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.
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Take some time to read Psalm 106. Then, come back and read the following verses again.
“Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.” (Psalm 106:6-8 ESV)
As I read the Bible and as I am amazed afresh by the grand narrative of redemption, I cannot help but be sobered by the undeniable revelation of where we fit as people in the telling of God’s story. I’ll give you a hint—it’s not in the middle. We all matter and we are all beloved by God, but we don’t find ourselves anywhere near the center or be considered essential in the grand narrative of redemption as we might like to believe. We have a desperate need to play the starring role and to be the center of everything. We deeply desire to be the point and the purpose of our own lives.
Christians have extended this desperate need for focus and meaning to salvation. God saves us for us right? Well unfortunately, according to Scripture, no.
Time and time again, Scripture reminds us that the center of the universe is God and not us. He is the hero of the story, who lovingly and graciously allows us to participate with Him in the telling of the great story of His salvation and redemption. And so, Psalm 106 reminds us again that even the salvation of God isn’t about us. He saves us for Himself and for the sake of His great name.
This is uncomfortable, but it is really good news. It means that the pressure isn’t on us. The Psalm reminds us that it wasn’t based on the loveliness of the Israelites that God acted—He acted for the sake of His own name. This means that God’s furious pursuit of His own glory is actually the most joyful doctrine in the world.
It isn’t about me!
Now, that’s brilliant news.
God loves you way too much to let it be about you. He knows you couldn’t stand that kind of pressure.
Father God, forgive me for the many ways that I tend to make things about me. Help me to live in the freedom of knowing that I exist and have been redeemed for Your glory. Teach me to trust You in that.
Ross Lester, Selah: Devotions From The Psalms For Those Who Struggle With Devotion (Magnolia, Texas: Lucid Books, 2017)