The Sixth Day Exercise for Saturday, September 19, 2015

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daily text logoSeptember 19, 2015

Psalm 139:1-6.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

The Sixth Day Exercise

sixth-day-exercise-dt

For the past fifteen years I have had the privilege of living near the Abbey of Gethsemane which is in Trappist, Kentucky. Over the years I have taken scores of day long retreats to this monastery to clear the cobwebs out of my own soul and to invite the Holy Spirit to restore my “hearing” and re-attune my attention to the voice of God.

On one of those trips, as I walked along a wooded trail I came upon a rustic shed. It was a prayer hut of sorts, where the brothers at Gethsemane and pilgrims from all over the world would spend time in with the Lord. I walked over and peered into the empty hut. The walls were covered with prayer requests and words of witness to the work of God in peoples’ lives. On this visit, I noticed one piece of paper in particular. It was a piece lined notebook paper. I could tell it was written in the pen of a person whose hand had likely become progressively unsteady with age. The paper began autobiographically noting the writer was a monk who had lived his last sixty years at the monastery. He noted he was 84 years old. He wrote of a deep and abiding intimacy with God and God’s goodness and care and profound providence in his life. Near the bottom of the page, in large hand script, he closed his thought by repeating four words in a deeply worshipful and celebratory spirit. He shared them with such a deep assurance and comfort I could sense not only his faith but I could sense his words calling forth my own faith to rise up into them. He repeated them three times:

GOD IS LOOKING ON! GOD IS LOOKING ON! GOD IS LOOKING ON!

Here’s what I love about today’s text. So often the idea that “God is watching,” can be thrown about with such ominous tones and a sense of impending doom. It is not shared as good news but as threat. Read them again:

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Did you catch that last line—such knowledge is “too wonderful for me?” GOD IS LOOKING ON!

Our Holy Spirit inspired self examination must be conducted in this spirit– that God’s knowledge of us is deep and intimate and caring and loving and profound. It’s a wonderful thing. GOD IS LOOKING ON! He is for us! That’s why we do the sixth day exercise.

DO THE SIXTH DAY EXERCISE HERE.

In case you are new to the Sixth Day Exercise. In case you are just joining us, each week we share in an exercise called “The Sixth Day Exercise.” As Genesis 1 has it, God created human beings in his own image on the sixth day. Genesis 3 shows us the desecration of the image of God in our race which has only compounded itself across the centuries. It’s why the Image Bearer himself, Jesus Christ, came. His life, death, resurrection and ascension reversed the curse of sin and death and created a pathway whereby our broken race could be made gloriously whole again; restored to the Creator’s intent. Paul put it this way:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22. 

Given we were made on the Sixth Day, it makes sense that we might stop and assess how it’s going on the long journey of being “remade” on each successive sixth day.

DO THE SIXTH DAY EXERCISE HERE.

P.S. Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge. It’s 40 days, one day per week at a time, over the next 52 weeks. It’s a food only fast. Begins after supper on one day and ends at 4pm the next- 2 meals. Liquids fine. Fasting goes better together. I’ll send you a short weekly encouragement email if you register.– sign up here.

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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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