Here we stand armed and armored head to foot, we are invincible and untouchable though it may not seem that way. Who can stand against us when God is for us? And now we face a new day and what is it we are supposed to do? Fight and win? Make war on our enemies with confidence? No?
It is to be of service to others that is our calling. The armor is for survival, not aggression and our survival is eternal, not just of this earth. Before we can serve, we must first have our marching orders and here they are. For us to go through that door opened by the Lord for us, we must be willing to share in his agony in Gethsemani before he went out to face the last battle.
69. The Last Prayer
Save me, O God, for dark waters have come into my soul.
I have sunk in deep mire and cannot stand up; the flood has come and Iím in over my head.
Iím so tired of crying, my mouth is dried up; my sight fails while I watch for my Lord.
Those that would destroy me are more numerous than the hairs on my head;
They that hate me should not be my enemies; but they are strong,
And I must work hard to repair the damage they have done.
O God, you know how foolish I am, and nothing I do is hidden from You.
I pray that no one who looks to You for their guidance, O God of Hosts,
Will be embarrassed by the things I have done; or be lost by following my lead.
For your sake, O God of Israel, I have wandered alone; and endured the shame.
Iíve become a stranger to my family and friends, an alien to my brothers.
My zeal to find You has eaten me up, their hatred for You has fallen on me.
When I wept, and endured fasting for my soulís sake, they made fun of me.
I wore the garments that celebrate your seasons, and became a joke to them.
I became the talk of their parties, and they made up drunken songs.
As for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at times appointed by You:
May You hear me, O God, in your great mercy and in the truth of your salvation.
Deliver me out of the mire, donít let me sink;
Save me from them that hate me, and bring me out of the deep water.
Donít let the flood cover me over or swallow me up; donít let the pit close its mouth on me.
Hear me, O Lord, for your loving-kindness is good;
Turn me into what the multitude of your tender mercies would make of me.
Donít hide your face from your servant; I am in trouble and need help soon.
Come near to my soul and redeem it; deliver me because of my enemies.
You have known my ridicule, my shame and dishonor; my enemies are all before You.
The disgrace has broken my heart; I am to blame and it causes great pain.
I looked for some to have pity, but there were none to give and I found no comfort.
They gave me gall for food; in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
May their table become a trap for them; that which was for their comfort be a snare.
Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see; let them continually shake with fear.
Pour out your wrath on them, let them feel your anger;
May their lands become desolate, and their homes be emptied.
They persecute him that You have touched, they trouble the one You have taught.
Add sorrow to their pain, Lord, and donít let them come into your righteousness.
Let them be erased from the Book of the Living, and not be included with the faithful.
I am poor and sorrowful, O God, let your salvation lift me up high.
I will praise the name of the Lord with a song, and glorify Him with thanksgiving.
Praises shall please Him more than sacrifices worth money;
The humble shall see it and be glad; the heart shall live that seeks God.
The Lord hears the poor in spirit, and does not hate his prisoners.
Let the heavens and earth praise him, the seas and all life everywhere;
For God will preserve Zion in the city of his people,
That they may be a piece of it and live there for ever.
The generations of his servants shall inherit it, and those that love his name shall live there.
We are outfitted for eternity in heavenly clothes of power and majesty. We know eternal truths and have spoken to the Creator of all and walked in his glorious gardens. We are on his earth to do his will and what do we face? We are laughed at and scorned by the lowest of evil men and there is nothing we can do. We are outcast by our families and friends: disgraced and broken hearted we wander about feeling that no place is our home. We are right, there is no place on or of this earth that is our home: we are from a better place, the place where his springs give life to all. We are here for a while to help others to know that very basic truth, that there is something better.
This is the final lesson. Before we can be of service we must act, know and feel humility. It is through service to others that we perfect the usage of our being. We can go to school, listen to the teaching of others, practice and exercise, even compete and become the best at what we do; but if we are not trying to make those around us better off, then we are not making any real progress. Not for them and certainly not for ourselves. Make no mistake, it is progress we want and it is the point of these lessons to teach us what real progress is. We are part of the whole and making the larger being better is what makes us better. Making ourselves better at the slightest expense to any around us, even our enemies, is a net loss.
Our enemies now may become our brothers later on and we cannot know right now which is which. Healing occurs every day and it is always good: we must always be looking for ways to help. If it is our Fatherís will, we shall one day grow old in his service and as our bodies become weaker we will be faced with a new temptation for doubt. Younger generations will not listen to the older wisdom and it may seem that a lifetime of work will pass away out of knowledge or memory. But nothing has really changed: we were always poor and sorrowful and the sooner we realize it the better off we will be. The Lord already loves us all but He hears the poor in spirit. It is being heard by Him that gives us the life we seek.
It is by our creation that the Creator has come to us in this world. It is in our doing that his will is made manifest in our lives. By our faith has hope found a place among the people of the earth and it is unquenchable for it is Godís gift. Our knowledge brings understanding to the minds of his people. We bring the Master into our lives, and his influence is felt abroad in the world of the living.
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