Thoughts on the Gospel by David Joy

October 2014 No.213
 ‘I have set the Lord always before me’ Psalm 16 v 8

Distracted from God
Sometimes I awake to find a worrying thought on my mind that seems to multiply as the morning goes on until I cannot think of anything else. I am sure this is the devil’s way of taking my mind away from God.

The Blackbird’s Priority
I was reminded of this one morning when, my mind full of problems, I went outside to find a blackbird I have been feeding for some time, waiting on my doorstep, and gazing intently at me.

I daresay it had much on its mind too as I knew it had a nest of young nearby. There was also the constant danger from marauding cats, swift flying sparrow hawks and watching crows that would steal the young if given half a chance.

But for the moment, knowing from experience I always fed it, the blackbird had me as its priority.

Think not of Tomorrow
As I considered the blackbird I recalled that Jesus said ‘behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’ Matthew 6 v 26.

The posture of expectant, trustful waiting that was displayed by the blackbird reminded me that I should get my priorities right and turn from my worrying thoughts to the One who said ‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow:’ Matthew 6 v 34.

Following with Expectation
As I walked into my garden the waiting blackbird followed me down the path to my office and on opening the door it flew in behind me and stood looking at me pleadingly until it received some food.

Let us, like the blackbird that expectantly followed me, follow the Lord expectantly waiting for Him to ‘supply all our (your) need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,’ Philippians 4 v 19.

A Wonderful Example
David the Psalmist set a wonderful example of committed trust in God for he said ‘I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved,’ Psalm 16 v 8.

May God give us grace to always, like the Psalmist, have the Lord at the forefront of our thoughts and desires knowing that ‘he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,’ Hebrews 13 v 5.

Half Trusting
As I looked again at the blackbird I realised that its degree of trust in me only went as far as waiting for food, grabbing it and quickly flying away when it had received it. It was not trusting enough to put it itself into my hands for safe keeping.

Is that possibly a picture of you or me? Do we trust in Jesus for some things but not others?

Total Trust
Friends, I was able to assist the blackbird in resolving one of the problems in its life, that is, to find food. I was not able to help it defend itself, build a nesting place, watch over its young or find shelter for it when needed. Nevertheless it still kept looking for me in my garden and even came to my kitchen window from time to time to try and attract my attention.

If a little attention from me to a blackbird can make it so focussed on me how much more should God’s care and provision for us make us focussed on Him.

If we have trusted our never dying souls into The Lord’s care and firmly believe that in doing so, we shall in eternity find that in God’s presence there are pleasures for evermore,’ Psalm 16 v 11, should we not trust in Him totally knowing that he will sustain, strengthen and guide us in every situation we find ourselves in during our journey through life?

Ever Before Us
The apostle Paul who wrote ‘what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me,’ 2 Timothy 3 v 11, gives us this advice ‘let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,’ Hebrews 12 v 1,2.

I remember an old friend who told me that during World War II he did just that. Whenever he had to go into battle he imagined in his mind that God was walking before him, protecting him from harm. I went all through the war he said ‘Looking to Jesus.’ 

May we endeavour, in the battles of life, to draw our attention away from that which distracts us from God and, as my old friend did, keep God constantly before us, trusting with Paul that He will deliver us out of all our troubles.

'Thoughts on the Gospel' are produced by David Joy who is a member in Fearn APC, Hilton.