“Let Your work be shown to your servants, and Your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” – Psalm 90:16-17
Psalm 90 is a good one for the beginning of a new year. The Psalmist is reflective from the opening verse as he seems to focus on how time rushes in and then vanishes away. I can no longer place myself in the category of a young man, so I am convinced that the years seem to pass much more quickly with every turn of the calendar page. Is it any wonder that the Psalmist prayed in this same Psalm that God would teach us to number our days so that we can diligently live in God’s wisdom (vs. 12)? It seems that the more years we accumulate on earth, the better is our comprehension of the concept of opportunity. Opportunity is great as long as it is before you… but once it passes us without us responding to it, we can find ourselves left in the exhaust fumes of regret. I am determined not allow that to ache of regret to become a reality my life.
The Psalmist (here Moses in Psalm 90, not David) closes the song with a request for God to establish him/them in the specific work they had been given by God to achieve. There was no presumption in Moses’ heart that he could do the work simply because it had been designated to him. He asked God for the work to be made obviously manifest during his own life, and then for that work to endure down into successive generations. Moses saw that he was graced to hold the torch but not to keep it. He desired the flame to be burn as hot and bright as possible while he owned it; he wanted God’s designed activity to be glorious in his own generation. Yet, we note also that his thoughts seemed also to rest on those coming behind him. No generational arrogance in Moses’ heart would be found able to make him believe that the work of God would die with him. He knew that there was a Joshua eagerly waiting in the expanse of Moses’ shadow. He wanted God’s hand to rest upon the work that He had bequeathed unto Israel. Moses believed in Joshua, but He only did so as much as He believed in God’s ability to beautify the work that Moses would pass to Joshua. In the arena of God’s work among man . . . God Himself is the only essential. Everything else and everyone else changes from generation to generation.
God is the eternal source. Everyone else is a generational resource.
Have you boldly sought the beautifying, establishing power of God upon your life’s work? What are you doing to ensure your relational and Kingdom investments outlive you? Whether your Kingdom efforts are typically considered “ministry work” or something as normalized as being a stay-at-home mom, has it occurred to you that only God can make it lastingly profitable? I long for His hand to rest upon me but I know it will only do so to the degree that His face shines upon me. Seeking His face and His hand are not the same thing – I’ve learned this more than once the hard way. I want God’s power but I want His presence more. His presence – though ever so still – yields the fruit of assurance in a world that offers none of its own. May He create in each of us a strong and relentless desire for Him. Once He gives this to you, may you cultivate it to the point where no other offer will have any appeal.
Sin will lose its neon.
The numerous pulls of our culture will not be embraced by you.
People in your life will be loved and appreciated but not idolized.
Trouble will be embraced through faith when it refuses to depart.
How can we tremble at trouble when The Omnipotent One is standing at our side? Let us pray along with the Psalmist, “God, establish the work of our hands upon us!”
Make our lives count, Holy Spirit. Let our life’s fragrance linger on earth after we are gone. Cause us to dig wells that You will fill with waters which will refresh thirsty people who are coming along behind us.
May God’s decree over you be that you would be established in your life work. May the torch you have held be perfectly suited to be held by those He is calling forth after you are gone. Establish our life-work, Father! May we know soon exactly what that life work is.