From what I've seen, most who are seeking a better way will stop right here. We were looking for a path to heaven, we have seen the glory and now we are right back in the middle of trials and pain. If you don't make it much farther, it's because the path suddenly disappears in the detail of our daily living. We wish to live, and to live right, but all our choices seem full of contradiction and sometimes all choices lead to trouble.
Back in lesson 23 we learned to conserve the energy that we needed to continue. We hang onto what we have gained and we also keep accumulating new energy. We have been on a learning expedition so far, like a training mission to get us ready to go out and live in the real world. Psalm 55 represents what we will encounter out there when we step out on our own recognizance, as it were.
55. A Letter From the Front
Listen a moment to my prayer, O God, and donít hide from my humble request. Look my way and hear me, for my complaint is mournful and I cry out to You. My enemies have powerful voices and their wickedness is an oppression to me. They hate me and seek to cause my fall through words and deeds.
My heart is pained from it and the fear of death is upon me. Terror and trembling afflict me and the horror has me overwhelmed. I have wished for wings that I could fly away like a bird and be at rest. Then I would wander far away and not come back. O that it were so. I would hurry away from the storm.
Destroy them, O Lord, and divide their tongues for I have seen enough of their violence and strife where they gather. Day and night they are afoot, causing trouble and sorrow. Evil is in the midst of them, lies and trickery are their normal fare.
But my pain comes not from what they say about me, I could have borne that. Neither was it that he who hates me would try to destroy me, I would have hidden from that. No, what hurts is who my enemy is: my equal, my guide, my friend, my self. We had good times and walked in the house of God together.
Let death take them, let them go down to Hell quick, for evil is in their house and among them. As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me. In the evening, in the morning and at noon I will pray. I will cry out loud and He will hear my voice.
He has delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me when there were many enemies. God shall hear and He will afflict them again, even as He did in days past. So it shall be.
Because they cannot change, they do not fear God. They seek gain against those who were at peace and have broken their oaths. The words of their mouths were smooth as butter, but there was war in their hearts. Their words were oily smooth but sharp as swords.
Cast your burden upon the Lord, my brothers, and He will sustain you. He shall not let the righteous be moved. The Lord will cast down the bloody and deceitful men into the pit of destruction and they will not live half their allotted days. I will trust in Him.
We look upon the world of men and see more clearly than ever the nature of our enemies. It is a fearful sight and we might wonder why we ever wanted to know so much. The terror and horror of what they do is bad enough, but even our friends and sometimes our own selves are hardly any better. Itís no surprise that so many would choose to escape by whatever means they can find and quit their seeking.
This lesson is to us what the words of Jesus were to his disciples when he told them that what they bind and loose on earth will be bound and loosed in heaven (Mt. 18:18). We all take the same responsibility for what we do, and know that what we do becomes our inheritance. We understand that each moment we are deciding between what is good and what is not so good, and it influences our habits, our being and our eternal self. We make our world with our choices and we are the ones who will live there.
By this time, the path needs to be in your heart, and you must learn to trust yourself to follow it, wherever it leads. I must warn you, at times it will seem like a battle, an epic struggle between good and evil and mostly it's just to get your attention.