I was practicing lectio divina this morning with Psalm 18, and I felt prompted to share my process with the passage.
As a rough paraphrase of a spiritual practice with books written on it, lectio divina is an active form of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer practiced for centuries. It includes:
1) a preliminary read or listen through,
2) a second read for what Holy Spirit is highlighting in a word or phrase to pause and meditate on for today,
3) a check-in for what emotion is provoked in you and how do you feel in your body as you meditate on and pray with that highlighted verse, and
4) finishing with asking Spirit what is the Lord inviting you into for this day.
Verses 25-28 were highlighted for me: “To the faithful You show Yourself faithful; to those with integrity You show integrity. To the pure You show Yourself pure…You rescue the humble…You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.”
Why did Jesus highlight this part to my spirit? As I checked in with my spirit, soul, and body, I felt such peace in my present moment. Sipping my morning coffee on this tropical hobby farm, my temporary residence in central Brazil, He revealed another color of His grace. The verses speak to the nature of our amazing God. Am I always faithful to Him? Of course not. And yet, He takes the weak attempts of my heart as I surrender my will to Him, and He perfects them by the blood of Jesus!
He takes the weak attempts of my heart as I surrender my will to Him, and He perfects them by the blood of Jesus!
I am so far from His standard of faithfulness, integrity, purity, and humility that David sang in this psalm would bring His reciprocated qualities. Yet, when He gazes at me, He sees the radiant robes of righteousness He died to wrap around me. In every moment, it is never my faithfulness, integrity, etc. that evokes His response, but it is always His original working within my surrendered spirit to re-unite us. From first to last, it is all Him! This kindness compels me to come again and again to repentance and to claim my identity as one of His saints in the great cloud of witnesses.
There is here no false modesty, “how worthless to God I am”, nor is there unrealistic self-aggrandizing, but there is revelation of my dependence on His nature. How sobering and liberating at the same time is the realization that He will be Who He says He is!
This morning and throughout the day, as I beheld His faithfulness, His integrity, His purity, His meekness, I felt content because I can trust how secure He is in His gaze and acts toward me. I am at ease here in His will. For even the darkness is as light to King Jesus (Ps 139).
the tall girl