The Christian life is uniquely and happily simple. We have one defense to trust: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?” (Psalm 27:1). Reading the Psalm, you would think David was spoilt for choice in the terror department. An angry, vicious, cannibalistic mob has drawn near. They desire to eat his flesh (27:2). Camped out in David’s backyard, they aren’t going anywhere soon; they are prepared to wait for their supper (27:3)! Three words hold the secret of David’s confidence: “The Lord is...” An unseen, inescapable presence surrounds Him. David is not alone. “The Lord is my salvation and the defense of my life.” Faith, David says, has made Jehovah mine — my only and best argument against dread fear. God and I are in this together. I belong to Him and He to me. What was it Luther said about true religion: it's found in personal pronouns - “My God! My Rock! My Fortress! My Savior!
In Christ, God has come near to us, taken us by the hand, looked into our eyes, and said to us and about us, “Mine! You are mine. All mine. Forever mine.” Whatever you face, this morning, look back at God, your Father, and by faith add the personal pronoun. I promise you’ll feel better.
We have one delight to enjoy: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4). Most of our dread fears in life come because we fear the loss of things other than God — family, health, reputation, friends, job, money, etc. The Christian has a bedrock foundation for security impervious to change and loss. The Psalmist lives desiring the presence of God. From this vantage point, like Elijah’s chariot of fire, death is but the vehicle bringing us home. As Paul said, “For me to live is Christ. To die is gain” Life is all about Christ, and death means more of Christ!
We have one duty to embrace: “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek…Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a level path Because of my foes.” (Psalm 27:7-8, 11). Times come when learned habits matter - “‘Stop, drop, and roll!” These are not moments for confusion. Similarly, the Christian should never really be in doubt about what to do next, or how to face the day. As old Bishop Leighton once said, The sum is: Remember always the presence of God. Rejoice always in the will of God. And do all to the glory of God.
Whatever stares you down today, my dear brother or sister, this is God’s three step recipe for life, liberty, and happiness. It’s your birthright in Christ to pursue it!