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He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:3 (NIV)
In the Great Story, faith is described as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
The spiritual journey is often referred to as a faith journey, and along my personal journey following Jesus I’ve found that it is the increasing understanding of spiritual realities amidst contrasting circumstances in this physical world.
There is a great story of the ancient prophet Elisha who, along with his servant, was staying in the town of Dothan. The king of Aram wanted Elisha dead because God, through Elisha, had been tipping off the King of Israel regarding the Aramian army’s location. So in the middle of the night, the Aramian army surrounded Dothan. Elisha and his servant woke up the next morning to find themselves surrounded. Elisha’s servant freaked out.
“Don’t worry,” the prophet said calmly. “There are more with us than against us.”
“Dude,” his servant said. “What have you been smoking? Don’t you see the entire Aramian army out there?!”
Elisha then prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.”
The eyes of his servants were then opened to see the realm of the Spirit dimension, and he saw that the hills surrounding Dothan were filled with an entire army of angels sitting on chariots of fire.
David psyched me out a bit this morning as I began to read Psalm 40. After two songs (Psalm 38 and Psalm 39) in which he has been lamenting his poor health and despairing over his circumstances, he beings Psalm 40 with a declaration of being restored and delivered. He’s pulled up out of the muddy pit and firmly established on solid rock. He’s singing a “new song.”
“Yes!” I thought to myself. “After patiently waiting, David has finally experienced healing and restoration!”
But then as I continued reading David’s song lyrics it becomes clear that his circumstances really haven’t changed. He’s still poor and needy, his troubles still surround him, and his heart is still failing.
So what has changed to inspire the opening lines of the song?
As with Elisha’s servant, the eyes of David’s heart are being opened to see the realities of Spirit amidst his physical circumstances. His spiritual confidence is growing and allowing him to actually experience that for which he is hoping for despite there being no change in his temporal earthly realities.
In the quiet this morning, I find myself thinking about our current earthly realities that are creating so much fear and anxiety. It can feel a bit like being surrounded with no possible way out.
I’m personally praying Elisha’s prayer.
“Lord, open the eyes of my heart to see Your reality in the realm of the Spirit dimension.”
Jesus said to His followers, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”