“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” (Ps. 25:1, NKJV)
You can intentionally lift your inner atmosphere up into the presence of God. His manifest presence is always on a higher plane than our troubled emotions. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, He enables us to reach up to where He is. When we lift up our soul into the heavenly places, His presence washes over us, and all the cares of this world melt away.
David is the author of this beautiful Psalm. The book of 1 Samuel tells us that, even in life’s most distressing moments, this man after God’s heart knew how to “strengthen himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:6). As we read through Psalm 25, we can find some of the steps he learned to take in order to lift up his soul into the Lord’s presence
- He declared his trust in God: “O my God, I trust in You…” (v. 2a). When something distressing is happening to us, trusting the Lord is a moment-by-moment choice. Something powerful happens when we verbally, vocally proclaim our decision to trust.
- He exalted God’s character: “Good and upright is the Lord…” (v. 8a). Praising Him allows us to purposefully pull our focus off of our circumstance and train it on the One who loves us with a perfect love. At the same time, magnifying the goodness of the Lord strengthens our faith.
- He fixed the eyes of his heart on God: “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net” (v. 15). Looking at God is the way we connect our faith to His power. It’s like an electric circuit is completed when make contact with Him with our gaze. His mighty current of energy is released to flow on our behalf in that very moment.
- He passionately expressed his appeal to God: “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted” (v. 16). The tone of his prayer throughout the psalm demonstrate that he fully expected that God would answer him. At the same time, he was brutally honest in pouring out to the Lord his raw emotions. His heart posture for petitioning Heaven was a poignant combination of profound anguish and earnest confidence.
You and I can lift our souls up to our Maker too. As we focus on Jesus and begin to exalt Him, our faith will make contact with the limitless resources of Heaven. Once we have lifted our heart up into the manifest presence of God in this way, our petitions flow right from our heart to His. We pray full of faith and expectation because we are seeing Him with the eyes of our heart. We are beholding in His eyes the never-ending power and love that He is eagerly releasing on our behalf.
Praying this way is an exercise that trains your spirit and makes you ever stronger in Him. The more you learn to lift up your soul like this, the more hell will begin to tremble every time you even glance in the direction of your prayer closet!
What are some strategies that help you fix your gaze on Jesus in spite of whatever battle you may be facing today?