A song of ascents.
LORD, remember David and all his self-denial. He swore an oath to the LORD, he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: “I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.
Self-denial. Without context the word sounds old, even legalistic. Self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction, self-esteem…now those are positive and encouraging words. Many want to do with more, not do without.
The psalmist calls the reader to “remember David and all his self-denial.” The king longed to have a place for the Ark of the Covenant. While he was not the one who eventually built that structure, he desired it for God. David was willing to do without to make God’s name famous in his day.
Self-denial is an essential part of life. I can’t eat everything I want to eat anytime I want to eat it and remain healthy. I can’t focus so much on comfort that I refuse to exercise my body. I can’t feed my sinful desires and develop as a follower of Jesus Christ. Are you willing to deny yourself what you want in order to get what you need?
Father, the world is full of unhealthy, out-of-shape, spiritually soft people who want more from You instead of more of You. May I be willing to deny myself what I want in order to get what I need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.