READ: Exodus 28-30, Psalm 27, Matthew 27, Acts 27
One theory of leadership presents three concentric circles: the innermost labeled “Control,” then “Influence,” and the outermost “Concern.” The theory posits that we should spend 80 percent of our energy and time on what we can control. As we spend energy on what we can control, we are better able to influence what we can’t control and speak to that which we have concerns. Unfortunately, here in the Arab world, and in much of life, there is so much out of our control. Psalm 27 gives us insight into what we can put energy.
I will not Fear. (vv. 1-3) Turbulence makes me nervous, and I fly continually. We worry about children’s health, danger, political insecurity, harm, sickness, or thieves that barge into our bedroom at night bearing knives and bats. But there are even more insidious fears – the ideologies of our day are coercive and intimidating. We can determine that we will not give into the spirit of fear for the “Lord is our light and salvation.”
I will Abide. (vv. 4-5) I am in control of my schedule. I determine when I go to bed and when I rise. George Whitfield was said to go to bed at the stroke of nine o’clock, even if he had guests and they were in mid-sentence. I can decide how much time I spend in the presence of Jesus.
I will praise. (vv. 6-7) The text references “sacrifices with shouts of joy.” It is costly praise the delights Jesus. There is no inappropriate time to praise the Lord. The context of Psalm 34:1 (“I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth”) was David pretending madness as he scratched the gates of Gath before Abimelech, drool in his beard.
I will seek. (v. 8) I will be insatiable for Jesus.
I will trust. (vv. 9-10) Change, betrayal, and death will only drive me to Jesus. Persecution will make me better, not bitter.
I will learn. (vv. 11-12) My enemies will be my tutors. My irritants will be lessons. I will pray mercy on those that do me harm.
I will believe. (vv. 13-14) My work will be to “believe in Him who was sent” – Jesus.
On Columbus’ journey to America, dissent arose as the journey grew long. Columbus wrote in his diary: “Sailed on.” I will sail on. I will believe that Jesus is worth it and that God will win in the end. Jehovah will have the final say.