Keeping Up Appearances

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”
– Psalm 19:14 (NASB)

I’m reading through the Bible using the M’Cheyne plan this year and we find ourselves in the Psalms now. I read through Psalm 19 on Thursday and stopped on this familiar verse. I’ve been thinking about how little my words and my meditation are both acceptable in God’s sight. The words can at times be easy to keep acceptable, but often they’re that way because of my fear of man. Worry over how my words will be perceived by others can drive what I say. Proverbs 29:25 reminds us though that “The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.” So having our words be acceptable to others is of course wrong motivation, but often it’s at least better than what’s bubbling under the surface.

And under the surface, my heart is what’s really troubling of late. I feel long periods of dryness in my Bible reading, as if the words are meant for others and not for me. I should say the warnings feel meant for me, but not the promises. I can identify with the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2, and feel these words being directed specifically at me. Maybe it’s just the busyness of life and adjusting to being a dad as well as a husband, a new job and feeling unsettled for about a year now. But it’s definitely a struggle and a daily push to think God’s thoughts after Him. I read this article a few days ago and reflected on how little my experience matches what she writes about. I think of how often I feel like a player in the locker room getting fired up by the coach but never leaving the tunnel to play the game. So I turn to my Bible each day and pray that the meditation of my heart is acceptable in His sight. If you’ve read this far, I thank you and ask that you pray for me too.

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4 thoughts on “Keeping Up Appearances

  1. kurtmichaelson

    Will do my friend. I’ve been there too, but thank God that He will never leave us in the wilderness. You’ll be out soon, I hope and will come out having learned something great that will be a blessing to you, as well as for others.

  2. Barbara

    My brother, I think you will find great comfort and encouragement in the T4G videos we talked about. Most especially Dr. Platt’s. It is true that there are many warnings in Scripture; to see them as a grace to keep you on your way, to even at times withdraw His countenance in order to increase your hunger and thirst for His word, to feel and know your poverty of spirit, is a grace. Consider Hebrews 12, and trust Him to provide those still waters and green pastures in His good time. He has begun a good work in you; He will do what is necessary to complete it – including this kind of thing you describe. I myself find that the spirit is willing but the flesh is often so, so weak. I hope that you and your wife are working and walking together in these things as well. I don’t know if you’re setting aside time for family worship, but if not that may be a good help as well. Also, Chapter 11 of Spurgeon’s “All of Grace”, “Alas! I Can Do Nothing!” may serve as encouragement to you. http://www.spurgeon.org/all_of_g.htm

    As always, the answer is in the person of Jesus as He continues to increase and you continue to decrease. Praise be to God for our blessed Redeemer and Friend.

  3. Joe Post author

    Kurt, thanks for visiting and for your encouragement – “He will never leave us in the wilderness” – yes and amen

    Barbara, I appreciate your wise words and for pointing me towards these resources. Spurgeon’s “All of Grace” remains one of my top 5 favorite books and I haven’t read it in about 4 years now…may be time to review. I hope I can download the T4G videos for offline viewing…traveling this week and these would be great to view while on the plane.

    Blessings to you both!

  4. Barbara

    Let me share something with you that soundly convicted me last night but at the same time brought much encouragement (and sent me directly to seeking forgiveness from a couple of people to whom I had not responded in this way):

    One of our associate pastors has been preaching through Luke on Sunday evenings lately and last night he spoke on Luke 9:46-50, where the disciples had come down from the mountain after the Transfiguration and were arguing about who would be greatest and telling Jesus that they had tried to get those casting out demons in Jesus’ name to stop because they weren’t part of them….dealing with matters of pride and sanctification. At the end of his sermon, he said something to the effect of, “Now we’ve talked about what the text says, let’s talk for a minute about what it doesn’t say” and had us to turn to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and asked us, “What one word would describe the way Jesus dealt with the disciples in the text we just covered?

    And then he laid it out – Jesus was not impatient, he was not unkind, he bore with them not raising his voice, but knowing that they would be able to learn, showing how Jesus demonstrated love in His dealings with them. We see similar words from Paul in his instructions to Timothy about how to deal with those in error within the church – the very kinds of words that indicate fruit of the Spirit – patience, kindness, gentleness. This is the fruit of the Spirit because this is His character. This is what He is to us, and that is what we are to look like to Him and to others. And so this is how He deals with me, and how He deals with you. Why Because He is the very definition of love that we have lain out for us in 1 Corinthians 13.

    I hope this helps you in seeing and seeking Him rightly, and in renewing your heart with love for He who has loved you with all that He is.

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