O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
– Ps 131
For this year, our pulpit messages on Communion Sundays will focus on “going after the heart of God”. Today was the first, and Rev E drew our attention to Ps 131 and 1 Sam 16 & 17. “We have these many problems… because we are just not humble!“. Thoughtful.
“Those who are willing to see shall see; it is because we shut our eyes that we become so sadly blind. We have seen much already. Great things and unsearchable has the LORD showed unto us, for which we praise His name; but there are greater truths in His Word, greater depths of experience, greater heights of fellowship, greater works of usefulness, greater discoveries of power, and love, and wisdom. These we are yet to see if we are willing to believe our LORD. The faculty of inventing false doctrine is ruinous, but power to see the truth is a blessing. Heaven shall be opened to us, the way thither shall be made clear to us in the Son of Man, and the angelic commerce which goes on between the upper and the lower kingdoms shall be made more manifest to us. Let us keep our eyes open toward spiritual objects and expect to see more and more. Let us believe that our lives will not drivel down into nothing but that we shall be always on the growing hand, seeing greater and still greater things, till we behold the great God Himself and never again lose the sight of Him.” – Spurgeon
David. A man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). Because he was perfect? No. Because of his heroic acts? No. Then why? Possibly – humility.
Where it all starts (or ends before it even starts) – the heart. The heart is the wellspring of life (Prov 4:23) – everything flows from it. The integrity of our words, thoughts and actions. Motives. Attitudes.
Viewing others and situations as God does – a high ambition consistent with our calling. A giving, forgiving, and other-centred way of loving and living. Also, an accurate perception of self.
Emptying. This is not an endorsement of complacency or resignation, and certainly not of sloth – a sluggish mind. To go and serve, and be yielded & rightly centred wherever God calls – what a tall order. To not have become so big that we can’t do the small things. To not have become so fed on attention & results that we lose our appetite for hiddenness & desert beauty. But to ‘play the harp’ skillfully when needed, and ‘tend the sheep’ faithfully when not. To be ‘armor-bearer’ soberly when needed, and ‘shepherd boy’ joyfully when not.
There are boundaries. There is kairos. “Too difficult for me” – we can attempt such things out of a lack of humility, but the same lack can cause us to reject doing them (What if I fail?). Humility – humus – rootedness… helps us define a response with sound motivations.
Quieted in God’s presence – the smallest thing about Him is much larger than our biggest. Know that He is God (Ps 46:10). Recognise He is the source of all we have done, are doing and can ever do or be.
Contentment. This is not a call to small dreams or timid plans – but a ceasing of wilful striving and stubborn desiring (I want what I want, and I want it now, in this way). His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isa 55:9). Perhaps also tied to teachabiity… patience… wisdom… and childlike trust in the goodness of the ‘food’ God provides for us in each and every season. [How did David do it – given that he had already known that he would eventually be king?]
Anchored in God
Always. Never in temporal things, in fickle temperaments, in evolving tastes, in unpredictable circumstances. Trust and hope in Him who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
We Fall Down (Chris Tomlin)