The generation of covetousness we live in that constantly churns up dissatisfaction with what we possess and envy for what others have is a system set up for spiritual failure. It tells us to get what we don’t have by any means necessary, including trickery and deceit–whether it’s in business, home life, or the religious world. Yet even when people go all out to get what they think they should have, prompted by their discontent, they still are left empty and unhappy.
Thank God he has shown us a better way to live–by trusting him to draw the lines out for us when it comes to property (traits, ministry, material things) he wants us to possess both in this life and the afterlife. David understood that his acquiring things in this world and in the spiritual realm were part of the inner workings of his relationship with the Lord when he wrote these words in Psalm 16:
5 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Like David, it’s best for us to recognize above all else that the Lord himself is our inheritance. He is ours just as we are his. He is Jehovah-jireh, our Provider, who has given us exceedingly, abundantly a cup of overflowing. This is how our lots in life and in the afterlife are maintained. When we recognize that, we can look around and take stock of what we are already blessed with thus far and thank the Lord for it because our property lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places, providing us with a goodly, godly heritage. This heritage is not only meant to benefit us but others also–for the glory of God.
However, what we have now may not be all he has in store for us. Just as David, with the Lord’s help, expanded his influence and property, God may at some point call on us to do the same. Sometimes believers assume that the contentment God commands us to have is synonymous with being complacent. Such is not the case. And, yes, just like David, we may have to go through a type of hell to get to where God is leading us because the enemy doesn’t want us to have what God wants for us simply because God will get more glory if we do.
In order for us to expand in a godly way that leaves both covetousness and complacency out of the picture, verses 7-8 above tell us what to do. We must seek the counsel of the Lord and listen to his instructions, even at night while laying in bed before or during our sleep. The “reins” David speaks of are the godly spiritual motivations prompted by God. Like David, we should always look to the Lord through his word and prayer. Then act on his counsel. Incidentally, v. 8 above is also a segue into the Messianic part of this psalm, pointing us to how this whole picture comes into focus–through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf.
So here is my blessing and prayer for all God’s saints–may the lines fall unto you in pleasant places by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Harry A. Gaylord