Psalm 61 is a very personal prayer of David. It starts, “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer” and ends, “So I will ever sing praises to your name as I perform my vows day after day”. David recognised that his commitment to God had to be constant, “day after day”.
David also wrote, “from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint” (verse 2). But calling upon God when feeling faint is harder if you are not carrying out your commitment of service to Him day after day. That includes using our particular talents and taking the opportunities that God puts in our path (although it may be clear that God put them there until later).
The perceptions of David are parallel with some of the points Paul makes in the powerful chapter of Romans 12. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice … do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God …” (verses 1,2).
It is challenging to consider the nature of testing. Many of us may consider the circumstances of our lives are more testing than ever! But the meaning is expressed in the New English Bible: “let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God”. Read that again, these words are parallel with what we understood concerning David’s thoughts and experiences.
So, we are to test the situations that confront us in our lives to discern the will of God as to which path we should take – the ones that will enable us to serve Him better. Paul also reminds us of that which we thought about yesterday – the danger of being wise in our own conceits! “Live in harmony with one another”, he writes, “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited … never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (verses 16,19).
God’s day of vengeance on a self-centred and godless world must be getting near; let us perform our vows every day and be ready, with God’s help, for that day.