Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nothing Compares


Nothing Compares:

"No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God." (1 Samuel 2:2)

Our God is a rock and refuge for us. No other foundation will last. Blessed is the man who builds his hope and faith on the Rock of the Lord, for when storms rise, he shall be protected by the Almighty.

"Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" (Exodus 15:11)

Asaph, a levite and a musician in David's time, wrote twelve of the psalms in the book of Psalms. Asaph wrote the famous Psalms 73, in which we see a complete repentance, realisation of iniquity, and a complete declaration of devotion to the Lord.

Verse one professes of God's goodness to those who have a pure heart (and this is true, and thankfully now, in A.D. years after Jesus has come and cleansed us once and for all, we have a pure and righteous heart through faith). Then Asaph admits it, he had slipped and had started to envy the wicked. He observed that these people appeared to experience zero hardship or tribulation. He claims that they "have no struggles" and that they are "free from burdens". Then comes the repentance of that sin and revelation of the truth.

"When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny." (Psalm 73:16-17)

It wasn't until he entered into the Presence of God that Asaph realised that the people who blasphemed God and were recklessly carefree were ultimately headed for destruction.

"I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You." (Psalms 73:22)

What a confession that is. Asaph deliberately repents of his iniquity of envy. Then, watch what he declares.

"You guide me with your counsel, and afterwards you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." (Psalm 73:24-26)

First, God's counsel convicted Asaph's spirit. We don't know exactly what went down in the Sanctuary of God, but we do know that Asaph's heart changed from that point. This is a testament of God's counsel, and the way He gently convicts for the good of His children.

Asaph goes on to say that Heaven holds his heart's utmost desire - the Lord. Only God will do, and that's exactly what he was reminding himself in this verse. Asaph returns his heart to a right position of heavenly focus.

Earth has nothing I desire. This is a powerful truth that is oftentimes tricky to glue onto the forefronts of our minds. The world can be so tempting sometimes, but remember that all the world really has to offer is fading.

"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures for ever." (Isaiah 40:8)

Lastly, Asaph gives a declaration of allegiance to the Lord. Even though our flesh will fail us and our weak hearts give in to temptations so quickly, God will be our strength forever. Our portion of the Lord is much more satisfying than anything the world has to offer.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

Psalms 77 was also written by Asaph. This psalm is a testimony to the fact that even though we may feel like God has turned His love and favour away from us, He is still there, still faithful, and still the God of miraculous wonders.

"I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’ Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?" (Psalm 77:12-13)

Think about Asaph's past. He had a filthy iniquity in his heart (just as we all do from time to time), but once he entered into the Lord's Presence and repented, forgiveness was received, and that iniquity was completely washed away. Asaph's sin was not too dirty, and God still fully forgave him. 

Asaph's joy (which was fading fast in the first half of Psalms 77!) was restored to him. All Asaph could think to do was praise the Lord for all He's done for him.

"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds." (Psalm 73:28)

It is good to be in the Lord's Presence. Heart transformations, peace with God, and abounding joy are restored in His Presence. There truly is NONE like our miraculous, forgiving, and loving God!


-The Introverted Evangelist

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