Daily Thought - Psalm 91: 7-8 - Surrounded By Distractions - Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. - Psalm 91: 7-8

    Have you ever felt surrounded in your walk? Ever felt overwhelmed by the forces that surround your life. The misunderstanding many have when they come to Christ is that somehow their life will never see trials and tribulations again. Not so. When you were in the world, you were already in the camp of the enemy and as such, did not warrant much attention from him. Once saved, you can expect the enemy to take an interest in making you ineffective for the kingdom of God. Whenever progress is made in your walk you can expect the enemy to try and come against you. He knows he has lost the war but he still fights the battles because as the Bible teaches us – he knows the time is short.

    The key verses today contain glorious declarations from God as to His power, His might, and the provision of His protection. As children of the living God we are set apart unto Him. We will see many things in our walk and many things will come against us, but here God is assuring us that no matter how great or how varied the obstacles are that surround us; they will not actually come near to us - that is they should not affect us. The picture being drawn for us by the Psalmist is one of the believer being surrounded. A thousand on your left side, ten thousand on your right. God is speaking to us about the various circumstances which may come against us in this life. This is the assurance from God to those who believe that despite everything that is surrounding you, it will not come near you enough to affect you. What is required of the believer to accomplish these things? Faith in whom we have believed, not in what we might see. To the human eye, being surrounded on all sides can be overwhelming. It can cause great anxiety and distress but only if we lose our focus. That is one of the tricks the enemy will play on the believer. The trick is in the distraction. In the Gospel of Matthew we see the story of Peter walking on water to highlight this principle:

    "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" - Matthew 14: 29-31 (NIV)

    Peter starts out in the right manner. He had complete faith in who Jesus was and what He could do for him at that moment. For as much grief as we give Peter – he was the only one willing to step out of the boat! The result was his faith being rewarded by the miracle of walking on water. But then the distraction came. The wind blew and Peter was distracted. He took his eyes off of Jesus and onto his circumstances. His rational mind took over and he began to sink. Thankfully we are never too far from the saving hand of Christ, and Jesus caught him. How often has Jesus had to catch us before we sank in our own circumstances? Immediately Jesus asks why Peter lost faith and why did he begin to doubt. The point in unmistakable. Though Peter was surrounded by the rational world his faith should have been enough to carry him through. It did not matter how much the wind was howling, he should never have taken his eyes off of Jesus. Likewise, the devil will try his best to get us to look at the fierce winds blowing in our lives too – anything to distract us enough to take our eyes off of God.

    That is the point the Psalmist is making in verse 7. The thousand at your side and the ten thousand at your right hand are merely your circumstances in your rational mind. They may seem insurmountable, when considered through the lens of the logical world. They will appear overwhelming but Jesus is saying to you today, keep your eyes on Me. It matters not what your circumstances are, it only matters in whom you have believed. If you believe that you believe, that you believe, then your circumstances will become secondary to your position in Christ. Lost your job? Look to Christ. Marriage in turmoil? Look to Christ. Bad report from the doctor? Look to Christ. Your job, your health, your strife; can all become like the wind on the lake by Gennesaret was to Peter. Your circumstances will always seek to distract you from the power of God that you already walk in as a believer. Remember:

    being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

    That is the confidence we need to walk in! Who are we serving? Not some cheap god of carved wood or chiseled stone. We serve the God who spoke the entire universe into existence! When Gideon faced an army of 120,000 men and the Lord whittled down his troops to a paltry 300 – he knew the God he served and knew those are the odds God likes! When Jehoshaphat prayed because he was besieged on all sides God said – don’t worry, the battle is mine. A thousand have fallen at your side? Ten thousand at your right hand? Don’t worry beloved! God is still God.

    Verse 8 continues to remind us to have confidence in God in dealing with the “wicked.” Have you ever felt like the bad guys always win? Have you ever found yourself wondering why you have not gotten “ahead” while others around you in the world seem to be rewarded for amoral behavior? Once again, God is assuring you that these are also distractions and they can cause you to look away from God as Peter did on the lake. If your focus is on God, then the circumstances around you do not matter as much. In Luke 16 we see Jesus telling the story of the rich man and Lazarus. While complex on many levels, this story is also a stark and simple reminder to us all that this world, this life, is only temporary. What might seem like a reward to you now may not be so in the light of eternal life. Once again it is a matter of faith in whom we have believed and in knowing that we already possess eternal life.

    Distractions are everywhere in this world. They often make us take our eyes off of the author and finisher of our faith. In doing so, we lose faith and begin to sink in our circumstances as Peter sank in the water, his eyes on his surroundings instead of on his Savior. Psalm 91 verses 7 and 8 remind us that no matter what we see around us, it will not come near to us. A thousand will fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand. We will see the reward of the wicked. We will do all of those things if we keep our eyes on our eternal rewards in Jesus Christ and not on our circumstances in the temporal world.

    What have you allowed to distract you in your walk? What circumstances have you allowed to encircle you? What is Jesus speaking into your life right now? He is telling you to stop worrying about what surrounds you. Stop worrying about what other people may have. He is asking you to keep your eyes upon Him and not on the winds that are howling around you. Better to step out in faith then to sink in doubt.

    Rev. Anthony

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