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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

He Gives His Beloved Sleep

Psalm 127: 1 - 2, Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep. NKJV

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do the concerns of the day keep playing over in your mind? The Psalmist gives us some insight into why this might be occurring in our lives. Let's look at what the Lord is saying to us today.

In Genesis 11, we read about a group of people that had a common goal; they wanted to build a tower so that they might make a name for themselves in the earth. They desired to build something that reached toward heaven and that would awe the people who would live after them. They trusted in this tower to be their honor and their legacy of greatness in the earth. There was one huge problem with this; although they were all unified in the building of this mega-tower, they didn't include the Lord in their plans. God has said that He will have no other gods before Him...they had made it a god by declaring that it would reach heaven. So this got God's attention, and He confounded their language so that they couldn't understand one another. As a result, the tower stood uncompleted, and acted as a reminder to the people that they should include God in their plans. It taught those who were involved in the planning and building of this huge undertaking that when you leave God out of your plans, you're plans are doomed to fail. Instead of being a structure that awed and impressed people, it has become a fixture in history that serves to remind us of man's limited abilities, of his shame, and of his dishonor. The Lord must be in the building process and in the plans, or those who labor will do so in vain.

The Psalmist also talked about the Lord being the watchman who guards the city. In America, we have 24/7 security guarding our most important resources and weaponry. When we begin to think it is our greatness that has kept us safe, at the cost of ignoring the Lord as our spiritual protection, it causes us to begin to think that we are above having a breach in our security. This will cause a false sense of ease (rest), if you will, and allow complacency to slip in unaware. Before September 11, 2001, America considered her borders safe; it was almost as though we thought they were impenetrable. But early that morning on the East coast of America, we watched in horror at what was unfolding before our very eyes; and I've heard it said by someone in government that they had never even considered the possibility that a commercial airplane would be used as a missile whose goal was to destroy human lives. America had become too independent of God and more dependent on our own reputation and skills. It cost this nation more than lives and money; the peace and the sense of safety that we once took for granted now has been replaced with homeland security and code alerts. Except the Lord is the Watchman, then our watchmen guard in vain.

What the Lord wants to convey through the Psalmist and through this devotion today is that we must place our complete faith and trust in Him in everything that we set our hands to do. We will never become so secure, so righteous, or so holy that we no longer need to look to and trust in the Lord's provision, protection, and power.

As a result of us placing our complete trust in the Lord to take care of us and our children, He will give His beloved sleep. Teach yourself the principles of this Psalm, and you will develop a trust in the Lord that will allow you to enter into His rest and have peace in your heart. (Even in a time of trouble) As a pastor, I have many occasions in which things trouble my spirit. Yet, I have learned how to lay those thoughts and feelings at His feet and ask for His rest to guard my heart. He is faithful to take those cares and give me sleep and rest. When you wake up from His sleep, you will be rested as well. So take whatever troubles that you have been carrying to bed with you...and tonight, give them to the Lord first; let Him have them...and then you enter into peaceful sleep and rest.

Encamped About by His Angels,
Pastor Asa

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