Discerning Church Learning to discern the movement of God's Spirit


January is a unique time of year. On the one hand, the winter season is often slower paced. A winter storm provided extra sleep today for us as the school system enacted a two hour delay to clear the roads. My kids do not participate in winter sports so this season is somewhat restful. At the same time, the calendar has recently changed to a new year. With this, we are faced with new goals and ideas about what 2015 will hold. As we consider resolutions for the new year, allow me to reflect on Psalm 16.

David is writing this psalm as a confession of his confidence in God. He articulates his trust that God will provide. David is sure that no good is outside of God’s hand.

(Psalms 16:2 NIV11-GK) I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

In David’s world, false gods compete for allegiance. Yet David relies solely on the Lord. His words in verses 5-9 are a wonderful prayer for the new year. David speaks in land terms.

(Psalms 16:5 NIV11-GK) LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

He gives God the credit for all he has been given.

(Psalms 16:6 NIV11-GK) The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

In 2015, most of us do not own large amounts of land. God’s provision is not defined in these terms. Yet we have been given much. It is appropriate for us to consider God’s provision as we step into a new year. Perhaps the changing of the calendar would prompt us to count the blessings we have been given.

Next, David proclaims his continued reliance on God. He states his intention to seek God’s direction.

(Psalms 16:7 NIV11-GK) I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

Darkness is often an image in Scripture for evil. You can’t see in the dark. Light is needed as we seek direction in dim places. David understands that God is present at night (in the dark). Therefore, he vows to follow God’s constant leading.

(Psalms 16:8 NIV11-GK) I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

God will lead and David is confident in His care.

(Psalms 16:9 NIV11-GK) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,

As we begin this new year, may we confess our continued dependence on God’s leading. May our simple resolution be one of seeking God’s face. As we discern, may we be certain that God will lead us. As we seek Him, may our hearts be filled with gratitude for all He has done and will continue to do.