The first thing I do almost every morning is spend time with the Lord. Reading His Word.
Meditating. Praying. Much of my prayer is communion with Him in a two-way conversation. And, in fact, I endeavor to keep up this communication with Him throughout the day. As Brother Lawrence advised 400 years ago, “Have lots of little conversations with God.” This is a must for an overcoming life and ministry—the assurance of “no-burn-out” service to the Lord. :: So, it was not surprising to hear the voice of the Lord the morning of Dec. 20, 2011. As soon as I awoke, I heard, Read Psalm 73.
I want to speak to you today out of Psalm 73.
I went to the bookshelf and got the book, ArtScroll Tehillim. It is an excellent translation of the Psalms from Hebrew into English. The original Hebrew is on one page and the English translation is on the opposite page. Comments from the sages and noted rabbis are below the Scriptures.
I read the first verse. The Psalm opens with one brief positive statement: “Only God is good to
Israel, to the pure of heart.”
In other words, God is only good. He is nothing but good—to Israel, and to the pure in heart. We qualify as the pure in heart. Jesus did that for us. We are made the righteousness of God in Him. So, praise the Lord, I was off to a good start in hearing what the Lord wanted to speak to me from this Psalm.
But after the first verse, the Psalm seemingly goes downhill. It goes on and on about the wicked.
Reading on, I questioned, Have I missed it?
“But as for me, my feet were nearly turned astray, like nothing—my steps would have been
washed aside; for I envied the madmen when I saw the peace of the wicked” (verses 2-3).
The Psalmist expresses disillusionment and doubts which, Rashi comments, could almost turn one’s path of life toward the direction of disbelief. The wicked prosper so “why should I struggle to purify my thoughts and actions?” (Rashi; Radak).
They direct their mouth against Heaven, and their tongue struts on earth (verse 9).
Behold these are the wicked—always at ease, they accumulate wealth (verse 12).
Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure... (verse 13).
Eventually, however, the Psalmist comes to the amazing answer to the enigma: “And when I
reflected to understand this,it was iniquity in my eyes, until I entered into the sanctuaries of God;
then I understood their end. Only on slippery places do You set them…” (verses 16-18).
After more verses declaring the inevitable judgment of the wicked, the place of the righteous is revealed. The righteous one’s confession is:
But I am always with You, You grasped my right hand. With Your counsel You will
guide me, And afterwards, with glory You will receive me. My flesh and my heart
yearn—Rock of my heart and my portion is God forever. But as for me, God’s
closeness is my goodness, I have put my refuge in my Lord, HASHEM/ELOHIM, so
that I may relate all of Your mission (verses 23-24, 26, 28).The ArtScroll’s note on the Hebrew word translated mission, thrilled me and awakened me to
the message the Lord woke me up to receive.
Literally, a , [malach as in Malachi], angel, is a messenger charged with
transmitting God’s wishes. Similarly the psalmist perceives in his heart a flash of
Divine inspiration, which contains a message for mankind. He communicates this
faithfully to his audience. The psalmist has no greater desire than to continue to
discharge this duty.
I perceived that this Psalm is a “now message” to all of us. We can look around and see the
wicked as the ArtScroll translates, “They direct their mouth against Heaven, and their tongue struts on earth” (verse 9). On so much of the world’s stage, the wicked seem to prosper in disproportionate
measure to the righteous.
But ah! Here we have the answer. The sanctuaries of the Creator are open to us. We can dwell
in His sanctuaries—the only place of understanding. We can live above the fray, even in the midst of the fray.
There is so much to glean from this Psalm, but its epitome is in its finale. “But as for me, God’s
closeness is my goodness…so that I may relate all of Your mission.”
God has a mission and we are His missionaries! God has a message and we are His messengers!
It is only as we walk in closeness with God that we can relate and transmit His message in
these times that try men’s souls. It is only in closeness with God that we can begin to function as manifested sons of God.
Practicing the Presence
When I finished reading the Psalm on that morning in late December, the Lord spoke to me. He
began, An inspired messenger I have made you…. And He went on with detailed instruction
concerning my personal part in relating His mission.
This happened just before the beginning of the new year. Thank God for new years. New
months. New days. New mornings. New beginnings. So it came at a time when I could easily resolve
afresh and anew to consciously live in the sanctuary of God. To abide in the shadow of Shaddai. To practice the presence of God.
As an aid, I use the book, Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach.
The timeless testimonies of Brother Lawrence from the 1600s and Frank Laubach in the 1930s, seem alive as I read them. They urge my spirit to surge to the sanctuary of God. Here are a few words from Brother Lawrence that inspire me:
I have found that we can establish ourselves in a sense of the presence of God by
continually talking with Him.... (my note: The busiest mother, the engaged business
person, the confronted soldier, etc., can do this.)
I have always been governed by love without selfish views, and have resolved to
make the love of God the end of all my actions. I have been well satisfied with this
single motive. I am pleased when I can take a straw from the ground simply for the
love of God, seeking Him only and nothing else....
In order to first form the habit of conversing with God continually and of referring all
that we do to Him, we must first apply ourselves to Him with diligence. After a little such care we shall find His love inwardly excites to His Presence without any
In all things we should act toward God with the greatest simplicity, speaking to Him
frankly and plainly and imploring His assistance in our affairs just as they happen.
God never fails to grant...assistance....
The shortest way to God is to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love and
doing all things for His sake. [Brim note: for His glory]
Letters to his father journal the beginning of a practice that resulted in Laubach carrying the
presence of God in a way that made him well-known and highly honored. Here are some of his
I have done nothing but open windows—God has done all the rest.
…this year I have started out to live all my waking moments in conscious listening to
the inner voice, asking without ceasing, “What, Father, do You desire said? What,
Father, do You desire this minute?” It is clear that this is exactly what Jesus was
doing all day every day.
…I feel convinced that for me, and for you who read, there lie ahead undiscovered
continents of spiritual living compared with which we are infants in arms.
Oh, this thing of keeping in constant touch with God, of making Him the object of my
thought and the companion of my conversations, is the most amazing thing…. It is
working. I cannot do it even half a day—not yet…. It is a matter of acquiring a new
habit of thought. Now I like the Lord’s presence so much that when for a half hour or
so He slips out of mind—as He does many times a day—I feel as though I had
deserted Him, and as though I had lost something very precious in my life.
As I analyze myself I find several things happening to me as a result of these two
months of strenuous effort to keep the Lord in mind every minute. This concentration
upon God is strenuous, but everything else has ceased to be so. I think more clearly, I
forget less frequently. Things which I did with a strain before, I now do easily and
with no effort whatever. I worry about nothing, and lose no sleep. I walk on air a good
part of the time. Even the mirror reveals a new light in my eyes and face. I no longer
feel in a hurry about anything. Everything goes right. Each minute I meet calmly as
though it were not important. Nothing can go wrong excepting one thing. That is that
God may slip from my mind if I do not keep on my guard. If He is there, the universe
is with me. My task is simple and clear.
God has a mission. We are His missionaries. We are His messengers. To communicate that message, to manifest Him and His ways, we have entrance into the sanctuary of God. We can abide in the secret place of the Most High. And mystery of mysteries, He abides in us. What understanding! What authority! What peace! What joy!
Billye Brim is president and founder of Billye Brim Ministries aka Prayer Mountain in the Ozarks. For ministry materials and information write the
ministry at P.O. Box 40, Branson, MO 65615; or call 417-336-4877. In Canada, write to Billye Brim Ministries, P.O. Box 20085, Kelowna, BC
V1Y 9H2; or call 877-868-8470. Visit her website at billyebrim.org.
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