“For strangers have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life;
they do not set God before themselves.”
“They do not set God before themselves.”
This statement, here describing evil men, begs the question: Do I?
Do I elevate the will and desires and plans of God above my own?
Do I treasure His Word above my own understanding – and follow it accordingly, choosing to align my life with Scripture (and not the other way around)?
Do I trust Him this much? To truly say He is Lord, that what He commands and what He calls me to, I will do? Even if it hurts or goes against my preferences or requires the abandonment of pride? Even if it means to simply keep waiting?
He asks me to set Him before myself. He tells me to pick up my cross each day, choosing to put myself aside in exchange for Him and what He calls me to. Only in dying to myself can I truly obey His greatest commandment: to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength; to love others as I love myself.
We are to set God before ourselves because He is God and He rightfully holds that position. In reality, that’s where He should be regardless of His character.
But how marvelous is it that the One who rightly holds that primary position is also the One we would want there in the first place? Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14). He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 118:1). He is called Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). His plans are for our good, and He purposes abundant goodness out of even the most hopeless of situations (Jeremiah 29:11; Genesis 50:20). He has chosen to set His heart in love on us and covers us with favor as with a shield (Deuteronomy 7:7; Psalm 5:12). He surrounds us all day long and dwells between our shoulders (Deuteronomy 33:12). He acts for those who wait for Him, and they will not be ashamed (Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 49:23). Standing firm, they will see the salvation of the Lord on their behalf (2 Chronicles 20:17). And He has brought us salvation, once for all, through the sacrifice of Himself on a bloody cross (Hebrews 9:22-26).
The One we are to set before ourselves is the One who died to ransom us from death and captivity. The life He desires for us is one of freedom and abundance, filled with light and joy and satisfaction – because He feels all the dark, empty places with Himself and gives us what we are truly seeking. And what He gives us will not be less than what we long for.
We set God before ourselves, before our desires, and we discover that His plans and dreams are so much greater than we could have imagined. His creativity is far beyond ours, and His power to accomplish what He desires for our stories – the stories of His beloved people whom this King covers with favor – is unmatched (Ephesians 3:20).
Let us trust Him enough to look toward our future with excitement at what He will do. As the description in Proverbs 31:25, “she laughs at the time to come.”
Granted, some roads are painful enough to hinder a sense of excitement, but may this at least bring hope to dispel our fear.
Because our God is sovereign and He is good. He is perfect love. He will come through, because He does not write stories of failure or disappointment. He writes stories of victory, faithfulness, and glorious grace.