way to turn. But the scary thing is when we are so insensitive to him, when he is calling us to set aside time to seek him, it takes an aggravated situation to get our attention. That shows how frail we are, so attuned to the world today, our laziness, lack of motivation, and business, are all stumbling blocks to what God wants to do in us.

And more than that, we are called to continually seek the Lord. Not just once, not just a day or two, but through our life span. Seek the Lord and his strnegth! His strnegth! Glory in him, worship him!

Psalm 105

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
    children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

Give thanks to God, call upon the Lord! Make his deeds known! Sing to him, glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek him and his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works he’s done! I love all these!

God is a rewarder of those who seek him

Hebrews 11: 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

You must have a sense of the divine goodness to seek God. God rewards us who seek him. Calvin rightly writes, “…no one will be in a suitable state of heart to seek God except a sense of the divine goodness be deeply felt, so as to look for salvation from him.” 1

Do you sense deeply the divine goodness? You see, Calvin is right, you can’t be casual about this. It’s either you feel deeply about God’s goodness, or you feel partially which will not sustain. Calvin writes beautifully on the fact that if you don’t have a deep sense of God’s goodness, you would not be in a state of heart condition to find him. God loves us to seek him, and this word ‘seek him’ is found all over psalms and the Bible.

Hebrews 6 says that without faith its impossible to seek him. We must seek him because we believe He is good, He is the source all goodness we can find in this life, real goodness. Not as an opinion, but real deep belief and conviction. Many people do believe God is the source of goodness as well, but they don’t turn to him, to seek him. And they got nothing!

Lastly, be very sure to know that it’s not our works of merits that we deserve God’s watching over us for good, but its God’s grace and goodness thats activated by our faith that will find God.

Seek him, and you will find him. Shalom, Amen.

[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (p. 271). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

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