Summer ought to be a season when we’re able to rest well—a time we can spend with the Lord and His goodness. But, oftentimes, we actually fall out of healthy spiritual habits and end up trying to rest from the Lord instead of resting in Him.
That’s why we’ve created the Summer Selah Series. Over 40 days, we’ll be sharing daily devotions during a season where you may not feel very devoted.
Based on excerpts from his book Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion, Ross Lester, our Pastor of Preaching and West Congregation Pastor, will provide readings from select Psalms, a brief devotional reflection, and some prayer points for each of the 40 days.
Take some time to read Psalm 80. Then, come back and read the following verse again.
“Restore us, O LORD God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (Psalm 80:19 ESV)
I have a slightly strange interest in (read obsession with) vintage musical instruments. At one stage, I owned three vintage guitars even though I didn’t know how to play them. I just love the craftsmanship, the attention to detail, and the sheer beauty of something that can’t quite be captured in any product made on a mass production line.
One day, a few years ago, I got a call from a friend of mine who is a dealer in vintage gear. He was insistent that I needed to go and see him as soon as I could. He thought he had something that I definitely wanted to see and probably wanted to own. He was right.
What he had was a 1954 Sonor Signature Maple drum kit. It was as rare as hens-teeth, but it was in really bad shape. It had been bought new in 1954 by a young man who married shortly after his purchase only to discover that his new bride didn’t share his passion for the drums. So, the kit had been dumped into poorly-ventilated storage and had stayed there for over fifty years. The lugs were rusted, the shell covers were peeling, and the hardware was falling apart. When we pulled the original vellums off though, we could see who she really was. The Canadian maple shells were perfect and the hand-sanded bearing edges were as smooth as the day that some German perfectionist had first sanded them down.
In order for the kit to be playable though, she needed restoration—a lot of it. Through months of hard work, we got the kit restored to its original condition, and the first time I took her out to a gig I will never forget the way she sang. Her snare drum literally shouted out the glory and renown of God.
In Psalm 80, Asaph was crying out in desperation to God on behalf of the people of Israel. He was asking God to restore her to her former glory. This is the remarkable thing about the gospel and indeed about the nature of our great God. Not only does He save us with His salvation, He also then restores us and makes us new again so that we can sing for His glory and renown.
Maybe you feel a bit like that old Sonor Signature? Through neglect, abuse, or even rebellion, you feel tainted, rusted, and dirty, and as a result you don’t feel like you can sing a song of praise to God.
He is the Great Restorer. He is making you new. He won’t stop until He is done.
You will sing again.
Father God, thank You that You are the Great Restorer. Thank You that You don’t just save us, but You also change us through the powerful message of Your gospel. Keep doing Your work in us and on us. Restore us God. Make us sing!
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)