Psalm 24

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

5 They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Saviour. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

7 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory.

We keep our hearts well defended, at least that’s my experience. The more we are hurt, the tighter our defences become. The more we give our hearts away and are disappointed, the more we keep them heavily guarded. This phrase about the gates lifting up their heads made me think of men defending a gate, keeping their heads down, not even looking at what might be approaching. 

Sometimes it’s easier to go into denial, isn’t it? Shut our eyes, put our fingers in our ears and sing ‘la la la’ for all we are worth…But when we shut out the bad, we also lock down the potentially good. In our defended position, it’s so easy to miss the approach of the Holy Spirit who would want to come and minister into those wounded places with his strength and glory.

Questions for thought and discussion

  • How defended is your heart today?  
  • Are there any young people known to you who are so highly defended that it’s difficult to get close? 
  • How can you pray for them today?

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