I may not be mechanically minded (and kudos to those who are!), but if my husband asks me for a level when doing something around the house, I know exactly what to hand him. Many times we’ve grabbed that level to make sure a picture is hung in an exact and even manner so you don’t feel like you have to lean one direction or other to see it clearly.
And now that we’re on this joyous fun of having a trailer for camping, I have learned that level ground is essential for a good camping experience. Let’s just put it this way: if your trailer is going down a slope, we’ve found that our refrigerator doesn’t work and that we have to sleep upside down in our bed so all the blood doesn’t rush to our heads. Having a nice level to measure our progress in finding level ground is essential, as are the balancing jacks on the trailer that can help prop up the trailer if an area we park isn’t completely flat. A level trailer is a solid one that is much more comfortable to be in!
With these experiences ruminating in my brain, a passage in Psalm 26 struck me this week as I spent time in devotion and prayer. The passage came at the end of verse 12:
“My feet stand on level ground,
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.”
Who knew? Level ground is mentioned in the Bible!
My first thought was more of a question – level ground? What does that mean? But I quickly started to think of the comparisons with leveling a trailer: if you aren’t on solid, level ground, things might not work. Things might be uncomfortable. Things may break down.
And how much truer is that for my spiritual life and relationship with Jesus? I can tell when I’m off balance – when my time for prayer or Scripture reading is missed because I feel like I’m flying around with school schedules and activities. When my fellowship with other Christians suffers because of other commitments.
I think what comes before verse 12 in Psalm 26 gives us a great vision of what principles can help us get to and stay on level ground in our faith life.
- Trust in the Lord. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Too often, however, I trust in myself – my own willfulness, thoughts or desires. Finding level ground in my personal relationship with Jesus is going to require me to start by submitting to Him and trusting Him for all I need and for all His plans for me.
- Examine your heart and mind. It is easy to stay shallow and to not truly evaluate and examine your thoughts, desires and heart. But David talks about God examining him – heart, soul and mind. If we want God to be able to search us and find us faithful, it’s essential that we begin by rooting out things we know aren’t in line with what He wants from us.
- Be mindful of God’s love and faithfulness. Finding inner level ground in faith doesn’t mean that there won’t be external forces that push us off course. But that inner peace and balance that comes from remembering all God has done for us and his promises for us can do much to help get through those tough times. To me, it’s like the leveling jack on a trailer – it can lift you up to get you back into balance when we recall His never-ending faithfulness towards us.
- Be careful who you associate with. David notes in this Psalm that he doesn’t consort with deceivers. It’s a good gut check for me to think of the people I surround myself with. The attitudes and beliefs and habits of others make a difference and can affect us. Am I surrounding myself with people who desire to follow God’s will?
- Proclaim God’s love and deeds in worship with fellow believers. The psalmist talks of proclaiming God’s love, or being in fellowship with other believers. Time for worship – both on Sunday morning and in our everyday lives – is a key to balance. And time for fellowship in worship with other believers serves to strengthen our faith.
My prayer for you today is to take God’s Word and to let it help you stay on level ground!