Psalm 26

Psalm 26

Written by David


1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.
4 I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD

As I look at this Psalm written by David, I see a Psalm of prayer. The word I is used in this Psalm ten times and the word me or my is used twelve times. Usually when we focus on how many times a person uses the word I in their conversation it portrays a sense of self-confidence in their abilities which leads to pride and the desire to live a life without God. But here in this Psalm David’s I’s focus on his walk with God and his desire separation from the way of the wicked, by looking at the words I and me we can get an idea of how David leads a blameless life. He starts out with the request to the Lord of vindicate me. He is asking the Lord to clear him of either some accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments stating he has led a blameless life. He is asking the Lord to defend, maintain, or insist on the recognition of his blameless life because he trusts in the Lord without wavering. In other words, his faith did not move unsteadily back and forth his faith remains unchanging. Unchanging faith in the Lord is a characteristic that David learned at an early age in his life. It was this faith in the Lord that kept him going when he was running from Saul. David’s faith knew who God was, knew the nature of God, knew the nature of man, and knew how-to walk-in truth. This walk of truth that David had is the same walk that we need to follow in our walk on this earth.

Paul gives us the fruits that are a characteristic of this walk in Galatians 5:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • long suffering
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness,
  • meekness
  • self-control;

He goes on in this chapter to state that the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

David asks the Lord to test him, try, him, and examine his heart and his mind. When you ask for a procedure that includes a critical evaluation and a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth about your statement I led a blameless life; then I hope you are ready for the real test. This will put you in the same league as Job, Joseph, and David himself. However, David was sure of two facts: that God’s love is forever, and David’s walk was a regular daily walk which was not interrupted and was steady according to God’s truth.

Verses four and five reminds me of Psalm one. David refused to sit with deceitful (deliberately misleading) men, nor to keep company or be in accord or agreement with those that pretend to practice the beliefs, feelings, and virtues of godliness but whom do not hold or possess these qualities. He also hated the assembly of those that performs evil acts and refused to be in the company of those who were evil by nature and who had destructive, troublesome and corrupt practices.

Verses six and seven gives us a key to David’s blameless walk. He includes in these verses the act of washing his hands in innocence as he states in Psalm 51 “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” which refers to his knowing he is not perfect. This is the beauty of God’s Word for it is like a mirror which when we look into it, we get a sense of Christ’s nature and this similarity in appearance and character will become more of our nature the more we stay in His Word. This was fact number two; fact number one is David’s proclaiming aloud the praises of God and the telling of His wonderful deeds. Question, do you let others know how great God is to you? David did.

As I look at verse four “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites” I must stop and think about what groups would other people around me associate me with? As we investigate God’s Word (the true mirror to our inward self) it should reveal to us our true intent of our hearts. However, how do I appear to others? Can they see the true intents of my heart? It depends upon what their true intents are. Remember, a person’s view of God does not reveal to them what God is but what that person wants to believe about God. This is the same view they have about me and anyone else they are around. Just as people can reject or accept God’s true nature so they can reject or accept our true nature. Look at verse four in this light then and ask yourself which group you associate yourself with, deceitful men or men of true.

In I Samuel 12:20-25 Samuel gives the children of Israel the desire of their heart, a king. They recognized this as an act of adding to their sins but ask Samuel to pray for them so that they might not die. Samuel’s answer was “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.” David was not even born when Samuel gave this warning to the children of Israel and when he stepped aside and let them, have Saul as their king. After Saul’s failure to follow the Lord and his ways, the Lord rejected him. I Samuel 15:30 “Then he said “I have sinned, but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord your God” illustrates the true abandonment of Saul’s association with God and God’s association with Saul. David did not want this abandonment. To David the words of Samuel from the past “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you”, became the guiding light to the blameless walk that David led.

Psalm 24

Psalm 24

Of David.


1
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty he is the King of glory. Selah

How would you answer the following questions?

  • Who is he this King of Glory in your life?
  • Are you watching for his coming?
  • How do you react to the news in today’s media?
  • Do your reactions to this news reflect your desire to see Christ coming?
  • Is he the king of your life?
  • Have you open the doors to your heart to this King?
  • Are you ready to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in his holy place?

You really only have two chooses: The Lord or the idol of the god you have created.

When I am studying the Psalms, I realize that my focus turns back to my creator. This psalm helps me realize that everything was created by the Lord and for the Lord. Therefore, when I focus on my daily activities, I must realize that God is still in control. Also, in verse four we have been given a way to walk in this world, we are to have clean hands and a pure heart, and not to lift up our soul to an idol or swear by what is false. To have clean hands and a pure heart cover both our actions and our thoughts. If we live this way God will bless us and our generation; however, if we do not live this way, we as well as our generation will lose the blessings of the Lord.

Psalm 15

Psalm 15

of David.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.

This psalm asks two simple questions: who may dwell in your sanctuary and who may live on your holy hill? The answer is simple also:

He whose

  • walk is blameless
  • does what is righteous
  • who speaks the truth from his heart
  • has no slander on his tongue
  • does his neighbor no wrong
  • casts no slur on his fellowman
  • despises a vile man
  • honors those who fear the LORD
  • keeps his oath even when it hurts
  • lends his money without usury
  • does not accept a bribe against the innocent

He who does these things will never be shaken

This psalm summaries the reading found in the five psalms today. The question for the day was “who is God to you?”. As you read the five psalms today I pray that you realize that God is really the one that controls the events in our life if we walk in his ways. A crisis for the righteous then is just a turning point in our life that God uses to take us in a new direction. If I accept this realization than how should I live when facing a crisis? This psalm answer this with giving us several principles to live by and to make the focus of our desires to see God’s face. Proverbs 3:5 simply states this life as one that trust in the Lord with all your heart and lead not on our understanding.

As I was studying God’s Word and reflecting on his nature and the relationship that we have to him the phase “your heavenly father” kept coming to mind. It is amazing as we travel the path that God has for us on this earth how the view we have about our earthly father and our heavenly father both changes as we mature. As I look at how the child’s view of their father changes as they mature, I see these steps. First, he is daddy the strong arms that support you, the smiling face that looks upon you as you look at him. However, he soon becomes the one that tries to keep a child from going in the wrong direction when the child beings the process of exploring the world around him and starts the process of refusing to heed the father’s direction. This discipline from God is sometimes hard to understand and is something we might try to resist, just as a child resist an earthly father’s discipline. This is one of the first changes we go through in the way we view our earthly as well as our heavenly father as we mature. These views change with the circumstances that develop as we mature and take on new roles in life. As we mature, we in the right relationship with our earthly father we can look back and see how our life was shaped by his involvement in our life. At the same time our relationship to our father changes with these circumstances and new relationships. The one thing that does stay constant is this: we are the child and he is the father.

One of the truths that I try teaching my children was the only thing they could give me were hugs and kisses since these truly came from hearts and are theirs to give away. These are precious to me since everything else I needed; I could provide for myself. This truth can also be seen in our relationship to God. He does not need anything from us since everything belongs to him already. However, our worship of our heavenly Father could be compared to the way that our kids give hugs and kisses to their earthly father. With this truth in mind, how can I worship God? The answer is simple. Follow the principles in this psalm and then give God the worship He desires, hugs and kisses from the heart from a child. Then God can make the same statement in the courts of Heaven about you as he did about Job. Job 1:8 “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschewed evil?”

Proverb chapter three provides a wonderful conclusion for today’s reading. As you read this Proverb remember that it was written to a son, an individual, about the real purpose of life. The purpose of this Proverb is not a “how to success in life”, but a “how to live a life pleasing to God”. Sometimes we forget that when we practice God’s way, we face opposition from the ungodly. We see this example in the first family with the death of Abel by the hands of Cain. As we study the scriptures and the issues that we face in life we realize that there is a battle between the way of God and the ways of the ungodly or the wicked. So, the decision my son is simple. Do you walk in the way of God, or follow the ways of the wicked?

Psalm 12

Psalm 12

of David.
1 Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men.
2 Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.
3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue
4 that says, “We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips who is our master?”
5 “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
7 O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.

As we just faced another election year and the debate about who is right and best for the position, we must consider verse eight of this psalm “the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men”. As we look at the value system that is in place today, we see a system that is very corrupt. In verse two David writes that everyone lies to his neighbor and their flattering lips speak with deception. This too seems to be present in our political and business world today. In II Timothy 3:1-5 Paul warns Timothy about times like David was facing “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power”. As I study David’s life, I even see this deception happening in his own life as he tries to get Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba so that his child could seem to be Uriah’s son to cover up David’s sin. However when this did not work David arrange for Uriah’s death on the battlefield. Then, when Nathan confronted David with his sin and said to David “You are the man! David realized that he was guilty of the very principles that he tried to uphold. David’s repentance (see Psalm 51 and Psalm 32) is an example of the type of true repentance that we as believers must follow when we are confronted with our sin. However, today I believe we have departed from true repentance and are living in a culture were the wicked proudly strut about knowing that their actions are really honored in this society.

When studying the seven churches in Revelation two and three repentance plays an important part in the believer’s walk. These examples:

  • To the church of Ephesus – Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.
  • To the church of Pergamum – Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. Repent therefore!
  • To the church in Thyatira – Nevertheless, I have this against you I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling; so I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.
  • To the church of Sardis – I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.
  • To the church of Laodicea – I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

However, there are two churches that were not ask to repent: Smyrna “I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!” and Philadelphia – “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name”. It is interest that II Samuel 11:1 starts out with these words “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.” This verse set the stage for David’s fall. David was not doing what he was supposed to be doing but left it to others. The churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia gives us examples what the church should be doing today. So, as we take a look at the value system of nation we should look and study the seven churches of Revelation. Is our value system that of Smyrna and Philadelphia or is it like the value of the other five churches?

Is there a difference between knowing God’s way and living in God’s way? Does living a righteous lifestyle before God guarantee a wonderful and bless life? Is living life and following God’s way simply a matter of if you do this then this will happen? As I study the Psalms and the life of David, I have come to realize that the answers to life’s tough questions are not simple. This Psalm deals with living in an environment where the godly are no more. It is an environment where everyone lies to his neighbor, is deceitful, where what is vile and wicked is honored among men. As I study I Kings chapter twenty one I see a picture of Israel that reminds me of this type of an environment. To summarize this chapter, we see four main characters: Naboth, Ahab, Jezebel, and Elijah. Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard to make himself a vegetable garden. Naboth told him no, this is my inheritance from my father, and I will not sell it to you. So, Ahab went home sad and angry. When Jezebel found out about this, she took matters in her own hands and set Naboth up with made-up charges and had him killed. She then gave his land to Ahab. When Ahab went to see his new possession, Elijah met him and proclaim God’s Word to him. Surprising Ahab humbled himself before God (something Jezebel would never do). To this God had mercy on him and did not bring the promise disaster during his lifetime. As I read this story the issues, we face today in our society are similar to the issues that Elijah faced during his time on this earth.

How then does this story answer the question “Is living life and following God’s way simply a matter of if you do this then this will happen?”? The answer can be found in reading I Peter. According to I Peter 5: 8-9 we are to be “self-controlled and alert”. Why? Because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. How do we react to the devil? Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because we know that our brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. So, in evil times is your goal living a wonderful and bless life, or living a blameless lifestyle as a witness of God’s working in your life? Knowing that the evil in this world will take advantage of our living a blameless life before God.

Psalm 6

Psalm 6

A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?
4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
5 No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

In the devotional My Utmost for His Highest for April 2, 2009 Oswald Chambers writes “The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others.” as the spiritual insight that we need to portray in our daily walk. This psalm is an example of those events that take place in our life in which we know God, but we cannot grasp an understanding on how God is using those events in our life at that moment to shape us for his purpose.

In this psalm David knows the Lord. He knows of God’s anger and discipline and he knows of his unfailing love. He had witness how God had used Saul to united Israel as a nation, but also witness how God had deserted Saul when he refused to obey God. He saw the pain and suffering that Saul went through when the Spirit of the Lord left Saul. He also saw the type of person that Saul became when he forsook the Lord’s way and pursued his own path. However, he also saw how much pain and suffering Saul could inflict on others. Events such as when Saul had Doeg the Edomite kill eighty-five members of the priest family were hard for David to grasp when it came to understanding God intervention in the affairs of man.

As I study the issues that David must have faced in this psalm and apply it to the issues that I face I realize that David is wrestling with gaining an understanding of the events surrounding him. The more I study the psalms the more I realize that David was writing his psalms to help him understand the nature and attributes of God. David knew that God was in control, however, he also realized that evil existed in the world and that this evil was godless. Godliness and godlessness cannot exist together. Therein lays the conflict that we see in the world today, those who walk in the way of the righteous and those who opposes the righteous way of God. The major issue that I see today is that many believers strive to make a stand against all unrighteous that they see exist all around them and take matters into their our hands, instead of leaving it to God. We should become like David and become obsessed with the pursue of knowing God and living a blameless life. If we truly believe like David; then we like him, will know that the four results of verses nine and ten will take place.

The LORD has heard my cry for mercy

the LORD accepts my prayer.
All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed

they will turn back in sudden disgrace

Living a blameless life is different than living a perfect life. One of the earliest struggles that I faced as a Christian was striving for human perfection. Paul also gives us an example of his struggle with living a life of perfection in Philippians chapter three. Paul purpose changed from striving to live a life of perfection to knowing God and the power of his resurrection. He sought the fellowship of Christ suffering and being made conformable unto God’s nature. Oswald Chambers summarizes Christian perfection in his devotional from December 2 as “Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life.” So as we go through times in our life that we cannot understand God’s leading look at them as a time that God is making us conformable unto His nature.

Thought for the day. Do I really know the ten commandments?

Thou shall have no other gods before me.
Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.
Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Thou shall not kill.
Thou shall not commit adultery.
Thou shall not steal.
Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shall not covet.

Psalm 4

Psalm 4

A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

The purpose of starting my study in the psalms twenty years ago was to help improve my prayer life. This started the process of reading five psalms a day and letting them speak to me as I poured my heart out to God, just as David does in a lot of his psalms. This psalm is an example of a simple pray. This prayer starts out with the request for God to answer his prayers. Here David is requesting relief from his distress. As you read verse one and look at David’s requests, “answer me when I call to you, give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer” reveals that this was a prayer that came from a hurting man. Verse two reveals that the distress David is referring to in verse one is from men that are trying to destroy David’s character. When you study David’s life it is not a study of how God rewards the godly as they live a righteous life on this earth, but it is a reflection on the struggle between the two walks (way of the righteous and the way of the wicked) on this earth. This struggle is also the struggle we face as we are sojourners on this earth. When David was running from Saul, he was forced to give up relationships with those who were close to him such as his wife (Saul even gave Micah to another man), his family, and his closest friend (Jonathan). As these events of rejection happened in David life they also happen in the life of Christ as well as in your life today. However, verses three, four, and five gives us an insight to handle ourselves when we are experiencing these events in our life. First know that God has set the godly apart for himself. This means that in times of trouble we do not seek to right the wrong, but instead focus on becoming godly. This is only done by becoming more Christ-like in our walk on this earth. Second, we need to know that God will take care of us just as he did Joseph. Joseph’s life serves as a great example of how even when we are wronged by others God is still in control. And last of all we must be continually in a state of self-examination. As David states here search your heart and be silent. God will speak to you in these dark times things that you will not be able to share even those who are very close to you. By following these principals, we like David will have great joy in our hearts and will be able to lie down and sleep in peace.

As I study David’s life, I realize how much of his life was guided by one principal and that was by staying in God’s Word. As one studies the Bible in a spirit of self- examination the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more of God’s ways to us. By reading these psalms daily and seeking to walk in his ways we will experience joys that this world can’t give.

Psalm 6: 1-3

Tallapossa 4O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.  My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?

In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest for April 2, 2009 Oswald Chambers  writes “The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others.” as the spiritual insight that we need to portray in our daily walk.  This psalm is an example of those events that take place in our life in which we know God, but we can not grasp an understanding on how God is using those events in our life at that moment to shape us for his purpose.

In this psalm David knows the Lord.  He knows of God’s anger and discipline and he knows of his unfailing love.  He had witness how God had used Saul to united Israel as a nation, but also witness how God had deserted Saul when he refused to obey God.  He saw the pain and suffering that Saul went through when the Spirit of the Lord left Saul.  He also saw the type of person that Saul became when he forsook the Lord’s way and pursued his own path.  However, he also saw how much pain and suffering Saul could inflict on others.  Events such as when Saul had Doeg the Edomite kill eighty-five members of the priest family were hard for David to grasp when it came to understanding God intervention in the affairs of man.

 

As I study the issues that David must have faced in this psalm and apply it to the issues that I face I realize that David is wrestling with gaining an understanding of the events surrounding him.  The more I study the psalms the more I realize that David was writing his psalms to help him understand the nature and attributes of God.  David knew that God was in control, however, he also realized that evil existed in the world and that this evil was godless.  Godliness and godlessness can not exist together.  Therein lies the conflict that we see in the world today, those who walk in the way of the righteous and those who opposes the righteous way of God.   The major issue that I see today is that many believers strive to make a stand against all unrighteous that they see exist all around them and take matters into their our hands, instead of leaving it to God.  We should become like David and become obsessed with the pursue of knowing God and living a blameless life.  If we truly believe like David; then we like him, will know that the four results of verses nine and ten will take place.

 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy the LORD accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed they will turn back in sudden disgrace 

Living a blameless life is different then living a perfect life.  One of the earliest struggles that I faced as a Christian was striving for human perfection.  Paul also gives us an example of his struggle with living a life of perfection in Philippians chapter three.  Paul purpose changed from striving to live a life of perfection to knowing God and the power of his resurrection.  He sought the fellowship of Christ suffering and being made conformable unto God’s nature.  Oswald Chambers summarizes Christian perfection in his devotional from December 2 as “Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship with God that shows itself to be true even amid the seemingly unimportant aspects of human life.”   So as we go through times in our life that we can not understand God’s leading look at them as a time that God is making us conformable unto His nature