April 28, 2017
“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.” (Psalm 4:5)
In this Psalm King David has insomnia because he is doing the expedient thing rather than what is right. He’s doing this because if he does the right thing he cannot see how he can possibly survive. Since he is a man of deep spiritual integrity this keeps him awake all night. In the middle of the night, he resolves in his heart that he is going to make whatever sacrifices he must make to do what is right and then trust the Lord for his survival. This decision changes his emotional anxiety and insomnia to peace and peaceful sleep.
His motivation is the many people asking: “Who will show us something good?” In other words, these people are looking for someone who will do what is right even if it costs everything they have to do right.
Psalm 4 begins with a prayer that is addressed to the God Who relieves us when we are in distress. If you want to know what distress is just drop the first two letters of the word and you know that this Psalm is all about being relieved from our (di)-stress.
If you are a spiritually oriented person and you’re not doing what is right because you cannot see how you can survive if you do, are you willing to resolve making whatever sacrifices you must to do what is right – and then trust God for the outcome?
Dick Woodward, 23 April 2010
January 14, 2014
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139: 23, 24 NLT)
Jeremiah wrote that our heart is “… deceitful above all things…” He asked: “Who can know it?” Then he answered his own question by writing that only the Lord knows our heart. (Jeremiah 17: 9, 10)
Jesus described serious heart pathology when He taught: “For from within, out of a person’s heart come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness …” He then declared that all these evil things and more come from within our heart and not from outside influences. (Mark 7: 21, 22) Jesus agreed with the Proverb: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
The Apostle Paul wrote: “When the Lord comes, He will … reveal our private motives.” Then we will receive praise, or the opposite. (1Corinthians 4: 3-5)
Consider the amazing wisdom of David when he prayed his Psalm 139 prayer that I label A Spiritual Cardiogram. To paraphrase and summarize, David was asking God to take the lid off his mind and show Him the thoughts that should not be there. Then he asked God to take the lid off his heart and show him the motives that should not be there because he wanted to walk, looking up, with eternity in his perspective.
We should not wait until judgment to have a spiritual cardiogram any more than we would wait for a heart attack before having a medical cardiogram. We should ask God to take the lid off our thoughts and motives now while we can address the challenges we find there.