A reliable GPS
I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. – Psalms 86:7
1 O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.
2 Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God.
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly.
4 Give me contentment, O Lord, for I give myself to you.
5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.
6 Listen closely to my prayer, O LORD; hear my urgent cry.
7 I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.
8 No pagan god is like you, O Lord. None can do what you do!
10 For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. You alone are God.
11 Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.
12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever,
13 for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.
GPS, or the Global Positioning System, was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D) in 1973 primarily for military purposes. It was seen as a necessary addition for the U.S. military as an integral part of its deterrent to the ever present nuclear threat. 24 satellites, in orbital planes spaced 120 degrees apart, and their ground stations formed the original GPS. Using these man-made “stars” as reference points to calculate geographical positions, GPS was originally accurate to a matter of meters. Newer advanced technology has advanced accuracy to within a centimeter. It became fully operational in 1995. Civilians were allowed to use it beginning in the 1980s.
In the era of GPS systems, we are used to asking for directions and getting specifics and a map to guide us.
The Father has had a GPS system in place for thousands of years. His advice is precise and accurate. It also anticipates all contingencies, both in the now and the future.
There is a vast difference between a modern GPS systems we carry with us on our cell phones or in our vehicles. And the Father. It may be obvious, but it is worth saying. A GPS system is merely an instrument, a tool that helps us to go from one place to another.
But the Father is the living being who interacts with us in time and space. We have the opportunity to be in a loving, personal relationship with Him. David was deeply in love with his Father God. Psalm 86 sparkles and effervesces with David’s love for the Father and his certainty of the Father’s love for him.
It was because of that loving relationship with Father, David deeply desired to do whatever the Father was inviting him to do. He reiterated in his prayer the nature of their relationship, the love that he had for the Father, and the Father’s repeated faithfulness and kindness towards him. I doubt if we will ever talk to a GPS system that way. And certainly, it would not respond out of love or concern for our welfare. Yet we are often find ourselves totally dependent upon for accurate advice and direction.
Psalm 86 is one of the many prayers of David when he is in desperate situation and cries out to his Father God. His enemies are out to destroy him. David had a remarkable relationship with the Father. After years of experience, David knew well the Father’s character and what He is like as a person. As a result, David had tremendous confidence in the Father’s love for him and willingness to protect him. On the basis of the Father’s magnificent and delightful character, David appeals to Him. His prayer overflows with his knowledge and experience of the Father’s nature and personality. He is gracious and kind, good, forgiving, abounding in mercy, and lovingkindness. He is dependable and steadfast.
REFLECT & PRAY
When we acquire understanding and knowledge of Who the Father is and what He is willing to do, it is easy to trust and rely upon Him.
Father I want to live according to Your ways and participate in what You have for me to do. Help me to learn to stop seeking my own way, and instead seek Yours.
So often when we pray, we ask the Father to do what we think is best. Saying that another way, we ask Him to endorse our plans and carry them out. This is one of the main reasons why our prayers are ineffective, and we feel defeated, get sad or angry.
Effective prayer is praying that the Father’s Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is always about His plans. It is never about our plans or desires. The Father is always at work and He invites us to participate with Him (Blackaby). Effective prayer is praying to participate in His plans. Effective prayer involves recognizing what the Father has in mind and is asking us to do.
Our part in effective prayer is focusing on our walk with the Father. We need to clean up our act and get our motivations straightened out. There are definite things we can do that prepare us to hear His directions.
Self-check: A good self-check and cleansing should be our first step. We simply ask the Father if there is anything in our life that is hindering our prayers. Then, if He brings something to mind, we can receive His forgiveness and cleansing through confession (1 John 1:9).
Surrender: When our hearts are set on our own desires, things do not work out as we hope. We must exchange our desires for His. We yield our self-interest to the Father’s interest (Luke 22:42).
Spend time in the Word and wait: The Father has given us his Word as the firm foundation upon to rest our lives, security, and aspirations. The Father’s word is our light and guide. The more we become acquainted with the truths of Scripture, the clearer the way will become (Psalm 119:105). We must resist the urge to run ahead of the Father to get our own way.
11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great.
David wanted to walk in a way that the Father was delighted and honored. David wanted to be one in heart with the Father. “Unite my heart” means “I want to have an undivided heart, wholly fixed on the Lord.” A perfect heart is a sincere heart that loves God alone and is true to Him (Wiersbe).
Perhaps it is time to do some “recalculating” of your destination and a means to get there. We have access to a far more accurate and reliable GPS than we could ever imagine.