Psalm 131:1: “LORD, my heart is not haughty, / Nor my eyes lofty. / Neither do I concern myself with great matters, / Nor with things too profound for me.”

November 11th, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

David reminded himself here that he was not to have a prideful or haughty heart. Pride is to be rejected and seen as sin because it means that instead of trusting and relying on God, we are trusting in ourselves. It also usually causes us to undervalue another person’s worth. When we try to run our own lives, without God, we become vulnerable to our flesh and the enemy. We shouldn’t even trust in our own ability to hold on to God, but rather in His ability to hold on to us.

When David said, “Neither do I concern myself with great matters,” he was not making an excuse to avoid the challenges of life, but acknowledging his need to pick his battles wisely. This term is a well-known military strategy, which suggests that when troops are thinly stretched, they often fail. God is saying that we are to stay focused on the matters at hand, remain humble, and not overestimate or overreach ourselves. Choosing the right battles, for the right reasons, requires prayer and input from wise mentors or counselors.

One man learned this lesson well, and it is helpful to examine his wisdom. In 1920, a young Canadian named Oswald Smith was convinced that God was calling him to the mission field. Over and over again he prayed, “Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you. Open a door of service for me.” However, the missionary examining board, which selected missionaries, did not agree. Standing before the board, he failed the test and did not meet their qualifications. Smith had desired one direction, but now he was facing a dead end. What would he do? As he prayed, he sensed the Holy Spirit plant another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church that could send out missionaries. In 1928, he founded The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada. It grew and eventually sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald Smith correctly assessed his battle, and what seemed at first to be a roadblock became a main thoroughfare of service. By choosing his battle carefully he kept focused on the present and went on to serve the Lord faithfully for 80 years.

“LORD, help us to stay focused on what we can do now in Your Kingdom and to pick our battles wisely.”