It was a typical weekend on the road…I sat down on the bus after leading worship, and I put my headphones in for the long ride. As I shuffled through my music, I wasn’t really paying attention to the words until one phrase began to play over and over. As the phrase repeated in my ears, I began to reflect on the lyrics: “All I need is You, Lord…You, Lord. All I need is You, Lord.”
I began to think about how I travel to a different church every single weekend of the school year and sing lyrics similar to the ones playing in my ears. I started trying to remember the details of my days during the week, and I asked myself, “Does the posture of my heart and mind show that I believe that ‘all I need is the Lord’?” It seemed like all I could remember about my week was homework deadlines, late nights, half empty bottles of dry shampoo, early mornings, spilled coffee, and pushing to get everything done before the next weekend of travel. Something was missing in the midst of the craziness…
King David is an excellent example of a man who experienced the great highs and lows of life, yet he constantly strived for a spirit of contentment in each situation that he faced. In the passage we are going to look at, King David was in the wilderness of Judah, and it is likely that he was fleeing from his son, Absalom. During this difficult time, he expressed his thirst for God and his confidence in the character and faithfulness of the Lord. Today in Psalm 63, we will look at the steps that David took to earnestly seek the Lord in order to find contentment in all circumstances. To find contentment in all circumstances,
We Must Praise God For Who He Is
David was thirsty for the presence of the Lord in the midst of his difficulties. He cried out to the Lord, saying, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you…in a dry and parched land where there is no water”(verse 1). Verse 2 tells us that David spent time in the sanctuary recognizing the power and glory of his God. Because he knew that the goodness of God surpassed all of his present problems, he chose to praise and acknowledge the Lord for His matchless character. He declares, “because your steadfast love is better than life my lips will praise you”(verse 3). David recognized that his praise for the Lord was enough to last a lifetime. No matter what came his way, he knew that he would always have praises to declare to the Lord (verse 4). There are times in Scripture when we see David in sin, distress, or shame, but when he took the time to acknowledge the unwavering goodness and faithfulness of the Lord, he found contentment and satisfaction.
Think about it this way. When we truly love or care for someone, our natural response is to express our affections through our words and actions. For example, I am regularly looking for ways to show my fiancé, Jordan, love by expressing how much I love and appreciate him with my words. I frequently tell him how brilliant and hard working he is as well as admire him for his artistry. Whether it’s letting him know how excited I am about his accomplishments at work and school, or letting him know that I see the creative beauty in a photograph he has taken, I have seen the value that praise has in strengthening our relationship. In the same way, how much more deserving is our perfect Father of our expression of praise? This practice of praising the Lord strengthens our posture of gratitude and our mindset of contentment. Even further, to find contentment in all circumstances,
We Must Remember and Meditate
David expresses the importance of meditating on the Lord in verse 6. He exclaims, “I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.” He declares over and over again the awe-inspiring qualities of the Lord. Through each declaration, he is also reminding himself of the promises that accompany each truth about his God. It is evident throughout Scripture that King David recognized his desperate need for communication with God. Even after the devastation of great sin, David came before the Lord to ask Him for restoration of joy (Psalm 51:10-12). It would be foolish for us to think that David would come before the Lord with such boldness and direct requests if he did not continuously remember and meditate on the character of the Lord. He was able to walk in a content, close relationship with Him because of this discipline.
This same practice of meditation can be applied in our day-to-day lives. Life can be hectic and fast, and sometimes it is easy to forget how faithful the Lord has been to us personally. If we neglect to meditate on the Lord and His goodness, we will be much more likely to fall into a state of discontentment. For me, it is helpful to journal my thoughts, prayers, and praises each week. Reflecting on the faithfulness of the Lord and meditating on scripture is not a natural discipline. This takes hard work! Ask the Lord to give you a greater desire for His Word and for meditation. Don’t give up and allow the enemy to steal away the joy that comes from establishing this discipline. And finally, to find contentment in all circumstances,
We Must Cling to the Lord
When we come before the presence of the Lord, we are putting into practice clinging to Him. “Clinging” is an ongoing process that requires effort. The result of clinging is a continual connection to the Lord; therefore contentment begins to flood our lives. The amazing thing about our relationship with the Lord is that our “clinging” is not dependent on our own merit or faithfulness. Rather, the Lord’s right hand holds us (verse 8). When we draw nearer to the Lord, we are drawing nearer to the source of our joy and contentment.
As I sat on the bus that night and listened to the words, “All I need is You, Lord,” I realized that my contentment and joy is not dependent on anything, whether good or bad, hectic or stress-free. Instead, my contentment is found in knowing that all I need is the Lord, and that His hand is the one that upholds me. It is my decision to seek Him and know Him intimately. My choice to cling to the Lord is a daily practice that is fostering greater intimacy with God and a spirit of contentment.
Regardless of what you are going through, is there evidence of contentment in your life? Are you intentionally praising Him and meditating on His goodness? Take time to pause and remember that regardless of your current situation or struggle, the steadfast love of the Lord is BETTER THAN LIFE. Because of this, your lips can praise Him (verse 3)! Even though the Lord never ceases to uphold us, we have the ability and privilege to draw nearer to Him through praise, meditation, and intimacy. This conscious effort in our personal relationship with Jesus is the most effective way to foster contentment in every circumstance.
Lord Jesus, I am asking you to give me an authentic desire for Your Word. Help me to find time in the busyness of the day to day to earnestly seek you and offer you the praise that you deserve. I know that your goodness is not dependent on my circumstances. Give me the faith to fully trust you and surrender my fears over to you. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips can praise you through anything.
“All I Need is You” – Hillsong United
“The Songs of Jesus” – Tim Keller