Set Him Always Before You

by Twila Belk

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.     Psalm 16:8 AMP

Do you ever forget anything? I do. Sometimes I’ll get on an elevator and wonder why I haven’t reached my floor. And then I’ll discover it’s because I hadn’t remembered to push the button. I forget where I’ve put things. I forget the names of my kids. I forget why I went to the other room. And if I’m not careful, I’ll forget meaningful dates or events. If I don’t keep a sticky note or some sort of reminder in front of me, I’m in trouble.

Several years ago on an August day, I realized how important those reminders were to me. I went about my business as I normally do, but I had a niggling feeling that I was forgetting something. Halfway through the day, I came across a significant document while sorting a stack of papers on my table. It was the first day of school, and I had forgotten to take my kids! Yikes!

Because I hadn’t kept that important information at the top of the pile and smack dab in front of my face, I had to put up with friends and school personnel who laughed at me and questioned my mental stability.

“Out of sight, out of mind” is a clichéd expression, but it’s proven to be true in my case.

Unfortunately, that’s also often the case with many of us regarding our relationship with God. If we don’t keep him at the “top of our pile,” we forget that he’s with us. We forget that he wants to help us. We forget that he is I AM. And because of our forgetfulness, we’re troubled needlessly with a load of care.

David wrote the words in Psalm 16:8 shown above. He knew the key to being still or (unshaken) was to have a constant awareness of the Lord’s presence. Here are some of the ways he kept the Lord continually before him:

  • Talked honestly with God and carried on a running conversation with him
  • Meditated on God’s words
  • Journaled his thoughts and prayers to God (see the Psalms)
  • Passed down his God stories to the next generation
  • Sang praises to God
  • Proclaimed God’s goodness
  • Talked to others about God
  • Danced before God
  • Opened his eyes and heart to notice God at work
  • Immersed himself in the truth of God’s Word

As with us, life wasn’t always easy for David. He faced storms, dealt with wicked people, confronted giants, had to make difficult decisions, and wrestled with inner turmoil. But because he knew God intimately and kept him at the “top of his pile,” David was able to trust him. God proved himself to David again and again and will do the same for us.

I have problems with forgetfulness, Lord, but I don’t want that to happen when it comes to you. Help me to learn from David and to keep you continually before me. If I do that, I won’t be shaken by the worries and cares and troubles of life. With you at the “top of my pile,” I’ll remember how big you are, how good you are, and how trustworthy you are. Thank you for being at my right hand.

(This devotion is an excerpt from The Power to Be, (c) 2018 Twila Belk. Used by permission of BroadStreet Publishing.)

twila belkAbout the Author: Also known as the Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, Twila Belk  loves braggin’ on God. Whether she’s writing, speaking, or teaching, she offers hope and encouragement for people to fix their eyes on him. Twila is the author of The Power to Be: Be Still, Be Grateful, Be Strong, Be Courageous and Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose as well as five other books. Mom to three grown children and Grandma to three precious little boys, Twila lives with her husband in Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River and the home of American Pickers, John Deere tractors, and Whitey’s ice cream.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner 51veIj1tu+L._SX344_BO1,204,203,200_from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Twila’s new devotional book,  The Power to Be, please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What kinds of things shake you? How would setting God always before you help you keep from being shaken? What are methods you could use to help you have a constant awareness of God in your life?


24 thoughts on “Set Him Always Before You

    1. I also am a POST IT gal! For a long time, when I was younger I would write scripture verses on Post it’s… now not as much. I feel like I need to go back to That because we read “I have hidden your word in my heart” and while it’s in my heart I don’t know where specific verses ARE from and I SHOULD.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Post-it-notes are perfect for Bible verses, aren’t they, Julia? And they can be stuck on the mirror, cabinet, computer, and all sorts of places to help us remember.


    2. Thanks for commenting, Shirley. I seem to be getting more and more forgetful each day. In fact, just a couple days ago I put my husband on the commode and forgot to put the bucket in. Not a good situation! When it comes to God, I don’t ever want to forget, so I need to be intentional about remembering.


  1. I’m right there with you, Twila! Right before I read today’s devotion, I remembered something important I forgot to do at work yesterday, even though I had it written on my to-do list, and on my calendar! What a needed reminder today:) Let’s keep God first in our hearts, minds, and lives. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes we need a reminder to look at our to-do list, don’t we, Kristine? 🙂 I have an abundance of to-do lists laying around. They’re written on napkins, post-it-notes, envelopes–anything I can find to write on.


  2. The picture reminds me of a very dear friend…post-its everywhere, lol. I think about the comment of keeping God on top of the pile and have to admit I do let Him get buried. Beautiful devotional. Thank you!


  3. I always had a love for words and did a lot of writing, journaling, poetry and short stories until a tragedy sucked the creativity out of my life. After many years I have taken a bold step to take a writing course to rediscover my voice.
    Scary step of faith.


    1. We’re forgetful people, especially when we have lots going on or are dealing with tough circumstances. Sometimes I’ll pray, “Help me remember to not forget.” I want to keep Him foremost in my mind, but it can be a struggle at times.


  4. Lately I’ve been shaken by moms and grandmothers burying their childern/grandchildren. Deaths out of season are so difficult to understand. And fear for my own children and crowning glories rears its ugly head. Only by keeping God’s word and through praise and worship can I take every fearful thought captive. He faithfully gives me strength, which enables me to walk with my friends through difficult times. Thanks for your timely words, Twila, and for the Arise staff in posting the devotional.


    1. Thanks for sharing, Melynda. Yes, death out of season is so hard. I’m glad God doesn’t expect us to understand everything. He just wants us to trust Him. It sounds like that’s what you’re doing. May He continue to strengthen you and remind you of His power, presence, and purposes as you walk with your friends through difficult times.


  5. This is spot on! I’ve found that I have to keep a running to-do list or I miss accomplishing tasks, as well. The best way for me to keep God on the top of my pile is to wake up and spend time alone with him first thing.


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